When it comes to disrupting entire industries and truly transforming the customer experience you have to have an exceptional team who can make it happen. Our team at Gravity 9 are just that, highly skilled, driven, passionate and fun to work. This month we continue our Meet the Gravity 9'ers series with the introduction of Experience Practice Director, Andy Newman.
Here’s what Andy had to say when posed with his 9 questions:
1. What is your role at Gravity 9?
As Experience Practice Director my role covers innovation, design thinking and, primarily user experience; in terms of experience design and the development of new products.
2. What do you enjoy most about working at Gravity 9?
I love that nothing is theoretical and its ok to have really big ideas. In a lot of UX agencies, you can produce beautiful ideas but they are executed by someone else and due to commercials, it can become disjointed; there is no start middle and end. With Gravity 9, we don’t have this problem because we are the people that both design and build the ideas. We can dial up realistic ideas and not have them watered down during implementation as we have continuous communication with the build team. We have a real collaborative energy that comes from being a team of consultants, designers and architects in one place with deep expertise.
It's ok to have really big ideas, because we are the people that design and build them.
3. What one piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in your line of work?
Whatever you do the only thing that matters is going and finding the most exciting job. Where you can, try not to be restricted by location or salary; go to the job that excites you where you can work with the most creative people. If you follow the work you enjoy then you can bank some incredible experiences and work with some inspiring people that will stand true for the rest of your career and the money and recognition will come off the back of that.
4. What can’t you start your day without?
Radio 4, because it’s just perfect, and a pint of herb tea (then espresso one hour later!)
5. What do you do in your spare time?
I do a lot of riding and racing on mountain bikes and cycle cross. I find the meditation aspect of outdoor life really beneficial. It’s pure off time for me. I used to try and solve problems when I was out on the bike but now, I realise the problem solving comes after the time out on the bike, after I’ve had the chance to flush everything through my mind and come back to the problem afresh. On the other side I often get to design event clothing or race branding; it’s a great feeling seeing the team lined up to begin a race wearing clothing I designed.
I also go to meet-ups and attend strategy groups, which are great because you get to listen and talk to strategists from a range of different industries and experiences outside of those, I work in.
I find the meditation aspect of outdoor life really beneficial, it's pure off-time.
6. What is the last movie you watched?
I honestly cannot remember the last movie I watched. I got rid of my TV fifteen years ago as I was looking at my time and where I could achieve savings to allow me to do more things, and one of the wastage areas was TV. I don’t really do box sets or movies I've just reallocated the time I would spend doing that into other things like cycling or learning, I do love a good podcast though, so am really excited that I’m now co-hosting the new Gravity 9 Digital Matters podcast.
7. What special skill / talent do you have (other than what you do for a living)?
That’s a hard question. I think mine is curiosity, which is actually nosiness. I like to know what people are doing and why, how things work and why. I love observing things. I'm a people and action watcher. I'm also curious about things I'm not good at; there could be something I've got a talent for at but I just haven't discovered it yet.
8. What would be your dream holiday?
I don’t know about where but it would definitely be a road trip. I like the discovery and randomness of a road trip. When I was working with JLR on launching the F-Type super car, we were in the factory and I saw three of them all in the camo paint and they were about to go out for destruction testing, where they were driven around until they fall apart – now that sounds like seriously fun road trip!
Taking the F-type super car out for destruction testing, now that would be a fun road trip.
9. What is the last song you had stuck in your head?
That’s easy, it’s the Green Hornet by Al Hurt, the trumpet solo in Kill Bill. It's just perfect, every note is hit with confidence and clarity. It's perfect.