After a little over 5 years at Hotels.com, part of the Expedia Inc. group, I shall be moving on to be Lead UX at MailOnline, part of A&N Media. It’s not actually the Daily Mail, but it is publishing, it is advertising funded, and as such it’s at the centre of one of the most disrupted industries in the world. This I hope will be very interesting…
First though, I want to say I’ve had good times at hotels.com. I joined a team of 3 in the UX department for EMEA, and leave that team now with almost 20 people looking after the site worldwide. It was a wonderful experience working for what is probably now the largest e-commerce site both operating in, and run out of, London. Selling one of the most complex consumer products you can sell in the digital world, they have the people, resources and working environment few Internet industry employers can offer you outside of Silicon Valley. I am both lucky and privileged to have been there as long as I was. But now my work there is done, and I wish them all the best in what continues to be a very successful business.
The situation at MailOnline is similar to that of hotels.com when I joined. I will be the third UX employee, the others (both LBi alumni) having started only a few months ago. So this is not going to be about what MailOnline is now, but what will be for the most popular news site in the world. The brand believes strongly in free information not paywalls, has the revenue to back up that belief, and is now growing rapidly in the US.
I thought a lot about where I should go after hotels.com, including a return to competitive figure skating. But those who know me will understand my interest in news publishing, being as I am very interested in the role of media in the digital age. So this is also about the possible future of networks, information and culture. It’s about copyright and community, which things are close to my heart. Many of those things converge at MailOnline, so in joining them now and at this stage of their development, I hope to have a hand in shaping the future of news.
Wish me luck.