I’ve spent my whole life, in some form or another, preparing for a career creatively solving problems. I just didn’t always know it at the time.
When young, I use to consume science-fiction like it was breathing. I loved how different versions of the future could come to life in words. Looking at the world in the eighties, the first truely global and interconnected challenges started came to life; climate change, over-consumption, in-equality and pollution. I wanted to solve those problems, but at the time, they just seemed too big.
I chose psychology over physics and chemistry because I realised how much people fascinated me. I still did astrophysics, music and philosophy and because I was interested in the very big, the meaningful and the profound. I came sideways into design, with a Masters of Psychology and Post Graduate Certificate in Human Factors when I realised that applied psychology gave great tools to solve real world problems at scale.
I have spent my entire professional life of fifteen years in and around the evolving disiplines of product, service and experience design. It means I’ve had a hand in many approaches. I’ve run hundreds of hours of usability sessions, set up eye-tracking labs, carried out card-sorts, designed wireframes and mobile apps. I’ve analysed the full user experiences of hundreds of products and services. I’ve used service design to map entire financial service ecosystems and design thinking to innovate new ways to provide healthcare.
As a writer, I’ve used fiction to develop stories of the far future. As a historian, I’ve dug down deep into the past to understand how technologies develop and why they keep failing to meet human needs.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve suffered through the lows of leaving two start-ups and the high of successfully selling a third, Demibooks, to a large scale American publishing house.
I am and will always be proud to provide a humanist perspective in our conversations about the past and future of technology. I think technology is a means to an end. It creates as many problems as it solves and should be held accountable for that and improved.