Hello 👋🏼! I’m David , a travelling product designer from the UK. I specialise in creating digital products that help people be their best selves. Whether that’s helping to improve someone’s wellbeing, save some extra money, learn a new skill or just have fun. I truly believe in the power of technology to have a positive impact in people’s lives.
My background is in games and User Experience (UX), designing products that are simple for people to use, but most importantly, help them to achieve their goals. But what I really care about is shipping cool things, testing new ideas and making a difference to people’s lives. You can see a few of the products I’ve worked on in my Portfolio.
I’ve always been obsessed with games and technology, but it was getting access to the internet that made me realise that I could not just play games, but I could make them too. Online I met other enterprising teens who wanted to make games, forming a community where we’d share our ideas, creations and ultimately all our failures!
As we grew up our projects got more ambitious and one of those projects grew into Lasuni. With my internet friends Jason Bryan and Amber Discko: we designed, shipped, marketed and built an online community. We managed to grow a highly engaged audience, and it helped me to fund my Computer Science degree without any student loans.
Lasuni taught me a lot, but it also taught me how much I didn’t know. I had the creative bug, and wanted to learn as much as I could from actual professionals - that’s when I found Mind Candy.
While on holiday in the US, I created a hand-crafted application to Mind Candy and emailed it to recruitment and Michael Acton Smith, the CEO. Thankfully it was well received with Michael tweeting about my efforts - landing me an interview at Mind Candy but also at 2 other start-ups. Everything worked out and I landed the gig at Mind Candy - during my time I was given the opportunity to work on a variety of projects from the core game and safety tools to the mobile-first future of Moshi.
At Mind Candy I learned tons: how startups work; what product management is; research (I ran play-testing every week); running an effective team; presenting to stakeholders; and the importance of team culture in building great things. In my last year I led UX and later product management for a new mobile, creative, community - PopJam, where I met Marcus and Dan.
Working on mobile games, we realised how powerful game mechanics can be in driving behaviours. Play formed on the belief that we could use our games experience to build compelling products to help people and businesses achieve their goals. The dream team was back together with Marcus Thornley (CEO), Dan Atherton (CTO) and myself (CPO) heading up our respective skillsets.
With our first client we designed, built, shipped and ran Bupa Boost as a live service. With a lot of hard work we kept growing the business and we used our learnings of how these huge businesses work to create Totem, our attempt to productise good company culture. Over my 4 years there I grew my product team to 7 super talented individuals, and we designed and shipped tens of products for some of the biggest companies in the UK.
On the 27th June 2018, I took the heart-wrenching decision to leave Play, and I left the UK to travel with my boyfriend, Remi. We’re currently somewhere in SE Asia and will be arriving in Australia towards the end of the year. You can follow along with my travels on Twitter or Instagram if you’d like.
Well, I’m currently full-time travelling/homeless - so there’s not much difference! But while not making stuff, I love to travel (clearly), take bad photos on my phone, run, watch far too much Netflix. Other important things to note: I’m a Ravenclaw, aspiring Pokemon Master and my favourite film is the Lion King. I get my games fix on-the-go with my Nintendo Switch, I’m currently playing Toad’s Treasure Tracker.
I like making stuff. I’m also generally a bit of a nerd.
I've been lucky enough to have worked with these forward-thinking companies
Kind words from nice people
"I worked with David at first Mind Candy and then at Play - where he led product across both consultancy projects and internal IP, managing a growing team that figured out how gamified digital products could change the world of work. If you know him, or read the other recommendations (especially the ones from his Play team), you'll see that he's exceptional at what he does. Listening, making connections/ seeing patterns, focusing on users, conceptualising and defining products that are like no other - he can do it all.
What's even more unique though is his humility and positivity. He's enthusiastic about life and people and learning - and how digital products can unlock human potential and happiness."
"I've worked closely with David for 6 years. In that time we have created products for many big name companies and brands. He has an amazing understanding of what makes a product engaging. Without a doubt the success of every product we have worked on, has been a direct result of his insight and input into the process.
Over the years he provided mentoring and training to his team and has left behind a product team that follow his no nonsense methodology and appetite for excellence."
"David was my go-to person at Play as he brilliantly combined business knowledge, UX expertise and project management skills that I struggle to find in most agencies. I was very impressed on how quickly David grasped the business problem we were trying to tackle and bring a range of creative solutions to the problems. As a client of his, I always had the confidence that under David's direction, the team would deliver high quality UX solutions and designs and on time, something invaluable for me in the consulting industry. Highly recommend!
"I had the pleasure of teaming up directly with him on many products and I was surprised how much I learned from him every time. Annoyingly, not that you'd expect with someone quite so professional and talented, he is also a bloody lovely guy too. Teams that work with him, respect him, his knowledge and like him in equal amounts. He impeccably gains insight about a problem and swiftly delivers a brilliant solution that not only nails all business goals, but never loses sight of the end user and their engagement.
Mid table Mario Kart player..."
"David did an excellent job for us on a sprint zero for a piece of culture work. I think it goes without saying that all of his technical skills are great and that he showed a real care for his work. What was important to Mars was that we found technology partners who understood people too- and David is great at this, taking a real interest in the diverse lives of our Associates and wrapping all of that insight into the app."
"It is rare to come across a standout like David. I had the pleasure working with him on various projects and teams at Mind Candy and witnessed him expertly design products and lead teams to high performance. His distinct creativity combined with acute product instincts made him a very effective Product Manager and UX designer. David has a bright future ahead of him and I look forward to seeing what he produces next!"
"In the 10+ years I have worked in product design, I have never met anyone quite like David. He has an amazing skill at instantly understanding business and customer needs and translating them into engaging products that everyone loves! He would bring huge value to any product or customer focused company.
David makes work fun. I hope I get the pleasure of working with David again! 👍"
"I have worked with David on a number of different projects and clients, and have always found him a pleasure to work with. David is able to quickly grasp business problems, and come up with novel and interesting design ideas that address these. David is a consummate professional - organised, diligent and hard working, and has a real 'can do' attitude. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend David for any product manager/UX design/scrum master roles - and hope to work with him again in the future. Many thanks David!"
"I’ve had the pleasure of working with David for the past 3+ years at Play. His ability to distil complex business problems and user needs and translate them into a set of simple and understandable experiences is amazing.
One of his core strengths is articulating his vision of a particular product and getting early stakeholder buy-in and support which is key to the success of any project! I’ve personally learned so much from him over the last few years and he really helped mentor me to be a better and more well-rounded designer."
"David showed complete commitment to our project from day 1 and provided an excellent product and project management service throughout. He managed his team of developers well throughout and met all of our deadlines. He provided that key function of interfacing between our business requirements and technical development, providing pragmatic options for development to create the right balance between time, cost and product outcome.
David was great to work with, professional, engaging and fun!"
"I was in David's team, and had the opportunity to work with him for nearly a year, across several projects - his sharp personality, intelligence, and willingness were a game changer for clients, projects and myself. I learned a lot from my experience working with him and feel he helped me to be a better designer and work better with clients.
But he is way more than just a great Team Manager - David proved to be a great team player, always supporting not only people in his team but everyone at Play."
"David is a master at product design and delivered huge value to us when we explored options for a global engagement app to over 100K people. He effortlessly navigated the demands of a great user experience with the technical requirements in a complex stakeholder environment. Experienced, talented, dedicated and fun to work with - I couldn't recommend David highly enough."
"Everything he touches becomes beautiful. I’ve been friends with David for almost 15 years, but I’ve also known him as my creative partner. Since the age of 17 we’ve worked together on all types of projects ranging from branding, to UX/UI, to creating entire virtual worlds. David has the ability to take assets and a vision and turn it into something that feels like it should have existed all along. I love working with David and I can’t recommend him more highly to anyone. My mum loves him!"
I currently am open to working on small remote projects, either helping with UX or product strategy. Get in touch for more information and we can talk about your needs ✨