Nuno Coelho Santos

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I’m Nuno, a product designer based in London.

I’m Nuno, a product designer based in London. Specializing in user interface design, with experience on web and iOS development.

I currently work at Google Health to bring new healthcare technology to the entire world.

Previously I worked with the IDEO team in Tokyo, I helped Thread reinvent personal styling in the UK, and prior to that, I was with the ustwo family in London and New York.

Nuno Coelho Santos, portuguese graphic and product designer at Google, DeepMind, Thread, ustwo.

2020 Speaker Adobe MAX 2020
2020 Interview 0.4 Magazine
2019 Interview Interface Lovers
2018 Speaker DIGICOM
2018 Speaker Queen's Young Leaders
2017 Speaker Presentation ESSR
2016 Interview iClub
2016 Feature Minimal Suff
2015 Feature httpstr
2013 Feature SiteInspire

Currency is a simple currency conversion app for iPhone.


Currency for iOS


Product Designer & iOS Developer


January to March 2016



A side-project with the goal to create a product that does one job incredibly well and learn a new programming language along the way. Special thanks to Jonathon Toon, Johnny Linnert, Xin Nie, Asuka Yamashita, Alex Abian and Tiago Alves.

After having used various currency converter applications that are available on the App Store either free or paid, I found that these were either too complex, unintuitive, or yet to be updated to new iPhone screen sizes. Very often these apps have walkthroughs to explain the complex interactions, navigation or features they can provide to the user, instead of being simple to use.

I designed Currency to be the simplest and most intuitive currency converter in the App Store, that would look perfect on any iPhone screen.

1. Very quick to use
2. Designed for travellers
3. No walkthroughs

The final design focuses on doing one job well: converting a foreign currency into the customer’s home currency. Features such as currency fluctuation graphs, in-app settings and notifications were not necessary for this job.

One of the most unique aspects of Currency is the formatting of the currencies, with the correct symbol, correct number of decimal places, decimal divider and group dividers.

Currency for iOS App Icon, work by Nuno Coelho Santos

The icon is designed to fit perfectly with iOS, presenting Currency as if it is part of the operating system.

Currency for iOS glyphs and icons, work by Nuno Coelho Santos

Most currency apps use country flags to illustrate the different currencies. But some currencies like Bitcoin or the Euro don’t belong to a specific country. For this reason I instead used currency symbols and correct currency formatting, along with currency codes to correctly represent the different currencies.

Currency for iOS Design Process, work by Nuno Coelho Santos

Some early sketches displayed multiple currencies on the main screen and used country flags. One of the early designs uses a blue and dark visual style that I later on retired. When I started development and showed the app to my friends they seemed confused about which number they were editing, so I added a text input blinking cursor.

The final design is bright and shows activity indicators when the currency exchange rates are being updated. Other settings were added via the iOS Settings based on user request.

Currency for iOS Development Process, work by Nuno Coelho Santos Currency for iOS Xcode Storyboard, work by Nuno Coelho Santos Currency for iOS Xcode Exploded UI View, work by Nuno Coelho Santos Currency for iOS Source Code Screenshot, work by Nuno Coelho Santos

This was the first app I developed for iOS, and my first time writing Swift. The entire development of the application took about 3 months, with most of it being bug fixes and improvements to the code quality. The source is available publicly on GitHub.

Currency for iOS localization screenshots, work by Nuno Coelho Santos

The application, website and marketing material was localized to the US, the UK, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Three months after release, 76% of the downloads came from the Asia/Pacific region.

Six months after release, Currency was downloaded over 6,000 times and has an average rating of 4.5 stars. You can download it for $0.99 on the App Store.

Currency for iOS marketing photo, work by Nuno Coelho Santos

Thread offers one-to-one personal styling and access to a powerful clothing recommendation engine.




Product Designer & Front-end Web Developer





Thread is an online styling service, currently only for men in the UK, that joins the world’s best fashion stylists and Artificial Intelligence in a single platform to give users personal styling for free. Thread is a YC’11 start-up founded by Kieran O’Neill, Benjamin Phillips and Ben Kucsan. I joined the team in 2014 as a product designer and worked alongside some of with the smartest people I’ve met so far.

At Thread, we defined the long term vision for the company and broke it down into product, operations, styling and marketing goals. While I was part of the Thread product team, I would take on one of these challenge every week and set it as a weekly goal.

A typical week at Thread would include brainstorming and sketching on Monday, visual design and critics on Tuesday, prototyping and testing on Wednesday, development and testing on Thursday and Friday. Every Friday we would demo the work done and some of these solutions would be shipped on Monday the following week.

How might we improve our mobile experience?

Thread users visit Thread from their mobile more and more over time devices, however internally we always had the habit of designing thinking on the desktop browser first. So in this project we looked at what the ideal mobile experience would be like and how we could reshape our design and development process to fit a mobile-first approach.

We started by tackling this challenge by designing a native iOS experience of Thread. We built a wireframe prototype and asked users to visit our office to use it. After a few interviews, everyone in the team felt like this was an improvement over the current experience.

Thread V2 iOS wireframes, work by Nuno Coelho Santos

We also explored a different direction, that focused on systematizing our web experience to be more modular and targeted for mobile browsers. We called this new system Thread Whitechapel. It included new type styles, new touch interactions, new guidelines for flows and page content, and a new set of standard HTML components.

This resulted not only in a better mobile experience, but it also allowed us to design and develop faster while keeping our visual language consistent.

Thread V2 modals redesign, work by Nuno Coelho Santos Thread V2 modals redesign, work by Nuno Coelho Santos Thread V2 component library, work by Nuno Coelho Santos

How might we keep providing a Thread service even while stylists are offline or in vacation?

Thread has a powerful recommendation engine that helps match the outfits each stylist makes to each client preferences, but when the stylists are away we can’t generate these recommendations for the users. So how should Thread work when this is the case?

At the time, stylists could use the Thread engine to find clothing items and users could receive recommendations from stylists. But a channel between the user and the Thread engine was missing. During the first week, myself and Dan Palmer explored how an experience of using Thread’s engine without having the stylist involved would look like to users.

Thread Browse icons, work by Nuno Coelho Santos

We developed the concept of a curated store. Imagine a clothing line, made of the amount of items a person can realistically own. A curated wardrobe. We wanted an experience similar to walking to a clothing store and seeing only new items that you would love. This became Thread Browse.

Thread has thousands of items and there are thousands of online stores with thousands of items that are irrelevant to their users. Thread Browse is the curated shopping experience for when your personal stylist isn’t available. Designs show the items categorized by outer to inner-most clothing, and a limited number of results is displayed below. All matching the user preferences.

Thread browse desktop design, work by Nuno Coelho Santos

Thread has been growing steadily over the last few years and I’m incredibly proud of all the work we have done together. Thread will be available worldwide in the near future. If you’re looking for menswear styling in the UK, sign up here. If you’re interested about working at Thread, see their jobs page.

Other projects involve branding, photography, and software development.

Polaroids from “A Year in an Instant”, a project by Nuno Coelho Santos
A Year in an Instant

When I moved to Japan I documented the first 365 days living there with instant photo each day. This is a Kickstarter project where the backers get to claim their favorite photo. Read it here.

Opening photo from “15 Days in Japan”, a project by Nuno Coelho Santos
15 Days in Japan

My most popular side-project—a travel blog where I documented my every step of my first 15 days in Japan. Read it here.

Photo taken inside of the ustwo London office
ustwo rebrand

The rebrand for ustwo entirely inspired by the candid and daring company culture. This included a new logo, website design, typeface and tone of voice. See it here.

Instagram redesign

A visual design exercise as part of my training at ustwo. See the process here.

Thank you for reading. If you would like to discuss more, share feedback or ask any questions, please get in touch.

Nuno Coelho Santos

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