Articles

A collection of my writing since I began writing on the web.



Weeknotes #3

Claps. It’s what I’ve been calling a new XC route on the South Downs, a short skip from my front door. It stands for climbing + laps, and it’s a 7.11km XC loop that includes a long b*stard of a climb, some flat bits, a short and sharp ... Read it →


Weeknotes #2

What a week. Often accompanied by Rich, each day this week was spent travelling to a new, prospective or current client across London or Sussex. A good problem to have... Clearleft seems to be pretty flush with interest these days, and on this evidence the death of the agency seems ... Read it →


Weeknotes #1

OK, I’m doing it. I’m jumping on the weeknotes train. Next stop: frequency anxiety! 🚂 Folks may notice that I’ve given my corner of a web a little upgrade. This wasn’t only to create a better representation of me, but also to allow me to more easily publish str... Read it →


6 Tips for a Successful Digital Transformation

Digital transformation. It sounds so grandiose, doesn’t it? Like some sort of beautiful metamorphosis: an ugly caterpillar of old tech🐛 magically becoming a beautiful butterfly🦋, resplendent in its new digital wings. If only it were that magical. The reality is that digital transformation is damned hard. Having worked with clients ... Read it →


Do you speak businglish? Or designese?

I’ve just finished a long stint working within a large, risk-averse organisation. Being product-side for a change has been an incredibly eye-opening experience. It’s the first time in more than a decade that I’ve been fully ‘on the inside’ and it’s afforded me some real insight and empathy ... Read it →


Conducting project retros as customer journey maps

The retrospective is — in my opinion — one of the most important activities in any project. Routine post-sprint retros are a great indicator of project health, but end-of-project wash-ups are where the real gems for learning lie. In most cases a retrospective helps the immediate team understand where things went well and what can... Read it →


How can designers get better at learning from their mistakes

Our ability to learn when things go wrong is what helps us grow. Not just as individuals but as an industry. By better understanding when our ego clouds our better judgement, when we’re pointing fingers, or when we have to kill our darlings, we can always improve. This is th... Read it →


Learning from failure in the design industry

Our industry’s penchant for showing semi-fictional, utopian case studies has always rankled me. No project goes smoothly. There’s always something that goes wrong, and it’s often those moments where we grow the most. The preamble Over a year and half ago I had the pleasure of meeting Bertra... Read it →


Crafting your origin story

My first salary job out of university was working as an Accounts Receivable manager. I somehow managed to get companies across Canada to pay their overdue invoices for my employer: a clothing company in North Montreal. By all accounts (pun intended) I was good at it. I recouped a lot ... Read it →


To stop ‘sign off’ you need to dig a little deeper

Sign-off. As Andy rightly points out in his recent post, it’s a thing that shouldn’t be part of the modern digital designer’s lexicon. I totally agree, and in some cases this is the reality. But sadly it’s not always as clear cut or easy to just say ’no’... Read it →


Leaving Clearleft

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The same has to be said for leaving an agency that felt more like family than a job over the last 6 years. Truth be told I’ve meant to write this post for a while now, having left Cl... Read it →


Happy Places

Back in 2013 I visited NYC to attend the wonderful Brooklyn Beta conference. It was Autumn. There was a slight nip in the air, the leaves were turning, and the weather was amazing. During one of our non-conference exploratory days we strolled through Central Park. We meandered through some of the ... Read it →


Design systems don’t start with components

I’m all for design systems. I’ve designed and created many, and they’re a great way of unifying patterns, usage and language. They reduce time, save on costs and promote modular, systems-based thinking. But I’ve noticed a growing bias towards design systems focusing on the components first. This sug... Read it →


Is the T-shape evolving?

Are designers evolving from just UX designers or just visual designers into multi-disciplinary generalists? There seems to be higher-quality design all-rounders coming back into vogue. Jack-of-all-trades When I was a freelancer it was in my best interest to be a generalist. To do everything. Being able to do more meant ... Read it →


Visual inventories for agile design

As a visual designer working on agile projects, I’ve said before how it’s easy to lose sight of the larger visual language in agile sprints. When you’re tackling user stories with your head down, it’s hard to come up for air and take stock of how your vis... Read it →



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