Mr. Murphy

Designer, Writer and Speaker


September, 2018

I’m currently focused on my forthcoming book on designing delightful experiences. As part of that process – helpfully killing two birds with one stone – I’ve been mapping the design process for this site, reflecting upon my progress.

Working with my studiomates – Tim Potter and Gaby Muldoon at Little Thunder – I’ve begun to map out our studio processes, so that we can establish systems that are more standardised and efficient. I’m in the process of documenting this process via GitHub, so we can share our thinking with others.

Importantly, this isn’t just an exercise in improved efficiency, it’s an exercise in identifying best practice so that we can enhance our offering to clients. It’s been interesting and I’m looking forward to sharing what we’ve learned in due course.

Reading

I just finished Michele Jannuzzi and Richard Smith’s dotlinepixel: thoughts on cross-media design, which I first read in 2000, when it was first published. I’d recommend it highly.

Though the web has evolved considerably as a medium, Jannuzzi and Smith’s thinking – exploring the relationship between off- and online media – has a timeless quality that still offers lessons we can learn from.

Prior to that I read Sarah Richard’s indispensable Content Design, which I had the good fortune of reading when it was in pre-publication draft form. If your work in any way involves content it’s absolutely required reading.

Sarah is a good friend of mine, and I’m incredibly fortunate that she’s helping me with the content design and copywriting for this site, so – full disclosure – I’m biased. That said, Sarah led GOV.UK’s Content Design team, which won a thoroughly-deserved D&AD Black Pencil, so her track record is inarguable. If you haven’t got a copy of the book, I’d encourage you to rectify that now.

Life

I’m currently eight months into a year off alcohol. Though August saw a number of celebrations – including: my wife, Cara’s, birthday; my 24th wedding anniversary; and my son’s 21st birthday – I stayed true to the path I’d set myself on 1 January, 2018. I feel better for it.

242 days and counting!

I have to confess that my diet has drifted a little. Working on this site – which has involved a great deal of soul searching – has been stressful and I’ve allowed myself one too many bars of chocolate as a reward for all the hard work. I need to re-focus, considerably, so that I don’t undo all the progress I made earlier in the year.

Finally, I’ve maintained my daily exercise goal. I’m now up to a 600 Calorie Move goal on my Apple Watch, which has been a challenge, but a challenge I’m sticking to.

I have my sights set on an Apple Watch Series 4, should they be announced in September. I’m rewarding myself, in line with BF Skinner’s principles of operant conditioning. (Put simply: Rewarding good behaviour through positive reinforcement strengthens that behaviour. (Rewards, in short, help to keep you focused.))

Now?

This is a now page, outlining what I’m working on at present. If you’ve yet to hear of a now page, Derek Sivers has put together a helpful overview. My past updates are listed below: