Hi, I'm Nicola.
I'm a full-stack product designer and creative generalist. I believe that to create something truly useful, step one is always empathy.
I'm a researcher, designer, coder, community-maker and facilitator. Day to day I'm a senior product designer at Pivotal Labs, organise two groups Tech Talks and Sydney Designers, and on the side design Postfacto (ask me about retros!).
Once a month, I'll send you the best product design links and articles from the recent past. Plus, music.
Selected case studies
The long story
I started my design career 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 in an already-old PHP-based CMS, building HTML emails optimised for Outlook, and writing CSS in the days of 4px² repeating 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 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 before taking six months to travel and walking 900km across northern Spain on el camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrimage to Finisterre, the (not quite) westernmost point of the Iberian peninsula.
Nowadays I'm working with Pivotal Labs as a product designer, aka empathiser-in-chief. I pair with clients 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, an app for remote teams to run retros. We have 1000+ weekly users and growing. I co-ordinate the Tech Talks @ Pivotal Labs meetup group, which grew from 0 to 2500 members in one year. I'm also driving the Sydney Diversity and Inclusion grassroots efforts, to drive conversations and mindfulness for a workplace where everyone belongs.
What I like about my work is being able to be involved in the creative process right from the beginning and create useful things with great people. And isn't that all any creative person wants? I'm happiest getting thrown in the deep end and taking on a challenge.
Want all the boring details? Here's my resume (pdf).