I am the champion of the users’ needs; from researching, planning and testing. My goal is figuring out exactly what makes your product easy to use, easy to remember and thus profitable for you.
I love the journey of web design. From designing the UI all the way through to the code, I believe a good looking site, that is desirable and useful, adds to the overall pleasing experience.
With an IMM behind my name, getting your project seen by both users and search engines is a strong factor that drives my design. Telling your story in the best possible always results in a positive outcome.
Photography has been part of my life since childhood. I love to be versatile, and with a varied portfolio ranging from fashion, catalogue, event and sport, capturing the images you desire is not a problem at all. As they say… “An image is worth a thousand words.”
I have taught at the Friends of Design Academy for the last 5 years. I have trained both students and corporates in UXD, UID, HTML5/CSS3, email marketing and responsive design. I am proud that I have been part of the process of developing the next generation.
I love to tell stories, both in word and in graphic and with a solid understanding of SEO, I am able to write an exciting copy that not only entices the user, but attracts the search engines to your project.
My foundation was laid at Bergvliet High School in the heart of the Constantia valley. A place where I excelled at sport and worked hard to earn my Matric. Although I was no genius, I also showed a natural flair of curiosity, creativity and interacting with people. It was also during these years that I achieved Western Province colours for bodyboarding and was part of the only WP team to win the SA Champs in the history of the sport.
Two years before the birth of our new democracy I was conscripted into SAMS - the South African Military Medical Services. I was 17 years old when I went in. After basic training, I went onto to the Operational Medical Orderly course, which saw me earn my rank of corporal and get deployed to the townships of Johannesburg. I learnt a lot about life and being a man during this period. The rest is classified.
After I left the Military I did an IMM Diploma in Marketing Management through Damelin in Cape Town. My favourite subjects were marketing research, statistics, economics and consumer and buyer behaviour. Little did I know these subjects would lay a foundation for a career that hadn’t even been invented yet, namely the field of UX (User Experience for websites and Apps)
After graduation the time came to get a job, which I discovered that, with no experience in marketing, was pretty much impossible, so I improvised with starting my own company. I opened a small photographic studio in Observatory, specialising in weddings and catalogue work. I also worked as a surf coach for Western Province Prep School and worked nights as a restaurant manager in Hout Bay. I travelled and gained worldly experience with journeys throughout Africa and Indonesia. In the end I realised that if I was to succeed, I would need to get skilled up in computers, as I saw this new technology of the future. This lead to me London in the UK where I worked towards saving enough money to pay for an education in Multimedia design.
After returning from the UK, I enrolled in the Multimedia Design Diploma at Concept Interactive in Cape Town. There I studied Print design in the form of Macromedia Freehand, Quark Express and Photoshop. Next up was video editing via Adobe Premiere. Then came web design using Dreamweaver and Photoshop and finally we did Director, and produced my first portfolio as an interactive CD.
Following graduation I re-entered the business world as a freelancer. Taking on creative projects ranging from photography, brand development, marketing material design and building web sites for small companies. At the same time I launched Spy Dude Productions which focused on Surf photography and surf journalism. I had the pleasure to work with awesome clients over the years, Cape Customs, Talent Crystal, Dr Preeti Niguri, Kruger Roos Architects, JKA Architects, Villa Belmonte, Leinster Hall, Rob Scott Architects, Audi and PsySolutions to name a few.
Lemonline Media was the first agency for whom I worked. There my responsibilities lay with UI design for clients both in South Africa and in the USA. I also build HTML templates for the development team and built Flash sites and elements when needed. Lemonline made use of my photography skills in the form of product and architectural shoots for content, used on websites and in print publications.
I moved to Graphic Mail for six months as I wanted to gain a deep understanding of online marketing. Working closely with a development team I learnt the best ways to design and code emails so that the messages reached clients in-boxes and not their spam boxes.
I started with Kehls as their web designer and photographer and over the years grew the department to include all of their print and web marketing. I handled all the print advertising design for Kehls, everything from the re-designing their new branding, all in-store advertising, magazine and newspaper adverts, yearly calendars, letterheads, business cards and branding for their clothing. On the web side of things I designed and developed their first static website and was responsible for the design and UX of their first big online shop. I took care of the population of the site by doing all the photography of the products in-house within a studio environment.
Working closely with Wavescapes founder; Steve Pike, I finally realised my dream to work in the Surf industry. As Wavescape’s Photo Editor and content manager, my jobs entailed selecting the actual content in both stills and video that got displayed on the site. Co-Coordinating photo shoots and managing the photographic team on their submissions on the website. Working on the site itself, I did coding of HTML and CSS, XML and FLASH. I was also responsible for the layout and styling of the blogs. I also did copy writing for the site in the form of intros, articles, photo captions and article headlines, all this with SEO and social media networks in mind.
At Wine of the Month Club, my responsibilities lay mainly in the realm of the internet. As the web master I was in charge of maintenance of the old Plone driven website, the design and construction of the Joomla 1 driven Good Taste Website and the UI design and UX of WOMS first Online Shop. My role at WOM is also that of the digital marketer. Here I have introduced the company to the power of email marketing and Social Media presence and marketing. Naturally, I brought a complete package to the table and WOM was quick to make use of my photographic skills, both in the studio and out in the field. All product photography for WOM passed through my studio, where I not only took care of the actual product photography, but also the post production of each photograph - colour balancing, deep etching and print and web graphic generation. Overall the scope of the work at Wine of the Month is constantly changing and I loved the challenge of working for them.
At WineStyle Magazine, I was responsible for the conceptualization of new marketing plans to grow their database and increase wine sales. I also too care of the In-studio catalogue photography of Wine and wine accessories and on location photography of Wine celebrities and locations. In terms of the website. I was responsible for designing a new and improved site with online shop capabilities. I also took care of all their email marketing.
I first started teaching at Friends of Design in a part time capacity and in 2017 I accepted a position of full time lecturer. Over the years I have taught HTML4/CSS2, HTML5/CSS3, Responsive Design, email design and coding, cross browser compatibility and lastly I designed and wrote the UX/UI course that is currently on offer at FOD to both part time and full time students. I really enjoyed the challenge of being able to influence and guide the next generation of strategic thinkers, UX facilitators and front-end developers.