I help people build things online
I’m a seasoned designer of the problem-solving kind, having an eye for clean aesthetics and good detail. I love tech products and the people in the community, from startups to creators and entrepreneurs.
More about me
My career’s core focus has been around making things, and making things better. This is probably why I became a designer and why I try to be useful to others, or build things that are.
I enjoy getting involved in helping business builders in all sorts of ways – both creative and technical. This can mean anything from education and training, project planning and research, ideas and concepts, design detailing, to technical integrations and automated processes.
I started out in the mid-90s designing and developing brands and marketing communications at well known design agencies in London, including The Team, Lambie-Nairn, Brand Union and Turnbull Ripley. You can read more about this part of my career on my LinkedIn profile.
In 2014 I went freelance, spending 5 years contracted to various design agencies across London. This gave me exposure to a huge variety of ideas, work and people, accelerating my design knowledge and teamwork skills.
Between 2009 and 2014 I was mostly contracted in-house for Carphone Warehouse. This involved design leadership (product, UI & UX) on their My Hub web and mobile apps, including a number of trips to California to oversee implementation. Whilst at Carphone I also lead the redesign of the Geek Squad UK website, and provided UX and design planning for a mobile insurance product.
Since 2014 I’ve worked for my own clients at Bowley Design, in partnership with my wife. We help content creators and publishing organisations maximise visual impact and digital efficiency. That can mean anything from brand design, custom graphics and report design to managing digital marketing tools.
Design content & help
I’ve been working to help fellow online makers with design in the last year. This includes selling 100+ copies of an ebook on design. I’ve created the following products as a starting point:
On Deck fellowship
From January to March 2021 I was part of the first On Deck No-Code Fellowship. This is a community-led 10 week intensive learning programme aimed at developing skills and launching products with no-code digital tools.
Recent design work
Products I’ve built or co-built
A product I co-created to help indie makers build in public. Built during the On Deck No-Code Programme, this one two awards (Best No-code Build + Demo Day Crowd Favorite)
Tiny Design Lessons
A platform and product I’ve created to help indie makers with visual and usability design principles. The ebook recently passed the 100 sales milestone.
Maker Design Tools
A database product I’ve created to help indie makers find design resources for their projects.
A resources hub for all my inspiration and educational material for the Carrd website platform.
Deck of Carrd
A curated design gallery I’ve created, featuring the best Carrd websites.
Design help for online makers & entrepreneurs
Fellow no-code makers and founders have been telling me it’s hard to understand or implement good design whilst building their ideas and MVPs.
They currently have limited options. In some tools, they’re are faced with a choice between ready-made templates and a blank canvas they can’t paint on. In others the design is fixed, which leaves no easy way of differentiating your product from others.
If they are to succeed as a new generation of product makers, they need to just enough design knowledge to bridge the gaps.
How can we enable makers with design skills at the same speed and ease that no-code tools enable them to build?
But that’s easier said than done. They’re taking on so many roles already (engineer, product manager, marketer, etc.) they don't have time to study design too, as a practice. So I'm working on how this can be solved – how can we enable makers with design skills at the same speed and ease that no-code tools enable them to build?
Update: I’ve now created 2 products as a result of this research:
Follow me on Gumroad to hear about new products:
#NoCode Infomercial: Are you great at building, but terrible at designing? Do you pine for design that tells your story beyond, "look how fast I built this thing?" Meet @markbowley, he's here to help. Order now and he will throw in free shipping and handling. #ShipItBetter— Philip Lakin (@PhilipLakin) May 21, 2020
Yeah struggling with design - me 🙋🏻♀️🙋🏻♀️🙋🏻♀️— Büşra Coşkuner (@_beesea_) June 15, 2020
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Digital products and demos I’ve launched myself.
|Microbrave||Social tool (co-founder)||Live||2021|
|Creator Store||Curated collection||WIP||2021|
|Starrt||Carrd tutorials & resources||Live||2021|
|No-code Examples||No-code inspiration gallery||Live||2020|
|House App||Mobile app demo||Live||2020|
|Maker Design Tools||Design resources database||Live||2020|
|Tiny Design Lessons||Content platform & ebook||Live||2020|
|Extras for Carrd||Carrd tutorials & demos||Live||2020|
|Deck of Carrd||Carrd inspiration gallery||Live||2020|
|Croxley App||Local mobile app||Live||2020|
|Good Venues||Venues directory website||Live||2020|
|Calm Corners||Mobile app concept||Live||2019|
|Moodbot||Chat bot demo||Live||2019|
|Brand Stack||Directory website||Closed||2017|
|Brandpage||Web app (co-founder)||Live||2016|
|Continu||iOS game app||Closed||2013|
|Freelance Five||Interview blog||Closed||2011|
|Creative Agency Freelancing||Freelance blog||Sold||2009|