Design isn't defined by the deliverables. Instead, I always start by asking why? By identifying and articulating the underlying problem, I can design an innovative, elegant solution that makes people's lives better. Or take an existing product and design experiments to determine how to improve it. Only then do I produce the relevant deliverables (which could be anything from sketches to a a coded prototype in the browser) in order to communicate and then refine that solution. However, the best products are elevated above problem solving. They challenge how people perceive a problem and so can effect cultural change.
I am meticulous in everything I do, from over arching product strategy down to the smallest details as I believe that although good design is invisible, great design is emotionally engaging and addictive.
I've worked on my own at tiny startups but also built and managed teams at large organisations where individuals are given creative freedom within a framework of shared methodology and design principles. Inspiring a team to do great work gives me immense satisfaction. My predilection to working across the whole lifecycle of products has meant that I've mostly worked client side but what's important to me is to create products that will have a meaningful impact on the people that use them.
I am incurably curious about people, places, products and services - always asking ‘why?’ Being observant is key to being a good designer; I think this improves my empathy and listening skills too
Essential so that people can critique my work honestly, openly and therefore effectively. I don't take any feedback on my designs personally
It's my job to listen to anyone and everyone, understand their problems and frustrations, collect their thoughts and ideas and then synthesise it all into something better. I like to get everybody involved in the design process
I get bored when I'm not learning new things. Which is just as well given how fast moving an area design is. Whether it’s from books, classes, workshops, blogs, Twitter or communities like Designer News, it all helps me become a better designer
I’m no slave to design dogma - mine or anyone else’s. Give me a good enough reason or show me evidence to the contrary and I’ll change my mind. It’s the scientist in me: I have strong opionions that are weakly held
I used to be a professional journalist so I know how to tell a story. Plus I’m pretty talkative and plenty of practice has made me an good communicator. Mix that with my love of data and I can also communicate visually
I care about the products I work on and always tackle problems with energy and passion. Products can change people’s lives so we should be demanding and ambitious
I am willing to make the tough decisions and be accountable for them. I don’t let fear of failure prevent me from trying.
Design is the driving force behind product quality; not technology or features. I will always stand up for what is right for the user as, like IBM’s Tom Watson, I believe good design is good business
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Mike made a huge impact in a very short space of time and showed us what we needed to do to make Rightmove a design led company. As well as being very smart, Mike has an incredible passion for design and for learning. This is a powerful combination! Mike has also been broadening his skills over the past few years too; for example, he has added UX strategy and coding to his arsenal. This makes him a great asset for a startup and a truly 'full stack designer' / product guy for anyone lucky enough to have him on their team. In summary, I've known Mike for a number of years now, and the more I work with him the more he impresses me. Hire him if you can!
James Mickelthwait, Head of Product Development at Rightmove
Mike is a joy to work with - always enthusiastic, passionate and creative about what he does. He brings contagious energy to his work.
Mike is strong in both design and strategy. He is also practical in his approach to execution. At BraveNewTalent he understood the needs of the customer and the users of the platform and tried to balance them. Most importantly Mike has a very high level of integrity. He follows his passions and beliefs to the end. I have grown to immensely respect him.
I have enjoyed working with Mike and would recommend him for future roles.
Lucian Tarnowski, CEO and Founder, BraveNewTalent
I believe it will be difficult to find someone so reliable, professional and knowledgeable like Mike Nagle. When working together he is my missing left side of the brain, we teamed up as a perfect couple. Mike takes Design (with a capital D) with the precision of a surgeon, there's nothing in a product that is irrelevant, in his mind every single element is critical, the result comes always in the shape of innovative, simple and beautiful elegance.
The same principle is applicable to his role as a manager, he drives design processes with constructive conviction, he defends design with the strength of tangible truths, solid analysis of data and the proofs of research. On the technical side, he has become an expert on navigating highly complex data and content structures in multiplatform environments, and a fresh innovator on understanding new types of relations between people and content.
A great communicator and influencer, and a highly respected member of the organisation. Mike always goes beyond his duty and literally becomes the point of reference that links people with technology and with business needs. Mike is the perfect blend between a creative and a scientist, exactly what every Designer should be.
Alberto Barreiro, Head of Experience at ITV
Mike is a fantastic information architect - take that as a given. He has a deep command of the tools and decisions that make a website usable and drive the desirable behaviours any digital publisher will be looking for. He's a pro. But Mike's abilities transcend those of your average talented IA. Smart, ambitious, and with an incredible talent for stakeholder management, Mike has demonstrated he can work on product at the conceptual level, understand the technical and commercial environment, and use his talent to sell the organisation on his desired approach.
To say I'd be happy to have Mike as a product manager would be to sell his capabilities short. His career prospects are bound only by his imagination, and when you bring him on board you will quickly realise the outstanding value he brings.
Andrew Levy, Director of Product & Delivery at ITV