Afterlife: Stephan McCarthey

This term we get an afternoon session called Afterlife. In these sessions designers come in and talk to us first years, second and third years about life in their field of work. Today was the first session and our guest speaker was Stephan McCarthey a Designer in Government service.

In his line of work he works alongside many designers that are in 4  groups. These 4 groups of designers are Service designer, Interaction Designers, Content Designers and Graphic designers. All these designers work together to produced various things for the Government such as the GOV.UK website which is constantly getting updated and changed by the designers and many times they have been named the best website design of the year.

Throughout the History of Government designers there have been very successful designers and we still use the designs till today. Margaret Calvert still works as a design lecturer at the Government Design, but she is more well known about her big contribution to Britain’s roads when she and her partner designed the road signs we see today. Also many other design we use and see today were designed by the government designers such as these:

National Rail Logo which is seen on maps and on Train station Markings, The London Underground map which is been used today and also many other countries have taken the similar design for their own city undergrounds.

Stephan McCarthey gave us many tips when coming to designing and also how they go at their work in the Digital Government Service:

  1.  Start with needs
  2. Do Less
  3. Design with data
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple
  5. Iterate, then iterate again
  6. This for everyone
  7. Understand Context
  8. Build Digital service, not website
  9. Be consisted not uniform
  10. Make things open; It make things better.

These were the 10 steps the designers in the government followed when designing something which has made me think about creating my own or follow someones unique way of designing things.

Two quotes i remembered from this lecture was:

Find what works not whats popular” and “It’s not finished, it will never will be” 

Both quotes have influenced me and i will remember to think about them when designing.

Today was really interesting to get some information about the life of design outside the University. I will keep thinking about some key tips Stephan McCarthey told us and will use it in my work.


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