Helen Wood, Designer in London, United Kingdom
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Helen Wood

Verified Expert  in Design


London, United Kingdom
Toptal Member Since
September 11, 2019

Helen is a creative UX director with a true passion for design, UX, UI, and the overall customer experience. She has built and managed large UX teams for enterprise clients and still likes to do some hands-on work to stay relevant in the industry. She has often been brought into jobs to "rescue" problematic projects and has done so with great success.


Work Experience

Executive Creative Director

2019 - 2019
  • Led user experience strategy and the UX and design team on an enterprise digital transformation program of all the government services in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. On behalf of the Abu Dhabi Smart Solutions Services Authority.
  • Brought in as a consultant for a failing project where there was no consistency in the user experience.
  • Tasked with turning the project around with strong leadership.
  • Came up with a UX strategy meaning this vast site could evolve and be scaleable moving forward.
  • Taught the business how to approach UX, what the value in UX is to the business and the end-users.
  • Designed a new UX architecture as the foundation to build on.
Technologies: Apple Keynote, Adobe Photoshop, Sketch

Executive Creative Director

2019 - 2019
  • Served as the executive lead for user experience strategy and the UX and design team on an enterprise digital transformation program of all the government services in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. On behalf of the Abu Dhabi Smart Solutions Services Authority.
  • Completely transformed the direction of this program ensuring it is user-centered and not tech-led.
  • Rearchitected the entire UX of the site which will contain journeys for 80 different government entities. It's a large program with a team of 350 digital experts.
  • Presented the plan to change the UX and effectively start the UX again as the way the site was architected meant it wasn't scalable and therefore led to many inconsistencies across the digital experience.
  • Received the go-ahead to rearchitect the site and change the direction of the UX from Her Excellency, the Director General.
  • Set my plan for the UX team in place which consists of UX designers, UI designers, user researchers, content writers (English and Arabic), SEO manager, front end developers (to build the design language system) and a scrum master (totaling 25 people for the core UX team).
Technologies: Apple Keynote, Adobe Photoshop, Sketch

UX Practice Head

2017 - 2019
Gov.uk Ministry of Justice
  • Streamlined services and improved user experience across digital engagement points for the Ministry of Justice.
  • Hired a new team consisting of 35 UX, UI, user researchers and content writers to work on the Criminal Justice System Common Platform.
  • Directed and mentored the design team and the UX strategy across the digital transformation program.
  • Received very positive results and had a huge impact on areas including making it easier for Court Clerks to manage criminal cases through the courts and speeding up a very slow paper-based process taking weeks to process into hours or minutes in some instances.
Technologies: Zeplin, Adobe Photoshop, Sketch

UX Director

2016 - 2017
Spark44 for Jaguar Land Rover
  • Managed a growing team (team of 25) of user experience architects and designers helping Jaguar Land Rover define and execute their digital transformation roadmap.
  • Provided user experience team leadership across multiple locations. Supported clients in digital transformation strategy through improved customer experience.
  • Collaborated with internal teams and clients helping to break down silos.
  • Established user experience methodologies.
  • Integrated evidence-led data with customer insights and analytics.
  • Improved user journeys through enhanced customer experience.
  • Drove process and requirements.
Technologies: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Sketch

Solutions Architect, Consultant, User Experience (UX) Lead EMEA & US, Dell Business Services

2015 - 2016
  • Ideated experiences that created the need and fuel the adoption of digital experience strategies.
  • Served as the UX lead for EMEA region.
  • Implemented a customer-centric approach to researching, creating and evaluating customer journey mapping and future-state customer experience maps.
  • Ideated and prioritized use cases to reduce customer pain points and improve customer experience, NPS and NSS scores across multiple touchpoints.
  • Led an enterprise digital transformation strategy.
  • Developed omnichannel experience strategy for B2B, B2C, B2B2C, B2B2B helping increase user engagement, customer spend, customer satisfaction through better customer experience.
  • Won an award for outstanding financial contribution to Dell for the business I led them to win.
Technologies: iMovie, Adobe Experience Design (XD), Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator

Design Manager

2013 - 2015
TalkTalk Telecom
  • Led the creative direction and inspiration to visual and UX designers, structure, and delivery management to the online team. Improved customer experience across the business.
  • Ensured online creative is performing to expectations.
  • Led the UX and UI design teams and UX strategy.
  • Designed TalkTalk's first apps to be launched in the Apple store and Google Play store.
  • Created new UX/UI designs that helped contribute to increased sales, customer engagement and customer retention with better customer experience.
  • Led the rebrand of the entire suite of sites to launch in 12 weeks.
Technologies: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator

Founder and Creative Director

2003 - 2012
Vision with Technology (now Kaliop Group)
  • Grew the award-winning Vision with Technology to be the UK’s leading eZ Publish Enterprise Content Management Solutions partner.
  • Worked with clients including Energy Saving Trust, CNBC Europe, Financial Times, and Random House Publishing.
  • Led the design of all creative work and UX for all of our clients.
Technologies: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator

Design Director

1996 - 2002
Ion Global (formerly Revolution Ltd)
  • Started at Revolution as a junior designer. Revolution was the number one design agency in London at the time.
  • Embraced new technologies at the time which the company wasn't aware of, I was able to expand the offering for the clients.
  • Progressed to a senior designer then design director.
  • Acted as the lead designer for Coutts Private Banking working closely with them for several years.
  • Helped with the rebrand of Ion Global when Revolution was bought by ChinaDotCom.
  • Worked with other clients including HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Jersey Telecom, and Nokia.
Technologies: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Director, Flash
1990 - 1995

Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honors in Graphic Information Design

Falmouth University - United Kingdom


Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, iMovie, Apple Keynote, Microsoft Office, Adobe CC, Zeplin, Adobe Experience Design (XD), Flash


iOS, Director, Android

Industry Expertise

Retail & Wholesale, Automotive, Government, Marketing, Telecommunications, Banking & Finance


UX Flows, App UX, UX Design, Web UX, User Research, Validated User Research, User Needs, UX Leadership, UI Design, Mobile UI Design, iOS UI Design, Enterprise Design, Enterprise Architecture, Design, User Interface (UI), User Testing, UX Strategy, User Experience (UX), Mobile UI, Mobile UX, Stakeholder Management, Responsive, Omnichannel Marketing, Leadership, UX Architecture, Languages, Native Mobile Apps, Design Leadership, Mobile App UI, Web UX Design, Field Research, Private Banking, Mobile Apps, United States, B2B, Government to Government (G2G), Government to Citizen (G2C), UX Direction, Internet of Things (IoT), Responsive Web Apps, Global, Multilingual Design

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