It’s very nice that you want to know more about me! I’m Martin and I design and build websites. I’m from Glasgow but live in Newcastle upon Tyne; married with two kids.
My career in the web
I love the web. It’s for everyone. Anyone can access information and anyone can have a voice.
I first dabbled with HTML in 2002 when I put together a website for the band I played in. Six years later, I was lucky enough to work out that a career in web design was my thing and put all of my energy into making it happen.
It sounds a bit antiquated now, but that’s exactly what I was: a webmaster. In fact, for a select few clients, I still am!
Working with small business to create, establish and improve their web presence made up the core of my work. Planning, designing and building websites, then improving them over time gives me a huge amount of satisfaction. I have had the pleasure of working with some really great clients, and our long-lasting relationships have made their websites fantastic business tools.
Over the years, I also worked freelance for larger companies. I’m a very easy person to get along with and have slotted nicely into many teams over the years, forging some lasting friendships as well as producing great websites.
My freelance work normally involved coding accessible interfaces, wrangling out-of-control CSS, or consulting on UI decisions.
Digital product design
In 2016 I made the move from websites into digital products. I worked full-time on a ground-up redesign/rebuild of a suite of web apps for contact centres. I redefined the look and feel of the product, introduced a robust pattern-library-first design system, and delivered components (in production-ready HTML and CSS) to the dev team.
I also got very involved in the frontend code and accessibility testing of the services I worked on, as well as sharing my expertise with designers, developers and testers across the centre.
My most recent move took me to Sage, where I’m a principal experience designer, using my specialism in accessibility to improve the digital culture and whole product line-up. I work with designers, product teams, and the design system team, either one to one or in groups. I’m also building a community around accessibility, where people can learn, share and ask questions.
I’m a big believer in sharing. The web community is exceptionally generous and I owe my career to blog posts I’ve Googled, Stack Overflow, talks I’ve seen, and help from people I’ve met along the way.
A local meetup
In 2015 I co-founded Frontend NE, a monthly frontend web development meetup and annual conference. The meetup gave frontend web developers a place to learn more about their craft, as well as put the web-world to rights over beer and pizza; while the conference drew folk in from further afield for a day of talks, learning and fun.
Accessibility was central to everything I did in Government, and I’m bringing that mindset to Sage. For years now, I’ve given regular workshop courses in HTML and accessibility, which have always been well attended by backend developers, testers, interaction and content designers; even user researchers, business analysts and product owners have also come along and learned a lot!
What about right now?
I love learning and I love my work; I also have a life outside of the web! Find out what I’m up to at the moment on my now page.
I send a newsletter on the last day of every month, containing:
- A roundup of the articles I’ve posted
- A hot pick from my archives
- Some interesting posts from around the web