Hi, I’m Matt
I'm a senior digital product designer with a focus on accessibility and inclusive design. I enjoy the challenge of solving complex problems with design thinking.
Over the last 16 years, I've worked on projects of all shapes and sizes for a wide range of clients across a broad spectrum of industries.
I'm currently a Principal Designer at NearForm, where I lead design work on projects for innovative startups, familiar brands, and government agencies around the world. I'm also an Open University postgraduate software engineering student.
Talking about myself in the third person so you don't have to.
Matt Obee is a digital product designer specialising in accessibility and inclusive design. Currently a Principal Designer at NearForm, he has previously held roles in UX, UI and QA. From startups and charities to international brands and government agencies, Matt has worked on projects of all shapes and sizes for a wide range of clients across a broad spectrum of industries.
I'm passionate about accessibility and inclusive design in part because I grew up with disabled parents. I saw what things they struggled with and missed out on, and I learned how even simple changes can make a big difference. Those lessons stayed with me and helped shape my career. I do what I can to make the products I work on more accessible and try to inspire other people along the way.
My design process
I wouldn't say that I have one design process so much as a collection of strategies and techniques that I mix and match in whatever way makes sense for each project. I'm often embedded in a client team so I have to adapt to their preferred ways of working.
Broadly speaking I like to:
- Work in the open
- Learn from the experts
- Collaborate with engineers
- Get feedback from users early and often
- I do most of my work on a Macbook Pro. Rectangle keeps my windows organised and Maccy manages my clipboard history, both open source.
- Email is still a thing but I tend to keep in touch with colleagues and clients over Slack and Zoom. Some clients prefer Microsoft Teams.
- Most big projects are managed in Jira but Trello works well for smaller projects. Todoist tells me what I personally need to do every day. I have tried other to-do apps but Todoist seems to be the best value cross-platform solution.
- I'm a big fan of Notion and its relational databases. I have tried scribbling notes on my iPad in Goodnotes but typing notes just comes more naturally to me.
- I have been using Reclaim to manage my calendar recently. It talks to Todoist and Google Calendar, blocking out time in my calendar for important tasks and making sure I have space to walk the dog and take a lunch break. It even updates my Slack status so that people know what I'm doing.
- Figma is my design tool of choice but I still reluctantly use Sketch for some projects. I rarely open Photoshop or Illustrator. I wonder what the Adobe takover will mean for Figma in the long term? Penpot is a promising open source alternative.
- I sometimes use InVision and Zeplin for sharing prototypes and developer handover but Figma does the same things well enough for most projects. I try to avoid having lots of separate tools.
- I prefer Miro over Mural for workshops. Figjam is a nice lightweight alternative to both, with the added bonus of plugins and widgets.
- I don't touch code much during my day job. When I do, I reach for Visual Studio Code but I have used Sublime and Atom in the past.
- Eleventy is my static site generator of choice but I have played with Gatsby too. A few years ago I would have used ExpressionEngine, Craft, or WordPress.
- I push my code to GitHub using the GitHub Desktop app. I tend to use Netlify for static hosting but Krystal is my host of choice for anything more complicated.