BuzzMyVideos :: Mobile CMS, UX, UI and Build

BuzzMyVideos is a leading MCN with over 5000 YouTube channels. I reported directly to the owners (two ex-YouTube executives). The majority of work I was tasked with involved setting up and managing a new mobile arm for the business that enabled their creators (including Roberto Saviano) to have their own apps on both the Google Play and Apple’s App Store. The apps were targeting the fans of the creators and contained a social feed with timeline-based posts from Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, a chat room, direct messaging with the creator and exclusive CMS-powered content and media not available elsewhere. My duties included planning and AB testing the UX, designing the base UI’s and creating detailed wire-frames and user journeys. I also setup an App CMS / Management suite on the Google Cloud and built a range of hybrid Mobile apps for individual Creators (JS / CSS3 / Rest API-based). I was also responsible for the day to day management of two offshore Mobile Development Agencies and built their new wordpress-based website.

Playabl :: IOS & Android Football Score Prediction App for Chelsea, Real Madrid etc

  • Technical Director for a range of Football Score prediction apps for the likes of Chelsea, Fulham, Real Madrid, Monaco and the Wolves.
  • Apps were built using the Ionic Framework within Cordova and are built using a combination of HTML5, CSS and Angular
  • All apps are ranked highly on both Apple’s App Store and Android Play Store.
  • Role included enabling the owners to gain clarity and visibility over the current state of the build and deliver the next steps to complete production on time and on budget.
  • Instilled process, setup and deployed project management tools, recruited developers and mentored the team.
  • UX audits, AB Testing and QA Control.
APPLE APP STORE: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/developer/playabl-limited/id1022893401 ANDROID PLAY STORE: https://play.google.com/store/apps/dev?id=5672004587872613797 WEBSITE: http://playabl.com/  

Hogarth Worldwide :: Freelance Technical Director

I was recruited to assist when their Technical Lead departed and just before a new Head of Digital took over. My role was very varied and included:
  • Working on apps, websites, online tools and digital display advertising for the likes of HSBC, Santander, Dior, BetFair and British American Tobacco.
  • Assisted outsourcing the majority of their development work to their rapidly growing network of owned off shore development teams.
  • Assisting HR to recruit the right fulltime employees (developers and QA) and project-based freelancers (Mobile, PHP + FrontEnd) via the ‘right’ channels and subsequently interviewing them.
  • Helping align the design team with frameworks (Bootstrap) and principles (Mobile First) to ensure the minimum friction between London-based design and offshore development.
  • Using WordPress as both a CMS, Mobile App Foundation and rapid prototyping tool to assist conveying complex sites and solutions with the minimum of time
  • Assisting the trans-creation team (localization) in automating the translations of large Drupal, WordPress and custom CMS based sites
  • Working alongside client services to assist managing clients expectations
  • Creating a MediaSpec Hub that aggregated all the media (banner) spec from publishers and
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  • Gave significant advice on internal technical projects like Zadar, SocialStream and Dep (a highly customized version of Jira)
  • Ultimately owning all internal technical decisions relating to both projects and how they are built and how both developers and QA work
  • Extensive working with and managing of offshore teams based in Romania, India and Africa to build apps, websites and online tools
  • Writing technical documentation on sites, builds and apis and Helping PMs with briefs, SOW’s and Functional Specs.
  • Managing the entire multilingual build of the new Hogarth Worldwide website and all their global satellite office
  • Instigating the use of Atlassians HipChat and GitHub Enterprise to both increase accountability and visibility, and streamline the development process
*Hogarth Worldwide is one of the fastest growing companies in the UK. Acting as the production hub for fellow WPP agencies (JWT, Ogilvy, Grey) and its own clients (Nike, HSBC, Burberry, Dior, HTC etc) its rapid success has seen it grow from 12 – 2000 employees in just 5 years, with over 18 offices around the world.

Billington Cartmell, Brave and Closer Live :: Technical Director

I was appointed Technical Director of Billington Cartmell (www.bcl.co.uk), their sister adverting agency, Brave (www.brave.co.uk) and their experiential arm, Closer (www.closerlive.co.uk) in January 2012. The group of companies between them represent a phenomenal array of leading clients including Carlsberg, Panasonic, Sennheiser, Philips, Unilever, Kraft, GSK, Lexus, Morrisons and Ernst & Young.

Panasonic :: 'Flag Tags' Facebook and Mobile App

  Panasonic is the official worldwide Olympic partner in the Audio Video Equipment Category, and whilst working as Technical Director of Brave I was responsible for technically overseeing their 2012 Olympics campaign, Flag Tags. Flag Tags allowed people around the world to show support for their country in the London 2012 Games by projecting a map onto the users face, applying a displacement filter and allowing it to be creatively edited to produce unique and personal effects. These could then be shared (‘Share the Passion’ was the strap line) and / or submitted to your nations gallery for a Flag Tag country leader board. The campaign started within Facebook as a Flash / Php App and due to its unprecedented success it was then ported to mobile for both iOS and Android. Over 50,000 people globally took part with no additional supportive advertising proving the viral success of a succinct idea. As Technical Director my input included working out the back-end, CDN and server infrastructure, researching and experimenting with the flash developer the best way to achieve the displaced flag effect without it looking ‘stuck on’, selecting the appropriate third party for the mobile build and assisting with QA throughout.

British Olympic Association / Team GB :: Technical Direction

I was at KitKattNohr Digitas, a top global Digital agency that’s part of the Publicis Group, to bring technical leadership to a range of private and public websites for the London 2012 Olympics, Team GB and the British Olympic Association (BOA). I am heavily in all areas of the Olympics based projects, from board level discussions with KNDs new merger-driven management team (Paul Kitkatt / Mark Nohr), to working with and overseeing creative’s, writing business and technical documentation, helping manage budgets and project burn, dealing daily with the client on a range of technical and non-technical issues, managing self appointed and client appointed third-parties, recruiting and managing developers, both in house and remote, and even managing to find the time to write some great code and offer inspirational leadership! The 6 websites are all built using Drupal 7 and leverage the advantages of a multisite Drupal configuration. Additional modules, including Organic Groups, Views, Mollum, WYSIWYG and Backup, are used and great care was taken to ensure the stability and maturity of these modules before signing off their acceptance within the build. The responsive grid-based theme framework, Omega, was chosen for the project predominately for its native support of HTML5 but also because of its liquid design principals and graceful degradation. Traditional (‘waterfall’), agile and prototyping build processes all used within the project and all the project management was done via MS Project and Jira.

The websites built for the Olympics were:

  1. New main website for the London2012 Olympics (www.olympics.org.uk)
  2. A secure Athlete Accreditation Site
  3. Campaign Micro site for ‘Join Our Greatest Team’ campaign that also featured advanced Flash
  4. Private partner-facing Olympic Pledge site for all Olympic sponsors employees
  5. A community and forum based site for the friends and families of Olympians
  6. A video driven ‘welcome pack’ site for UK athletes who have been selected

* All sites had an accessibility implementation of Double A, and graded browser support to include IE6. ** Mobile and IOS support was also included.

Below is a brief summary of my work:

  • Heavily client-facing. I was the single technical contact point for the multiple projects, my role included the presenting of ideas, board level discussions and multiple technical and business-related meetings
  • Researched and agreed the requirements for a bespoke sports based CMS for both web and screen based (offices, Olympic village etc) content during the 2012 Olympics that enabled two communication from athletes to the public and the public back to the athletes
  • Conception of ideas with creative’s and identifying technologies to enhance the sites functional creativity and overall stickiness (like using databases to create rich immersive comment driven digital walls in the athletes village)
  • Third party technology provider discussion, evaluation and leadership including ePlayer, Movergy, GBSports TV, InfoStrada, YouTube, AnchorFan, Gigya and Getty
  • Installation, configuration and evaluation of social networking and DMS technologies (open source and commercial) for use within the campaign elements of the site.
  • Technical meetings with other relevant organisations  like the IOC and Locog and sponsors like BP, Mini, Cadburys and TechnoGym
  • The facilitating of widget-based API, MRSS and RSS based data sources for real-time content
  • Dealing with Rackspace, Amazon and Akamai and identifying and arranging suitable cloud servers, load balancing, content delivery networks and security
  • Full content audits of legacy Olympic sites by Haymarket and Cisco.
  • Mitigating against loss of data, establishing ownership of the  different types of data, the selection and installation of SSL and arranging for Penetration Testing by a ethical hacking organisation
  • Writing test scripts and organising internal and remote QA
  • UX, Wire-Framing, Mind Mapping and Prototyping

In addition other work I achieved for KitKattNohr Digitas includes:

  • Helped instigate process and working methodology within KitKattNohr Digitas by meeting with all key directors and identifying concerns (Accounts, Planning, Project Management, Creative and Tech)
  • Interviewing and hiring of technical and front end staff including high-level Drupal developers
  • Working closely with Graphic Designers to ensure maximum leverage of liquid designs, the responsive grid and limit ‘over design’ at early stages of the project

HyperNaked :: Freelance Technical Director

Hyper is a phenomenally successful creative media agency whose clients include Nokia, Cadburys and Sony. They have just merged with Naked to form HyperNaked. I was recruited by them as freelance Technical Director to assist with technical guidance and leadership on two concurrent projects for their clients, Cadburys and Pedigree. It was also my duty to act as a creative technologist and contributre to a pitch for a potential client.

Cadburys :: 'Keep Team GB Pumped' Technical Direction

I was recruited by HyperNaked as freelance Technical Director to technically lead their client Cadburys’ London 2012 Olympic campaign. Cadburys are one of the British Olympic Associations and the Games main sponsors. The campaign, running now, is called “Keep Team GB Pumped” and the idea is that members of the UK public can record themselves via webcam singing 1 of 12 songs pre-selected to help inspire the athletes in their training. (Eye of the Tiger, Simply the Best etc). The recordings are then extracted on the server and recompiled as individual tracks or combined to form a UK Public choir for use in the TV and Radio Campaigns running up to and during London 2012. The application element of the site was flash based with a Red 5 Media Server to facilitate the audio / web cam recording. Other non-flash (Dhtml, Html) elements were also used for website content and within the Facebook page. The job included:
  • Writing the technical documentation and project scope
  • Wireframing, UX and some simple Prototyping
  • Evaluation and appointment of development agency (Stink Digital)
  • Numerous client meetings both technical and non technical
  • Meetings with Cadburys preferred technology providers about hosting and data storage
  • Numerous meetings and negotiations with YouTube with reference to using YouTube channels and YouTube Connect
  • Negotiating with both Rackspace, Amazon and Akamai re Cloud based solutions, CDN’s and Load Balancing.

Ki Performance :: Chief Technical Officer for StartUp

I was appointed Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Ki Performance, a leading health and wellbeing provider to primarily manage their technical relationships with third parties, spec and develop white-labelled health and diet portals and create affiliate technologies that could increase sales opportunities. It was a very hands on role with considerable time was spent using Open Source, namely WordPress and Magento. Whilst there i was also designed and built a rich media campaign to increase armband sales and even planned and deployed the placements of these ads on Google’s Ad Network. Additionally I had to maintain and develop their ASP-based ecommerce site, their Word Press-based blog, their YouTube channel and other online press and PR. Internally, I was involved with the day to day running of the business, acting as a catalyst to working smarter at every opportunity. Areas included creating a content archive, introducing cloud-based collaboration including the externalising of all communications and creating an in house support ticketing system utilising trellis desk. Substantial time was also spent investigating the migration of their current .ASP eCommerce store to an open source Magento-based system.

VoiceApps :: New Business Venture

Voice-enabled applications and services

VoiceApps is taking communications to the next level by utilizing the latest technologies to offer advanced voice-enabled applications and services for both business and personal use. VoiceApps product and service range includes:
  • Voice-enabled Advertising
  • Voice-enabled Web
  • Corporate Communications Tools
  • Call Center Plug-ins
  • Desktop Apps
  • Mobile Apps (iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian OS)
  • Social Networking Apps (Facebook, MySpace, Bebo)
  • E-Ticketing & V-Ticketing
  • SMS (computer to mobile and mobile to computer)
  • Sonic Triggers and Audio Commercials
  • Dating Widgets
  • E-Learning
  • Automated Voice to Text Transcription
  • Advanced Call Management