My Story

Where it all began!

I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. At sixteen, and shortly after high school I travelled to the UK and studied for a brief time as an electrical engineer. I had a difficult time settling, as sixteen year olds do so at eighteen I moved back to South Africa and the reality of being a grown up kicked in. I had to get a place to stay and find work.

My career started in hospitality as a waiter and within a couple of months I was promoted to manager. At eighteen, I led a team consisting of twelve waiters, eight bartenders, four chefs and four kitchen staff.

I was then offered a job working as a bar tender in an extremely influencial rock club in the South African nineties music scene, where I also learned the craft of sound engineering. This was my first real taste of working with creative minds.

Moving around I like to travel

I was very involved in the music industry for a while, rigging up sound stage productions and working in a CD store (I know.... cliche!).

I met a girl (now my wife) and we travelled from JHB to Cape Town where I continued my music / hospitality career.

In late 2003 I decided to move back to the UK to do a bit more travelling. After a few more jobs in hospitality and some other great travel experiences, I settled in Edinburgh and began my studies. Tired of hospitality, I had this creative urge and I thought photography was the way I wanted to go.

I took an introductory course in mutlimedia design which was recommended by a great mentor. This led me into website design and then it happened...

Graphic designWhat is it anyway?

As a child I was always extremely creative. I found myself drawing skateboarding logos on school desks, filling my school books with doodles and leaving hidden meanings behind in typography for people to think about.

It wasn't until later in life when my mentor grabbed me in the middle of a college class, and said those magic words. "You should be doing graphic design". "What is graphic design? i said.

He preceded to explain and contextualise my creativity in a way which no other person in my life had ever taken the time to do. He explained that the logos, doodles and meanings I had been creating, had a career path, and that I could be earning a living from it.

This moment changed my direction in life. Suddenly it was okay for me to be drawing my ideas down on paper and working with other people who shared the same approach to being creative.

Present...open it now

Whilst I was still studying, I was asked again by my mentor if I would like to try teaching. I felt this was an incredible opportunity. Not only would teaching hone my skills as a problem solver and designer, but I could offer other people the same gift which I had been given. I could teach people to love graphic design.

I completed my degree and immediately began working as a web and graphic designer.

I worked on a number of successful web and graphic design projects over the next couple of years, but I was drawn back into the world of hospitality.

During my time at Apex Hotels I was taken on as a marketing content editor. This is where UX design revealed itself to me, and I discovered I was really good at it.

I was always thinking about the people at the end of the application. Why do they like it? What do they get out of it? How can I make it better?

My last roleG2G3

Im my role at G2G3 I started out as a front-end developer which quickly turned to a lead role. As my skills evolved I also found it necessary to establish a UX position at G2G3. Taking a user centered approach to software development really helped us get to the root of our clients needs.

I led the user experience team at G2G3 in designing a range of highly creative software products. I worked closely with C# / MVC developers and a variety of HTML and CSS frameworks to output high quality game simulations and online products.

Object oriented LESS/SaSS was crucial to my role, as is a fundamental understanding of information architecture and taxonomical organisation.

I worked in an Agile project management environment (Scrum), where team productivity was high and communication was efficient. I was able to bridge the gap technically as a developer and visually as a designer, to communicate effectively between different user experience work streams. Most importantly I delivered high quality results on time.

I aim to improve my core Javascript development and use of javascript libraries such as AngularJS.