I'm Olivia Siobhán Bailey, the head and heart behind Chickadee Design.


When I was a baby my hippie mother gave me the nickname "Chickadee", after the little birds whose songs could be heard daily where I grew up in Massachusetts. ​

My personal mission is to utilize the power of human-centered design to understand human tendencies, and use that understanding to create user experiences that promote health and happiness.


Read more below to learn about who I am, what I do, and what drives my design perspective. Thank you for joining me on my flight!

P.S. I also love photography and hiking! The landscape photos around my site are from my hiking trips across the world.

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I am an artistic soul that was raised by engineers & computer scientists. I'm a social chameleon who feels at home with artists, designers, nerds, and techies alike.

Part of what draws me to design work is its solid place within STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Maths. Straddling the worlds of logic and emotion, design asks us to put a framework to beauty, to use art to improve functionality, to create something beautiful from logical lines of code. Truthfully, I do not believe the sciences or the arts are of more value than the other. Rather, their true value lies where they intertwine.

I thrive in the multi-disciplinary product development environment where my left and right brain are challenged equally. I embrace ambiguity; in fact, the design process demands it. I am just as happy spending an afternoon coding as I am delivering a product pitch. However, I find the most reward in roles which allow me to collaborate with teams of various disciplines and find where their needs, processes, and missions meet. As more businesses digitally transform, there is only greater need for these roles, where designers act as liaisons between logical and creative thinkers.

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I bring holistic and empathetic innovation practices to product, environment, and service design so the user experience brings as much relief and support as the ultimate result.

Healthcare is a hot sector for design and with good reason. In high capacity, high risk, fast-paced medical environments, a single poorly designed button or the wrong font size can have catastrophic impact for both patient and practitioner. This only emphasizes the need to integrate creative design processes into medical product development.


The treatments we are given should heal us, not make us feel more miserable or drain our emotional energy in the name of defeating a medical evil. Unfortunately, as anyone who has been chronically ill, had an emergency hospital stay, or cared for someone who is ill knows, this is not usually the case. The experience of treatment does not always align with the promised benefit. Human-centered design offers powerful ways to ensure that we treat mind, heart, and soul as well as body.

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By involving students in the design and delivering of their education, we can ensure we provide an environment where students are able to learn well.

I had the privilege of attending alternative education. My high school diploma is from a project and skill-based education framework called the Essential Schools, where 10 Common Principles put the student experience first. There I learned that the more we involve the students in the design and delivering of their education, the better they are going to learn.


At the time, I had no idea I was learning human-centered design principles: involve the user early and often! Whether a program is intended to teach children, adults, the elderly, people with intellectual or learning disabilities, 10 students or 10000 students, nobody knows what users need to succeed better than they do.


Watch my Community Connections video below to learn a little bit about how Human-Centred Design has impacted my lifelong education.

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There is much about human nature that we cannot describe or recreate. We are messy, we are emotional, we are reactive, and we are flawed. Luckily, we know this. There is no "human error" -- there is only poor design.

My design career started with architecture studies. I was fascinated by the way buildings shaped how we moved, behaved, and felt. While I was happy to draw and build models every day, I ultimately decided buildings were too narrow a focus for me. I changed my degree from Architecture to Design, Innovation & Society, where I studied human-centered design for four years.


My true passion lies in human computer interaction. This intersection of psychology, interface design, and human-centered design is a fascinating space where designers must embrace both the detail-oriented, exact nature of science and the captivating ambiguity of social research. I recently received a certificate for my work in the Interaction Design Institute's HCI course. By understanding how human nature, emotion, intuition, reaction, biology, impact how we interact with technology, we can create experiences that feel like eating your favourite meal or listening to your favourite song.

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