Dare to Donate
The internal project at Independents United started as a small app to help a colleague raise money for charity. After a hugely successful campaign I lead the rebuild to turn it into a platform anyone could use.
The service allows fundraisers to raise money by charging donors to vote for challenges. We were one of the first apps to use JustGiving's API and it continues to grow in popularity.
The UX and design is a product of months of analysis and user feedback to make sure donors are getting through the process and paying as quickly as possible.
Since its launch I lead the development of a custom version for the UK's largest cancer charity and a smaller anti-bullying charity.
The maker movement and all things related have been pretty underreported in London. We created a London tech blog to cover everything from product conceptualisation through to the product design and finally production.
We ask the tech community to contribute ad hoc. Quality stays high because contributors only write when they've got something amazing to share. Costs stay low because we don't need to house writers. And the combined following of our contributors matches that of larger publications.
The site itself is the most analysed I've made. It tracks everything the user does to find the UX that doesn't work. Every article suggestion on the website is carefully chosen for the user to make sure they're always moving on instead of leaving. All UX on the site has either been proven to be advantageous or is in testing.
We were briefed to create something cool and different on Tumblr for the new TV series Fortitude.
Our design was a flow of scattered content which was seemingly random in position.
The posts follow a spine which runs down the page and the position of content is slightly randomised.
The author is able to control the behaviour of posts by adding various tags to the post. For example, 'hero' forces images and videos to become full-width, breaking the spine and then allowing it to continue afterwards.
In hindsight Tumblr was the wrong platform to use, but the set of challenges that came with it were a lot of fun to solve. Sky later decided to use the template with the TV show Critical.
Tasks to encourage users to follow accounts on social media can be repetitive, so are perfect for automating. I discovered that a good percentage of people follow you when you favourite their tweet, however the tactic is prone to error and favouriting the same person more than once can lead to their irritation.
I coded a simple program which allowed me to search and favourite tweets, but not more than once for each person. The program became Adorer and has helped grow hundreds of accounts to thousands of followers. The service has also been extended to Instagram and further automation features are being added.
I’ve had the pleasure to work with brands such as Sky, ASOS, Vue Cinemas, Diageo, Macmillan, Belkin, Sony and Gap over the years to lead the development of all sorts of digital products as well as working with teams to bring physical projects to life and producing content.
I started my career rebuilding the website of 'Which?' to allow copywriters to create responsive and adaptive pages via a WYSIWYG editor. The piece of work meant that content would not only work on all devices, but be able to fit into any future designs.
I then joined a marketing agency and was thrust into the fast paced world of web app development for ASOS. The socially driven promotional Facebook apps pushed ASOS' Facebook Like count up to one million as we built one every two weeks.
I also lead the development of sites and apps for Sky, ASOS, Vue Cinemas, Diageo, Macmillan and Gap, however I consider my greatest achievement Dare to Donate. Dare to Donate is a fundraising platform that makes fundraising more fun and less of an exercise in nagging. After developing the website I lead its PR and played a role in charity relations. The platform has since raised thousands for charity.
Strategy: Marketing, Events and 'Growth Hacking'
My position in the agency gave me an opportunity to hone skills outside of programming, and so I was invited to help project manage the launch of a retailer in Kensington. It was a huge two week event with many moving parts, including bloggers, interviews, portraiture photography and catering. We ran the project a little differently than usual. I couldn't see a reason why Scrum couldn't be applied to event planning, and it turned out it was ideal for it.
I'm a bit obsessed with driving traffic to websites. I had a theory to dramatically increase social followings on Twitter and I create Adorer to test it out. In a few months I had built the followings of multiple accounts to 2000-4000. Unfortunately Twitter saw it as a violation of their terms (it isn't) and pulled the plug.
I'm also a big fan of social automation and have created systems to handle 90% of what I used to do manually. @designkickstart and @techkickstarter are completely automated, building a following by themselves.
Content: Blogging, Writing and Photography
My love for hardware, London and design come together in Techmog.com which I run with a group of brilliant people around the city. The site is a great excuse to meet talented founders and I make it my mission to speak to them all. Needing to take half decent product shots for Techmog has developed into a hobby, and I'm now owner of a rather large collection of camera gear. You'll find me spending most weekends shooting some new product I've been sent.