Stephen Hutchings is a multi‑disciplinary digital designer, with hands-on experi­ence spanning UI & UX design, front‑end develop­ment, type design, branding, animation and illustration

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Currently, I am the Lead Designer at the Lowy Institute.

I sit at the intersection between design and front-end development, working with a small and talented team as the lead designer. It’s my job to make sure every­thing looks great and works intuitively, building digital products that are fit for purpose and full of joy. Every time you read, click, search, tap, drag, delete, edit or sign in, I’m the one who designs and builds that user experience.

My Role

I’m currently working at the Lowy Institute, Australia’s leading think tank. We aim to inform and deepen the debate about international policy through rigourous, non-partisan research and analysis.

Before the Institute, I was at Ed Microlearning – a SaaS learning platform. Their tools help businesses to author and deliver better training. The simpler and smarter product means customers can deliver well-designed, enjoyable training on any device.

I’m all about balancing the big picture with the nitty gritty. I make decisions about the best way to introduce new features, how they fit into the user experience and how we can achieve great results within technical and time constraints. Then I get my hands dirty. On any given day, you might find me with my design hat on, creating wireframes, mock-ups, graphics and animations, style guides, logos and any other artwork. Otherwise I’ll be working on the front-end, producing prototypes, implementing designs and interactions into the final product, reviewing code or writing documentation.

Special Interests

My full time role is only half the story. I’m always busy working away on other projects, which have taken various forms over the course of my career. Currently I’m moonlighting as a type designer, creating a number of different retail fonts. This text is set in the latest, a typeface called Philippa. In the past, I’ve created an iOS app for creatives to manage colour swatches on the go. You might know Typicons, one of the first freely-available icon fonts. I’ve also written a number of open source front-end libraries, which you can find on GitHub. My interest in design fields that interrelate with my work keeps me engaged and provides fresh insight into the problems that need to be solved day‑to‑day.

My Philosophy

I want to make better digital products. I get excited about the small details – microcopy, tone of voice, typography, motion – as well as the big picture – user journeys, information hierarchy, business logic, brand positioning. You need both to create beautiful, well-designed products.

There is high standard of excellence that we now expect in a competitive, global marketplace, where technology giants normalise best-in-class software. But success isn’t exclusive to teams with endless resources and massive scale. By designing finely-tuned solutions that address real problems, I help make things that people want to use.