Meet the Studio team: Josh Collie
Our portfolio companies get exclusive access to our full-stack Studio team. No agency waste. No marketing waffle. Just practical advice and expert execution through best-practice blueprints, proven technology and industry expertise.
Whether it's marketing and brand, talent and people or product design and engineering, our Studio team are ready, sleeves rolled, to tackle any problem with our founders. In this blog series, we introduce the faces in our Studio, industry specialists who are helping founders beat the odds.
First up, meet Josh Collie, our senior Product Designer.
What were you doing before joining Forward?
Before Forward, I was helping a variety of startups as a lead product designer.
When I joined Moneybox I was their first full time employee, and was responsible for designing everything from the ground up. By the time I left, the team was close to 40 people. It’s incredible to see an app I helped design go from zero users to almost a million now!
I also worked at Zinc. At the time, they were blockchain based, and it was very challenging to create simplicity in a sector that can be very complex. I know that they’re now being used by HelloFresh and recruiting firms like AND Digital, so it’s great to see the company do so well.
What made you join Forward and why are you excited to work here?
I love the idea that investment should be more than money. I've always been driven to help startups flourish by improving their product and brand, and at Forward I’m able to help several companies. There is so much opportunity and talent in the UK startup ecosystem and with the right support, they could create something world-changing.
My day to day varies a lot, and it’s one of the reasons I love it. One week I will be working on a rebranding for one company, the next week I’ll be interviewing people remotely and redesigning an app.
Being part of Forward, and the Studio team in particular, allows me to solve problems that need immediate attention and will make a huge impact to the founders. What’s not to love?
What's your Studio superpower at Forward?
I'm passionate about learning everything about anything which leads me to ask 'why' a lot and challenge the status quo. As a designer, this can help you think differently about how to approach problems. When working across such a variety of portfolio companies, it also helps me get a good understanding of what makes them and their industry tick.
We tend to kick-off every project by getting key stakeholders into a war room and working out the details of what success looks like for a particular project. Acquiring users. Reducing churn. Decreasing customer acquisition costs. As a product designer, it’s then up to me to conceptualise brand directions, create design systems for applications or talk to their users.
Rebranding, for example, may require me to spend hours researching typefaces and thinking about the brand experience at various touch points in a customers journey. App design entails prototyping and designing hundreds of screens which will subsequently be tested with users to ensure they are an improvement. If we’re designing websites, I’ll try to work closely with developers to ensure micro-interactions are flawlessly executed and designs are responsive across devices.
What has been your favourite Studio project to date?
Science and the betterment of humanity have always been very close to my heart, which may have something to do with having a scientist as my father. So, when I had the chance to work with Clustermarket I was very keen to create a product that would help accelerate the progress in research laboratories. The team is very passionate and have such vibrant, invested community of users that are always happy to give feedback which made it a pleasure to work so closely with them.
Want to learn more about what our Studio can do? Find out more here.
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