[ image courtesy ]
Week 35 – and 2011 is just flying by.
Over the last month, it’s all been go, with two juicy projects underway. Three days a week I’m working on a digital strategy project for Vodafone Ireland, mostly based at home in London with the odd visit to Dublin – it’s a cracking strategic brief, and really enjoying the opportunity to work really closely with a terrific client team across all aspects of their communication – not just brand comms but the really interesting questions around how best to deliver customer service via social channels.
The remaining two days, rather confusingly Wednesday and Thursday, are my Friday days. Friday being the marvellous We Are Friday team, a super smart and thoroughly lovely bunch of people, with whom I’m lucky enough to be working on a wonderfully meaty brief for HSBC. It’s getting me out of my comfort zone and getting me right in the thick of deep experience planning, working with a kick-ass UX planner and content strategist, involving lots of sketching, planning & prototyping which is both scary and awesome. One of the major motivations for going freelance was wanting to get stuck into really different kinds of planning – to be a planning sponge, soaking up different styles and ways of applying strategic and creative thinking to different kinds of problems (and developing different kinds of solutions). It’s absolutely wonderful to be thinking about designing experiences that will offer genuine utility and delight – giving people something they really want, instead of designing campaigns to sell them things they don’t. It’s great to have two days in the office with all the fun of office banter and the like – although as Friday towers is in the midst of deepest darkest Hoxton I’m seriously going to have to up my hipster game, though I fear the obligatory Shoreditch asymmetric hairdo & legwarmers may not be my best look….
The focus for the last 10 days has been the annual pilgrimage to SXSWi, which should probably be the subject of a separate post, but needless to say my mind has been truly boggled, my liver put through its paces and I’m still having meat sweats from an insane amount of incredible BBQ. I then had a fantastic few days holiday in San Francisco cheekily tacked on the end of my trip, with much fun and frolics with wonderful friends. And as it’s physically impossible for me to leave the US without a new pair of trainers, a rather spanking new pair of silver hi-tops as well.
In other news:
- A project I worked on last year with the lovely folks at Rattle, originally codenamed Project Southwold, has soft launched in beta – and can now be revealed as Mr Fante’s House of Judgement. I know how hard the team have been working on it, so I’m really excited to see how it unfolds.
- I also acquired a thoroughly delightful 11″ Macbook Air, which makes lugging a laptop round so much easier, it’s just a dream – though my 13″ Macbook Pro now seems enormous by comparison! Cloud-based services make working across two computers and keeping everything in sync totally seamless: thanks to all my documents syncing automatically via Dropbox; my contacts, calendars & local bookmarks syncing automatically across both machines & my iPhone via MobileMe, and all my email living in the cloud courtesy of Google Apps.
- And finally, my attempt at a contribution to the rather marvellous Playlist Club went live – A Discoaholic’s 70s Guilty Pleasures