Over the last 15 years Penny has designed and led a range of participatory and people-centred online and interactive projects in Australia and New Zealand. She has worked with a range of community, commercial and academic clients including Creative New Zealand, Inspire Foundation, NSW Guide Dogs, Cancer Institute of NSW, Amnesty International, World Wildlife Fund, Windlab, Climate Risk, Australian Federation of Aids Organisations, Telstra-BigPond, Vodafone, Westpac, University of Technology, Sydney, University of New South Wales and Auckland University of Technology. Penny has also assisted in the delivery of a range of training programs in design and digital strategy for organisations such as E-Vision, MTC Works Solutions and MetroScreen.
Starting out as a interactive designer Penny became interested in design research methods when designing weather interfaces for pilots at the MetService in Wellington in 2000. This triggered an ongoing interest in how people-focused design methods help us to design systems and services better and the methods and strategies we can use to involve people in the design of the products and services they use. Penny further honed her design research skills at the Interaction and Human Design Practice Lab at UTS researching emerging mobile methods, interaction design and participatory design. In 2006, Penny joined social design agency Digital Eskimo as their Projects Director/Strategist helping to grow the company from 3 to 15+ staff, introducing numerous design research methods, overseeing design strategy and production on all design projects and mentoring the team on user experience and participatory design methods.
In 2009 Penny began her own strategic design consultancy Smallfire, specialising in custom participatory design and stakeholder engagement programs for community and not-for-profit organisations and social change projects. Penny completed her Phd on participation in design using social technologies in April 2011. In 2012 on returning to Auckland Penny joined Digital Arts as their UX Director. Penny remains a Visiting Scholar at the University of Technology, Sydney and lecturer at the Auckland University of Technology in their growing Bachelor of Business Design Major. She is a regular presenter and publisher in academic and professional forums and co-founder of Auckland Design Coffee Morning #akldcm.
A list of recent public engagements is listed below, for further bio info see Penny’s linkedin profile
2013 Invited Workshop – Design Practice for Social Innovation: SOCANZ Innovation Auckland Conference
2013 Co-Organiser Global Service Design Jam (Auckland)
2013 Jury IxD13 Student Challenge
2012 Invited Speaker – AKL Geek Girls Dinner
2012 Program Committee Member Innovation through Social Media Workshop, Oslo
2012 Keynote Speaker - NZ Gather, Auckland
2012 Presenter – Service Design Conference, Melbourne
2012 Co-Organiser/Facilitator – Global Service Design Jam, Hamilton
2011 Judge – Ozchi24 Design Challenge, Ozchi, Australia
2011 Mentor – Mozilla Open Design Project, Ashesi University College, Ghana
2011 Guest Speaker – Design Thinking Drinks at Digital Eskimo, Sydney
2011 Guest Speaker and Panelist - 2020 Library Summit – The Future of Academic Libraries, UTS, Sydney
2011 Invited Workshop: Codesign Methods – DAB Masters Programme, UTS, Sydney
2010 Co-Chair Industry Day - Participatory Design Conference, Sydney
2010 Examiner – Interactive Media and Learning Masters Assessment Panel - UTS, Sydney
2010 Guest Lecture: User Centred Design – DAB, UTS, Sydney
2010 Judge: Australian WebAwards 2010
2009 Panelist Ozchi: Designing Effective Systems: Contributions from Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction, Melbourne
2009 Judge: User Experience/Usability – McFarlane Prize
2009 Guest Speaker – Universal Favourite Design talks: Connecting brands, services & participation, Sydney
2009 Guest Lecturer – Designing Future Strategies Public Lecture Series, UTS – Design and Use: Tools and Trends in design
2009 Presenter UX Australia – Emerging a User Experience Strategy: People, pencils and post-its
2009 Participant/Presenter – Jeanette Blomberg Service Design Course, UTS
2009 Guest Lecturer – DAB Design Research Course: Personas and Scenarios
2008 Keynote Speaker Making Links – Reaching out or Moving Closer: connecting with your networked community
2008 Invited Panelist, Beyond the Hype: Sustainability & HCI. CHI2008
Reviewer – OZCHI, CHI, CCS, PDC, CT&T, DIS, Foundations and Trends in
Human-Computer Interaction Journal, UxAustralia, PINC, ISM Workshop.