Welcome! Although this site is a little more basic than when accessed by web on a PC (you should definitely check that out!), feel free to drop me an email.SEND IT
Circle is a personal utility focusing solely on personal relationships. With privacy at its core, Circle allows you to broadcast (and view) what you want with who you want, without sacrificing the connections you already have.
What is Circle?
For all the great abilities of social media, current models are misaligned with our nature - leading to tension inside and outside of these platforms. With the 'Big 5' (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter and Snapchat) being owned by publicly traded companies that are beholden to share holders, the situation is dire. With monetisation of these platforms focused on data-mining and advertisements, user data (and metadata that lies outside of your direct use of these platforms) is being used to understand and target us in seriously scary ways, with the line being pushed further into the abyss each quarter. The user is also being tricked by design into spending more and more time within these platforms in order to increase Key Performance Index' and ultimately revenue generated from targeted advertisement - "This is our daily use figures, and it is your job as an engineer to make these go up."
Circle is a social utility that allows you to share true with those around. Mixing the connectivity of social media with the functionality of email. It does this through the concept of 'Friend Circles'. Circle is primarily designed for (young) professionals who but don’t necessarily want the dogma that comes with what we have now but do care for the abilities of social networking and online expression. In the core functionality, Circle essentially offers Twitter/Instagram style posting, but focuses on the relationships behind the post. Whether public, private and or the choices in-between, it gives users both more control over who they share to and their privacy as a whole. Moreover, by centring the app around proximate relationships (rather than media), the platform becomes naturally more focused and less cluttered - a better experience for the end user. In all, Circle is a platform that strives to be much more akin to how we naturally share as people.
between the ages of 12-34, 15 million people have left Facebook since 2017 (US only)
15 million people have left Facebook between the ages of 12-34 since 2017 (and that's only in the US alone)! That's pretty shocking. Being, one of these users who have left unhappily (since 2017 and in Europe), I thought it would be a good opportunity to redefine my UX Design skills, learn Code, work with others and potentially make something useful for my peers (and myself!)
Therefore, about to dive into a project, I thought the first important decision was to understand and gather more information (particularly about what people were struggling with and what they actually wanted) before putting pen to to paper.
At the time I was travelling through China, the US and India. On my travels, I asked almost all that I met about their thoughts on current social media. However I also talked about the problem with people at home (between the ages of 15-60). The problems were universal.
To make something that people want, it was important to listen to potential users
A simple diagram explaining how we got to our conclusions - rather than another media focused platform, how about a utility that could help people share between their different circles?
So the main question was, 'how can we have our cake and eat it?' For clues, by looked what already existed and also what I personally used everyday, it was clear that each of these platforms (From Wikipedia to Snapchat) all had a common thread - communication of information - and their interface responded to the type of media conveyed.
Therefore, taking these levels of communication and forcing them into one one interface (focusing on relationships rather than a particular media type), formed the basis of a decision to design a new home feed.
The Home Feed.
Wider Development: Wireframes, Sketches and User Journeys.
Client: Paris School of Architecture
Location: Folkstone, UK
Team: Riane Samir & James Stirrat
A competition for a monument to Brexit overlooking the Eurotunnel. Situated in proximity to the Folkestone entrance to the Eurotunnel at Ceasar’s Camp (A site of important English heritage). The site stands perched at a pivotal point overlooking the eurotunnel complex and transport links. Through three primary principles the scheme aims to provide an evolving landscape that adapts and represents Post-Brexit Britain & Post-Brexit Europe. These principles are Scalability – Usability – Flexibility; setting an example for the rest of the project to run. The scheme follows a linear design process, that does not end with the intervention. Like politics in the West, decisions are made democratically, in succession based on the context of current affairs, economy, technology and necessity. With the intervention acting as a living monument to the socio-political implications of Brexit, we took a similar approach, based around the principles previously defined. By creating a hollow and fragile framework primarily from the technology of a simple single joint. The infrastructure is passed on to the newly formed Paris School of Architecture. An active curriculum to design, manipulate and build to the theme of Post-Brexit history as it unfolds. This introduces students to the social and political nature of architecture whilst providing education in design, construction, wider-infrastructure and history.
Location: Ballycastle, Northern Ireland
‘Na Mara’ is a project sited by the harbour of Ballycastle, a Northern Irish town that overlooks the Northern Channel - the body of water between Ulster and Scotland. The proposal has dual purpose; a boat building facility to craft the traditional timber sailing boats called ‘drontheim’ and a specialist sea food restaurant; building on past and present industry in order to establish the future of this seasonal seaside town.
Economy Student Housing in the conflicted city of Belfast.
Location: Belfast, UK
A brief initially commissioned for a block of 16 accommodation units - the project is able to house up to 240 students. In response to the problems of the Belfast (domination of traffic, lack of public space, declining population), the tower sets a new standard for the city. The ground level is recreated as an open and permeable pedestrian plaza. The sheer density of the tower bridges the density gap between the University Quarter and the CBD (an area previously abandoned by night). Panoramically towering above its context at 103m, it sits as the tallest building on the Isle of Ireland. A programmed core and a scaffolding system constructed of 'off the shelf' materials creates a new typology of building that is simultaneously permanent and temporary.
Type: Invited Competition
Location: Shenzhen, China
Team: EMBT 2018
A proposal for Vanke's new mixed use HQ in Shenzhen Bay. The complex of towers were inspired by the Mangrove trees that line the adjacent Shenzhen Bay Park. Designed at my time with EMBT in Barcelona, our aim was to weave the beauty and serenity of nature throughout the scheme - offering a third pace of life within the Shenzhen metropolis.
Client: Comune di Rimini
Location: Rimini, Italy
Status: In Progress
Team: EMBT 2018
Some Essays that I am writing. Some are thoughts that I have been thinking about for years, others are me trying to gain therapy from writing. I will (maybe) upload them as time goes on.
- The Pursuit of Beauty
- Desire, Risk and carving through the sky
- Environment over Willpower
- Escaping the Bubble (More is less only when less is more)
- Making things people want
- The Age of UX
- Equating truth with use
- Heaven as a state of mind?
- Originality from the Origin
- Why Christianity?
Book summaries are a mix of key takeaways with some of my personal thoughts
SIMPLIFY - RICHARD KOCH
THE BOOK IN THREE SENTENCES
Simplification in both business and product has been the result of the majority of the greatest business successes in the last 120 years. You can choose between two methods of simplification, proposition simplification (10x better) or price simplification (10x cheaper). Proposition simplifying revolves around making a product a greater joy to use through greater ease of use, usefulness and art whilst price simplifying revolves around making a product cheaper by 50% or more.
Although not all great businesses are the result of simplifying, simplifying tends to deliver the most economic benefit to humanity.
The majority of the greatest 20th and 21st century business success stories are stories of simplification. Ford, Apple, Ikea, Amazon, Spotify, Uber, Airbnb, Google, McDonalds.
Simplification can be split into two groups. Proposition Simplifiers or Price Simplifiers. Some rare companies have managed to achieve both but they set out clearly as one. Usually these companies have also been involved in dominating a completely new niche. Eg. Google or Amazon.
10x better, 10x cheaper or completely new.
Proposition simplifying revolves around making things a greater joy to use. Ease of use. Greater usefulness. Greater artfulness.
In proposition simplifying, price reductions are considered only if they do not compromise the main goal of making something a joy to use.
Price simplifying revolves around reducing price by 50% or more. Other propositions are secondary and added over time, generally making said business long term more dominant over the competition.
Proposition simplifying leads to a premium market, price simplification to mass market.
The ordinary way of doing business is not the best way. However, imitation is usually more vital than creation. I would add that there are two paths, that of experimentation (commandeering new territory) and imitation (surviving within new territory).
Great is better than new. Most of us spend too much time in the last 24 hours rather than the past 6000 years.
Build something that you yourself want, it's that simple. “We knew how cool it was because we knew how badly we wanted one personally.” - Jobs on the iPod development
Unitary business flows organically from single purpose. What is your North Star?
Designers must make trade offs and conventional thinking will never lead to virtuous trade offs (eg. having both your cake and eating it).
Any business person writing memoirs will make the most of the opportunity to advertise the quality of their product.
Imitation of a simplifying competitor. This can be a sponsored spin-off company. Acquisition. If you are going to be cannibalised it is better to cannibalise yourself than to let another cannibalise you. Pursue the destruction of what you have created.
As things expand, the default mode is to increase complexity. Particularly in management. Avoid the complexity trap. Simplicity on the far side of complexity.
Added value through subtraction. The concept became so beautifully simple. A designer knows he has achieved perfection when there is nothing else to take away.
Non simplifying strategies include elaboration strategies and invention strategies. Elaboration strategies involve making a product more complex, it is usually a little bit of simplification mixed with a lot of added complexity. Usually each service and product is bespoke (reminds of architecture).
Invention strategies both simplify and complicate. They are seductive and commercially successful, up to a point, yet eventually complicate or even compromise our lives and their value. Is an online meeting or relationship generally superior to a good old-fashioned person to person date?
You can simplify almost anything if you view it as a product to be standardised and automated as far as possible. If air travel and restaurants can be automated, and a mass market created by offering very low prices, the same must be true for any other sector. Opportunity lies wherever an industry has not yet been automated.
The gods of economics and customer psychology favour the simplifier.
Curious about my natural wiring and inspired by Ray Dalio's approach to using the test within Bridgewater (where the results of the test are shared with everyone else at the firm. on a “baseball card”), I decided to take the test.
As written on Golden: Personality is the essence of who you are as a unique individual. It is reflected in what you say, how you feel about yourself, how you act, and how you choose to live your life. There are 16 different personality profiles.
How you focus your energy: Introverting (I)
How you gather information: iNtuiting (N)
How you make decisions: Thinking (T)
How you approach life: Adapting (A)
How you respond to Stress: Calm
I've put the report below: