Project update on ‘I will work for free’

Way back in May I blogged about working for free, in return for charitable donations to charities of my choice.

Talentpool Recruitment in Sydney responded with a brief of work to redesign their website. Since then, we have had a kick-off meeting to determine the projects goals. But to get things started I fleshed out a research plan to get the project underway.

Identifying the 3 sectors

We’ve identified the 3 sectors that the project will need to focus on:

  • Talent (Designers, Developers)
  • Hiring Businesses (Managers, Directors)
  • Other Recruiters (Other agents)

We started with a basic problem statement “How can recruiters better serve these 3 sectors”.

A refreshing project

This is such an unusual project for me, as there’s a real sense that we are doing something somewhat different. Usually there’s a client screaming somewhere in the background, that needs to be managed. But because this is a charitable project, and I am super busy with the NSW Department of Justice at the moment, I can really only offer 8-10 hours a month – there’s a really nice understanding and balance with the guys.

Another one of my side-projects, is taking shape, and we’re doing some quantitative research soon. Early stage research has highlighted that emerging user experience and service design talent are struggling to get a break and find mentors, and get experience. When I mentioned this to Talentpools’ Johanna Peirce, she straight away introduced me to super cool dude, Brendon Boulous, who is going to shadow me at my interviews, and workshops.

Brendon is new to the industry so I figured it’s a good opportunity for me to get to know Brendon and help him, but it’s also a good opportunity for Talentpool to get involved with helping emerging talent break into the industry.

We have a few interviews locked in over the next week or two, so will update you with our findings in due course.

4 of my favourite design tools

Here’s some of my favourite design tools that I have been using recently. You may know them already, but wanted to share anyway…

service design smaply

Mind Meister

This is an (oldie but goodie) awesome tool for brainstorming, tracking ideas etc. If you want to sign up, you can use this code (I get a discount on my monthly subscription for each member that signs up #winning!).

Persona, and customer journey mapping tool. From the guys who brought us This is Service Design Thinking book. I’m actually working with the guys with some testing of their latest release, and it is awesome. Well worth the investment if you or your organisation are doing some serious service designing.

Flinto for Mac

I loved this application when it was browser based, but now it’s native and much more advanced. Let the good times roll!

Principle for Mac (by Facebook)

Awesome prototyping tool!


Delivery methodology, inertia and the micro-experience in UX

If you’re going to read one article today, read this great article from Brian Hoadley – Head of Customer Labs of Lloyds Banking Group.

It’s a really great piece on the importance of thinking strategically about how we design.

“When micro-experiences represent stories in an agile backlog – and a number of these stories represent a journey or larger experience – what happens when the stories are designed and developed by different UX designers, visual designers and coded by different developers? Who owns the user experience of the entire journey?”

Source: Delivery methodology, inertia and the micro-experience in UX | Brian Hoadley | LinkedIn

Learn how to move chat in Gmail to the right hand side

Oh man, this simple little hack makes me (and my OCD!) super happy.

  1. Click the little cog in the upper right of the screen.
  2. Click “settings”
  3. Click the “Labs” tab.
  4. Search for “Right-side chat” by Emily C.
  5. Click the radio button beside “Enable”
  6. Click “Save Changes” at the top or the bottom.


A few notes on typography | Government Digital Service

An oldie but a goodie from the wonderful website. Why they moved away from Gill-sans, Georgia and Helvetica, and started to use the New Transport font.

On Tuesday evening we made another release of changes to GOV.UK. One of the biggest areas of discussion centered around the typography changes. Ben Terrett, Head of Design, explains the choices which


Source: A few notes on typography | Government Digital Service

The Right Questions Get Actionable Answers has fast become one of the best destinations to find rich content related to best practice on user research.

Here’s a great article by 

p.s if you aren’t familiar with Intercom and work in product management, you should check them out. I consider them to be one of the most exciting companies around at the moment.

Feedback from customers is a vital input for product development. But if you want to get the most out of product research, you’ve got to ask the right questions.

Source: The Right Questions Get Actionable Answers – Inside Intercom

Charitable donation project update

In May, I wrote an article about working for free, that seemed to resonate quite well with a lot of people.

A few days after, I had a call from Brian & Trevor at Talentpool Recruitment who wanted to speak to me in more detail about the structure of how this might work for them. (To be honest, I hadn’t really gone into the granular level of detail on how it might work in terms of payment and impact on tax etc.).

I’m delighted to say that today, work commences on their new site! I will document the entire re-design process on my blog but wanted to keep people posted on what has been happening.

They have just made a $2,000 donate to the The Kids Cancer Project. We’ll make further donations to further charities over the duration of the project.

Intention vs. Thoughtfulness … or … Design vs. Good Design

A great article by Dave Malouf on intention Vs thoughtfulness in design. I really enjoyed the way he summed it up:

Intentional is buying an anniversary present for your wife.
Better is buying her something that you think she would like.
Thoughtful is buying her that thing she mentioned 6 months ago, sizing it perfectly (if relevant) and presenting it in a romantic context that will be remembered for years to come.

Enjoy this short, but great article.

Source: Intention vs. Thoughtfulness … or … Design vs. Good Design