I am a user and experiencer of products, frustrated with mediocrity. Always an advocate for all users and always fighting for the best, inclusive, user experience for everyone


March 2015 - Present

UX. Working across SEEK Employment and SEEK Business websites.


March 2012 - March 2015

UX Designer working on desktop ERP for the fashion industry called Apparel21 and supporting products: POS (point of sale) System, web-based Mailer app and mobile optimised Stock Finder app.


For the development of an app as part of my thesis research I was the only UXer on the team. I facilitated design and research, with other members of the team contributing. 


As anyone in tech knows, family will always ask you for help when their computer breaks. When you're a UXer you get that too (especially since older members of the family often don't understand what you do other than "work with computers") but you also get everyone's idea for an app asking for UX advice. The UX doctor - show me an interface and I'll diagnose what's wrong with it when they can't put their finger on why it doesn't look right. Of course, I always say that I don't know the best advice, we need to talk to the intended users to know that, but I enjoy providing the quick fixes that make the interface look "right".


  • Recurring guest lecturer at The University of Melbourne on Requirements Engineering, Usability and Emerging Technologies (insertables)

  • Senior academic tutor at The University of Melbourne, Impact of Digitisation

  • IBM 2010-2012 

  • Unisys 2010


Besides my normal day-to-day UX research - usability testing, qualitative and quantitative analysis, concept validation etc -   I have published research as part of my Masters (completed) and PhD (in progress).  

The UX of Insertables - Devices in, through, and underneath the skin 

Everything to do with my current PhD research is on the Insertables Page

It is known that researchers, artists and hobbyists have augmented their bodies in new ways by voluntarily inserting non-medical devices. However, what devices are being used for and why insertable was the mode selected, are not well documented. Prior work documents single case studies or individual participant use. There is a research gap to understand what people are inserting into themselves voluntarily and why? This knowledge will inform future use and design and position insertables as a device mode of choice for users and a legitimate category for hardware manufactures, HCI researchers and interaction designers alike. 

Developing Interactive e-Health Apps for Complex Messages: Leveraging the Safe-D Case Study (Masters Research)

Smartphone devices have become ubiquitous, and with this e-health apps common. However, the efficacies of available e-health apps vary greatly due to lack of behavioural change theory, scientific foundations and healthcare professional involvement in development. My masters research leveraged the Safe-D case study to develop an app, also named Safe-D, to improve vitamin D status in young women, safely, through persuading UV exposure. 

Safe D App

Heffernan KJ, Chang S, Maclean ST, Callegari ET, Garland SM, Reavley NJ, Varigos GA, Wark JD (2016) Guidelines and Recommendations for Developing Interactive eHealth Apps for Complex Messaging in Health Promotion JMIR mHealth uHealth 4(1):e14 DOI: 10.2196/mhealth.4423 http://mhealth.jmir.org/2016/1/e14


Heffernan KJ, Chang S, Maclean ST, Callegari ET, Garland SM, et al. (2014) The potential of eHealth Apps to Support Targeted Complex Health Messages. J Gen Practice 2:182. doi: 10.4172/2329-9126.1000182


This poster was presented at ANZBMS 2014 (Australia & New Zealand Bone & Mineral Society 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting) to visually explain our research undertaken prior to beginning the development of the Safe-D application.

Other research

Birch, Kate E., and Kayla J. Heffernan. "Crowdsourcing for clinical research: an evaluation of maturity." In Proceedings of the Seventh Australasian Workshop on Health Informatics and Knowledge Management-Volume 153, pp. 3-11. Australian Computer Society, Inc., 2014.

Webber, S. E., Heffernan, K. J., Yeganeh, B. R., Estrada, F., & Augstkalns, D. (2013, November). Family room: reducing email overload. In Proceedings of the 25th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference: Augmentation, Application, Innovation, Collaboration (pp. 407-408). ACM.


When I'm not busy working or studying, I can be found presenting. If you want me to talk at your event get in contact. 

Presentations on Insertables and my PhD work can be found on the Insertables Page

Listen to the talk below 

Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 9.55.43 pm.png

Listen to the talk below

Other presentations

  • The Web Meetup (2017) 
  • A11y Bytes (2017) 
  • Buzzconf meetup (2017) 
  • Guest lecture at The University of Melbourne - Emerging Technologies (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • DLVT Student Careers Forum (2016, 2015)
  • Melbourne Geek Night (2016)
  • CHI (2016) San Jose
  • Melbourne University IDL (2014, 2015, 2016)
  • UX Australia Melbourne redux (2015)
  • UX Gatherings (2015)
  • IxDA meetup (2015)
  • Future of IT Careers Panel  (2015)
  • Careers Panel (2015)
  • Quantified Self Meet-up (2014)
  • Health Informatic Society of Australia (HISA) AGM 2014
  • Guest lecture at The University of Melbourne - Requirements Engineering 2014
  • Guest lecture at The University of Melbourne - Usability Testing 2014
  • Health Informatics Knowledge Management Workshop (HIMK2014) at Australasian Computer Science Week 
  • Return to Studies (2014)
  • Student Careers Forum - Victorian IT Teachers Association (VITA) Conference and Expo (2013)