Mark Leeks, Designer in London, United Kingdom
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Mark Leeks

Verified Expert  in Design

Designer

Location
London, United Kingdom
Toptal Member Since
July 7, 2020

Mark is a lead UX designer with over 25 years of experience. He is a versatile, expectation-crushing professional, passionate about creating innovative, user-focused product designs. He is best known for developing the easyJet booking engine used by 45 million customers each year. His most recent web solutions have been for banking, insurance, and luxury brands. Mark combines strategic, aesthetic, functional, and creative approaches to deliver award-winning products that deliver results.

Portfolio

Work Experience

Owner and UX Director

2013 - PRESENT
Humanos Practice Limited
  • Leveraged extensive management and design experience to provide quality consulting services to clients such as Imagination, Wednesday Agency, Swarovski Group, Barclays, Tesco PLC, SapientNitro, UBS, and NTT Data.
  • Incorporated expertise in product and service design, design thinking, user-centered design (UCD), customer experience design, and Agile UX to deliver high-quality, strategic results.
  • Guided clients through digital transformations, defining and delivering strategies to ensure a successful transition.
  • Applied a design thinking approach across multiple digital products, services, and organizational problems.
  • Led a global design team—recruited qualified staff, trained and coached team members in creative problem-solving techniques, and mentored their skills growth.
Technologies: Microsoft Office, Adobe CC, Jira, OmniGraffle, InVision, Axure, Figma, Sketch

UX Lead (Contract)

2014 - 2020
UBS Investment Bank
  • Led the design team, user experience production, and project management for multiple international clients of the group and served as the lead on-site designer for UBS Neo.
  • Expanded user engagement from 950,000 to 2.2 million wealth clients by creating an online banking system that provided more informed and higher-quality engagement while delivering financial rewards for advisors and the bank.
  • Designed the full project lifecycle for the digital transformation of Global Banking Americas' corporate mortgages and loans business unit.
  • Created a simple lending process that was functionally superior to the vendor products on the market and two years ahead of the competition. The new process allowed UBS to process 1,000+ loans per funder per day.
  • Oversaw the full project lifecycle from sprint planning, estimation, and budgeting through story mapping and task flow analysis to execution, testing, and delivery. Monitored progress and generated reports throughout the project.
  • Enhanced the overall effectiveness of the team by conducting strategic planning, improving processes, and coaching and mentoring individual designers at all levels.
  • Provided UX consulting and design services to UBS Investment Bank, UBS Wealth Management Americas, and UBS Global Banking.
Technologies: Microsoft Office, Adobe CC, Jira, OmniGraffle, InVision, Axure, Sketch

UX Lead (Contract)

2014 - 2020
NTT Data
  • Led the design team, user experience production, and project management for multiple international clients and served as the lead on-site designer for UBS Neo.
  • Demonstrated strong management skills in building multinational teams while overseeing and coordinating all UX design output across the US, Canada, and Poland.
  • Managed relationships with internal and external stakeholders including vendors, design partners, and fintech product providers.
  • Served as the design lead for the pitching team while NTT Data and RMA Consultancy were transitioning to pitching together to win new business. Prospects included NOWTV/Sky Broadband, AVIVA Insurance, Schlumberger, HSBC, and OASIS.
  • Provided UX consulting and design services to clients such as UBS, Sky, and News International.
  • Wrote a research report on the future of wealth management that helped secure my position at UBS.
Technologies: Slack, Trello, Microsoft Office, Adobe CC, Jira, OmniGraffle, InVision, Axure, Sketch

UX Lead (Contract)

2014 - 2014
SapientNitro
  • Served as the on-site UX lead at Barclays and participated in the in-house team that helped to define Barclay's digital design language.
  • Pioneered and managed the full lifecycle of the project to integrate government services into Barclays. Proved that a government product could be made commercially viable through a public-private partneship.
  • Led a team of five visual and UX designers and collaborated with the off-site build team in India to develop a responsive and adaptive tool for desktop, mobile, and tablet. Used Agile methodologies throughout the project.
  • Served as the on-site UX lead at Tesco PLC. Increased Christmas holiday revenue by approximately £30 million in 2015 by implementing a unique process to deliver a responsive and adaptive tool according to a strict roadmap, on time, and under budget.
  • Incorporated Agile methods tailored to the project, working with an offshore build team to design a tool to increase conversion rates of a filter used in online browsers. The tool was ultimately adopted on the worldwide Tesco Groceries site.
  • Introduced a new search-as-you-type feature that increased annual revenue by £20.4 million. It was built from scratch using Elasticsearch, the first building block of Elastic Enterprise Search.
  • Improved search relevance using existing legacy technology and increased search conversion from 6.2% to 8.0%, which translates to an additional £9.5 million in revenue per year.
  • Led a UX, visual design, and development team to deliver an improved product filtering experience. Worked with both offshore and onshore Scrum teams in an agile scrum environment.
Technologies: Microsoft Office, Adobe CC, Jira, OmniGraffle, InVision, Axure

Head of UX (Contract)

2013 - 2013
Wednesday Agency
  • Guided Wednesday through a period where it was looking to establish UX services as part of its offerings.
  • Led a team of 12 UX and visual designers working mainly on fashion and retail-focused projects in collaboration with strategists, content writers, developers, and product owners.
  • Researched and scoped concepts, interaction designs, and business requirements for multiple integrated platforms on the web, mobile, and tablets.
  • Inspired the customer experience team to deliver forward-looking output that incorporated input from the creative team and consulted on brand marketing efforts for all projects.
  • Collaborated closely with clients to ensure the post-launch strength and viability of products, thereby enabling their future evolution and development. Clients included Swarovski, ALDO, and M&S.
  • Led the delivery of a flagship omnichannel experience for Swarovski Group—The Extraordinary—that displays the multifaceted world of Swarovski to business and retail customers.
Technologies: Microsoft Office, Adobe CC, Jira, OmniGraffle, InVision, Axure

Associate Design Director

2005 - 2010
How Splendid, an Unlimited Agency
  • Led creative and UX design for most of the large-scale projects at How Splendid. I developed well-researched client pitches and presentations that were often delivered to clients' boards of directors.
  • Facilitated business growth by developing new business and creative staffing strategies and fostering key client relationships to enable collaborations based on mutual understanding.
  • Redesigned easyJet's booking engine that subsequently generated over £1 billion in annual revenue.
  • Applied international expertise while working on a multilingual site in Dubai for His Royal Highness Sheikh Mohammed.
  • Positioned FastTrack EMEA 500 as one of the fastest-growing tech businesses in Europe.
  • Led the design of Aston Martin’s in-car infotainment system, raising the organization's brand profile through a connection with the coolest UK brand.
  • Analyzed the future of drama TV for FremantleMedia, focusing on where interactive technologies could take the Neighbours serial drama over the next 10 years and on ITV's catchup player, aiming to provide the future of on-demand TV via the web.
  • Designed the large-scale interactive map for Lloyd's of London RiskMap, a rich web application using media data to provide analytical insights about risks in different global contexts.
  • Won awards: New Media Age Site of the Week for Mirror Groups' 3:00 AM celebrity toxic website making Isabell Mohan the Perez Hilton of the UK (2009); AOP Award for Design and Usability for the Sun Online website (2007).
Technologies: Microsoft Office, Adobe CC, Jira, OmniGraffle, Axure

Owner and Creative Director

2003 - 2010
THREETV Limited
  • Launched an interactive media company to win outsourced design projects from broadcasters, government departments, and advertising agencies.
  • Led a team of interaction designers with visual and UX design skills working on a flexible contract basis.
  • Leveraged the UCD approach to create successful interactive products, combining principles from design, psychology, and software engineering.
  • Established genuinely integrated communications offerings and production capabilities across all digital and emerging channels to address both big picture strategies and small details.
  • Delivered significant business benefits including stronger sales and reduced risks to clients, using UCD methods such as personas and scenarios, interaction design, information architecture, and multidisciplinary team workshops.
  • Collaborated with Lambie-Nairn, an international branding agency, to develop the concept, vision, and prototype for British Telecom's first venture into digital television known as BT Vision or BT Nevis.
  • Won the BAFTA Award in the Children's | Interactive, Learning - Primary, ArtisanCam category (2008).
  • Provided visual and UX design services to clients such as How Splendid, Y&R, CTN, Digitas, EURO RCSG, Lambie-Nairn, Wunderman, LIDA, Ogilvy, Phunqube, Seren, DCMS, UCA, AMP, Gensler, ITV, and Cerebra.
Technologies: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Microsoft Office, Adobe CC, Jira, OmniGraffle, Axure, Flash

Senior Digital Creative

2004 - 2005
Wunderman
  • Served as the lead creative on creative and copy-writing teams. Collaborated with creative directors to deliver large campaign ideas across all platforms, enabling global brands to implement successful creative solutions.
  • Secured the necessary sign-offs from strategists, producers, programmers, and project managers at each stage of the design process for numerous projects.
  • Presented concepts, iterations, and final delivery of each campaign or website to the client as a member of the larger team working on each project.
  • Participated in creative teams to deliver umbrella concepts, art direction, stills, video shoots, visuals, and production of award-winning websites, banner campaigns, email marketing, and mobile and interactive TV applications.
  • Delivered interactive TV ads for Ford C-MAX that aired during halftime at the Football Champions League final.
  • Designed the Land Rover portal and interactive TV ads for the Land Rover Freelander that had a two-month national run with major sporting events and a general campaign.
  • Designed campaigns for Ford microsites (KA, Fiesta, C-MAX, Focus, S-MAX, Galaxy, and Focus RS).
  • Won awards as a creative team: New Media Age for Best Use of Interactive TV for ITV Ford S-MAX – Recommended (2016); Omnia Silver for Land Rover Freelander and Ford Evil Twin (2014).
  • Won additional awards for Ford Evil Twin: Silver Revolution Award (2014); Bronze at Cannes Lions 51st International Festival for Cyber Lion (2014).
  • Provided digital creative services for clients such as Ford, Land Rover, Motorolla, Xerox, Samsung, Morgan Lovell, Macmillan Cancer Support, HSA, Microsoft, Xbox, and IBM.
Technologies: Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite, OmniGraffle, Axure, Flash

Art Director (Granada Media)

1999 - 2003
ITV PLC
  • Reported directly to the head of digital creative and supported the initiative to transform the creative and financial success of the department.
  • Participated in establishing the creative department, then managed a core team of eight designers plus contractors. Conducted team meetings to review all output and brainstorming sessions for pending work.
  • Implemented new methods of production, improving productivity and profitability by 80%. Created advertising strategies and solutions to increase traffic and revenues and attract sponsorships.
  • Built and managed relationships with commercial sponsors to deliver a more closely integrated sponsorship proposition.
  • Delivered corporate and entertainment interactive services across various platforms to support TV. Applied extensive experience to maximize the commercial viability of interactive TV and the internet.
  • Held creative control over 80 websites for some of ITV’s most popular programs such as I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here, CiTV, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Coronation Street, Ant & Dec's Saturday Takeaway, Blind Date, and Popstars: The Rivals.
  • Developed broadcast-critical applications for interactive television platforms: DSAT (SKY), DTT, Powerchannel, Internet on the TV, Telewest Interactive, and MUTV.
  • Won a Design Week Award for an email marketing campaign: Boots Countdown to Xmas – Recommended (2001).
  • Provided strategic, creative, and development expertise for third-party and joint ventures such as Boots, Wellbeing, Liverpool Football Club, and Arsenal Football Club.
  • Delivered design services to clients such as SKY, Carlton, Telewest, ITV, Boots, KFC, Learndirect, Coca-Cola, Manchester United, McDonald's, Siemens, MullerRice, Daz, Cadburys, Travelex, and all the TV brands of ITV.
Technologies: Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite, Flash

Creative Lead (Contract)

1998 - 1999
ITN
  • Oversaw creative production for anywhereITN, providing news on interactive platforms.
  • Enhanced the studio production and assisted in expanding the internet side of the business in collaboration with the internet chief editor and the head of online marketing.
  • Led a team of three interaction designers and programmers supporting TV news, weather, sports, and all the TV support sites for ITV (before ITV had a support team), as well as live webcasts, websites for the Football WorldCup, and FI.
  • Provided creative services for breaking news stories of the Gulf War and Starr Report, Initial Interactive TV for ITV Teletext, and ITN news for mobile.
  • Expanded agency services beyond TV support, offering services to other companies in the broadcasting industry such as business television for Shell, BP, and British Airways.
  • Provided creative services to ITN, ITV, CTN, Shell, BP, British Airways, and the Department for Work and Pensions.
Technologies: Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite

Senior Interactive Designer

1995 - 1997
The Multimedia Corporation
  • Developed visual consistency and a clear, creative approach as a new designer in this niche multimedia agency.
  • Developed interactive skills with emerging technologies to design CD-ROMs for the UK and international markets; for example, Mensa Ultimate Challenge, Mensa Mind Benders, Sophie’s World, and Wide World of Animals.
  • Designed and developed the website for BBC Horizon Life On Mars as part of the agency's push into the internet space. Other clients included Macmillan Publishers and the ABC network.
  • Won awards: BIMA - CD-ROM, Fiction, Sophies World – Winner (1997); BIMA - CD-ROM, Encyclopedia - Non-Fiction, Wide World of Animals – Winner (1996).
  • Won awards: BIMA - CD-ROM, Quiz - Non-Fiction, Mensa Ultimate Challenge –Recommended (1996); BIMA - CD-ROM, Quiz - Non-Fiction, Mensa Mind Bender – Winner (1995).
Technologies: Director, Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite
1992 - 1995

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Design

Coventry University - Coventry, England

1990 - 1992

BTEC National Diploma in Graphic Design

Colchester Institute - Colchester, England

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