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

Integra CLO :: WordPress Site

Integra Community Living Options provides residential support and rehabilitation for men and women with enduring mental health issues and complex needs between the ages of 18 to 64. I was commissioned by them to build a new website to replace their rather dated original site. Built using WordPress, the site closely follows their branding guidelines to produce a clean, simple interface enabling visitors to find exactly what they want, easily. The site was setup to be instantly scalable and self managed by their various staff.

Ibiza Delivers :: eCommerce Consultancy & Magento Prototyping

I was asked to be a technical consultant by Ibiza Delivers, an exciting Ibiza-based start-up, that aims to be the Balerics answer to Ocardo. They wanted a robust eCommerce store with real-time functionality to enable a multitude of advanced requirements including Multiple suppliers with perishable stock, Warehouse packaging, Member based services and Lorry distribution management. With my significant eCommerce experience, having technically directed the likes of All Saints, Reiss and Gants eCommerce stores, they came to me seeking professional advise on the best approach to take. I setup a Lamp testing server running Magento, researched and installed the suitable extensions and created a test site in order for them to assess the proposed route of action albeit with some bespoke advanced functionality missing. Having proved the concept to them in was then responsible for the selection of a suitable company to facilitate the remaining advanced, bespoke customisations and host the service with watertight SLA. I am retained on an ad hoc basis and continue to offer technical and creative advise.

Gracelands Yard :: BuddyPress Site

Gracelands yard is basically a collective of alternative therapists and practitioners working together to offer a vast array of health therapies. I was asked to build a site that complemented their easy going surroundings and philosophy whilst conveying a wealth of information about the services and classes on offer. I used a multisite instance of wordpress and added the powerful buddypress plugin. Each practioner had their own sub domain microsite within the gracelands umbrella site enabling them to control and administer their own content on the site whilst contributing as editors to the main site. Each sub domain also had the ability to render as a bespoke standalone site too. Groups and forums were also requested although they haven’t seen much use yet!

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.

OS-Digital :: WordPress Site

I have just finished a new wordpress-based website for Outsorcery, a leading London-based creative studio. Its a portfolio-based site with a crisp, modern design. Features included dynamic content dependant on page keywords and an interactive flash based portfolio section. It was built as a child theme of my own D1g1tal theme.

Digital :: Social Network in BuddyPress

digital2Have just finished a social network-based site for my company, Digital, that’s based on the BuddyPress platform albeit with a lot of advanced, bespoke functionality.

Lots of clever features including voice communication, groups, forums, chatrooms (public and private), member-only content and the ability to build your own sites. Check it out.

Drive Business :: Technical Director

I was appointed Drive Businesses Technical Director to primarily install process and bring strategy and innovation to this rapidly expanding, ecommerce provider whose clients included Bench, Gant, Reiss, All Saints, Hooch and celebrities like Kelly Brook and Randy Jackson. The majority of my time was taken up liaising with these lead clients and assisting with their digital strategies to push sales both in store and online through good use of technology. I also was responsible for assisting in client pitches in both a creative and technical capacity. Other areas included:
  • A full evaluation of their existing ecommerce platform, enrich, and the scoping of a new, improved version whilst using Magento for inspiration.
  • Organising the company-wide use of a centrally-managed asset and project management tool (Jira) that massively improved transparency and accountability within their Scottish head office and their London and LA offices too.
  • Working out the logistics and process to transfer all existing client sites and platforms over to Rackspace.
  • Writing new SLA’s to vicariously extend Rackspace’s own SLA’s and investigating service insurance policies.
  • Ensuring that all test scripts are accurate
  • Separating Logic and Design in site builds via templating, specifically smarty templates.
  • Instigating user data analysis to follow user journeys & behaviours in order to increase conversions.
  • Introducing the use of Adobe Scripts to enable easy batching of tedious image tasks on and off site.
  • Improving Localisation on platform by instigating multiple currencies
 

Noble Art :: eCommerce Store in Magento

Noble Art is a highly successful English company that produces giftware and souvenirs for worldwide distribution. I have built them a beautiful, engaging shop with a one page checkout built combining the power of Magento, the world’s best open source ecommerce platform.

Saatchi & Saatchi :: Technical Director

I was contracted by Saatchi and Saatchi’s in London to direct them in ‘bringing Digital to the heart of the agency’ after the demise of Saatchi Interactive. It was my responsibility to run all London-based Digital work, brainstorm with the creative’s (mainly with the global creative director), assist the Head of Operations’ in sorting process, scope and Digital project management. I was also responsible for building a scalable supply network of third party companies that Saatchi’s could utilise on specific Digital projects, recruiting both freelancers and permanent staff and vetting all client pitches from a creative and technical perspective. The London-based work I oversaw included Visa, T-Mobile, Atlantis, Starbucks, Cadburys, NSPCC, Axa, General Mills, the Marine Stewardship Council and the rebuilding of Saatchis website.