Welcome to my portfolio! My name is
Sydney Cooling-Sturges.

I am a
based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Check out my work! ↓

About Me

I’m currently working as a UX Researcher at eCampusOntario and as a Creative Consultant at the Habit Factory Space in Toronto.

UX Designer & Researcher

Problems are an opportunity to improve. After struggling with and successfully tackling some of my own problems (a reproductive disorder, bone tumours, $2.83 in my bank account — to name a few!), I realized that a little creative problem solving goes a long way. As a UX designer, I’m motivated to advocate for my users to create meaningful solutions because I know it's always possible.

Lifelong Learner

Relentlessly curious. They say there’s always more to learn, especially in creative fields, and that makes me excited. I’m eager to build on my skills and understanding even if it means taking risks or exploring previously unchartered territories. This mindset has allowed me to gain knowledge and improve my design process.

Peer Mentor

What’s better than learning? Learning together! I believe learning together is our biggest superpower to understand one another and drive change. My mentors and peers in the creative community continue to empower me with their knowledge and guidance, so I seek to do the same for others whenever I can.

Data Enthusiast

Statistics and facts fascinate me. I’m excited by not just the information itself, but the way it is collected, interpreted, and represented. This quality has shaped my design practice to be insight driven, where I apply a variety of research methods to inform decisions and arrive at the best solution.

Nature Fanatic

Nature is the best designer. Nature underpins our economy, society, and our very existence, which is why I find so much inspiration in it. I like to surround myself in this inspiration, which is why I  tend to 32 (and counting) house plants and run an Instagram page dedicated to documenting Ontario’s moss, lichen, and fungi.

Human-Loving Extrovert

I love people! Who doesn’t? As an ENFJ personality type, I get a lot of energy from being around other people and thrive in situations where I can collaborate on a team. My approach to design and my everyday life is fuelled by my passion to improve the lives of others and the world around me.
Two yellow iPhone X screens displaying a graphical interfaces. The left interface is cut off by the computer screen vertically to display only half of the device, showing a user named Mark's profile on the Progress tab. The device to the right of this displays a user named Leo on his course page. The interface asks at the top "what would you like to learn today, Leo?" The screen displays that he is looking at courses under the "contraceptive" section, which shows a course called "All About STI/STD Screenings".

Better: Sex Ed. App

Designed for Bumble

Feel empowered to realize your health, well-being, and dignity with Better by Bumble. Better provides information, tools, and resources to support and enhance your sexual and reproductive health. Better was my undergraduate thesis and received awards from OCAD University and ACIDO.
Medium sized yellow circle with a black arrow pointing right.

You're Here, Now!

Designed for You!

When I was beginning to redesign my portfolio I, like many other UI/UXers, framed it as a UI/UX design challenge. I thought about who my user group would be (you!), what style my client (me!) was trying to achieve, and did quite a bit of research ranging from font families to WCAG AAA colour schemes to brushing up on my Javascript. Made with love from me to you, I hope you enjoy!
Medium sized blue circle with a black arrow pointing right.
A laptop interface displaying the home page of Sydney Cooling-Sturges's portfolio. The screen has a white background and shows 4 medium circles scattered on the page in red, green, blue, and yellow. On top of these circles reads "Welcome to my portfolio! My name is Sydney Cooling-Sturges. I am a UX Designer & Researcher based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada."
A grey generic laptop displaying a black screen with white text. The text reads "What's Expected of Us" in large caps. Beneath it, the words "a short science fiction story" appear randomly one letter at a time.

What's Expected of Us

Designed for Fun

“What's Expected of Us” is a science fiction short story by American writer Ted Chiang, initially published in 2005 by Nature. I was captivated by Chiang’s depiction of such an unsettling dystopic world in just 4 short pages, so much so that I created an interactive webpage version of his story. This piece was my first endeavour into coding and was designed and executed by myself using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
Medium sized red circle with a black arrow pointing right.

Food4Meal

Designed for OCAD University

Food4Meal is an on-campus food service where students can exchange their unused and unopened food items for a ready-made, nutritious meal. Food4Meal seeks to alleviate food insecurity amongst students while promoting a strong on-campus community. Food4Meal was designed with my peer, Jasmine Khnanishoo, for a Social Innovation course.
Medium sized green circle with a black arrow pointing right.
Three generic white phones overlapping display Food4Meal app screens. The first screen has a background of colourful plated tacos and reads "Food4Meal: food for friends" and has a login and password field. The other screens display various food items and their titles: pancakes, taco bowl, and quinoa and black bean chilli.
A rendering of a cream coloured, irregularly shaped dish with red interior edges. The dish has higher edges on two of its four sides, sloping inward.

Blum: Assistive Dish

Designed for Baycrest Hospital

Blum is an assistive dining plate that aims to help people living with dementia to regain their independence. With Blum, dining becomes engaging and enjoyable regardless of motor skill ability. Blum was created by Hadas Green, Jasmine Khnanishoo, Colin Weston, and myself with input from Baycrest’s Subject Matter Experts. Blum was exhibited at DesignTO where the exhibit and our design each won an award.
Medium sized red circle with a black arrow pointing right.