Over the past two decades I've built a lot of websites.
While gaining my honours degree in Internet Computing (BSc.) in the early 2000s, I also worked at a small web design agency, honing my skills as a website designer.
Fast forward twenty years and I'm Head of Digital Products at ReedPop, and I work with people across the entire organisation to deliver the product vision for a host of different editorial products and events.
My focus is on creating world-class editorial and event websites. Sites I make are fast to load, editorially sympathetic, advertiser friendly, SEO-performant, and deliver content in a way that readers like. No mean feat. The team I lead are a mix of designers, frontend developers, backend developers. They're a great bunch.
Outside of work, I am a big film-buff, a blue-belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and have a growing interest in gardening.
For the past fourteen years I've been involved in the information architecture, design, and implementation of ReedPop's websites.
Sites I've helped originate, design and build for ReedPop include:
- Eurogamer, ReedPop's flagship website, published in nine langauges.
- GamesIndustry, the leading publication for people who want information about the games industry.
- USgamer, which covers video gaming from an American perspective
- Metabomb, an experimental, SEO-focussed gaming site
- Rock Paper Shotgun, a popular PC gaming blog
- VG247, the first website to provide 24-hour, rolling coverage of games news
- Gamer's Edition, which produces limited-edition gaming collectibles
- DigitalFoundry, a subscription-only site offering full quality 4k gaming videos
- BrasilGamer, the Brazilian language counterpart to Eurogamer
- EGX.net, the official site for the UK's biggest gaming event
- The official site for MCM Comic-con, the UK's largest pop culture events in the UK
- Jelly Deals, ReedPop's deals website
- Dicebreaker, a new tabletop gaming website
- Cosplay Central, the hub for all cosplay
- Rezzed Digital, the digital version of the Rezzed indie games show
- Game Horizon, a new site dedicated to the future of video games
- The microsite for the GamesIndustry.biz Investment Summit
- The corporate site for ReedPop
- PAX Online x EGX Digital, a new digital event showcasing the latest in gaming.
Collectively, the sites I maintain reach an audience of over 50 million gamers every month. They get over a billion page-views a year. Woah, that's a lot.
Other things I've helped design from my agency days include countless e-commerce websites, content management systems, portfolio websites for photographers, copy writers & craftsmen, marketing sites for clients such as O'Neill, The Big Issue, Gold's Gym, Dennis Publishing, and more.
By working on ReedPop's sites for the last decade I've had the ability to work on the following types of projects, often all the way from conception, design, implementation, to delivery:
- A/B testing
- Adaptive websites
- Advertising campaign design and delivery
- Algorithmically-controlled homepages
- Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
- Asset management systems
- Chat systems
- Community tools
- Content management systems
- Design pattern libraries
- Email newsletter design & development
- Forum software
- Facebook Instant Articles implementations
- Frameworks for building websites
- Google Accelerated Mobile Pages implementations
- Image composition systems
- Livetext systems
- Living style guides
- Mobile-first websites
- Mobile-only websites
- Pagespeed optimisation
- Responsive websites
- Site design for high-traffic web publications
- Spam detection systems for forum and comment systems
- System monitoring tools
- User-customisable homepages
- User-registration systems
- User-retention strategies
- Website designs for tablets
- Website localisation
- Workflow tools for website publishing
My most recent project was to research, specify, design, and build Dicebreaker.com — ReedPOP's new board games site.
Before that I took on the task of integrating Google AMP and Facebook Instant into the editorial workflow for all of ReedPop's publishing websites.
These days I spend most of my time planning projects and mediating between stakeholders to ensure that our websites meet their varied (and often conflicting!) requirements. I also manage a team of website designers and developers to deliver on those projects.
I use the following combination of skills in my day-to-day job:
- Brief discovery and information gathering
- Information architecture
- User-interface design
- User-centered design
- Mobile-first website design
- Website programming
- Database design
- Site deployment & change management
I am very comfortable using the following languages and tools:
- CSS (including pre-processors, i.e. LESS)
- Bash scripting
- Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch
- Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere
My design process often eschews static mockup tools such as Photoshop in favour of wire-framing and prototyping directly in the browser.
My personal style tends to reduce visual ornamentation. I think the closest way of describing it is to call it "functional" design.
Experience & Education
Head of Digital Products, ReedPop
Product Lead, Gamer Network / ReedPop
Senior UI Designer, Gamer Network
Senior Developer, Gamer Network
Developer, Gamer Network
Web Developer, Juretic Media
BSc (Hons), Internet Computing, The University of Hull
Built by hand.