Today we’re turning the spotlight on Gordon, the man behind Nona’s UI Design and UX department who ensures every product produced by Nona is easy to use and beautifully crafted so that clients get the ultimate experience. With Gordon, best practice measures are not aimed for but seen as a basic requirement.
So, whether he’s at the forefront of design functionality, or under the bonnet of his Volvo Amazon 122s, you’ll be sure to see only the exceptional from our champion designer.
Looking slick in B&W
I’d say there’s two main reasons I joined Nona. Firstly, I believed web and mobile platforms held a huge opportunity. I also saw an industry fraught with poor quality and believed we could make a difference. Secondly, I’ve always loved art and design and the way it could move people. User Interface design gave me an avenue to create beautiful and functional things that could impact people's day-to-day lives.
From the get-go, a large amount of what I do is creating and ensuring alignment. Making sure all aspects of a client's concept and idea are fleshed out, and all stakeholders are on the same page. From here, I onboard designers into projects whilst directing industry, product and user research.
A lot of what I do internally with my team is about asking the right questions, the idea being to empower people to find the answers themselves. Practically, it’s very important to always keep a finger on the pulse of current tools and best practice measures, making sure it is always front of mind in all our designs.
I guess it starts with empathy. I find great value in identifying and understanding our users’ needs and perspectives. I think you really have to take this into consideration when creating designs that not only matter, but instil a positive change for our users.
Design instinct is also crucial. This is a lot more than your innate creative ability and cultural guesswork. It’s your wealth of experience. It’s familiarity with industry standards and best practices. You develop that instinct from years of trial and error — learning from hard mistakes.
And lastly, collaboration. This is possibly the most important trait. I don’t really think you can be a UI / UX designer without the ability to collaborate. We build such complex solutions with so many moving parts - if you’re not able to engage, explain and understand what and how your teammates are doing things, you are bound to fall short.
Gordon and Gust on stage after winning Gold at the 2017 Bookmark Awards
I’d say it’s the exposure to new products and industries. One week we will be working with AWH, the largest wool and cotton handler in Australia, and the next we’re working with Civic, a blockchain identity solution. It keeps the world of work interesting and stimulating, it’s impossible to get bored whilst jumping between so many fascinating industries. So, it really does keep you on your toes, it forces you to keep learning and growing.
Right now, my two main hobbies are gym and golf. But as I’ve got older, I’ve realised the importance in carving out time for loved ones and family. So, I try to have a date day outing with my fiancé and spend time with my folks at least once a week.
I have sunk huge amounts of time and resources into rebuilding a Volvo Amazon 122s from bare metal. I have been working on the project for the past five years, stripping every nut and bolt, sandblasting, welding and even sourcing new parts from Sweden. I have always loved vintage cars and the curves on this Volvo just resonate with me. Just talking about the car has me longing for the day I can finally drive it!
Gordon enjoying some much needed water after completing the Marloth Mountain Challenge
Right after high school, I went over to North Scotland and worked in a hotel bar called the Palm Court. During my time there, I worked the bar at over 40 Scottish weddings. These never failed to amaze me and were always extremely eventful (to say the least), with parents and sometimes even brides ending up going home in ambulances.
A few weeks ago I had a weekend away in the wine lands and returned engaged. Although it happened recently, I can assure you there’s no recency bias in this one. It’s hard to top that rollercoaster of emotions - definitely a special experience that I’ll never forget.
“Design is not a science of the artificial. It is an exploration of the artificial.”
That one’s easy – my dad’s lasagna!
Or maybe check-in on Gordon’s Volvo for some motorhead talk? Give us a call and we’ll introduce you!
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