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Some iOS7 wallpapers

wallpaper
wallpaper

I made myself a few calm, colourful and simple iPhone wallpapers to complement the new iOS7 (which I LOVE), so thought I’d share them here too. Just click the 4 or 5 link below each one to get the right size for your phone and save to your camera roll. Enjoy! Anyone else loving iOS7?

Greenterest – a hackathon product

Last week at Sidekick we did a hackathon – three days to make one product prototype that fulfilled three criteria: people would want to use it; it would have the potential to make money; it has a purpose. We whittled tons of ideas down to three using a complex star-voting system, to be left with the ones we split into teams to make: Sidetracked, Collectist and Greenterest.

logo

Over the three coffee-pizza-and-curry-fuelled days, my team designed and built Greenterest (working title). The initial grand plan was to make a complex 3d drag-and-drop garden designer, laden with expert advice and a database of plants matched to your soil type, conditions and sun levels. But after a few hours of head-scratching we realised that this was way too big for a hack and also relied on knowledge that we just don’t have. So instead we embraced our lack of know-how and focused on making a web app that connects amateur but enthusiastic urban gardeners with others, to learn and share in a specially-designed social network.

greenterest_landing

Greenterest homepage

The idea is it’s a bit like a Ravelry or Burda, but for green-fingered folk. I was quite amazed to find that a gardening-based social network doesn’t exist already given the general popularity of gardening, but all the current sites seemed to either cater to people who already know their loam from their mulch, or are terribly old-fashioned looking and not geared up to be socially connected. Greenterest is made for people who already Instagram their growing efforts but aren’t sure where to turn to when they get stuck.

greenterest_profile

Your Plot profile page

On the site you can create your Plot – a virtual space where you tell people about your garden, upload photos and tag your plants to find people growing similar things. It’s for anyone who grows things, whether it’s a few herbs on your windowsill or 3 acres of rolling landscaped gardens. If you don’t have a garden yet or don’t want to upload photos, you can ‘Dig’ other people’s photos and save them to your Trug – an inspiration scrapbook for your own reference.

greenterest_single_img

Greenterest photo page

The hacked-together app contains just the bare minimum of functionality – you can join, upload photos and discover others – but we have ideas for loads of other features that would make this a genuinely delightful, useful site for amateur gardeners. Eventually you’ll be able to follow others and see their updates on your homepage, you can tag and follow certain plants or types of plant (veg, herbs flowers), we’ll have forums for questions and advice, and perhaps even a marketplace to trade seeds and cuttings. The possibilities are huge and exciting.

brand

Superquick branding ideas!

I really want Greenterest to be a real thing, and I hope we can carry on developing it post-hack. My initial user-testing (a very small sample of self-volunteering Instagram friends) seemed to say it’d be a useful and fun service for urban gardeners. What do you think? Would you use it?

P.S The winning hack, Sidetracked, is a wonderful app which lets you find interesting places to stop off at on any UK train journey. Check it out here, and read about the team’s process here.

Freelance, one week in..

Well, I’m one-and-a-half weeks in to working freelance now, and it’s been a little different to how I imagined in some ways. Here are some of my learnings…

Lazy new colleague

i) I’ve worked harder than I have in months (the cat has not helped at all, as you can see). This is partly down to exciting new projects and a renewed enthusiasm for what I’m doing, and partly down to a creepy sense of guilt whenever I do anything besides work during the day. I suppose that’s because there’s nothing to hide behind now – if I don’t do the work I need to, there’s no one else to blame or hide behind, and I won’t get paid. Unsurprisingly, that’s a pretty good motivator.

ii) I’m being much more disciplined than I thought I would be. I’ve been getting up at pretty much the same time as I used to, and I’m at my desk working by 9.30 until 6ish. I even worked on bank holiday Monday! But I need to get used to the idea that there will be quiet time too, and figure out how to use it productively.

My study and ‘mobile office’

iii) Working from home, it’s essential to have a proper desk chair, a coffee machine and a good internet connection (in that order). I also treated myself to a new (albeit refurbished) Macbook Air so I can work remotely and take it to meetings – it’s ever so light and pretty.

And check it out, my first piece of work has even gone live already:



The lovely folk at With Associates asked me to make a one-page design for their studio’s website, which changes every month as part of an ongoing experiment. The brief was completely open, which I think is every designer’s dream and nightmare rolled into one! All they asked was that is was colourful (no problem) and showcased some of their work and ethos.. oh, and I have one day to concept, design and write the whole thing, eek.

So I took a kind of crafty theme, and wrote some copy about how good digital work takes a lot of cues from traditional craftsmanship. I photographed and pasted in the ribbon to draw your eye down the page, and did some craft-inspired illustrations and some header type that looks like embroidery. Luckily they all really liked it! Have a look here.

The Feed

As I’m halfway through my last week at Poke, I thought I’d share this project that I’ve been designing and art directing for almost a year now, and I’m rather proud of. The Feed is a blog for Orange, in which we share a fun digital toy, game or idea each month. It’s great because it’s not salesy at all but just feeds into Orange’s brand concept of giving a little extra to their customers. At the beginning of this year we took on a new illustrator, the brilliant Owen Davey, and gave the site a facelift, and since then it’s become a quite delightful design-led project which is a lot of fun to work on.


Our current campaign is Keep Me Cool, where we’ve got an ice cream van travelling round the country to four cities giving out ice creams. People can tweet in their post codes to make the van visit their area. We even got to design the wrap for the ice cream van which was pretty fun!

Here are some more of the recent ideas we’ve made…

Read the rest of this entry »

Pokelondon.com

new Poke site

A brief segue into my day job, because I want to show off the recently-launched new Poke website, the design of which I was heavily involved in. Designing for yourself can be notoriously difficult, but luckily we had a solid brief with the objectives and rationale clearly set out. No one fundamentally hated the old site, but we all agreed that it needed a spruce up, design- and function-wise, after nearly 4 years’ service. I suppose I was brought on board to the project as I’m pretty au fait with being social and bloggy, and the partners wanted keep to keep a somewhat feminine feel to the site.

new Poke site

The new site’s main design theme is the colourblock backgrounds, which runs through the whole site. Each blog post and portfolio project has a palette of 3 tonal colours, picked to highlight and enhance the imagery. I adore browsing through those sections and getting a hit of rainbow colours!

Everything else was kept deliberately minimal to let these bold colour choices shine without shouting: use of a simple system font and circle icons keeps the site furniture calm and functional. We splashed out on big, bold blog headers with a different font chosen for each category.

new Poke site
new Poke site

The portfolio has been beefed-up with clever ways to view, sort and filter projects depending on what kind of experience you’re after. I especially love the slide view for a purely visual way to browse, and the colour block pages really sing here (we even toned in the Vimeo video buttons to match the background colour!). We’re in the process of adding loads more back-catalogue projects, so this section will feel really rich and full soon.

new Poke site

The work and about pages hopefully inject a bit of Poke humour, with hand-drawn illustrations and a teacup theme (only clients get the custard creams..). See if you can find me on the about page gaggle :)

The mobile version has been specially designed and built (with CSS3 media queries) to act considerately on a small screen. It even tells you how to get to the studio if you’re nearby and happen to be lost. It also looks rather lovely on an iPad.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far, with people noticing all the nice little touches we hoped they would. Go and have a look if you’re interested, too!


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