Everything I Know is a site about service design, interaction design, and design in general. It’s an effort to get years of experience out of my head and into the world. It is proudly subjective and opinionated. It’s for designers, students, tutors and anyone else who is interested.

Use the links below to browse past articles. (some are pretty old but new ones are heading this way)


I've joined CIID in Copenhagen

I'm happy to say that I have take a postion with CIID (Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design). I am now Design Director in the Consultancy. 

I had taught the service design module of the CIID Interaction Design Programme for three years and enjoyed the place so much I decided to stay.

I was very sad to leave Made by Many, I had a great time there and they are an amazing, talented bunch of people (and one lovely dog). I'll miss them lots.

I look forward to engaging with new challenges, new clients, new sectors, working with different countries and most of all my new colleagues who have already made me feel so welcome.


see more at ciid.dk


It's been a long time - "I want the world!" - inside user insight

"I want the world!" - inside user insight:


I wrote some words on our approach to user insight at Made by Many - paper, pairs and precious things, singing, riffing, attacking and organisms, experience, market stalls, and always leave them wanting more...






Welcome distractions

Potential interviewees


Recently I’ve done a few user interviews via Skype, this has been incredibly useful as I meant that we didn’t have to travel to speak to users in other countries. I’ve done phone interviews before, but using Skype was much better. And it’s not because of the video.

We interviewed some people using video and others with just audio. I found the video interviews distracting, they had the same feel as when you interview with only a list of questions as stimulus. It’s all about eye contact and it feels very earnest, it’s uncomfortable for both sides. 

If this was a face to face situation like this I’d always have some paper stimulus (sketches, diagrams for mapping technology use/social interactions etc.) These help take the attention away from the fact that you are probing into people’s lives, ambitions, desires and let the conversation flow. Having something on the table to point at and discuss, makes things flow much better.

With Skype audio only, we were able to send through these kind of paper documents (in digital form) and talk them through with the users in an uninhibited way. This gave them something to distract them from the questions being asked and start to talk more openly. The conversation seemed to flow a lot easier.

When we did the same thing with video (send files etc) it still became stilted, we were drawn back to the eye contact thing. The stimulus was secondary to the video

So my thoughts at the moment are:

Audio only = awkward

Audio + Video = awkward

Audio + Video + Visual stimulus = better but video distracts in a  bad way, visual stimulus becomes secondary

Audio + Visual stimulus = good. visual stimulus distracts in a good way, just enough to get conversation flowing

If you have any similar experience, leave a comment to share with others


Experience Prototyping Methods - What's it like to be the service? 

Click to download/open A3 pdf (595k)

I've had this on the go for a while and thought it would be good to share. pdf It's a matrix of Experience Prototyping methods for Service Design. It's in progress of course so I might update it at some point.

Basically it suggests methods of cheap, quick prototyping over a simple service journey and through a number of channels (there could of course be many more, specific to the service). These prototypes should be tested with users (small numbers are best).

I hope it shows how you can prototype 'bigger' experiences than just 'screen' ones, and that you can do it easily, learn fast, iterate and develop your ideas.

Doing this kind of prototyping not only shows you what users like/dislike, find desirable or not, it also shows YOU what it's like to BE the service.


Simple interaction plus great content = winning emotional experience

I got a sneaky look at the Oxfam Curiosity Shop in Selfridges yesterday. Part of which is being put together by my very good mate Jon Rogers from The Product Design Research Studio at the University of Dundee – ( College of Art, Science and Engineering and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art) in collaboration with  Brunel University, Edinburgh College of Art, University College London, University of Salford.

It’s a celeb donated charity shop in the stylish setting of Selfridges.

What I wanted to mention was the interactive piece Jon and co. have been working on:
It’s very simple: donated items are tagged with an paper label and RFID tag.


When the scanner is passed over the tag it prompts a video to play.

It’s pretty simple and we’ve seen things like this before. But it’s the combination of the nicely designed equipment, simple interaction and fantastic content that brings it to life.

We scanned Annie Lennox’s dress and saw the video of her holding it and saying where she wore it and how much she liked it etc.

It’s an incredibly emotional experience. The connection between the item in your hand and the narrative really made you want to buy, it makes you want to give money. A good example of how content, form and interaction need to work hand in hand to produce excellent interaction/service experiences.

In the end though, I decided not to buy the dress, green’s not my colour.

Get down there and try it out.