#14 The Experience Designer

Joe Macleod has been working in the mobile design space since 1998 and was recently listed in The Drum’s Designerati Top 100 Designers. At Nokia he helped develop some of the most streamlined packaging in the world, he created a hack team to disrupt the corporate drone of powerpoint, produced mobile services for pregnant women in Africa and pioneered lighting behaviour for millions of phones. For the last four years he has been key to establishing ustwo as the UKs best digital product studio, with 180 people globally in London, New York and Sweden, while also successfully building education initiatives, curriculums and courses on the back of the IncludeDesign campaign which launched in 2013.

Joe was involved in the initial conversations and workshops with Hyper Island when the proposal for a Digital Experience Design MA started to take shape. I’ve really valued my conversations with him on what this programme hsould be and how it is for and can’t wait to work with him next month.

I’m delighted Joe is going to be working with the students as part of their Experience Design Exploration Project.  Here’s what he has to say…

1. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?

Bringing groups together can add value beyond the sum of parts of those groups. For example, groups I talk to about design education have similar approaches and rolls. I noticed this after talking to the Design Council, D&AD, and Tech City at different periods over the last year. All had similar needs and ambitions, yet they rarely talk to one another. So I put together a small summit for them to come together and share strategy with a view to helping each other for the common good. It was very successful with lots of common ground where they could help one another. They now have an open dialogue and a regular meetings.

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2. What’s your burning question of the moment?
Defining and developing Closure Experiences so we can improve our consumer relationships and increase responsibility. The questions surrounding this issue are fairly numerous effecting all aspects of our western lives, but I am slowly chipping away at them as the months pass with the research.

3. What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?
Most certainly the Heat book by George Monbiot. Its the scariest thing I have read in years. Climate change is bigger than any war and there is so much miss-information about it. The author cuts through swathes of this to get to tangible, realistic goals that are archivable in slowing climate change to within the 2 degree target set by the IPCC.

4. What would be your one piece of advice to students on Hyper Island’s new MA in Digital Experience Design?
Take life seriously, take risk happily, and don’t believe designers have all the answers.