Mr. Murphy

Designer, Writer and Speaker

This is the copy for the hero image. Lessons Learned: I write about the design of business and the business of design with a soupçon of psychology included for good measure.


This content isn’t finished so please don’t invest too much time reading it. It is – by and large – placeholder copy to test the mechanics of our design.

I’m working on moving everything over to the Craft database just now (27 January, 2018) and I hope to start writing, in earnest, in December.


Kickstarter · KUMO

I’m extremely tempted by the KUMO keyboard on Kickstarter. What fascinates me, however, is the company behind the keyboard: TheVan Keyboards.

I’ve been a mechanical keyboard aficionado since buying my first Apple computer. Together with Nicklas Persson, my former partner-in-crime, I held out for as long as I could with my beloved Apple Extended Keyboard II, so I know what it’s like to love a keyboard. However, I wasn’t aware of the passionate – and opinionated – community around mechanical keyboards (until I started reading more…).

There’s clearly an entire subculture of mechanical keyboard fans, and TheVan Keyboards is tapping into that subculture nicely.

Kevin Kelly’s written about the importance of finding your 1,000 True Fans and it’s clear TheVan Keyboards understands this phenomenon. Their focus on design, coupled with meticulous attention to detail, has a loyal following and they’re using that following to good advantage.

As of today, the KUMO Kickstarter has secured $79,272 of its $85,000 goal. With a week to go, I’d be very surprised if they didn’t reach their goal. I’ll be watching closely as temptation tugs gently and persistently at my wallet.

Mechanical Keyboards and Mass Markets


This is going to be a longer essay, so I can get a feel for what the content is like when I'm dealing with longer lengths. There's no content here at the moment, it's just a scratch file, so I wouldn't waste any time reading this. However, there's an essay that needs to be written about Massdrop and what it represents.

I recently joined a drop for a Massdrop × OLKB Preonic Mechanical Keyboard after having spent a considerable amount of time reading about the resurgence of mechanical keyboards.

I don't really need a new keyboard, but I convinced myself that I needed a Preonic for 'testing purposes'. In no small part so I could get a feel for Massdrop and its communities.

In his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking talks about the importance of mavens…

Insert blockquote here…

More thinking here… Essentially what interests me about Massdrop is that it represents small, focused communities of passionate users. By leveraging these communities' mavens – who are only too happy to share their passion and enthusiasm for a particular product – Massdrop allows bespoke (and not so bespoke) manufacturers to reach scale.

The OLKB Preonic I ordered was driven in no small part by the active community of users OLKB has grown through its communities.

Twice the freedom…


After over a decade and a half as a full-time Senior Lecturer at Belfast School of Art, I’m embarking on an exciting new phase of my career. As of 9 July, 2018 I am officially a half-time lecturer. As Cara, my wife, puts it:

“It’s half the pay, but twice the freedom!”

I’m putting that freedom to good use: I’m writing a new book that maps the user experience design process from start to finish; I’m working with some really interesting businesses (more on that soon); and I’m developing the work I’d begun on Tiny Books. In short: I’m keeping busy.

My now page has the latest details on what I’m up to.