Hello & welcome
I am a London-based designer with a long background in user-centred design for the web. I recently worked as a User Experience Architect at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu project, before joining my wife Rachel on the adventure that is Mr & Mrs OK.
I am available for new projects.
This site contains a small selection of the projects I have worked on over the last 12 years.
When it comes to a company like Scholastic there is so much more to explore than just its UK homepage and a more significant tale to tell than a few short paragraphs on a portfolio site can hope to achieve.
Award-winning websites for foreign language learners, fun sites for children, a bank of teaching resources, a major e-commerce platform, a browser-based app for publishing books and an internal project to provide design guidelines for all are just a few of the many stories I've gathered during my time here.
As a key (everyone was key, this is just CV nonsense) member of an Agile-based, distributed, web team, working closely with content creators, analysts, customer services representatives, executive management, marketeers, designers, developers and, of course, our customers, the net result of our work has been a 73% increase in online sales in the last three years and an ELTon award for innovation just for good measure.
What started out as a microsite for the Virtual World soon turned into a complete redesign of the brand's core site. It was built, from the ground up, around an open source CMS with custom-made plugins for things like e-cards and the sale of books via Scholastic's book club.
The most enjoyable part of this fast-paced project was working with the head of design for the brand. Time being at a premium, a personas workshop identified the primary and secondary audiences and from there we employed every facilitation trick we knew (and made up some new ones) to keep the project in constant movement. The end result? It's frightfully fun!
It may be a minor point but the thing I find most satisfying about this site is the font embedding. Not a single font used in the books or on the merchandise was available for use on the web and yet the head designer, when pointed towards Font Squirrel, was able to find suitable alternatives in keeping with the brand.
We are Writers
One of my favourite Scholastic sites, or in these modern times I should probably say web app.
Its purpose is to give teachers a browser-based tool that allows them to collaborate with their pupils in writing, editing, pricing and publishing their stories in a professionally printed book exclusively for their school. They can then sell them at a bookfair, or independently as a fundraiser at the School.
I came to this project for its second iteration. Working closely with customer services, the data and the marketeers, we overhauled the interface and improved the journey for what is, for the teachers and pupils alike, a challenging but, ultimately, worthwhile and rewarding undertaking.
One of the first truly collaborative design projects I facilitated at Scholastic. A complicated, constantly evolving e-commerce site with many business considerations and practical issues, such as warehousing, to take into account.
The key design achievement of this project was, through a series of cross-company sketching and prototyping workshops, to get a initial request for seven product page variations down to one simple all purpose page. This design pattern has since been rolled out to many other areas of the site, for example Scholastic Book Clubs, and continues to influence redesigns of product pages across the company.
Twelve fast-paced, transatlantic, front-end developing, months in 2005 and 2006, hopping between Attap's London and New York headquarters. It was an exhilarating experience to be part of a team (put together by the entrepreneurs behind WebCal, acquired by Yahoo! in 1998) of designers, developers and psychologists whose incredibly ambitious aim was to build a fully featured, browser-based, personal information manager.
I had been itching to commission an illustration from Kev Adamson for quite some time, so when Travellerspoint approached me in 2006 asking me to design a template for their blogging system I could resist no longer and commissioned a bus and some flowers. I designed a theme based on a notepad, stapled Kev's wonderful piece of art to the top and, in the words of Travellerspoint founder Peter Damms,
delivered what has become a very popular design amongst our users.
To see the theme go to a Travellerspoint blog (e.g http://fantastic4.travellerspoint.com/20/) and look for the change style dropdown at the bottom right of the page.
§Client list at a glance
In 2008 I gave up life as a freelance designer to join the web team at Scholastic as UX design manager. Prior to that I spent many wonderful years working with the companies and people listed below.
- Attap Technologies
- MPH Holdings (SquadGod)
- Historic Futures
- Downe House School
- Alice Ottley School
- Cheltenham College
- Cheltenham Ladies’ College
- Hillcrest Hastings
- Kilvington Design
- Merlan Systems
- Stuff and Nonsense
- Food Partners
- Marsh Goose restaurant
- The Churchill Arms (Paxford)
- Nicholls Brasseries
- Blueberry Group
- Recipe for Success
- Longborough Farm Shop
- The King’s Arms (Chipping Campden)
Last but not least
- Paul Martin
- ISA Charity
- Batsford Arboretum
- Martin Gotrel Jewellery
- Bourton House gardens
- CSS Zen Garden, Centerfold
- Joshuaink (Bus full of hippies)
- Rails Rumble Entries (2009, 2010)
Thanks for scrolling this far, just a little bit more!
Of course what I am really hoping you will do next is get in touch about a really exciting project.
Enjoy the rest of your day.