I am User Experience (UX) Developer, I help craft usable social, mobile and content focused website for people via user centered design and development. Over the years I have helped bring to life 100s and 100s of websites.
Having worked in web development and design for over twelve years, I have a range of experience in technologies and trends that have arisen during that time. My core skills are workshop facilitation, user centered design and front-end development. I believe the best sites and applications can only be truly successful if the actual users are engaged early and often, through stakeholder engagement and analysis, user centered workshops and iterative design via regular user testing and continual improvement.
I have managed both functional and product teams to deliver products in a UCD and Agile methodology and believe cross-functional teams deliver the best solutions to complex problems. I have strong skills in presenting, facilitation, wireframing, sketching, HTML5, CSS3, Responsive web design and WordPress theme development.
Dogwonder Ltd - Director
September 2012 to Current, London, UK
Head of UX Development – Dachis Group (formerly Headshift Ltd)
March 2008 to September 2012, London, UK
A full time position working with a range of some of the world’s largest organisations in the public, private and third sector. My role on projects often begins with early engagement directly with a client and end-users scoping a solution through to defining and implementing deliverables such as reports, websites, frameworks and applications.
I have facilitated and ran many user centered design workshops all over the world, empowering users to collaboratively create a solution (or at least inform the solution) to products they will eventually use every day. I focus on delivering usable, effective products that fulfil an actual need. In addition I perform user research such as user interviews, surveys and quantitative analysis (usage statistics, site audits) to better inform a product vision and eventual solution.
Much of my work at Headshift focused on utlising the best social media practises to better help organisations connect with their customers, users and employees as well as building solutions that better facilitate people to connect with one another. Often this is within an organisation to improve working practices and collaboration.
I have extensive experience of crafting a solution via collaborative and individual sketching (both UI and Technical architecture), Wireframing, Visual Design, HTML Prototypes and Design Vision (style guides). Often combining many of these deliverables into written reports.
I also have extensive experience of building websites and theming plafroms, having worked on over 100 implementations of large internally and externally facing sites built in a range of languages; Ruby, PHP, Java, .net on a variety of platforms; WordPress, Ruby on Rails, Drupal, Jive, Sharepoint, Confluence and Movable Type. Much of this was as a front-end developer, skinning and theming from visual designs (self-designed or as part of a team). I have worked on projects including BBC Blogs (150 blogs, 1 million users a week), British Airways MetroTwin, BP, NHS (1600+ registered users and 150+ project spaces in the first 4 months with virtually no marketing or training), AXA, Barnet Council, Lloyds register, collectplus.co.uk, cdkn.org (multi-lingual), oneandother.co.uk (2.5 million visits, several decades worth of video consumed), bondvigilantes.com, mablaw.com. I have also done strategic work with The National College, The Samaritans and futurechallenges.org amongst others. I even made a printed book, although via a mixture of WordPress, CSS formatting and PDF manipulation.
Web Development Executive – Macmillan Publishers
November 2011 to March 2008, London, UK
My first role after finishing an Arts Degree, I was very keen to be involved in the burgeoning web industry, still in its very early days. I essentially learnt my trade on the job, teaching myself HTML/CSS with an eagerness to develop my skills in what was still an embryonic industry.
My early responsibilities were updating the corporate website, customer support and analytics. I eventually ran the academic division’s website www.palgrave.com, managing ongoing development of a CRM, search, catalogue, e-commerce system, online subscription components, content management and the creation of textbook ancillary websites with online learning components. I even designed a number of book covers for a range of academic monographs.
This role was key in my understanding on the importance of user feedback leading to continual improvement of services, this was as a result of having spent lots of time on the phone to the users when they had problems.
With over 12 years experience of front-end development this is my most experienced skill. Progressive enhancement and graceful degradation as well as a fierce dedication to rock solid standards compliant code.
I am also a visual person, where design is the design of systems, experiences and journeys not just an aesthetic layer, but enabling users to be perform functions and fulfill need.
- Workshops – facilitation using principles such as Gamestorming, Visual thinking.
- Training – teaching of design and development princples.
- Personas creating.
- Workflow analysis and User Journeys.
- PDDs – Prioritisation.
- Sketching – Pen, pencil, paper, Individual and Workshops.
- Wireframes – Omnigraffle.
- Visual design – Adobe Creative Suit.
- Responsive web design – build once, access on multiple devices from mobile, tablet, desktop and beyond.
- HTML prototypes.
I have worked with many different languages and am very adaptive to working closely with developers or own my own to get the most out of each language.
- Ruby on Rails – Custom builds.
- PHP – WordPress theming and development.
- Agile – Scrum, Pivotal Tracker, creating user stories.
- Multi-lingual – experience of building over 30 multi lingual sites and presentation of best practice.
I understand systems, having worked on multiple platforms one of my core skills is quickly understanding many techniques for skinning them. I have also learnt through experience not to push the platform too hard such as over-use of plugins, and to work with the platforms capabilities.
- Ruby on Rails
PublishingTalk 2009 to 2012
Ongoing development and support for one of the publishing industry’s most influential digital channels with around 200,000 followers on Twitter, Publishing Talk is the largest publishing community on Twitter and is rated the most influential Twitter account about publishing by Twitter directory WeFollow.
Danuta Kean 2012
Development of site for Danuta Kean – an independent publishing analyst.
October Design 2012
Development of site for the design agency October Design.
Design and creation of supporting materials (print and web) for ‘In the Field’, a series of twelve programmes made by the BBC and first broadcast on the BBC World Service between January and March 2001. The project’s focus was to bring to life and showcase innovative approaches to improving poor people’s livelihoods. And yes it’s comic sans, not my choice.
Plus a large range of smaller websites across SMEs, Design Agencies, and small publishers over the years.