I love the possibilities of tech — used well, used creatively, used for good, it can be amazing.
With experience outside of coding and with a number of organisations, I’m good at communicating and collaborating with others, seeing the bigger picture and contributing ideas. People often say I’m a very positive, friendly and supportive team mate.
Interactive Entertainment Award
Creative Media Award
Information is Beautiful
Year in Review
Inspired by Spotify ‘Wrapped’ — the rundown of everything you’ve listened to and the most popular tracks over the past year — working with Glyn Thomas from Root to Branch Communications I conceived and built an equivalent for charities to show their supporters the difference they have made in a year. In 2021 it was used by Refugee Action and I hope it will be expanded to other non-profits.
I created an editor tool in React JS for charity staff to design different animated screens, responsive to different devices, that would only show for certain supporters (e.g. people who have donated different amounts would see different content). Working in Google Firebase I built Typescript cloud functions to process the data of tens of thousands of supporters to filter and customise unique content for each supporter.
You can read a full case study of the project here, including more screenshots and the great results for Refugee Action in increasing online engagement and donations.
Job Cuts Tracker
As covid struck around the world in 2020, trade unions and newspapers were reporting that thousands of workers were losing their jobs and livelihoods every day because of the economic crisis.
ITUC — the world’s largest group of trade unions — wanted to be able to monitor what was happening with these job losses, in as close to real-time as possible, and feed information into their lobbying efforts with governments to provide better support for workers.
I built a custom private tool — React JS on the front-end, Node JS in AWS Lambda on the back-end — that integrated with a number of Google News RSS feeds to constantly monitor media headlines from all G20 countries, in a number of different languages.
When results came in they were translated, by integrating with an AWS translation service, checked for duplicates using a custom algorithm I built (as multiple news sources might report the same company layoff announcement), and were then fed through to the team at ITUC who would review results daily and make manual adjustments where needed, filter, search and download results all via a private web dashboard.
Find out more about this project.
A Week With Wanda
I created an online game, supported by a Mozilla Creative Media Award, to help raise awareness of some of the risks of artificial intelligence and give people more of a say over its future.
Wanda is a spoof virtual assistant in the mould of Siri or Alexa, who is here to “make your life better”. Web-based game A Week With Wanda is a humorous exploration of the dark sides of artificial intelligence unleashed on your life.
Each day Wanda offers to do something new for you, to improve your health, wealth or relationships. But Wanda’s efforts quickly become dodgy… or downright deranged!
Through quirky online chats, you might learn that Wanda has signed you up for therapy; sold your location data; reported your black friends to the police; stalked a potential “new best friend”; and even deepfaked you into a pornographic video… (all are just simulations). The hundreds of different combinations of experiences are drawn from real developments in artificial intelligence today — as is revealed to players of the game.
You can argue with Wanda about what she’s doing, and at the end of your week you can join other users in sharing your views about the future of AI you want, its norms and ethics. I am currently compiling the results to share them with tech companies and policy makers in the UK and beyond.
In the lead-up to the 2015 General Election, with a group trying to increase political engagement amongst people in their 20s and 30s, I created a chat-based AI assistant called Ask Amy that engaged thousands of young people — giving them an easy, unthreatening, fun way to ask questions about politics if you didn’t know where to start.
It was funded by telecoms company TalkTalk and a crowdfunding campaign, we launched in the UK Parliament with MPs including a former Government Minister, and it was covered by media including BBC TV and the Metro newspaper.
I was a full-stack developer at electric car charging company Pod Point where we won awards for tech innovation, including the Evening Standard’s Tech Start-Up of the Year and a European award for Hottest Green-Tech Start-Up of the Year.
My work included creating new features for web apps including purchasing and ordering systems and creating a dynamic map for their relaunched website.
As part of the 360 Giving data visualisation challenge, I created two unique visualisations showing grants to charities and community organisations in new, beautiful and playful ways.
Blooming Data reinvents the humble pie chart and tells the story of supporting growing people-powered groups, overlaying colour onto stop-motion animation of flowers unfurling.
What’s Up? won an award for creativity. It uses emojis in a chat-style interface to explore whether funding follows or lags public opinion on emerging social issues like support for transgender people and fake news.
Tate Art Detective
Although a small team at the time — I was one of just two web designer/developers — we won two Interactive BAFTA Awards for the Tate’s digital creations.
This included the Art Detective, a web-based learning game I devised the idea for, designed and built for children to explore a Henry Moore sculpture, which was used for over 15 years.
Other great causes
I enjoy working with different people to collaborate on great ideas. Other projects I’ve worked on include…
…I’m volunteering to help build the Scottish Tech Army’s volunteer app, contributing to development in React Native and Node JS, and supporting other upcoming developers
…A simple, visual way to find out how much you’ve lost out on in 10 years since the financial crash and how to stop it happening again
…A campaign for a new kind of diabetes monitoring technology that avoids the daily unpleasantness of people having to prick their finger for blood. People with diabetes could personalise the ask by calculating online how many thousands of fingerpricks they’ve had to do in their lifetime – and the campaign has already had results, with more local health authorities adopting the new technology.
Want to work together? Or explore an idea? Get in touch