Product Designer and occasional Barista from London

Stephen West started his career working as a website designer in the early days of the web.

His career has taken him from a humble designer to a Senior Digital Art Director and has worked at Publicis Dialog, Chemistry and TMW. Later he had the honour to be hired as Digital Design Director at Embrace where he worked on clients such as Surry Police, BMY Mellon and JP Morgan. Where he honed his user experience skills, creating complex wireframes, design systems and prototypes.

Regularly freelanced

He has regularly freelanced over this career and has often been tempted to take permanent roles and has done so while freelancing at Elevate Credit as Design Manager there, He created and installed a visual design system, substantially reducing the UX debt by 60%-70%. He restructured the design team to create a more user-centric experience by bringing on board a UX designer and starting an optimisation program to seek out opportunities to improve the product performance.

Stephen’s passion extends beyond design. He has an enthusiasm for technology and science. Principally about the human journey and how technology is transforming it. The ability to take on board new technologies to create richer experiences is one of his key strengths.

Stephen plans to grow Hixon House Coffee

A confessed food and drink connoisseur, in 2018 he put into motion a goal to set up a food business and now runs a mobile coffee service form a converted Jeep which he operates at Wedding, Festivals, Exhibitions & Events. Stephen plans to grow Hixon House Coffee into a franchise and deliver the same level of design success he has had over the last 20 years.

Core skills

Design Systems
Visual Design
User journeys
Rapid Prototyping
User testing
Sketch, Marvel & InVision

10 principles for good design

The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.

A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.

It clarifies the products structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory.
Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the users self-expression.