1. Research: discovery, client projects.
    2. Collaborating: agile team (PO/PM/lead design/lead engineer).
    3. Leadership: formed design practice, Lead Product designer.
    4. Skills: designOps, UI, UX, animation, product design, design systems, documentation, training, sales/estimation, mentoring.

    The problem: how to empower the enterprise through performant experiences

    Working for XWP working on various Enterprise clients. I also help with hiring, sales, and estimating. I am the Lead Product designer there, having created that role with them. I have grown the design team, to now be fully global, with a focus on async communication.

    I created a Learn Gutenberg course and learning materials that now all Engineering hires follow along with advising around the new editor.

    System focused

    My passion for design systems continues at XWP both in working on one collaboratively that designers use to build client sites and in creating ones for clients.

    Sample projects

    I have got to work on a range of projects in my time at XWP, from a design system for a network of 13 sites, a designer for a hearing technology startup, to advising converting to WordPress a complex design. I also was sponsored to continue my contribution to WordPress as a core committer.

    I have also worked on extending the editor and recommending options there.

    Working practice

    During my time at XWP I have worked on projects in an agile team format. Each having both discovery and retrospective to them. I also have worked on sales and hiring. As part of my time there I have documented the design practice and collaborated on a handbook for design, ensuring that everything we do is written down.

    I also created visuals for sales presentations to deliver ‘what ifs’ to clients.

    Growing a design culture

    One of the big things I have focused on whilst at XWP is growing a culture of design. From bringing in design health checks to async feedback weekly sessions and check-ins – the design community is growing. It has doubled in size with my leadership and has also seen a culture of mentorship and feedback thrive.

  • Upfocus


    • Research: competitive analysis/market.
    • Collaborating: directly with founder also small team.
    • Leadership: advised on hiring the first designer, ‘shape up’ ideas.
    • Skills: designOps, advisor.

    The problem: turning feedback into something to use

    Advisor for Upfocus on their user experience direction, creating their design team foundation, practices and supporting as they move to look to the first round of investment.

    Initially, I worked on a short contract focusing on user experience and review, this led to collaborating as a long term advisor. As part of the role, I have helped form each product sprint using the ‘shape up’ method with the founder. I also was part of hiring their first design hire and helping grow design as a practice.

    Sketching seeds

    One of the key roles I have served is to funnel inspiration and sketches during the shaping. This might be to visual draw an idea just enough (not too much), so the designer can form. It also might be competitive analysis and commentary.

  • Mastodon


    • Research: usability testing.
    • Skills: reporting.

    I worked on a contract to run a series of usability tests for Mastodon. This then led to creating a report of advice for experience recommendations and iterations.

    The problem: does this new experience work?

    The testing carried out was around the login and onboarding process.

  • Extendify


    • Research: competitive analysis, market, usability testing, user interviews.
    • Collaborating: directly with founders as formed MVP.
    • Leadership: Head of Design.
    • Skills: designOps, advisor, product design, UI, UX, branding, design system

    I began working as the Head of design at Extendify when they had no real product. During my time there I worked on the initial experience and worked on making the ideas of this early startup grow into reality. I continue to support them as an advisor.

    The problem: empower easier creation of content and lower barrier of WordPress

    The goal of Extendify is to truly extend the experience of WordPress, starting with templates and patterns to ‘jump start’ any site.

    The solution: build on the new design tools

    The journey

    The browser

    First, we worked on the browser to discover templates and patterns within WordPress. This was to ‘extend’ the options you have out of the box with WordPress and bring design into the hands of more people.

    As with anything it began with sketches, a simple format using the core editor foundations. The brief was to be as native as possible, truly extend.

    The screen had multiple iterations over many months ending in a release and now it has grown from this start.

    The styling system

    In order to create templates and patterns rapidly, natively; I worked on creating a system that drew both on design systems and was strongly connected to the WordPress design system roots itself.

    From just a few combinations and simple styling, multiple combinations of templates and patterns were easily created and then offered in the browser.

    The onboarding

    As the vision for what we were creating grew, our view looked to how to easily onboard and combine these foundations into hosting – for example with an onboarding process or perhaps a site builder.

    The first step was to create a simple, branded onboarding that could be used in the browser. By now the branding was evolving, the logo had been simplified along with colors.

    Further explorations looked at a standalone version for hosting.

    The design system

    One of the pieces begun in this was creating a system and brand for the startup. This has evolved, but by laying a strong foundation the natural evolution was possible.

  • WordPress

    WordPress is open source software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app. I have worked across every aspect of WordPress, from the community itself, product and even the mobile app.

    I have been a Design Lead for 3 releases of WordPress (5.0, 5.4, 5.6) and involved in numerous others. I also led a default theme release and supported several others. I am a core committer and component maintainer.


    As part of my role as design lead of the editor I built on my long-standing practice of triage and testing in the open source project. I had led for a while testing initiatives and saw testing tables and a range of things from interviews to tests taking place at community events. This happened from WordCamp US through to several days spent running user interviews in Tokyo. I also spent a lot of time gathering user feedback across various channels and even going on-site to observe editing at scale.

    WordPress examples

    Here are various examples of work that I have done as part of my time on the WordPress project.

  • Automattic


    • Research: usability interviews, competitive analysis
    • Collaborating: global teams, community teamwork and co-leading
    • Leadership: design lead, design producer.
    • Skills: designOps, product design, theme development, design systems, UI, UX.

    As part of the Automattic theme team, I worked on various themes and also focused on theme user experience. I was part of default WordPress themes also. I was a full time contributor to WordPress for many years, focusing on the editor, Gutenberg.

    Theme experience

    The problem: the experience of theme browsing and use is complicated

    One of my biggest focuses whilst at Automattic before moving to work as design lead on the new editor, was on theme experience. I started working on the theme team. In this hybrid role I created themes and designed them. From there, I began focusing on a foundation theme called _s (underscores), to try and solve the problem of redoing things and save time.

    The solution: create tools that make browsing easier and starter themes that unify themes

    As my work progressed I moved onto trying to solve a range of issues from theme browsing through to how to create themes in a more systematic approach. This all was starting to lay the foundations for my approach moving into the editor as I began to really focus on patterns and how themes were doing too much.

    Designing themes

    I was lucky enough to be part of the theme team and not only work on default themes but also create a number of themes for release used by many people on WordPress.

    I got to work on a number of default WordPress themes along with extensive testing of themes and the experience. This all gave me great insights as I moved to focus on the editor.

    Design Operations

    The problem: how do you bring DesignOps to an open source project?

    After focusing on themes and the editor, I moved into design operations. My objective was to grow this within open source. I supported a team of designers as their producer leader. It allowed me to both support design leads in the space and designers of all levels. I also overtime implemented systems to support the global network of contributors to design in WordPress.

    As part of this work as a Design Producer in Open Source I worked on hiring, workshops and focused also on feedback empowerment.

    The solution: empower leads, establish patterns and systems, create a culture of feedback and communication, start a design system