Product Design Director
Absa Group Limited ∙ Aug 2017 – Present
At Absa, I'm the Product Design Director for mobile banking. In other words, I lead the team of designers who shape Absa's banking app.
- I lead 14 designers working across 7 squads, each squad made up of engineers, product owners and others.
- Our work covers everything from customer discovery (contextual/ethnographic research), through concept development (ideation and prototyping), through concept validation (user testing) and delivery.
- I introduced a design system of components, templates and principles to scale a consistent customer experience, as well as accelerate delivery through standardisation.
- I lead the end-to-end redesign of the mobile banking app, as part of Absa's rebrand in 2018.
- I shipped a chat-based banking solution built on WhatsApp.
- I introduced a measurement framework to validate our qualitative customer insights with quantitative data about user outcomes, for every new feature that we ship.
- Since joining Absa the App Store rating for the banking app has gone from 2.7 to 4.7 out of 5 (on Android and iOS). The user base has grown by about 60% year-on-year, to 1.4 million active users.
- I’ve worked with the other design directors to design the design organisation at Absa. Specifically, I created the growth and development framework for our designers.
- I helped develop our grad program, which was in response to a lack of quality design skills in SA. We take graduate-level designers through a one year program of accelerated learning.
Deloitte Digital ∙ Apr 2015 – Jul 2017
I was a manager in Deloitte's consulting business, Deloitte Digital, where I worked primarily in the Financial Services industry. I helped various clients deliver customer-lead initiatives and embed design thinking or human-centred design into their organisations.
- I lead teams of 2 to 3 consultants each, designing products and services for our clients, using methodologies like customer discovery, lean startup, agile and iterative design.
- Ran design thinking and product management training and certification for clients as well as the design community.
- Helped clients establish design-lead innovation programmes within their organisations that used methodologies like rapid prototyping and lean.
- Notable projects include a complete redesign of an investment management platform, solutions for vehicle and asset finance at a large bank and an innovation programme for vehicle finance at an asset finance company.
User Experience Director
Ogilvy ∙ May 2013 – Mar 2015
As a UX Strategist, and latterly a UX Director, at Ogilvy & Mather's digital business, I worked across many different industries to deliver digital marketing and e-commerce solutions.
- I was responsible for all UX work on projects that required customer research, information architecture, interaction design etc.
- Scoped, planned and defined the approach for these projects.
- Advocated for customer experience and UX design.
- Notable projects include the end-to-end design of an e-commerce solution for a quick-service restaurant franchise, a complete redesign of the discovery and booking experience for a major hotel network and the UX design of a website for a major telecommunications company.
The Gear Room ∙ Dec 2011 – Apr 2013
The Gear Room was an e-commerce business that retailed and installed audio and multi-media equipment, that myself and a business partner started in 2011.
- I was responsible for the e-commerce platform, marketing and technology infrastructure.
- I built and ran the e-commerce website.
- As a founder everything was my responsibility, but primarily I focused on end-to-end customer experience, business development, strategy, marketing and communications.
- We decided to close the business in April 2013 because we needed to scale the installation arm of our business to grow, and that was not the business that we wanted to build at that stage.
User Experience Designer
Chillisoft Solution Services ∙ Apr 2012 – Apr 2013
I was a UX designer at Chillisoft Solution Services—a software development company based in Durban. I worked on the UX design of a number of custom software systems.
- Delivered journey maps, information architecture, interaction design and interface design as part of an agile deliver team.
- Advocated for customer experience and UX design, both internally and for clients.
- Notable projects include a logistics management platform for a major shipping company and a contractor (plumbing, electrical, building etc) management platform for a startup.
Digital Manager & Art Director ∙ Dec 2008 – Mar 2012
OneLife is a non-profit church based in KwaZulu Natal. I was part of the design team, primarily responsible for the website and digital communications.
- Shipped two end-to-end redesigns of the website as the organisation scaled. As part of this I was responsible for SEO, content strategy, analytics and all the day-to-day operations of running a website.
- Designed and art-directed media production (web, video, print, multi-media) for many events, campaigns and other communication programmes.
Chillisoft Solution Services ∙ Jan 2008 – Dec 2008
I was a software developer at Chillisoft Solution Services—a software development company based in Durban.
- I developed and shipped a number of .NET software solutions using agile and test-driven development.
- Notable projects include the development of a pharmacy stock management platform for government hospitals in KwaZulu Natal.
BSc Computer Science & Computational Physics
2006 – 2008 (incomplete) • University of KwaZulu-Natal
I began working in my 3rd year of study, and before completing my degree moved to working full-time. I felt that practical experience in software development and design was more valuable than continued study.
2005 • Carter High School
I completed my matric (English, Afrikaans, Mathematics, Physical Science, Technical Drawing, Art and Additional Mathematics) in Pietermaritzburg, at Carter High School in 2005.