Here is a selection of very nice things people have said about me and my work.
Guy is a highly skilled, creative and innovative senior manager and UX designer who has a renowned reputation for getting things done. Guy has always put the user at the centre of his solutions. He has led his team to develop robust and evidence based approaches which have enabled timely and responsive models for continuous improvement.
Leanne Daniels, Assistant Director, The Open University.
Guy and I worked together on a number of projects at the OU and throughout this time Guy's UX design expertise was invaluable. His knowledge and skills are extraordinary in this area coupled with his ability to connect with people made him hugely valued member of the project team. I hold Guy in very high regard, he believes in what he does and is passionate about it, he has integrity and certainly has my respect.
Stuart Hazell, Senior Manager, Business Change, The Open University.
Guy is amazing at his job! He knows his way around people, he is good with the clients, and stakeholders alike, he does whatever it takes to help colleagues and gets things done.
He makes sure that everyone is on the same page and focused on the main goal. The collaboration with his team has always been very smooth and their assistance definitely made a huge impact on our team's success. Guy is a great professional and fun to be around!
Joycelyn Lewis, Quality and Compliance Assistant, The Open University
You are a very understanding and empathetic manager always happy to support and be flexible in our ways of working and managing workload. I think you’re great at rallying the team together to support one another with projects so no one ever feels like they are left alone to handle any piece of work. You are a great support to me in meeting where I may not know the answers. You help me to understand the wider impact of our work across other initiatives in the University. You always keep the team updated and communicate change in a clear and concise way. You are open, approachable and have a very calm way of handling any issue or challenge.
Jags Sandhu, Content Designer, Business and Online Student Support.
Your management style is flexible and very holistic, this is a real asset and is very valued by the team, particularly during the pandemic.
I feel confident to discuss my worries, concerns and issues with you and that the balance between work/homelife and wellbeing is taken seriously.
It’s clear that you genuinely care and want the best for us both in work and outside of it.You support the team to play to our strengths and generate and strong team spirit.
Your passion and vision for the Help Centre and digital support is really energizing as is your desire to work openly and collaboratively.
I have been encouraged and supported by you to work on strategic projects which have provided the kind of challenge I really enjoy.
You are innovative and willing to explore new ideas, in relation to emerging technologies and ways of working with other departments and units so that we deliver a service that is continuously improving.
Communication within the team is excellent, we meet and discuss projects/workload every day and you make yourself available to anyone in the team when your guidance is needed.
Kathryn Benjamin, Content Designer, Business and Online Student Support.
I’m not very good at explaining myself face-to-face so thought I’d write down my overwhelming gratitude for all your hard work making me a permanent member of your team.
Honestly, words can’t describe how thankful I am to you for never giving up the fight. Your support, understanding and confidence in me has been so amazing which makes it no surprise why I want to stay working with you and the team you lead.
Guy I really can’t thank you enough for what you have done as a boss and as my friend. It really means a lot to me and I promise to show you this through the work that I do and the energy I give. You are an amazing boss and the team are very lucky to have you. You are unwavering in your protection of us and we know you care so much about us all. We all feel the same about you. You’re an inspiration to us. Don’t ever forget that.
But from me personally, these last few months have been sketchy and you have been a constant support system and an encouraging light. If you ever need the same from me, I’m there.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Natalie Banyard, Content Designer, Business and Online Student Support.
I read through all the recommendations given to Guy and found myself saying, yes, I agree, yep - that too...oh and definitely agree with that comment, oh spot on - he really is that person! So, apart from agreeing with all the others, I also have a firm belief that your happiness at work is very much about those you work with. When I took on my current role, I knew very little about content design and UX, but Guy was always happy to answer questions, offer an opinion, and help me out. Guy always does that efficiently and effectively and you never feel like you've asked a daft question. Guy is quite simply one of the most competent, supportive and decent human beings I've ever worked with. Oh and by the way, I have this thing where I'll only ever give a reference or recommendation if it's the utmost truth - you'd definitely want Guy on your team!
When I took responsibility for KMS in November 2015, it had just been launched. At that time, I knew little about Knowledge Management and even less about Content Design! After a busy and reactive 12 months, I started to take a step back and plan more strategically. From time to time, I reached out to Guy for help or guidance, which he provided willingly (and he certainly didn’t need anything back from me!) I soon learned what a genuinely, decent person he is, and his knowledge and expertise has been invaluable to me on more than one occasion. Specific examples include:
- understanding more about what content design is and why it is so important
- directing me to resources (including courses on FutureLearn) and always having patience to explain and support
- setting up an onsite visit where I spent time in the BOSS team
- Guy has made sure that I have been included in meeting invites to ensure wider collaboration within the University
- Guy has introduced me to his colleagues (James N and Kathryn B) who have been such an amazing source of support – I have learned about user-centered content design through Guy’s team
- supporting me with the KMS team’s adoption of Siteimprove
I get the distinct impression that Guy fosters trust and collaboration as the norm and the foundation of his team. Because of this, I never feel inferior and am not reluctant to ‘ask the stupid question.’
This year in particular, Guy, Kathryn and I have been part of working groups around Digital Governance and have been involved in the Knowledge Information Management project sessions. I feel part of a bigger team of competent professionals and I am really looking forward to greater collaboration to support the Student Success strategic objectives for example, FSI. Guy has been instrumental in encouraging wider collaboration which I believe is benefitting us all and will lead to greater outcomes for our enquirers and students.
Liz Vosper, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management & Quality, Academic Services, SRF.
You do many things well Guy and it’s been great working with you:
- Explaining the big picture and the context of work – you have clearly described the where the big picture related to strategies, governance, responsibilities, direction of thinking etc. You have made this accessible and easy to understand even though the picture can be confusing. This has helped inform our discussions and thinking and ensuring we are not wasting effort.
- Explaining concepts and the world of UX and content design in understandable and accessible terms – this has been helpful to support my understanding so I feel I can join in the conversation – it has helped my development
- Connecting to others – you are great at joining the dots and having an established extensive network who you recommend linking with to progress different aspects of work – with your knowledge and recommendations we are able to progress with our work
- Action focused – managing colleagues to agree on key priority actions to progress when a number of great ideas are explored and the number of – I remember at one meeting you recommended James and Victoria worked on key actions that they would report back on next month
- Managing meetings – to effectively stay on task rather than go off on tangents and prioritise items to cover in meetings – at the Crystal ball meetings you keep things on track
- Creative and generating ideas about how issues can be progressed or resolved – in Crystal ball meetings
- Supportive and friendly in how you work – examples working in the recruitment process and working with Victoria and myself
Marcia Goddard, Senior Quality and Development Manager, Academic Services, Student Support
I’ve worked collaboratively with Guy on several projects and working groups over the years, he has always been professional and committed in regards all his dealings with myself and other stakeholders.
This level of professionalism is demonstrated in how he collaborates within the OSE Working group, sharing examples of work that the BOSS team have completed on the Help Centre and contributing to discussions and workshops on the work presented by other members of the group. I also recently been working with Guy to help the Digital Governance User Experience (UX) Workstream determine the definition of UX within the OU, so that we can define the scope and purpose of the group and sign off the ToR.
To relate Guy’s strengths against the Valued Ways of Working framework, there are two key aspects that he excels in particularly when working with colleagues across the OU:
- Working together collaboratively - Guy has established a clear rapport with the other stakeholders across the OU and is actively is involved in sharing information and keeping others informed and at the same time challenging others constructively and respectfully.
- Fostering high performance - Guy has embedded user centered design practices with his team and activity promotes the merits of placing the student at the center of developments across the university working in the context of the bigger picture and taking a longer-term view.
Tammy Alexander, Senior Product Development Manager, CIO Portfolio, LXT
Guy was instrumental during his time with The Open University in the promotion of User Centred Design. He embedded UCD practices in his team and actively promoted the benefits across the University. He has a true passion for UCD and the user experience.
He is a skilled and creative designer and has a wide breadth of knowledge across front-end and back-end technologies. He was instrumental in delivering the rebranded student Help Centre project and resolving accessibility issues. He has led usability testing sessions and rapidly iterated on designs during testing.
He led his team with flexibility, compassion, and empathy. He knows how to energise a team to get the best out of them. He is a clear communicator and established a rapport with stakeholders across the University during challenging times.
Dawn Bird, Content Designer, Business and Online Student Support
Guy is the most talented designer I have worked with. His range of talents include:
- Familiar with latest tools and technologies
- A great appreciation of when to use and when not to use these technologies
- Fantastic ability to deliver simple yet beautiful and standards-compliant designs
- Ability to design for a range of platforms
- Able to work well in a group and explain important technical considerations to a non-technical audience
To top all this he's a really good bloke too!
Stuart Brown, Service and Development Centre Manager – Educational Platforms at Oxford University Press.
If you get the chance to work with Guy I highly recommend it. Not only will you come away with a fantastic result you will also have learned a lot along the way.
I’ve worked with Guy over many years at the OU, and in varying roles – from a team colleague and direct report, to stakeholders collaborating across different departments.
Guy has a relentless enthusiasm when it comes to advocating for the user, and a much-appreciated ability to think out of the box even when surrounded by others who are more constrained by business needs.
He has inspired and influenced many colleagues across the OU to put the user at the centre of design decisions, as well as building and coaching a team of content and UX designers who have become a valued and highly regarded resource.
Anne Lane, Customer Experience Designer, The Open University
Guy was always totally student-centred but equally focused on listening to my needs as a ‘customer’ when collaborating on projects to deliver for example safeguarding content to students and improvements to the quality of institutional information, advice and guidance; proactive in working with my team and innovative in his suggestions of both student-facing content and technical solutions.
A highly skilled and collegiate communicator, Guy presented with me to visiting overseas delegates; him showcasing live his student-facing content and digital developments to complement my more static presentation content. Passionate about the student digital user experience, Guy also clearly articulated the underpinning principles of his work and insight gained from user group testing. Guy was always extremely supportive of colleagues and team members; always prepared to ‘go the extra mile’ to informally mentor a colleague with aspirations or to explore solutions to a particularly intractable issue.
Deborah Peat, Assistant Director Safeguarding, Quality, and Inclusion, The Open University.
I worked with Guy on an annual external accreditation project which required compiling valid evidence to demonstrate process quality assurance improvements and demonstrating technology services to the third-party assessor.
Guy was extremely pleasant to work with as he has a professional, collaborative working style, able to adapt across the range of unit disciplines taking an agile approach to leadership.
It was a positive experience as Guy was reliable and good-humoured when meeting our imposed deadlines. He was generous with his knowledge and very supportive in high pressured circumstances.
I would have no hesitation in working with Guy again as a capable, well-respected colleague and mentor.
Rosemary Copcutt, Manager Student Support, Strategy and Quality Development Team, The Open University.
Guy provided invaluable insight and professional advice regarding several confidential student support projects I was working on over a period of years – Guy always approached the challenges in unique and innovative ways, resulting in identified quick wins plus longer term strategies to secure solutions for the students’ best interests.
Christina Anderson, Student Support Manager, The Open University.
Guy is always a pleasure to work with, and additionally, totally professional at all times, technically expert, creative, flexible and committed to working towards the best outcomes for each and every project.
Alex Tarling, User Experience Research & Design for Behaviour Change in Healthcare and Wellness.
UX and accessibility are firmly at the top of Guy's arsenal of skills, closely followed by several front-end and server-side technologies.
Guy's knowledge and experience of all things web is invaluable to any team or organisation.
Guy is often the first port of call for many designers and developers at the OU as chances are Guy's been there, done it and has several t-shirts to boot.
Guy's passionate, down to earth and always willing to help and he's a bloody nice chap too!
Antony McEvoy, UX/UI Lead Designer at Santander UK.
Guy shows enthusiasm for his work, meets deadlines, is thorough, and has great creativity and problem solving skills to offer. At the same time he takes care to understand the purpose of the resource he is creating and the needs of users. He takes initial ideas and is able to really develop them. I would be keen to work with him again.
Ellen Cocking, Head of Careers and Employability, The Open University
I worked with Guy on a recent project building an induction website for students new to the university. He is what I would describe as a "can do" person. He listens well to what you're trying to achieve and proceeds with an enthusiasm and efficiency which is very refreshing.He was a joy to work with and even after the project finished, he was willing to help me out. Utterly reliable, enthusiastic and some great ideas about how to make things happen. what more could you ask for? I hope we get to work together in the future.
Bronagh Power, Senior Lecturer in Management at OU; Trustee Smart Works Edinburgh; Business Advisor Twende Pamoja (Social Enterprise).
I have had the pleasure of working with Guy on a number of occasions involving campaigns requiring web design. Guy has always proven reliable and motivated in each job he's worked on. He adds value at every point of the brief, ensuring excellent quality in what he delivers. He is skilled in empathising with his audience and goes an extra mile to ensure that the end result surpasses expectations and delivers results.
Jane Newens, Business Lead - Mobile App at Coventry Building Society.
Not only is Guy dedicated to what he does, he does it with a sense of humour and wit with an ability to think laterally which few posses. A genuinely creative designer who's easy to get along with and who maintains a tremendous work ethic. He's also a man who'll always get his round in.
Head of Content at Philip Morris International.
Guy is great on many levels; highly standards focused, considers deeply what he does; delivers great product.
Digital Director at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.