About

A little about me

By day I work at FutureLearn, helping to develop their open learning platform. By night I read, write and design other digital things. I’m a dreamer with a love of stories, and now I’m writing my own.

Who am I?

I’m just an average nerd.

I grew up in Brighton, south England, and now live in Kent with my partner. I work in London at FutureLearn where I’m a front-end developer, the culmination of a 20+ year career in digital media.

I’m on the wrong side of forty, but apparently life begins there so I’m looking forward to what comes next.

Digital things

I describe myself as a digital designer. Since 1993 I’ve collaborated on hundreds of digital projects, from CD-ROMs, kiosks, websites and apps. While I have enough development skills to code up the things I design, it’s the visual and interaction side that I’m most interested in.

I fell into digital before it was even really a ‘thing’. I was lucky to find a career that was creative, experimental and challenging. But being entirely self taught (on the job and in my own time), I’ve often felt consumed by impostor syndrome. I combat that by looking back over what I’ve achieved in my career.

But while I’ve become very good at my day job, I’ve always felt something missing from my creative life…

Storytelling

If there’s one thing consistent in my whole life, it’s been my love of a good story. As a kid, I lost myself in books and as I grew up, I lost myself in films. But somewhere along the way I lost myself completely and the stories disappeared from my life.

Creative writing was my best subject at school, yet I did nothing with it after I left. A difficult home life had robbed me of my energy and my ambition. I didn’t enter higher education, and for many years I floated from one job to another. Although I was creatively satisfied in digital development, I forgot my old dreams: dreams of writing stories for others to enjoy.

Now nearly thirty years after leaving school, I’ve re-discovered my love of stories. I hope it’s not too late.

Writing

I’ve decided to use my spare time to focus on writing. My new website has been designed with that in mind. There are three main aspects to my writing:

  • Journal subjects cover a variety of personal interests: accessible web design, game design, storytelling in films and books, and personal experiences that I wish to share.
  • Writing Reviews gives me an opportunity to explore my understanding of the media that I enjoy. They allow me to share my opinions in a format that others can benefit from. Most of my reviews are about books, but I also review films and games.
  • I now have a Creative Writing section where I’ll share some of my practice work. This will most likely take the form of short stories, practice scenes and other experiments. I’ve no idea how this will work, but there’s only one way to find out…

Matt Hill, June 2016