What Am I Doing?
The older a man gets and the less the idea of prepending the word "Senior" to your job title seems attractive and the more it becomes descriptive but so it is that in my fortieth year I hold the title of Senior User Experience Designer at Bloom Agency in Leeds.
A tight knit bunch we punch above our weight delivering responsive websites in HTML5 to fit carefully crafted personas which stay true to the belief that it is people (users is such an aggressive term) who sit at the heart of everything we do.
And, should I say so myself, I endeavour to be at the heart of everything which is done at Bloom, or as much of it as I can do. ADT, Benenden, Rochdale Hornets, LA Fitness, Leeds Building Society, Yorkshire Tea, Emirates, Helois, Hitachi, and Property Network, which was called Property Place until I opening my mouth. I’ve tried to get my hands on it all.
Which means that I’ve done many things. I’ve led and won pitches, designed entire sites, written functional specifications that were twice as long as my dissertation, hand coded HTML5 and CSS3 that are beautiful because they are small. I’ve written content, draw pictures by hand, and I’ve done it all with a cheery disposition.
This is what I do
After researching the audience I create Personas to represent people and map out the journeys those people go on. The journeys become Information Architecture which feed into Wireframes (Balsamiq, Axure, Pen & Paper).
Those wireframes are built into HTML Prototypes (Desktop, Tablet, Mobile) that illustrate practically how a website will be Responsive (or adaptive, or fluid, or fixed).
I Write the content (Professional writing experience) or detail what the content will achieve as well as Web Design (Photoshop, Fireworks) of key pages and elements which go towards creating build kit which I then use to Front End Code (HTML5, XHTML, CSS, CSS3, JavasScript, jQuery) the website.
The I plug it into Wordpress or write a Back End (XML/XSLT, JSON, Ajax, PHP, Classic ASP).
I’ve been doing this, or parts of this, since 1998 and I’ve gotten good at it.
What I'll be doing next
My next step will see me taking a lead role in creating websites from the first stage to the last either getting my hands dirty doing the work or getting closely involved in the whole process.
- Download Michael Wood’s CV or drop me a mail.
- You can still read BfB and if you want you can go back to the first version from 1999, the version that replaced it or the version after that. The years 2005-2007 are not online.
- www.nohandsbradford.co.uk comes to you in shiny HTML5.
...and one hundred
It is a small market, Bradford City t-shirts, but one that I have a small claw in. Over one hundred times so far people have bought the shirts I designed and sell. See boyfrombrazil.spreadshirt.co.uk.
What Happened To BfB?
File under Frequently Asked Questions: What happened to the Bradford City website BfB Cabin Pressure and Michael Wood published. The short answer to this is that having covered Bradford City for twelve years believing that the people who ran the club did so in good faith, trying all they could to make the club better, that belief was (to me) proved false and in my opinion is not the case.
What then does one write about a football club when the results on the pitch are secondary for those in the boardroom to other concerns? What does one write about when Player A being picked over Player B and you suspect that it is for reasons other than their ability on the field? When you suspect the reasons are sinister, and in some cases sinister in the extreme?
I was proud, as creator of BfB, to have it follow Bradford City for twelve years but Bradford City — my Bradford City — is lost in the self-interest of people who profess to protect the club but in my opinion do not. People are prepared — without missing a heartbeat — to barefaced lie? People who will become litigious not seeking to win, but to out-muscle? At what point does one look at what one once loved and see only darkness, greed and dishonesty and say no more?
In the sea of misery that are football club websites BfB was never about negativity, but now that is all Bradford City is about and I have no idea how someone who knew what I knew would turn a blind eye and carry on writing, and so I acquiesce to those who can, at least for now.
This website has been remade in HTML5 and CSS3. The old website is still live if you want to see it.