Andy Parker
Andy Parker
9th August 2013

This week has been made all the better with the welcoming of Tessa Watson to our team, with a joint celebratory lunch at The Yeoman for Sophie’s birthday to kick off her first day.

A long time friend of Clearleft, Tessa is now the official Studio Manager with Kate now able to focus solely on events, drinking twice as much tea as anyone else and being the devil on your shoulder telling you to eat ice cream in the afternoon.

But Tessa is not the only new addition to the team. We will shortly be joined by Graham Smith. Graham will be migrating from the steel mill landscape of Sheffield during the next few weeks and from the activity on his twitter stream he’s just as excited to get started as we are to have him here. Graham is part of this month’s panel in Net magazine reviewing.

Festival Of Code Week

Viviana and I started the week with an afternoon mentoring at the Brighton hack week for Young Rewired State. Viviana got the 15 attendees aged 11-17 creating ideas using open data sources with a few games whilst I helped out with some html, css, javascript and jQuery problems.

I was pretty blown away by a discussion about whether to base64 encode a webfont increasing the css file size but reducing the number of http requests. Being this discussion was with a 14 year old guy - he blew my mind.

We’ve popped in throughout the week to see how the projects have evolved with Viv showing the teams how to write personas and use them to better understand what their applications need to do. We wish everyone that is taking part in the hack weekend at the Custard Factory, Birmingham the best of luck and we look forward to seeing the outcome.

Talking of hacking, we have secured our location for Hackfarm in November and will be heading to Lincolnshire, taking over Skendelby Hall for a week. I’m particularly excited by this being my first Hackfarm but also after discovering its close proximity to Cadwell Park. If Batesy, Ben and myself are found missing, we have have snuck off for an afternoon sniffing petrol and burning rubber.

We’ve had a few candidates in to chat about our Graduate Intern placements for this autumn. It has been interesting to hear some of the thoughts on what is going on with education at the moment around the digital space, a subject I have been pondering myself lately.

If you are thinking about what to do next after finishing University, or maybe you are interested in the idea of joining us for a few months to create new digital products, there is still a little more time to apply.

On Monday, whilst I was dealing with a flooded flat (thanks boiler), everyone else met with Marc Lewis from School of Communication Arts to learn about how the organisation is working with school leavers on an alternative education, preparing them for working in the advertising industry. Andy Budd has been mentoring at SCA for some time now, the feedback has been positive and I am keen to learn a bit more about it.

Projects

Fresh faced and slightly tanned, Rich is back from his hols and along with myself we kicked off a project with Age UK. We’re going to be working with their UX Lead Kate Roberts and the digital team over the next few weeks, learning about the charity and what they are planning for the coming year.

Ben has been running user tests prototyping a new service from The Wellcome Trust and planning for his talk at The Dare Conference in September.

Boxman, Viv and Jon are working with long term clients The Holiday Place, primarily building the team and shaping the process for Phase 2, collaborating with Jon on reviewing their blog presence.

Paul and Batesy have been working on some new features for nuts.com, I’ve been seeing great illustrations and concepts across the desks all week. Always good to see the guys getting dirty with pen and paper.

As mentioned in the notes last week, Jon has reached the final stages of our new clearleft.com feature which I think is going to be public from next week.

Alpha Papa Go

On Wednesday evening some of us headed to the Duke of York cinema for a special screening of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa introduced by Director Declan Lowney followed by a Q&A with the star Steve Coogan and Declan. Apart from it being incredible hot, I enjoyed it immensely and would like to thank Steve for knowing how to curtail an interview with little structure so we could all get some air and a photograph.

Clearleft in America

Jeremy is away for August travelling around America. This week he was delivering his talk The Long Web, at An Event Apart DC. He will be doing the whole shebang again at An Event Apart Chicago at the end of the month.

Andy Budd is currently packing his bags for a month of adventures stateside where he will be attending SXSW v2v in Vegas. After a week of meetings in Bristol and London, interviews with Graduates and Business Development candidates, Andy will be back just before dConstruct on September 6th.

Ampersand New York will be on November 2nd; our first foray into running a conference overseas and we have begun looking for staff accommodation. Tickets are available and you can currently save $100 if you buy now.

Kate is now in the final stages gearing up for dConstruct here in Brighton. There are still tickets left for the conference and for Seb Lee-Delisle’s Workshop.

Thursday night was UX Curry Brighton with what I think may be a record attendance of 20 members of the local UX community. This was my first time for several years and really enjoyed getting to know some familiar faces a little better. Patrick Samson did a great job of organising it. If you would like to attend future nights, follow on twitter and let him know.

Running madness

I want to cap off this week’s notes to say good luck to Mark, who is going to be running 100 miles this weekend, this after completing a marathon the other week in Scandinavia. The man is a machine.