Start!

A couple of months ago, Tommy McClean (my UX design partner in crime from our time in Derry) let me in on a secret. His new team at PwC were planning to screen InVision’s ‘Design Disruptors’ in Belfast.

In our day-to-day work, Tommy and I were huge advocates of InVision’s prototyping tools and we had been closely following the progress of their new design film.

There was no way that I was going to miss it. Tommy set a ticket to one side for me and I arranged to be back home in Belfast for the screening on 15 November.


Before the screening at the MAC (and following the by now customary pre-design-event pint at the Duke of York), I bumped into some familiar faces from Belfast’s design scene. It was great to see Christopher Murphy and Paul McCormack (from Ulster University) and Gaby Muldoon (from Little Thunder Co.) and it was equally great to hear what they’d all been up to since we’d last talked. Conversation led us from the remarkably high standard of work that the current crop of Interaction Design students are producing at the Belfast School of Art; to Tiago and Cláudia Pedras’s (sadly, unsuccessful) Kickstarter campaign that aimed to disrupt how design eduction is delivered in the digital age; and finally, on to Christopher’s latest project: Tiny Books.

Christopher told us that he was very close to launching his first book. ‘Start! Stop Procrastinating and Pursue Your Passion’ would be a short book for creative entrepreneurs that aimed to guide them towards turning their passionate ideas into successful businesses.

But ‘Start!’ wouldn’t only be available in (digital) book form. In an effort to make his content accessible and to support different learning styles the book would be accompanied by supporting screencasts, slide decks and worksheets. This aspect really excited me.

Having spent almost six years studying under Mr Murphy (at both undergraduate and postgraduate level), I’ve first-hand experience of his unique teaching/mentoring style. Christopher gives a shit and his passion comes across in the way that he delivers his lectures (the same can be said for his writing); I knew that the screencasts were going to be attention grabbing to say the least. I was also glad to hear that Christopher planned to share some of his arsenal of design thinking tools and worksheets, most of which helped me with my own studies.

One thing was for sure, we’d all be in for a treat when his project launched. ‘Start!’ would definitely be worth waiting for!


At this point we were called to watch the film… and as you’ve possibly already gathered from social media, ‘Design Disruptors’ was great! I can’t wait to see it a second time when/if it becomes available to download.

I left the MAC that evening inspired by notions of “disruption” and the “pursuit of passion”.


A fortnight-or-so later, I was heading to my first UX Sheffield event when I received a preview bundle of ‘Start!’ from Christopher. I spent the best part of that weekend reading (and re-reading) the book and poring over its supporting materials.

Truth be told, ‘Start!’ couldn’t have came at a better time for me.

I recently left my position at an international software house, where I’d been c0-leading UX design for three (very happy) years.

I’d married the girl of my dreams in the summer and relocated shortly afterwards from Derry in Ireland’s north west region to Sheffield in South Yorkshire.

The fact that I was no longer working from the office, coupled with some personal issues of my own, ultimately brought me to the realisation that I needed a different challenge a little closer to my new home. It was time for something new… but what?

Thanks to Christopher’s book and the advice within it, I now have a much clearer picture of what I want to do.

Not only do I know what I want to do, but more importantly I know why I want to do it and how I’m going to go about achieving it. (I’ll be expanding more on the specifics of what exactly “it” is in another post that I’ll publish early in the new year.)

‘Start!’ is a call-to-action to do exactly that: start. It’s a challenge to stop sitting on your hands and to do what you’ve always dreamed of doing. It’s an aid that’ll encourage you to make your first mark (which in turn will lead to your second, third, fourth, et cetera).

The book presents tried and tested methods and tools that’ll help you identify your passions, inspirations and motivations. You will become inspired by the stories and experiences of others through relatable case studies. ‘Start!’ will help you define your own personal story and will take you on a journey where you’ll be equipped with the tools to plot achievable milestones along a path towards your ultimate goal: a sustainable and profitable business that you’re passionate about.

If you’re a creative thinker with an idea in your locker that you’re truly passionate about, I’d highly recommend getting your hands on Christopher’s book (and its supporting materials).

The time to take the leap is now. It’s time to start!


You can buy ‘Start! Stop Procrastinating and Pursue Your Passion’ direct from the Tiny Books website.

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