Futurist, Innovator, Digital UX Strategist
I have worked in the new media creative industry since 1993 and have had many ‘firsts’ in my professional career including designing the first secure online musical distribution service (before itunes!), launching the first online music publication (nme.com) and setting up the first truly integrated design agency (Conchango, now EMC Consulting).
At MSN International, I successfully improved online experiences to over 550 million users worldwide and helped Microsoft launch new portals in to Russia, Canada, China, Korea as well as vastly improving UX and business KPIs for existing EMEA countries. Previously as Creative Director at ThoughtWorks UK, I quickly established myself as an industry design thought leader and business strategist, using UX and design concepts to effectively define and manage the delivery of innovative digital products, time and time again for influential brands such as ‘Compare the Market’, ‘Which?’ and ‘Lonely Planet’. As Director of Solution Design at BSkyB, I worked in close partnership with business stakeholders, development and operations to shape the future B2C experience in TV, mobile and the web.
I am currently consulting as Head of Customer Experience at News International and Chief Product Officer at my own startup HaaYaa.com; creating innovative digital prototypes based on emerging trends to better inform new market strategies before heavy development takes place. This has also given me time to finish my book http://101DesignIngredients.com, organise the Agile 2013 UX track and give a few talks too (Adaptive Marketing, Future of Web Apps & LeanUX NYC).
Please have a look at my cv:
Head of Customer Experience @News International
March 2013 – Present
- Foster a design-led corporate culture where quality customer experiences are a priority measure of success
- Define the strategic UX across all digital products: Mobile, Web & Tablet
- Set up and manage a first-class User Experience team and practice
- Apply Lean Startup and Lean UX methods to rapidly measure, iterate and reduce risk
- Improve and simplify digital product delivery processes
September 2012 – Present
HaaYaa is a co-op; bringing together like-minded people who want to experiment and create awesome product that are simply missing from society today. We spot emerging trends and market opportunities, then build and continually improve prototypes of great ideas till they prove to be successful. We challenge the status quo to make a real difference in the digital, TV, Web and Mobile world.
- Insight & Strategy: I research and suggest adopting relevant trends to help shape new market strategies; highlighting opportunities to reach new and existing customers in the most natural and effective ways.
- Prototyping & Validation: I pull teams together to build prototypes; bringing ideas to life and connecting them with real customers. I use a suite of UX and research tools lets us continuously build, measure and improve ideas till we know we have something customers will really want.
- Coaching & Support: I help businesses measure, plan, design, develop and market their solutions; providing tailored support using Agile development and Lean Startup methodologies to suit any cutting edge business needs.
September 2012 – Present
Emoti.vu is a mobile app that analyses your Tweets and Facebook posts to suggest interesting movies to watch. The app saves movie fans time and effort, finding movies they are in the mood to watch by analysing their social network tweets and posts instantly and accurately.
Using Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing techniques we’ve created an algorithm that can analyse tweets and Facebook posts to understand people’s moods and interest to suggest relevant movies. Movie fans can then preview, share, save, suggest and watch on any movie they’re in the mood for on any smart phone or tablet device.
We are hoping to make money from:
- Affiliate links to movie content providers (itunes, Love Film, Netflix, Sky movies)
- Mobile advertising (related to mood and interest)
- Licensing our mood and interest algorithm to TV content companies, independent movie production studios and online marketplaces.
Director of Solutions @BSkyB
September 2011 – September 2012
- Defined future and strategic direction for Sky to increase channel shift to digital channels focusing on web, mobile and interactive TV. Including the delivery, support and significant uptake of Sky Go, Sky + and the Sky Cloud services.
- Delivered an easy, compelling, human experience for customers across all digital channels by defining a well connected customer journey across all service points
- Ensured consistency in application of brand, look and feel and usability across all digital channels by creating a design authority and brand guidelines
- Maintained Sky at the leading edge of innovation in digital design by creating products and services to offer more delaight to customers
- Created and managed a creative team made up of a Creative Director, Art Directors, Graphic Designers, UX leads, UX designers, researchers, PMs, developers, branding and marketing specialists to deliver strategic user-centered design solutions that meet business requirements
Principle Consultant / Creative Director @ThoughtWorks
August 2009 – September 2011
I created the UX team for ThoughtWorks Europe. As a principal consultant and creative director, I defined the strategy and led multiple teams simultaneously, typically made up of a tech lead, 4-6 developers, a business analyst, a front end developer, DBA, user experience designer, graphic designer, project manager, domain experts, marketing manager, site analytics engineer. Clients I consulted into included:
- Compare the Market web site
- SkyScanner, e-commerce travel web site to include train ticket sales
- SearchFlow B2B Property e-commerce site
- EDF Energy website
- Which? New mobile phone e-commerce website
Managed and led the design delivery of a new mobile phone e-commerce website backed by the UK’s most recognized independent consumer advice brand. The product has a unique user interface that allows users to visually define their needs to save them both time and money, backed up with thorough phone testing information not available anywhere else in the world to help them with their decision making.
- Creative Director, WGSN Fashion Trend prediction subscription website
Defined the strategy, creative direction, user experience and information architecture for the largest Fashion trend forecasting company in the world, including it paid for subscription service.
Head of User Experience, MSN International @Microsoft
September 2006 – August 2009
I created the first global UX team, which helped Microsoft offer a more consistent brand experiences to more countries outside of the USA and Australia. As Head of UX, I defined User Experiences for all MSN International sites (EMEA), delivering design solutions based on user centric principles. I worked closely with International Markets, Editors, Vendors and Development teams to deliver usable and cohesive design solutions for MSN home page and channels (including travel) as well as strategically define what the next generation of MSN site experience would be like.
I worked with program managers, product planners and senior development teams to prioritise product features based on their importance on being able to affect key business site metrics. My championing of the use of analytical data to understand user behaviours across MSN International sites has now been widely adopted.
Director of design, Touch Group PLC
October 2003 – September 2006
Over the 3 year period, year on year, I designed experiences that increased site revenue by over +67%, traffic +78%, and reduced churn by 81% for the UK’s 2nd largest local business e-commerce online search directory. Planned and executed online and offline design and marketing projects. I went on to create a small design department that managed website and email design, direct mail campaigns, exhibition designs, advertising, photography commissioning and brochure designs.
New Media Creative Director, Mabox
January 2002 – October 2003
I created the digital arm for an award winning online marketing agency. Initially brought in to work on Telstra Europe as creative lead at Mabox, I quickly established the need for a new media department, which did not exist at Mabox. I went on to win new media marketing and website work with new and existing clients and managed a team of developers and designers to create compelling web sites and viral marketing campaigns.
Projects worked on included Telstra Europe web site, Emap Glenigan web site, Carnival Cruises web site and online marketing, Reed Employment web site and the Telegraph banner advertising campaigns.
Creative Director, Conchango
June 2000 – January 2002
I created the Digital Design Department at Conchango. This made Conchango into one of the first fully integrated agencies in the UK. They became number one in the space a year later. I led projects where he worked with teams of graphic designers, information architects and user experience designers. Other department duties included interviewing for new employees, defining new work processes and ideas. I was invited to run the creative team in New York in 2001.
Projects worked on included Debenhams e-commerce site, Virgin Atlantic online booking system Kraft Foods International Corporate Intranet
CEO, East 2 West
August 1999 – June 2000
I started up new media design company, East 2 West after leaving IPC Media. My role included, new business development, client management, graphic design and development management.
Online websites were launched for Loaded magazine, Scholastic Children’s Books, ITV, Lowe Broadway, New Scientist
Head of Digital Design, IPC Media
June 1996 – August 1999
I designed and launched the first online publication for IPC Media, the NME.com. I was then asked to head up the digital design team for IPC Media and ended up managing a team of designers, content publishers and programmers to deliver their first branded online experiences.
Websites worked on included NME.com, Loaded, Now, Muzik, Country Life, Yachting & Boating World
Digital Designer, Cerberus Sound and Vision
December 1994 – June 1996
I designed the first secure digital music download system in the world (pre iTunes!). In a little over a year we signed digital distribution rights for over 10,000 independent artists and 900 record labels. We also famously turned down and offer from Sony to buy us in 1995 for £2 million. This was my first taste of the world wide web and world of start ups.
Graphic Designer, Mellor Design
September 1994 – December 1994
I won the pitch for a London Underground poster for the London Symphony Orchestra and beat agencies including WPP, BBDO and GREY. I also beat submissions from my creative director and his most senior creative. I left because I wasn’t going to learn anything more from them or the design company.
TV producer, MTV Asia
June 1993 – August 1994
I created the first MTV ad that challenged the Chinese cultural status quo by showing a Chinese person dropping his favourite food because he could not use chopsticks. I demonstrated how a lack of respect for tradition and only a theoretical understanding prevents people from being who they really are and from being truly successful. I shot the film, edited it, put it through post-production and aired it on prime time TV in 4 weeks. The ad ran for 3 years and was viewed by over 20-25 million viewers each year in India, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Philippines and Japan.
- Thought Leadership and innovation: trend prediction and realization
- Innovative business transformation: strategic program and project road mapping
- Lean start up and Agile evangelist
- User Experience techniques and processes
- Creative Direction and Graphic design: Visual look and feel creation, documentation, photography
- Relationship management: stakeholder/client, 3rd party agency
- Facilitation: Workshop and ideas generation
- Customer research: site usage data analysis, competitor analysis, ethnographic studies
- MA User Experience Design (Kingston University)
- MA in Digital Arts (Camberwell College)
- BA Hons, Graphic Design (London College of Communications)