I'm a BAFTA award winning interactive creative developer and designer with over
16 years online and digital experience.
Thanks to working in most of the top London full-service digital media agencies for years, and am used to hitting the ground running and completing the projects to very tight deadlines at short notice.
Fortunately I've had opportunities to work across a varied range of projects using my wide range of skills. I have worked with hundreds of great people while London based and now I am based in York, UK I continue to work with the same people, just via the the magic of the telephone and email. My opportunities so far have allowed me to explore a great range of work and win multiple awards from the likes of:
The Royal Television Society
Y Design Awards
BBC / CBBC / BBC worldwide
Dolca & Gabbana
AwardsDuracell and DTP's Summer Athletics for Waste Creative
"When you have Mike on your project you can rest assured it will be delivered on time, on budget, beyond your original expectations... Always delivered with good humour and a smile!! An absolute pleasure to work with."
Projects: In-store promotional for Will.i.am, Brilliant Futures, Medical iPad app and many other touchscreen apps and iPad apps.
"We had a great experience working with Mike on a project with very tough requirements and a tight, non-movable deadline. There was real commitment and stamina in delivering the work, and it was a pleasure to work with him. Highly recommended."
Projects: We are the people, Virgin Media
"Mike's a pleasure to work with. His pro-activeness, expertise and clear estimations allowed us to deliver the project on-time and on-budget."
Projects: Fishermen's friend for Greenpeace
"Mike was an absolute pleasure to work with and a valued member to our team. Despite the short timelines he exceeded our expectations in the delivery of the project and we appreciate how quickly he was able to turn it around for us. I would highly recommend him and will definitely be using him again in the future. "
Bedrock Healthcare Communications
"We hired Mike based on his reputation as an excellent games developer. Mike quickly established himself within the project, grasping the complexities and providing invaluable advice on enhancements. His ability to produce high quality work within tight timescales, combined with strong self-management and communication skills and easy-going nature, meant he more than lived up to his reputation. I wouldn't hesitate in hiring Mike again."
Projects: Tesco Delivery Dash, Imagination Challenge
"Mike's in-depth technical expertise and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty meant that we produced a great-looking tool on-time and on-budget."
Projects: Boots skincare consultation
"I've called upon Mike's expertise on numerous marketing projects, which he has always over delivered on. He is a pleasure to work with and we consider him as part of team Montage."
Nav Saini, Technical Director
Projects: Viglen HTML5 website, Viglen IT banners
The client came to me to concept, design and build several interactive 'attractor' apps for their latest line of very large multi-touch TVs. These TVs are located in hotel lobbies, trade shows, clubs etc. They play one of the attractor apps in demo mode until a passer-by's interest is piqued and they investigate and play with attractor.
Each interactive had to intresting enough in demo mode but also highly 'touchable' and playful when a user (or multipule users) came to play. The high-end TVs have an nice Android system on-board to run these interactives.
Merseyrail wanted to clearly display 3 groups of information all on the same screen. I started from sratch designing the UI to be to be both easy to scan and easy to dril-down into the live data. The boards/screens show:
• Arrivals and deptatures for the assigned station
• Merseyrail's real-time 'trains on time' status and the rolong average from the last 2 hours, along with the national average of these for comparision.
• The current state of both lines and the four major stations along those lines.
HTML/ajax/php talking to National Rail's DARWIN live train webservice, merseyrail's own PPM and line status feeds.
Most of my work is repeat work for happy clients and agencies. Studio Montage hired me once again to add to our previous work for Viglen.
I also pumped out the animated GIFs as a backup for the small minority without the latest HTML5 browsers.
I designed and built a roster system for Merseyrail that handles their very complicated shift patterns and rota systems for all their stations and support workers. Admin users can easily add new rotas, build shift patterns, add new people to shifts from the LDAP employee lookup system and generate shift sheets for any future week.
The Post Office had a need to train their new staff in all the complicated ins and outs of manning the Bureau de change. I was hired by the Nottingham agency SpinningClock to code a responsive HTML5 game. The game... er I mean learning tool makes use of HTML5's canvas, preloads each level as needed and enhances the experience with some nice smooth animation.
The rich media experience had to be just as useable as an iPhone app but in the iOS browser. The website obviously is perfectly fine for all modern browsers on pc and Mac too as well as Android mobiles and tablets - basically the Post Office wanted employees learning all the time, whereever they were ;)
Merseyrail had a lot of staff missing out on access to their intranet because they were not in the same place long enough to log onto their desktop machines. The solution was a set of 90+ touchscreens dotted around station break rooms and driver rest stops, that had all the best from the intranet and was a gateway to more in-depth info.
The screens show lots of 'quick bite' snippets of dynamic information; the current weather direct from the MET office, line running status, latest news etc. But also have meatier servings like an LDAP powered employee lookup, 'post-it' note message system for staff comms, latest Merseyrail news stories, job vacancies, commly needed forms along with the usual high-frequency external links of Google, Network Rail, BBC news etc.
We had a choice of 6 classrooms to fill with all sorts of posh products, all accessible via the animated menu. The user simply dragged and dropped their chosen products into the scene, scaling them as required.
Once the user is happy with their prefect classroom, they get to save it for future reference. Or they can print or email the room to their IT dept. to get the ball rolling with a big hint ;)
The website works on all flavours of browsers supporting HTML5.
I produced a cross device mobile application for the nice people in the fashion and textiles dept. of The School of Arts and Digital Industries of The University of East London.
The app scales to fit any screen on iOS and android devices. We have lots of video and PDF content, which is browsable via the app, along with database of FAQs. I also created the CMS and database that powers this app and allows management of the videos, PDFs and FAQ items. The web service chooses the most relevant video size for the device, so we don't waste bandwidth.
The app was designed to be used offline too. Allowing the students to download the content they need, while they are on the Uni's wifi, for later use. So no more having to reply on decent wifi (now there is no excuse to not work on the tube too).
Novacroft needed 2 video emails. I worked along side a great copywriter; Tiphanie Mellor. Along with designing and building the emails, my main task was to design and animate the videos.
For the first video we needed the excitment of new year to spill over from the email while delivering the company's new year message. A second video was a lot calmer and conveyed the brand information while floating around in a spring meadow on a balmy spring day - a very relaxing job this turned out to be.
Another straight-forward and quick project for CBS. I coded a nice reveal effect for the text in these banners so even if you have seen them before or see 2 on the same page, they are a little different each time. I prefer to code all animation effects if possible as it makes little things like randomly scrolling backgrounds a lot quicker to implement and scroll smoother as a bonus.
2 sets of 5 banners, along with GIF backups and a few Facebook ads all in under 2 days - everything goes nice and smoothly when everyone knows what they are doing (thanks, once again to the pros Ignition Creative) which leaves a happy client who comes back for more.
It is a bit of a web advertising cliché; a snowboarder 'breaking' out of one side of the site overlay and landing on the other side, but it was fun to do still. I got to keep my After Effects skills sharp while producing the 4 'flavoured' sets of the banners for loads of sites each. Formats included full site takeovers and pop up video banners all complemented by various leaderboard, mpu and sky units, across 2 media serving platforms.
I still think snowboarding is silly as you get cold hands and fall over a lot. Strange hobby ;)
I love the challenge of visualising massive data sets in an organic and user friendly way. Whether it be a small graphic to show loads of weather information in a single glance or creating dynamic environments that evolve as you navigate a massive database to find that useful set of data out of the 70,000+ items.
Another quick project, straight forward, nothing too complicated, just some nice animation. Another project with Ignition Creative where everything just goes to plan which keeps costs down and makes everyone happy.
The RNLI needed their e-card system completely redoing so it could handle animated covers, inside cover images or text and a few other little dynamic tweaks. It was a short turnaround and worked perfectly first time. Happy client and nice to have another great charity on the portfolio.
Dulux needed to bring the content, essence and success of their new brand exhibition in Athens to all employees and not just the ones lucky enough to be there in person. I was hired once again by the good people at DesignBridge London to produce the downloadable desktop application (runnable on both Macs & PCs) that easily showed all the in-depth content needed to deliver the brand concepts.
The project's UI was based around a 3D generated, room-by-room fly through. The viewer would navigate rooms either sequentially or via the jump navigation. Once you are in the 'room' then all the interactive points of interest animate on ready to take you to their content. Videos, poster images and pdfs are all viewable in the app or a print resolution version is ready to download.
The Ashes 2013 held an exclusive launch dinner inviting lots of big-wigs and cricket people along to Lords cricket ground. For my little part of this I built a dual platform invitation application which was sent out on a clever little usb credit card made by Goosewire. The lucky invitee puts the card into their computer and is greeted by Graeme Swann.
I also designed and built the mySQL database to capture the attendee's registration details sent from the desktop Flash application. I build several layers of error handling into the system that gracefully degraded if any problems cropped up. The dinner invitee was then sent to a little mini-site for further videos of Graeme and his chums.
They have some quality old programmes on CBS drama and they rightly wanted to shout about it in a series of expandable video banners. I built 5 different sizes of expandable banners. Once expanded the user had 4 different videos to sit back and enjoy before (hopefully) clicking through to find out more.
Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts don't make an appearance in this little banner I built for Ignition Creative, but then I only had 50k to play with. Even with 50kb (well, I was allowed to sneak an extra 1.5k without the media people complaining ;) I still managed to use my Flash animator skills to get 6 frames of lovely smooth fading and a video background! I'd had to employ all the little video tricks to get all the content, including the video and code crammed into 33k as the media component took up over 18k before we'd started.
The Vulcans need to recolonise the planet, you are put at the helm in charge of selecting the perfect place for the construction and surveying that needs to be done on the planet's surface. Once again working with people at Harkable and this time with a great illustrator called Guy Warley, I used my Flash developer skills to create the Flash game application and good old fashioned animations (I'd almost forgot all about character walk cycles and smoke effects! It is a refreshing change to be utilised as a freelance Flash animator as well as a freelance Flash developer). A new mission was released each day of the month. My application build was nice and dynamic so handled every new day easily thanks to a nice back-end that talked nicely with the Flash game. The game supported 15 languages.
As play progressed over the days the landscape built up as the levels progressed - remember that mine we built on level 15, well it is now up and running and looks great. The user can drag around the map or just use the mini-map to click to scroll to that position. As the terrain develops my code takes into account the areas where you can and can't build or prospect anymore - there is no point trying to land your ship in the water or on the side of a mountain!
Whenever I get a spare moment I try and make a small program that helps explore an area of computational design. This is design (or art) that is created through the use of interactive/iterated algorithms. These vary from experimental interfaces to 10 minute toys. ...mostly just used to generate nice posters ;)
Working alongside the chaps and chapesses at Tangent90 once again, I built an iPad application for an undisclosed pharma company (hence the really blurry thumbnails). I developed a front end iOS application to work with Tangent 90's document vending system. The user logs in, at which point the app goes and checks the server for the documents they have access to and then the iPad application downloads all these docs ready (so we can work offline just as well). The documents (pdfs, videos, sounds clip etc.) can be viewed on the app but can also be selected to be emailed the user for further reading on their desktop.
The app handles portrait and landscape happily, relaying out the content to suit and also scales the graphics to suit the retina iPad3 or the iPad1&2.
I like being a freelance designer and developer as I get to work with lots of nice people, once again with the smart people at Tangent90 I built an AIR app that played out over a few plasma screens in the entrance of Selfridges London. The installation took pictures of everyone coming through the door, which then where cropped to a head and shoulders image (all this clever stuff done by Tangent90) which then found themselves 'dropping' into my mosaic of other customer's faces. The mosaic tiles are then colour tinted and make up a larger image of Will.i.am.
Depending which version is running at the time, we either play a promo HD video every few minutes or (my personal favourite) explode the mosaic's tiles and spin them around in 3D before putting them back in their correct places. For no reason beyond eye candy but, for once, that is what you need to attract the passers-by attention.
What could be better for Christmas than a personal video from Michael Bublé? How about two videos!
I worked with Harkable on this video mapping Facebook app. The user gets to give Michael a present to unwrap; a photo of themselves or a friend. Then a 'good' ending or a 'bad' ending is chosen depending what reaction you would like from Mr Bublé. The good ending will make every Michael Bublé fan happy as he kisses your chosen photo which I (after brushing off my video motion tracking skills) magically motion tracked into the picture frame on the Flash video in real time.
A nice little twist, which is a testament to Bublé's humour, is that you can also have an 'unhappy' ending. I won't give it away but needless to say Michael is not happy with his photo present, but it a great way to tease a non-Bublé fan, ...if you can find one.
I produced a quickly turned around Flash demo of an iPhone app for a client who had a great idea and needed a visually working run through of an iPhone program to present to potential investors to get them on board. I can't say much about the project as it is still under wraps (hence the blurry screen shots) but I can say the demo did it's job and helped win funding for the project which is now underway.
UK fishermen are not getting a fair price for their catch, Greenpeace, working with the agency Zone, decided to highlight this by allowing Facebook users to star in their own sea shanty. The experience is a pre rendered video with the user's name and profile pic seamlessly overlay onto the footage. The personalisation included a shop name,the user's profile pic blended into the pub scene and even a personalised tattoo motion tracked onto a moving arm.
Working with the agency Tangent90, I produced an application that ran on 3 large touch sensitive plasma screens to be shown at trade shows. The project was based around an infinite 'big wheel' carousel of content tiles that then clicked through to a video and some more copy. Users could save details of which content they had viewed for later review.
This luxury property site (Flash with simple html fall back) was crafted over 2 years with a 'high quality' ethos always in mind. The site runs off a CMS for most content and a bespoke XML doc for the more complicated portfolio sections.
Working once again with very nice people at Yomego design agency I created this Facebook app for Tesco. The player gets to play the part of unsung heroes that pack your online delivery by grabbing the items from a conveyor belt of products for 4 customers at the same time.
Each level gets faster and harder which would be OK if it wasn't for the random punctures and heavy traffic! Strangely addictive and I'm still not sure why, but then again I don't understand shopping either ;) Statistics time:
-100k plays in (just over) the first month
- the average user playing 16 times
- nearly 200 players playing the game for over 6 hours (100+ times)
- 1 player has played over 1200 times, that is nearly 3 days worth of game play!
With so many people playing such a 'sticky' game it is a good job we tested thoroughly before turning it out into the wild.
Working once again with the nice people at MediaCom I created a custom YouTube front end to EA Sport's FIFA channel. The videos, thumbnails and copy were all served up from MediaCom's back-end via XML which also controlled the tabs. All-in-all leaving EA with an easy to update and flexible custom channel which they update constantly.
Working with the guys at yomego Scotland I built a nice little user generated content viewer. All the user's competition entries can be filtered by location and then the app selects a random selection of entries from that location to display. Some are videos, some are images, some portrait and some landscape - the app handles them all.
Thanks to yomego's Facebook API, we also were able to use the app to view the user's Facebook photos.
The client needed to place the project on different sites at different sizes so it is nice and scalable to fit any size that gets thrown at it :)
A lot of banner projects are straightforward enough, no boundary push and no bleeding edge, just simple and effective animation that helps the message get across. I produced a set of banners for FedEx, a few sizes each for 2 regions.
Two facets to the same project here. First is a set of banners for Fujitsu's 'cloud' computing solution. The second I had to dust off the old Photoshop skills and produce a mock up of a live projection animation.
Sometimes it is nice just to do some old skool animation. For the Cabana website I dusted off my After Effect skills and made a 3D animated menu in the style of window shutters. I put this into a little Flash wrapper and made a menu for the homepage of the site.
Dotted around the site are little animated drawings. I just couldn't help myself with these anims though and ended up animating a lot of them with code so they were different each time the user came back. I don't like the punters getting bored!
I've made 5-6 versions over the years of this project to show off Warner Bros' back catalogue of children's DVDs. Each time adding a little here and there, sometimes adding a game or a little piece of interaction. The latest version got a conveyor belt and robotic arm and user controlled mood lighting, ...I can't quite remember why now.
Airbus only wants the best and most suited graduates for their training programs and jobs. Working with Digital Mosaic's designs, I built this career path chooser which took the applicant on a journey of 5-6 questions and then suggested the best area of the Airbus group to apply to.
An XML based decision maker and some slick 3D tilting and panning makes this project stand out from the usual recruitment tool.
Drayton Manor have a new ride opening - the Ben 10 Ultimate mission ride - and they wanted to tell the target audience about it, well any of the audience that are over 1.2m tall. So I was hired by my friends waste creative to make a mini-site in the Ben10 flavour with the usual info about Drayton Manor and a nice little 'being on a roller-coaster while shooting at baddies' game. Can you guess what the new roller-coaster ride is like? ;)
Once the user has followed a link from a placed YouTube video, they are granted access to Mi5's computer system giving users the chance to become a 'spook'.
I helped design the UI and the mini-tools. I built it in a slick manner with sliding and semi-opaque windows so the user felt they were peeking into classified documents in order to find out who they could trust.
'Chris Moose' quiz (say it in a Scottish accent to get the pun ;) was a quick little quiz I coded for the Scottish agency JamHot. The questions are from a big XML set of varying degree of difficulty and all the text was updateable by the client at any time again via XML. Chris Moose has a lot to say so I got the chance to dust off the animation skills for Chris when he is giving feedback and talking. The quiz also has a PHP/mySQL high score system, which I built to complete the package.
Working once again with Waste Creative I coded this little mini-site in super quick time time ready for all 15 languages and 100,000's of fans wanting to know about the latest in the Ben 10 line - the 'ultimate alien'.
The site has videos, games, Ben10 facts, favourite alien voting results and even loads of masks you can download and print out :)
HSBC wanted a presentation tool to introduce the speakers of a major conference. The tool had to scale and work with 56" plasmas as well as touch screens and had to be updateable on the day by the people presenting it. So I built a presentation that scaled perfectly and was easily updateable via XML at any time, it was just what they needed.
To highlight F-Secure's anti personal identity theft program, I created a Facebook app that showed a video of John dropping his credit card on the floor for anyone to play with. The video then zooms into the card and the details warp into the Facebook user's own name to highlight they may need F-Secure's product too.
I created an hero product viewer for the main pages of kittydolittle.com. The viewer takes any number of products and lays them out in space to fit nicely and then shows each product at once with some nice animation. Simple and effective.
I was tasked by Random42, a specialist biological 3D rendering outfit in Soho, to show off their new high-definition molecular animations. Luckily I didn't have to understand any of it.
Scottish agency Chunk tasked me with building 3 Flash games for inclusion in Cadbury's new online children's book and activity website.
I created an animal piano game where we get to play follow the leader and copy a well know song or the player can just freestyle. The next mini game was a jigsaw game. But not just any jigsaw game, this one has advanced snapping to groups to aid the building process - just like you would with a real jigsaw. The last game was a nice and simple 'painting by numbers' type game where you colour in the supplied line drawing - no worrying about going outside the lines here :)
We are the people movie is about the state of education in Britain. The site is a massive 2D parallax of 'paths' which the user follows around. I coded the movie's site to a short turn around. It has quite a few talking heads with people like Richard Branson and Henry Winkler ('the fonz' oh yeah).
Virgin wanted to point out to everyone that they are better than Sky. They wanted to show, in an engaging way, all the breadth of content and cool stuff they have like video on demand and pausing live TV.
Virgin wanted it to be better than the 3D video fly through that Sky have (which amused me as I made the Sky one a year earlier). This was a short turnaround project, just under 3 weeks, as Virgin had a two stage launch plan. But thanks to the great people at Spike/Elvis and the freelance creative art direction from Jim managed to do near enough everything they wanted for stage two but by the stage one deadline.
I coded 2 in banner games for the launch of GI Joe the movie. In HALO dropzone you take control of our hero as he jumps high altitude and avoids the sky mines and flak on the way down. In Tank Commander you get a tank to fight your way through the village and out to safety.
A few cool extra touches on these games are the smoke fumes that change colour and opacity based on the revs of the diesel engine and the real physics of the drive tracks. No one asked for them, and it's a bit geeky, but I like it.
DTP's Summer athletics 2009 and Duracell got together and wanted an online experience to drive awareness of the game's launch and the new rechargeable batteries for the bunny ;)
I coded the 4 events from the main game each with a bespoke game engine and control system to give the player a taste of what was to come on the Wii.
Gucci's high standards were evident throughout the attention to detail in this project. My Flash dev skills were needed by agency Critical Mass to create highlights like the interactive 3D fly through of the 'flora' motif's history. I was also tasked with everything from html to After Effects work when needed.
Quote Exchange wanted a fun way to lighten up the business of the quote comparison world. I coded in Flash, a little world which allowed the users to explore the offered content while being entertained and charmed.
I added nice little touches on top of the content exploration to make sure the user was there out of choice; little things like the working toaster (jam sold separately) and some movable fridge magnet letters - my record is 4 rude words.
The M&M'S Full colour gaming site was for cross promotion with EA games. So I was tasked to develop 3 games along the lines of EA's finest... but using M&M's rather than golf balls or cars!
I made 3 little physics based games where the track was destructible and the golf ball has a flight path O'meter and amfPHP highscores tables.
You 'crunk off' (dance off for oldies ;) against the computer or challenge your friend (via email) to compete in a turn based game.
I designed this trolley dash game for Kodak (while freelancing at OgilvyOne) and had nothing to do with the build at all! - bit of a change from usual. The idea was to teach people about the package deals they could get from buying bundled products whilst having a bit of fun.
A lifestyle website to give info and aspiration for the 'Elegance' perfume from Proctor and Gamble. The site is in five languages, including ru_RU.
Polaroids are flung on the floor of a young lady's apartment. The user zooms in and around the polaroids, finding video clips as they go, to explore the 5 stages of getting a cold sore.
Unilever wanted a 'bendy' empty toothpaste tube to show that the container can be recycled into various objects. So the MPU is a timed game allowing the user to bend the tube to make chairs or roofs.
Marks and Spencer wanted a easily updated image viewer and links for the homepage. The 'hero image' viewer sits in prime spot on the homepage and is updateable via their CMS. There is also a video player version.
Fimbling Fun! is a CD-ROM for fans of TV program aged 2-6. I acted as head programmer on this project, making all the technical demos in the early stages. This was a lot of fun to work on as the Fimbles are so cute :) I am very proud of being able to name all the Fimbles and their friends without having to think about it.
At the BBC's interactive TV design department, I designed and built interfaces and models for current and future interactive TV services as part of the 'Future Interface group'.
This ranges from simple 'now and next' type screen overlays to imagining future interfaces for the next gen. of digital personal recorders which need to allow browsing and searching of 70,000 data items.
Commissioned by the DTI for the Sunday Times newspaper. There are over 400+ articles over both CDs, these all come from a rational database on the discs. Each article has photos, diagrams or video clips to accompany it.
4.5 million discs were pressed and, along with being on the cover of the Sunday Times, they were also sent out to all schools in the UK & commonwealth.
This is a very dynamic project, that even generates graphic elements from the data. There is a full weighted search on both CD-ROM.
Developed for the Royal Institute of Great Britain. from some of my game concepts. The InsideOut website is designed for 11-14 year olds to help inspire them to science. I created 3 games for the site, Human Cannonball, Energy Quest and Flick the Flea.
The InsideOut site was showcased in DIGIT magazine and BAFTA nominated.
From my original interface concept UI design, I produced an exciting learning tool for 11-14 year olds to learn about the UK and it's places of interest they can visit. The spinning menu and zooming map are an exciting way into the roughly 2000 pieces of database driven content. This flagship application of www.gridClub.com helped the site walk away with a BAFTA, a BETT and an Emma Foundation award.
I produced 4 children's games as part of Channel 4's 'What If?' website, supporting the TV show of the same name. The games taught basic maths in an entertaining and transparent way.
The What if? website was in support of Channel4's What if? Children's TV program.
A rather dark Christmas viral email game where you play the part of a snowman who throws snowballs at other snowmen, whilst trying to avoid smashing the windows! This was a great project where my only brief was 'we need a game to go out via email and you have two weeks to do it in.
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