After nearly 9 years at Red Square - the last two years spent as Director, User Experience Strategy - I've finally decided to make the move and set up my own company. I've really enjoyed my time working at Red Square: I've had the opportunity to work with some of the brightest and best in Australia's Web industry; and worked on a lot of good projects (at last count I've contributed to just under 1,500 projects - large and small - in those nine years) for some great local and international clients.
During the past two years I've been able to start to build up a good portfolio of UX projects, working with small teams of UX professionals to create good designs to solve client problems. But the competing demands of delivering projects, managing the company, and bringing general work into the company has meant the UX side of things hasn't gone as far as I'd like.
Looking at the state of the local (and, for that matter, international) UX field, two things appear fairly consistent: a) a lot of organizations are engaging UX professionals and agencies to help them with their design & development projects; and b) everyone is finding it difficult to get experienced staff. As a combination, that's a good sign that the field is growing & healthy, and able to support a new, small, focused consultancy.
So a little over 6 weeks ago I notified Red Square that I was punching my card for the last time, and going it alone. 3 weeks ago Meld Consulting was born, but is still getting on its feet. Right at the moment I have a name; a domain name (meld.com.au) and applications in with the Australian Tax Office and various other institutions for the basics.
I also have my first proposal out with a prospective client; my first international trip being planned; and work lined up through most of the first quarter of 2008. All in all, a positive first 3 weeks.
Thanks go out to all those friends & family who've offered up their time, advice & support in helping me make the decision to start up Meld, and in getting it from an idea to a reality.
Finally, I wish you all well over the coming holiday season, wherever you are in the world. I hope you take the time to rest and relax ahead of what's looking to be an interesting 2008.