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What would you like to do?
Soul Searching v3.1
Now that I’m officially a half-time lecturer at Belfast School of Art, I’m developing a new website ( where I’ll be promoting my consultancy services. I hope to launch it in December.
I’ve been thinking about what I enjoy and what I want to do more of. I’ve also been thinking about what I am good at (or at least what I think I am good at). This file is the result of a lot of soul searching and I think helps capture who I am and what I’m aiming for.
I’ve sent this file to designers I respect and who know me and my work. You’re on that list and I’d very much welcome your thoughts.
What I do…
I believe my strength lies in helping others to fulfil their potential by:
1. Offering them critical insights into their business and enabling them to launch and thrive (their business might be an established one or it might be just an idea);
2. Equipping them with the knowledge they need to improve or radically rethink their business models or processes; and
3. Challenging their thinking and inspiring them, ensuring their business strategy is a success.
I’ve accumulated a wealth of knowledge over twenty-five years as a practising designer and 15 years as an educator and I share that knowledge with the businesses I work with to give them a competitive advantage.
Businesses I’ve helped…
When I think of the businesses I’ve worked with, they’re from a wide range of sectors. They’re not all user experience or digital businesses, in fact many are analogue product or service businesses.
What ties together my work with all of them is that I offer them a high-level strategic vision.
As one of my graduates (who is now a CEO) put it: “You ask the right questions.”
I work with businesses at every size and scale – from micro-businesses to multi-nationals – all over the world. Here are some of the people I’ve had the pleasure of working with:
+ Adobe
+ Electronic Arts (EA)
+ The BBC
+ John Lewis
+ Get Invited
+ Niice
I’m a multidisciplinary designer, with experience encompassing a wide range of disciplines. I bring this experience to bear on the projects I consult on.
When I think of the above clients – and without trying to sound too grandiose – I think my role is similar to what a design strategist at a company like IDEO or frog might offer.
Lastly, I draw on my consultancy to inform my work as an educator, through Tiny Books (soon to be Tiny University) and, more recently, developing learning materials for Smashing Magazine and Adobe.
Website Structure
In terms of the website structure, I need to distill down what I do into something that’s understandable and not totally overwhelming. I think the website’s main sections are:
### Strategy
I’ve learned a lot over the last 25+ years and I’m always doing my best to keep abreast of new developments. I can help businesses with:
+ Strategy and Consultancy
+ Digital Product Design
+ User Experience (UX) Design
+ Branding
+ Visual Design
+ Content Strategy and Copywriting
+ Marketing
### Workshops
I enjoy running workshops and now that I’m half-time at Belfast School of Art I’d like to use some of my other time to run workshops so I can reach more people.
I think there’s an opportunity for me to take what I teach beyond the university and this would be a way to do that.
### Writing
I’ve written numerous books (seven at last count) and I’m currently hard at work on my next called ‘Designing Delightful Experiences’. In addition to books, I’ve written for a wealth of magazines and other publications, including:
+ Adobe
+ Smashing Magazine
+ Lagom
+ Offscreen
### Speaking
I’m an inspiring speaker and I freely share the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I help audience members believe in themselves, I help them to identify their true purpose and – most importantly – I encourage them to seize the moment, stop talking and start starting.
Questions I have…
1. In your opinion, does the above capture what I do?
2. How would you describe what I do?
3. How does my plan for the website structure strike you?
I might have got it right – or I might have got it wrong – regardless, I’d welcome your thoughts.
Thank you for your help, it really means the world to me!
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