Early days in multimedia
I originally started my career in desk top publishing, producing training materials for American Express. A lucky break in the early 90s got me involved in eLearning, and for the bulk of the 90s I developed my skills in multimedia design and development. That was back in the days of CDROMs, 640x480 screen resolutions and video no bigger than a postage stamp.
My eLearning career was spent working as a multimedia designer for Maxim Training, a management skills training company (now defunct). I developed eLearning CD-ROMs using the Macromedia tools Authorware and Director. In 1997, as the Web became mainstream, the company switched to browser-based delivery of courses and I learned HTML to enter this brave new world.
You can view my very first website in the Wayback Machine. Don't laugh! Actually, yeah, you should laugh… it's highly embarrasing. In my defence, it reflects the rough, experimental approach we were all going through back then. At least it proves that we've come a long way in a short time: http://web.archive.org/web/19980624090709/http://www.maxim.co.uk/
Learning web standards
Around 2000, I started to learn about web standards, accessibility and good usability, thanks largely to the efforts of the Web Standards Project (WASP). Like many other frustrated web creatives, I quickly realised this was the way forward. I was frankly tired of spending so much time writing different code for different browsers – I just wanted to make websites that worked. At the time, so many sites didn't work and I knew I could do better. What I learned in the next two years opened my eyes to a better future; one where we could concentrate on designing experiences, rather than worrying about fighting with technology.
In 2003 I decided to go freelance which I did for a year, before returning to full time employment with the web agency Nixon McInnes in 2004, as a designer and front-end coder. Here I established in-house standards for accessible, semantic front-end coding, as well as designing many client sites. A great place to work, with a unique company culture; it gave me a wonderful opportunity to improve my skills in a small but very talented team.
In April 2007 I left Nixon McInnes and for a brief period acted as an UI and accessibility consultant with HSBC in London, before setting up my own freelance business: Frisk Design. This was my one man web design company aiming to build usable, accessible websites for small businesses.
I successfully ran Frisk Design for three and a half years before deciding that I wanted to return to team based working. Working for myself was both very rewarding and very hard work, but I missed team working too much and decided it was time to find a new opportunity in London. Frisk Design officially closed in late 2011.
From the beginning of 2011 I worked on contract for Design Culture, a design agency in Clerkenwell, and one of my earlier freelance clients. I was in charge of the entire digital output; everything from simple HTML emails to designing, building and project managing complex websites.
In March 2012 my contract at Design Culture finished and I now contract for other agencies in and around London.
If you think I’d be a good fit in your team, and have an opportunity available, please get in touch.
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