Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Laura Tolis 

BA [Hons] Interaction + User Experience Design

Hi! I'm Laura, a UI/UX designer driven by a passion for illustration, storytelling, and accessibility. My projects are grounded in extensive research that prioritises the needs of the users. Last year, I did a fantastic internship as a product researcher at Workhuman. There, I conducted usability tests and interviews and enjoyed the challenge of critically analysing the research findings to find the best possible design solutions for our users. I hope you enjoy looking through my project!

The Pollinators

The Pollinators is a project that uses gamification principles to create an engaging, but educational experience about local pollinator species, rewarding the user for exploring green spaces to find and learn about them. Pollinators are vital to the ecosystem. According to the European Commission approximately 75% of food crops grown worldwide depend on them to some extent. However, there is a limited awareness of the diversity of pollinator species in Ireland, such as hoverflies, moths, bee subspecies, and others, despite their importance to the ecosystem. Join our mission to discover nature's tiniest heroes!

Skins and Self-Expression: Exploring Player Identity and Representation in Video Games

My thesis explores our current understanding behind the player’s choices in selecting specific skins to represent themselves. Cosmetic microtransactions, particularly skins, have grown to be an increasingly common form of monetisation in modern video games. Skins can be key in shaping self-expression and representation, which in turn can influence the player’s experience within games. Through studying titles such as Overwatch (2016) and Overwatch 2 (2022), which are notable for their portrayal of diverse forms of representation in the form of its playable characters, my study aims to examine how the characters’ cultural identities are portrayed through their skins and potentially appropriated, which can lead to reinforcing stereotypes. Examining the portrayal of cultural elements in the visual design of skins can allow us to explore the current landscape of representation in the modern gaming industry and how it can influence the business of games.