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Experience

Bank of New Zealand

Design Lead — Design Systems | April 2017 – Present
Product Designer | March 2015 – April 2017
Junior Product Designer | November 2014 – March 2015
Designer, Front-end Developer | May 2014 – November 2014

BNZ's digital arm is one of two premier tech shops in New Zealand (the other being Xero).

At BNZ Digital I gained experience in starting and pushing initiatives through to reality in a large organisation. I learned to work with multiple teams simultaneously, and design for diverse and large customer bases.

Throughout my tenure at BNZ I've worked on the main website, community forums, internet banking for personal customers and internet banking for business customers.

  • I started, led and designed multiple tooling initiatives (styleguide sites, React and Sketch component libraries) that enabled faster wireframing, mockups and general collaboration, as well as faster development and code consistency.
  • I worked on large-scale redesign projects. I moved the designs of once disparate platforms towards unified interaction patterns that were also flexible enough to cater to any situation. At the same time I campaigned for technology updates to our codebase.
  • Redesigned our authentication and permissioning flows for business customers. Created processes robust enough to suit all business shapes and sizes, from the sole traders, all the way up to large enterprises with hundreds of employees.
  • Worked on redesigning payment flows across both personal and business internet banking, Consolidated a dozen payment types into a single, simple flow without sacrificing specificity.
  • Instilled the principles of security, accessibility and performance into the design team. Educated fellow designers and introduced new tools and processes. These foundational principles now have consideration from the design stage onwards, rather than at the last minute.
  • I hired and mentored junior designers.
  • I started and worked on multiple initiatives to recruit, maintain and grow talent, including building our internship program.
  • Nominated for the New Zealand Government's Digital Advisory Board by David Bullock, Chief of Products and Technology
  • Selected as the Bank of New Zealand delegate to attend the One Young World conference by Angie Mentis, CEO

HVNGRY Magazine

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, designer, full stack developer | Dec 2013 – May 2016 | 2 years 6 months

At HVNGRY Magazine I learned how to successfully run a large team of creatives. I founded HVNGRY to champion positive media for teen girls.

  • I and my two co-founders ran a team of over eighty writers, ten editors, five section leads and various photographers and illustrators.
  • We operated remote-first, with most of our editors and writers spread across four cities in New Zealand and the rest worldwide.
  • We achieved over 16,000 visits in the first week after launch, with zero advertising other than good old word-of-mouth.
  • We were selected as a finalist at the Webstock Start-up Alley.

Vaer Consulting

Designer, front end developer | Jan 2014 – May 2014 | 5 months

Vaer is a small consultancy specialising in SEO for WordPress websites. They brought me on to take care of customisation and maintenance of their clients’ websites. At Vaer all of our clients were overseas. I learned about client management and how to work with small businesses remotely.

  • I wrote CSS, HTML, JavaScript and PHP.
  • I mitigated a malicious attack, fixed our client’s security issues and then walked them through best security practices.

Freelance

Oct 2008 — Jan 2011, October 2013 – Jan 2014 | 2 years 3 months, 3 months

Although I had been making websites as a hobby since '99, I only started taking on paying clients in late 2008. My clients were small, local businesses. When required I would also do work in branding, event photography, and print design.

The most valuable thing that I learned from freelancing was how to communicate to and work with stakeholders. Though we will have the same business and customer goals, their design tastes will oftentimes be different. I learned how important it was to tell a coherent story about my work that they would understand, and thus be much happier with.

I took a break from freelancing for about two years to focus on university.

Education

University of California, Berkeley

Physics, Mathematics | 2012 (EAP year)

A highlight at Cal for me was studying number theory and cryptography under Ken Ribet, a mathematician who played an important role in the solve of Fermat’s Last Theorem.

I also worked as a research assistant with MAXIMA research group at the Lawrence Hall of Science, helping them make lenses to image the cosmic background radiation in the Atacama desert in Chile.

University of Otago

Honours (First Class), Physics | 2013

For my Honours (which, in New Zealand, is similar to a Masters) I specialised in two different topics in physics:

  • First, at the quantum scale. I studied spinor Bose-Einstein condensates and their interactions. You can read my thesis about this here.
  • Secondly, at the cosmic scale. I studied Einstein’s general relativity. You can read my notes from my presentation about Schwarzschild cavities here.

University of Otago

Bachelor of Science, Physics, Mathematics | 2010 – 2011

Community contributions

A healthy and happy community makes us all better — better at what we do, and better people, too. Here are some things that I'm involved in in my local community:

Speaking engagements

I enjoy sharing ideas and learning new things. Here are some conferences I have spoken at:

Published writing

References

Contact details available on request.

  • Stephen Bowe, Head of Digital, Bank of New Zealand.
  • Donal Devlin, Head of Design, Bank of New Zealand.
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