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About Me

Hi there, I'm Mike. There's only one thing that you really need to know about me: I love Google Services, and I have a tonne of great ideas to make them even better. There are only so many times your friends can say "Man, do you work for Google or something?" before you stary to think: "Hey, maybe I should!"

I have a really unique skillset which I know makes me perfect for a role at Google: Post-graduate IP and commercial law qualifications, project management experience, an eye for design and knowledge of cutting-edge technology. I'd love to work at Google, developing new products and experiences and really make a difference to the future of Google's product portfolio.

tech/design background personal
I'm a nerd. There's no denying it. I've been modding the UI on touchscreen phones since day one. From the Symbian Sony Ericsson P800, through Windows Mobile, WebOS and now Android; I’m completely mobile experience obsessed. What sets me apart is that I’ve spent 8 years doing it just for the love of crafting beautiful interfaces. Android makes my hobby an absolute pleasure, and I want to be a part of that.

I’ve recently decided to take my hobby to the next level, and have taught myself learning everything I need to produce beautiful websites and apps.

OK, it’s no secret, I love Google products. But I breathe mobile design and technology. I read the webzines, I know the sales stats, I know demographics and most importantly, I know what people want.

We’re currently in the midst of a mobile revolution. Nokia/Windows Phone have created something beautiful in the Lumix range, and Ubuntu is threatening to take on Android as the next great, free mobile OS. Luckily I have some innovative ideas to keep Android one step ahead of the game.

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My background isn't typical of a tech designer, but I've inadvertantly armed myself with the perfect mix of skills to drive innovation.

I have a degree in law from Lancaster University and trained at the commercially focused BPP Law School, where I finished top of the class in the two primary modules. My electives included Intellectual Property and Commercial Law.

After this, I worked at a law firm, but didn’t find it as rewarding as I’d hoped.

Currently, I work as a project and contract manager, building transferrable skills whilst planning my future. Although challenging, I yearn for creativity, flexibility and the excitement of creating new products.

I’ve always been passionate about tech design. It’s something I do for fun, so it never occurred to me that it could be work. Recently, I decided to put those years of making band posters, t-shirts and myspace pages into practice. I read up and began freelance web design. I’m even developing a few of my own apps and I’m keen to make the move to mobile experience development.

So what does this mean? It means I know about copyrights and patents, and innovate to devise fun and alternative approaches before there’s a disaster. It means I'm a competent project manager with a track record of excellent performance. It means that I’d be the most passionate Google employee that you could imagine. Heck, I made a whole website to apply for a vacancy that doesn’t exist!

If you want to know a little more, you can check my CV.

Many people claim to be ’rock star web designers’, but I genuinely am. I play bass guitar and backup vocals in a fairly successful band. OK, we’re not Led Zepplin, but we’ve toured internationally, sharing the stage with our childhood heroes and playing music that we love to thousands of fans.

After millions of online plays, we were named ’UK band of the year’ by a major magazine and our music videos are played on commercial music television. Much of our success was without label assistance and down to intelligent online marketing. Improving media accessibility on mobile is something I’d love to help develop.

And when I’m not playing my guitar? I love snowboarding, movies and hanging out with my buddies. Oh, and I rock a kill/death ratio of 2.5 on Call of Duty.

glowing bright ideas for android
Matias Duarte has worked wonders with Android to make it as beautiful as it is functional. I’d love the opportunity to work with the mobile teams, and I have a few suggestions to help further develop the polished and consistent UI and UX of Android, whilst harmonising with other Google services.

I’ve also got some great ideas to add functionality and fun to the Android experiece and Google in general. Below are a few freebies, but and I have a tonne more which I’m itching to bring to life.

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Send a High Five

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Latitude with High-Five

Check-ins gives Android users an extra Latitude feature which encourages social interaction, and it’s great to have a record of where you’ve been.

High-Five takes this to the next level, and adds to the exclusivity of owning an Android device. When you’re close by, you can high-five your buddies, or other Android users (opt-in required) which arrives as a push request on their device. You could even use NFC. If they accept, you get a notification back. High-Fives can appear on your Google+ profile and in your latitude history. Give it a try with the Galaxy Nexus on the left.

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A new approach to lockscreen

When I first saw the Android lockscreen, I thought "Wow, that’s cool, but I’m surprised someone doesn’t already have a patent on it".

I guess it turns out that someone did, but this should be considered a chance to innovate. This is the first idea that came into my head that falls outside the scope of the patent. I can think of a bunch of great ways to build upon this, and the intuitive, clean interface blends pefectly into Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s certainly a great start and a really satisfying way to unlock your phone.

Complete the circuit to charge up and unlock. Give it a try on the right!

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Smart Caller ID

It’s the little things that make a huge difference. With Google Maps, finding and calling a business takes just a couple of finger taps.

But what about when a business calls you? Wouldn't it be great to know who’s trying to get hold of you without answering? Or to be able to screen those annoying tele-marketing calls?

Checking the number online against Google’s business database while the phone is ringing would take seconds and is one of those little features that makes Google phones extra-smart.

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