Nick, tell us about your background and how long you’ve been part of the Un.titled team.
I grew up in Canada, that boundless expanse of ice and poutine, before moving to England in 2006 to find my fortune. I worked as a senior technical manager for blue chip art galleries for a while, then shifted towards a digital publishing focus in 2011, then moving into digital management soon after.
I’ve known most of the key players in Un.titled since 2014, back when I was their client! I ran a digital department for an arts venue and had a great time improving the website for our audience, building blogs and microsites along the way with Brian, Michael, Ben and Harry. Apparently they enjoyed working with me so much that when I left in 2018, they invited me aboard here. It was meant to be.
What is your role at Un.titled and what are your areas of expertise?
I’m a project manager, which means that I act as the go-between for the client and our team of designers and developers as we work our way through a project. So I help keep the machine moving forward, and I complement that focus with work on UX testing, data analysis and a lot of copy editing. I’m working on weaning the team off of leaving spaces around forward slashes – I haven't even contemplated what our em-dash policy might be.
I think my strongest suit is training. I love connecting with people where they’re at and doing the work of figuring out the best way to translate abstract concepts into graspable, concrete learning. It’s a joy when you see someone get it.
How do you look to connect with clients and pin down the best path to success?
Since I was on the client side of the fence before joining Un.titled, I have a lot of sympathy for the most common client issues (budget!) and I can leverage some recent insight into their mentality and how they perceive what working with a web agency actually means (hint: it’s not always how the agency sees it).
That helps, but the audience-centric working methods we employ here – and constantly strive to improve – really make the difference. Putting the audience first means that we share the same goals as the client, and can therefore make a product that doesn’t satisfy some dreamy shopping list of internal stakeholder assumptions but instead answers real needs and user journeys.
What do you like most about working with Un.titled?
Honestly, every day is different! That variety – one day puzzling my way through reams of data and synthesising a useful report, another day helping run a workshop with a dozen people – means that my brain is constantly being challenged and woken up to new possibilities.
I also get to learn about new tech innovations, best practice and such. I guess the bottom line is that I love getting paid to critique websites as my day job.
We know you like cooking. Have you perfected your chicken seasoning recipe yet?
Ha, still working on it! It’s maybe more realistic to say that tinkering with the ingredient ratios for the perfect meat rub is something of an endless journey. That said, brown sugar instead of white is a revelation. Brining is 1000% essential, though I know the current fad is trending against it.