In 2007 I left home and travelled to Dunedin to study at the University of Otago. The degree was title Design Studies and it was a non-typical course at the time. A lot of theory, design thinking and frameworks that (to be honest!) were quite boring for a practical student. Little did I know it, that was the emergence of user experience design for me and I do believe it shaped how my brain thinks about design problems nowadays.
I always had the visual side. During university I started my own clothing company Emberley as a way to express my creative side and make it bit of money. It was here that I learnt two critical things - how to code, and how to run a business. I loved how code was the building blocks behind the visual interface, and with the need for a website for our brand I learnt to code websites. The second was the importance of understanding the role business plays in products and design – everything has to be rooted in business objectives and goals. Purpose is key.
After leaving university I moved overseas to Melbourne, Australia and had a fun year meeting people and looking for my first design job. In the summer of 2011/12 I got chatting to Brett from Jobadder (recruitment management saas software) and folllowing a bit of back and forth I moved up to Sydney and joined the team.
For the first half of the year I was coding websites for their clients, but constantly had an interest in the recruitment software at the core of the business. By mid 2012 I was doing concept designs for new features for the software product, and it was really something to see thousands of clients using my designs – I got the bug!
– Got my first design job in 2012 at Jobadder.
– Founded and designed a social network.
– Transitioned into designing custom workflow software for small businesses.
– Worked and run the design team at WPMU DEV for the last 5 years.
– Been freelancing and taking a mini-break since.
Three things. My fiance Anna, my boat & adventures.
I live in Christchurch, New Zealand where Anna and I have a big old 70’s house that we’re renovating. I’ve always been a practical, hands on person (thanks Dad) and having a whole house as a project is both fun and daunting at the same time.
Whenever the wind is up and sun is out I’ll be out on my new baby – Born Free. She’s a 24 foot (7.5m) Farr 727 keel boat that we sail around the Christchurch harbour and coast. I only started sailing in 2018 but to say I’m not hooked would be a lie! That's her 👉
In winter I love snow skiing and have been on skis since four years old. I’m also into travelling, hiking, mountain biking, butter, cheese and beer – possibly in reverse order.