Hi, I'm Nicola.
I'm a product designer and generalist creative type - I like doing whatever needs to be done to build great experiences for real people.
Empathy building, ideas, user research, UX design, UI, visual design, CSS and more. Plus, events. Throw me in the deep end. I like a challenge.
I'm currently based in Sydney, Australia, making stuff with excellent people at Pivotal Labs.
The Long story
I'm one of those lucky people who always knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. I don't remember when I first heard the term 'graphic designer', but I know that from the time I started reading Girlfriend magazine, I wanted to be the person who laid out the pictures and words on the pages. It's been a pretty long journey from Tobey Macguire fangirl to software product designer, but it's been a fun one!
I started out in magazines - specifically the mad and beautiful Tertangala, UoW student magazine. For two years, during my creative arts degree, I spent many long unpaid hours in the Tertangala office frantically laying out 52+ pages every issue. This really put a dent in my 10,000 hours.
I landed an internship then a job at a website development company in Wollongong, where I learnt how to design and build a website from scratch. My front-end dev skills were honed working in an ancient PHP-based CMS, building weekly HTML emails optimised for Outlook, and writing CSS in the days of 4px² images for textured backgrounds (praise you, flat design).
Soon enough I moved to Sydney and got myself a sweet music industry job at RØDE Microphones, first as a graphic designer and then as digital designer, owning all digital projects. As well as designing an award-winning microsite and leading a large-scale website redesign, I got to work on packaging, illustrations, technical diagrams, apparel, posters and marketing.
After a couple of years, I decided to move fully into the digital side of design, and began as a product designer at Australian e-commerce tech company Bigcommerce. I worked on a pattern lab, a redesign of the control panel, storefront themes, and got my teeth into some fun UX design projects.
I did a short stint contracting at Valtech before taking six months to travel and then casually walking almost 800km across northern Spain on el camino de Santiago, a medieval druid path to Finisterre, the (not quite) westernmost point of the Iberian peninsula.
Nowadays I'm working with Pivotal Labs as a Lean product designer - aka empathiser-in-chief. I pair with client designers to teach and enable them to take a user-centred design, balanced team, extreme programming process back to their own teams.
As a beach project, me and a team put together Postfacto, a pretty rad app for remote teams to run retros. We have 2000+ weekly users and growing. I also co-ordinate the Tech Talks @ Pivotal Labs meetup group, which grew from 0 to 2500 members in one year. I'm also involved in the Sydney Diversity and Inclusion grassroots committee.
Life is good.
What I like about Pivotal Labs is being able to be involved in the design process right from the beginning and using design thinking to create cool things with great people. I'm happiest getting thrown in the deep end and taking on a new challenge.
Wanna know even more? Download my resume (pdf).