InsightsBlogMeet the team: Edryd Sharp, Head of Product Design

Meet the team: Edryd Sharp, Head of Product Design

Meet EDRYD!

Edryd is Bond’s Head of Product Design. He joined the company in 2018, is originally from North Wales, and has a background in product design and mobile solutions. 

Things to know EDRYD

  • He represented Wales in an international ice sculpting competition in Pello, Finland when he was 19
  • He is known as ‘Eds’ and doesn’t really like to be called “Ed”

What is your role at Bond Digital Health?

A: I champion human-centred product design at Bond. This means that I focus on the human factors and usability engineering to define and untangle UX challenges: transforming complex and often unstructured scenarios into simple solutions.

Our challenge at Bond is to empathise and connect with our clients and the unique context of how their products are to be used. Then, we relate our product to this specific context. It’s a bit like you’re designing a chair and you’re thinking about how it is going to be used, by who and where. If it’s a camping chair, it needs to be suitable to be used outside.

If you’re recording a lateral flow test result using a mobile phone, how is the phone being used? Single handed with the test on the other hand? Outdoors in direct sunlight? By a trained clinician or at home self test? This is the context that needs to be understood.

The goal is to create a user experience that closes the gap between the end user and the digital product.
Always design and approach things in the context that they’re being used.

How did you get into product design?

A: I moved to London in 1999 to study product design, and then came to Cardiff to finish my degree. While exhibiting my work at a 2002 graduate show, I won a position with Sony UK, as a visual designer with their electronics manufacturing team.

I was with Sony for 4 years, and really enjoyed it – the job allowed me to travel around the world and gain a wealth of experience. Afterwards, I moved full-time into consultancy, and joined a few start-ups before eventually setting up my own business in Manchester. We built a solid reputation and eventually sold the company, having completed projects in the automotive and financial industry with organisations such as Jaguar, Land Rover and Natwest.

I joined a local company as digital art director, where we won a BAFTA for a mobile game. Then I went freelance again and eventually joined Bond – and I’ve been with the company ever since.

What's a work related accomplishment you're really proud of?

A: I think my proudest accomplishment would be building my own company. It was a really exciting time, based in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and mixing with other start-ups in a tech incubator before setting up our own office. It was a great experience, and the projects we undertook elevated my hands-on design for mobile and sensor enabled products.

What kind of hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?

Well, my wife and I have a two year old now, so my hobbies revolve around my family life, but I love it! I also enjoy doing DIY, and we bought our home as a doer-upper, so getting to work on my own home and seeing it take shape has been really enjoyable. We do also have a dog, and you can imagine a two year old and a dog don’t mix very well with DIY….

How have you found working from home this year? What's something you like about it?

A: It’s been good all in all.. I’ve had over 10 years experience working from home, so it hasn’t been a major transition for me. I do miss the camaraderie of being in the office, and not being able to have those breakout conversations about projects with my colleagues (or even what was on TV last night) – that sense of building a team. 

During lockdown last summer we were probably at our busiest stage ever. But because I wasn’t commuting to work, it meant I had that extra time to spend with my family; having food together in the garden and getting my son ready for bed. That’s my favourite part of WFH, having access to my little one and making myself available for him.

If you were given an unlimited budget to add one thing to the Bond office, what would it be?

A: I should probably say disco ball because of our high ceilings, shouldn’t I? For something business related, it’d be great to have big backlit signage, of our company logo on the office wall.   

Do you have any predictions for any after effects of the pandemic?

A: I think masks are the norm now, as well as hygiene measures and regular hand sanitisation. It’s an interesting time and quite funny to think about how we used to socialise before and what we’ll do now instead. Thinking of being in a crowded pub now gives me shivers! However, I don’t think the world will go fully online – everyone seems quite fatigued by it, and we’re all feeling the need to physically see people again.

WFH is normalised now, and this is a good shift in thinking when you consider how much stricter pre-COVID flexible working was. There are a lot less rules and impracticalities now, and with WFH being the norm, everyone is becoming more accepting of it. If your dog is barking off-screen, or your toddler is running around in the background, it’s not a big deal because we’re all going through the same thing. This year has been really humanising in a lot of ways, and it’s been nice to see how much more relaxed we’ve become working from home.