My Research Interest

I believe that computers can do a much better job of making our lives easier.

Today we all have lives that are intertwined with the digital, but they are far too fragmented across different siloes, platforms and providers, and if computers are really to live up to their potential, we need to build interfaces that reflect this, software with a better understanding of our data and of the scattered nature of our online existence. This is my research interest.

I have two masters degrees – in Computer Science from Sheffield University and in Digital Civics from Newcastle University – as well as over 15 years’ commercial experience as a software developer in large companies (IBM, OpenText), startups and freelancing. Most recently as a staff researcher at Oxford University, I explored user behaviour and motivations at the Zooniverse, the Internet’s largest citizen science platform.

In my research I aim to draw on all these experiences, and the ideas of the Semantic WebPersonal Data Lockers and User-Centred Design, to explore and build systems to empower people to take control of their digital lives, and to allow communities to collaborate with fewer artificial barriers. For an introduction to these ideas, you could read “Why Files Need to Die” and “We Deserve the Time and Space to be Human”, then browse around this site.

Outside of work, I’m a dad of three, a board game geek, improv player, movie lover and escape room enthusiast.