Mike Barker
Work
About
Writing

Design work

Over the last 15 years I've worked on a number of exciting projects. Many of these recent projects are detailed on Behance. Other random designs are available on Dribbble. I'm looking for a home for the larger animated gifs and video demos of recent mobile apps.

Canadian Tire

I joined the Canadian Tire innovation team in April 2017 and began working on mobile app design for customer and employee facing apps. The primary project was the reinvention of the core ecommerce app. After a year laying the groundwork, we began an intensive redesign sprint process from June 2018 to January 2019.

Two of the most important principles driving the project were to create an app that would feel natural on customer's phones, and for the project to be customer-centric through early user research and constant testing.

View the full case study

View the Behance case study

Refash

After 5+ years in the cashback industry leading the Quidco design and UX team, Refash was an opportunity to start from the beginning in building a rewards platform. We made two decisions early in our process—we used lean user research to frame the rewards mechanics, and we used Theory of change to identify a shortcoming with customer understanding so we could build a map to changing consumer habits.

The result as a fashion inspiration app which rewarded customer's purchases through the platform. Leveraging buyable looks within Instagram (before their own buy button), we reached out to fashion influencers to share looks tagged with products. This solved two problems existing with Instagram fashion posts—the inability to purchase items in a look, and creating a product customers would return to more frequently.

View the full case study

Quidco

I started working on Quidco before it was spun out from the incubator and eventually joined the team in London from 2010–2015. Quidco gave me my first practical experience with UX research and forever altered the course of my career.

We had hired Leisa Reichelt to conduct user research (1:1 interviews) and I was fortunate enough to then spend two weeks turning the research into actionable design guidelines. I spent the next few years implementing and building on the original guidelines (and continued conducting interviews and testing with customers).

Along the way I was able to design one of our ATL ad campaigns (ads appearing on the London Underground, buses and taxis), designed our core mobile app (and the ClickSnap grocery coupon app), and even made of our how-to videos. In 2013 I introduced design sprints based on the recently blogged process developed by Google Ventures. Gathering all stakeholders together as we started a thorough reunderstanding of the product and customers, was a powerful way to collaborate while moving quickly.

View the full case study

IKEA store opening visualisation

After releasing my own iPhone app, my next side project was an interactive map visualisation of IKEA store openings since the company was founded. While not currently working, the visualisation shows the spread of IKEA stores until 2014 using Google Maps, and a lot of buggy javascript.

Read the story behind the visualisation

Dew coffee finding app

I designed and coded an iPhone app as a way to learn Objective-C. Dew was released on the App Store in early 2014. I've continued to use Xcode to build demos, proof of concepts and prototypes.

Read the story behind Dew

The Globe & Mail

In 2006 I began working at the Globe & Mail first on the redesign team creating documentation of the web & print redesign, then as a Design Editor where I laid out pages.

School of Design Annual

After graduation I worked for the School of Design at George Brown College creating their Annual of student work. We used LEGO bricks as a metaphor for the courses that students took to build their skills. The front and back covers were embossed & debossed with a stud pattern. Interstitial pages featuring transforming bricks created transitions from the cover into the main content and between sections.

Requires Assembly

Before moving into digital, I was an editorial designer. As part of my final design thesis in college I wrote Requires Assembly, a manual on design & production for student newspapers (April 2006). This 112 page book covers design elements key to the design of newspapers. Originally written and designed as my final design thesis, the book is geared toward student and small newspapers, though it has been spotted at major daily newspapers throughout North America and used in the curriculum of several journalism courses in Canada.

Requires Assembly was the final outcome of my design thesis which was to design a solution appropriate for student newspaper editors to help them understand the basics of design, newspaper layout and production. With high turnovers every year, student newspapers struggled with the production of their first issue of the year. Requires Assembly was written and structured as a resource guide to dip into on specific topics.

Originally published through CreateSpace, a full print run was done in late 2006 (copies still available because I refuse to recycle them)!

More coming soon...

Pre-2006 work hiding in the archive (buried on a CD or old hard drive) will be added down here.