Fast-forward and 2016 would be a landmark year for a more mature Makemedia. Not only was it the most successful to date, it would coincide with the company's tenth birthday.
Although size isn't necessarily an indication of progress, by the summer of that birthday year Makemedia was nearly forty-strong with permanent and long-term contract staff.
With the design team making up it's biggest proportion of the company since I started, the studio had slowly matured from the fledgling group I joined in 2009. The last 24 months in particular saw some of the most challenging, high quality design work delivered by the team to date.
As Head of Design and later Director of Design and UX, I was empowered to improve design practice at Makemedia. Tasked with bringing more mature UX and design disciplines to a previously development-orientated organisation, a talented design team would emerge.
I've been lucky enough to welcome some exceptional designers to the team over the years, each of whom I've learned an enormous amount from (pro tip: always hire people better than you!). Without their efforts and expertise, Makemedia wouldn't have matured into the more design-focused organisation it is today.
I've also been fortunate to learn from talented practitioners outside of my own discipline; excellent developers, project managers, sales and finance experts alike.
Makemedia felt like a family from day one, so it was with enormous pride and fond memories that I recently made the decision to move on to professional adventures new.
I'm embarking on something I've been keen to explore for a while: going solo as a freelance digital product designer.
I'll continue to be based in Brighton, having bought my first home here last year. This is a great city to work in, but i'll also be considering contract opportunities in London, the South East and beyond (whenever practical).
I'm also hoping to put the management skills I gained at Makemedia to good use. I'm interested in assignments that allow me to support organisations building positive design culture, either through dedicated roles or as a facet of my hands-on design work.
I'm available for freelance work from late September 2017.
In the interim I'm available to meet individuals or organisations who may wish to work together. Even if you don't have a project starting this Autumn, I'd love to meet for a coffee and chat through ways we could collaborate in future.
If you'd like to get in touch, please contact me and i'll get back to you as soon as possible.