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Fathom

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Design understanding

Background

Fathom is a user experience (UX) and service design agency with offices in Belfast and Dublin. We work with agencies, businesses and organisations to improve performance, both online and offline.

Formed in 2011, our core service areas focus on:

We are fully independently owned and operated, allowing us to provide a completely impartial service. We can work with your internal client team, alongside an agency with whom you may already have a relationship, or help you go to market to find the best agency for a particular challenge.

Our specialist team of experts is privileged to work alongside some of the most forward–thinking and ambitious organisations of varying sizes and across many sectors throughout Ireland, the UK and further afield.

People

Gareth Dunlop

CEO & Founder

Gareth Dunlop

Gareth established Fathom in September 2011 to advise companies on how to get the most from the web by seeing the world from the perspective of their customers.

Prior to this, Gareth had 15 years of direct commercial experience helping businesses use the internet more effectively. He was MD of iON, a leading digital strategy and marketing company, headquartered in Belfast and with major clients in 15 countries. From 2002 to 2009, he was the MD of Tibus, one of the largest and most successful web development agencies in Ireland which was then  sold to UTV Media.

Since 1996, he has advised blue–chip clients in Ireland, UK and Europe (AIB, Three, DHL, BBC and the NHS) on design strategy and best practice. Gareth is a former Board Member of the Irish Internet Association, and Chairman of WeddingsOnline.ie. He writes and lectures extensively on internet–related matters. As well as speaking regularly for Ulster University, Digital Marketing Institute, and Irish Times, he has guest lectured for UCD, DCU and DIT. He occupies regular columns in SiliconRepublic.com and Business Eye magazine.

When he’s not running the Fathom ship, Gareth can be found refereeing rugby matches, travelling with his family to watch rugby matches and watching rugby matches on TV.

Andrew McCrea

UX Strategist

Andrew McCrea

Andrew, our UX Strategist, has been working in commercial and project management roles in the digital industry for over 14 years. Before he came to Fathom, Andrew held the role of Digital Director at Mammoth, Digital Consultant at Tibus and Commercial Manager at boutique online travel company, Activity Breaks. Andrew’s agency experience, including his years at Fathom, has seen him lead, deliver and provide value for multiple high–profile client projects and relationships, including AIB, Queen’s University Belfast, TalkSPORT, Kingspan, Three, Tesco and ICON PLC to name but a few.

Outside of Fathom, when not supporting the Gunners (Arsenal) he’s gunning for his next long–distance running personal best. Andrew likes to stay connected to the local UX, CX and digital marketing scene, ‘sharpening his saw’ by attending and contributing to a number of peer–led events, workshops and meet–ups.

Melissa Boyle

UX Planner

Melissa Boyle

Melissa has over 7 years of digital agency experience, working on a wide range of projects. These span the full business spectrum from multinational brands to government departments, SMEs and charities, helping them get the most from digital to develop their business and improve their customers’ user experience.

Melissa is skilled at planning digital solutions for clients, integrating them into online and offline overall marketing, sales and brand activities, to drive tangible results based on improvements in efficiency, productivity, margin and return on investment.

A core attribute of Melissa’s client relationship approach is breaking down a project into simple, understandable and actionable phases, agreeing clearly defined outputs and client expectations, then delivering projects on–time and on–budget, driving quality and a professional service throughout.

When she’s not at work, Melissa loves eyelashes, baking, spending time with her family and chums and strangely loves cleaning.

Marie–therese McCann

UX Lead

Marie–therese McCann

Marie–therese (MT) has over 12 years of industry experience in interactive multimedia design and has held various roles within the digital sector. After a university placement in Intel Dublin, she was a front–end designer and developer with Eyekiller and MadebyMint, and progressed on to senior UX designer in Etain and head of digital creative in Mammoth. 

MT leads the delivery team at Fathom, developing the roles of those within it and ensuring projects are properly structured and delivered on time and to budget. She has extensive experience shaping UX projects for clients such as AIB, Translink, BBC NI, Land and Property Services, Firmus and Tesco Mobile. MT also organises and hosts the local meet up Ladies that UX Belfast, a part of the global group that encourages women within the industry.

Outside of Fathom, MT is a keen ‘Mothers and Others’ Gaelic footballer, and GAA youth coach for hurling and camogie. She is a passionate supporter of Antrim Hurling, travelling the length and breadth of Ireland throughout the year.

Mark Devlin

UX Designer

Mark Devlin

Mark graduated with a degree in Visual Communication from the University of Ulster and has over 6 years’ industry experience as a User Experience Designer. He previously worked for RepKnight beginning as an intern designing their cyber security application and eventually progressing to the Head of UX and leading the design of both of the company’s product offerings. 

He is passionate about solving problems for people by understanding their needs and utilising user centred design principles to improve their experience of the digital and physical services they use. 

In his spare time Mark likes to follow the NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers in particular after having played basketball for many years and more recently has started training Brazilian jiu jitsu when he can.

Matt Jamison

UX Researcher

Matt Jamison

Matt has worked as a psychology advisor in the tech industry since 2014, specialising in cognitive psychology, emotional analytics and heuristics. He has previously worked with companies such as Mondelez, Unilever, and Red Bull Media to provide psychologically validated methods of research, analysis and reporting. Matt has academic experience in various fields of psychology, largely focusing on cognitive psychology, human–computer interfaces and forensic psychology. Matt is the Belfast group leader for the Interaction Design Foundation, and strives to improve user experience and inclusive design through critical thinking and scientific rigour.

In his spare time, Matt teaches guitar and gets regular walks by his Bernese Mountain Dog, Finn.

Jonah McLachlan

UX Designer

Jonah McLachlan

Jonah has over five years of digital agency experience. He started his career working in front–end development for the Information Services team of University of Edinburgh, then gained further experience with Fraser/Coyle and Basestation. His interest in user experience began at Eyekiller, where he worked on projects for clients including firmus energy, Suki Tea, Capita, Simon Brien and Gymnastics Ireland. At Fathom, Jonah has worked on projects for clients such BBC, Mervyn Stewart Skoda and AIB. He also is a mentor for the UX Design Institute and delivers UX training on a regular basis.

He is passionate about understanding the needs of users and proactively looks for ways to improve the user experience for apps, websites and services. Outside of Fathom, Jonah enjoys cooking, coffee shops and playing music.

Jim Morrison

UX Designer

Jim Morrison

Jim is currently studying a Bachelors in Interaction Design at Ulster University. With a background in information management, digital marketing, SEO & web analytics, Jim has a passion for user driven design & digital content. In Jim’s spare time as an experienced freelancer in web and graphic design, he has created numerous brands and developed user experiences on various projects, as well as lecturing part–time in Creative Media at Northern Regional College.

Andy Robinson

UX Research and Marketing Executive

Andy Robinson

Andy contributes to the strategic planning and implementation of Fathom’s various marketing activities. With a background in both marketing and language teaching, Andy enjoys working with content and effectively communicating the Fathom brand across a variety of channels. He also plays a key role on our research team, delivering insight–driven projects for our clients.

Outside of work Andy would have you think that he spends his time playing bass, going for hikes and enduringly supporting Irish rugby. But really he’s just thinking of dreadful puns.

Charlotte Tracey

UX Analyst

Charlotte Tracey

Charlotte specialises in using quantitative research and user insights to deliver optimisation strategies for a range of organisations. She’s worked in both public and private sector organisations. She began her career working in research for cultural and non–profit organisations such as Tate Modern and National Trust focusing on digital projects before moving into the world of retail. She has previously worked for brands with a focus on e–commerce flows like Cotton Traders and JD Sports, helping them deliver an improved mobile experience to their users. Most recently, she has worked for BPP Holdings, a professional education provider based in Manchester as a Conversion Rate Optimisation Specialist, developing personas and optimising their internal application system. 

After recently relocating back to Northern Ireland, Charlotte enjoys checking out the local music scene in Belfast and visiting local museums and galleries.

Lorna Dunlop

Finance Manager

Lorna Dunlop

Lorna has over 25 years of experience in administration and financial oversight. She has worked in both public sector and educational environments. She is responsible for all book–keeping, financial and facilities within Fathom.

Lorna has a degree in English Language and Literature and when she’s not keeping the Fathom team in order, she loves walking and reading fantasy and science fiction novels.

Gerard Curry

Associate – Events Manager

Gerard Curry

Gerard has over 10 years events industry experience running business conferences, training workshops, seminars and roadshows initially through his own company Eventure and more recently contracting his services out to run events on behalf of other client companies.

Specialising in the Digital and Communications sectors he has worked with many local companies and business development organisations including, Ionology, Linkubator, Tibus, Digital Marketing Institute, University of Ulster, Chambers of Commerce, Institute of Directors, the BBC, UTV, Belfast Telegraph.

Judith Gordon

Associate – Multidisciplinary Designer

Judith Gordon

Judith is a design teacher with over fifteen years’ experience and she teaches students at various levels and abilities. Since completing her Masters, MFA in Multidisciplinary Design, Judith has set up her own home studio and delivers workshops and works collaboratively with other businesses.

She has skills in numerous design disciplines such as user research; journey mapping; creative problem–solving; prototyping and realisation, as well as project and product management. Judith’s approach places the user at the heart of the design and development process.

When not designing, making or teaching Judith is keen to get out in the fresh air and go walking with her husband and their two energetic dogs, Lottie the German Pointer and Ruby the Hungarian Vizsla.

Stuart Kennedy

Associate – UX Developer

Stuart Kennedy

Stuart has over 8 years’ industry experience working with a broad range of clients across many sectors, from startups like Get Invited and Plotbox to corporate clients like Ricoh.

Stuart enjoys working at the intersection of UI design and front–end development, two disciplines which provide a great combination of logical and creative thinking. He’s always eager to identify the right solutions to business problems, to meet business goals and objectives for his clients and help them grow their businesses.

In his spare time he can be found working on various side projects to keep his skills sharp and stay up to date with the latest tech developments. He geeks out over computer tech, cryptocurrencies and gaming.

Andrew McCracken

Associate – UX Designer

Andrew McCracken

Andrew graduated with a degree in Interactive Multimedia design from the University of Ulster and has over 6 years’ industry experience as a designer in multiple capacities.

After a university placement in Used CarsNI, Andrew was a digital designer for Randox before branching out into a variety of other roles: he worked as a freelance product designer for CliniShare and Ardluce, started a clothing brand called Zion Apparel, and then ran a Little Husky small design studio with a business partner.

Andrew is product lead and co–founder of gofyt, an online platform that makes it easy to find and book a local health and fitness professional.

Outside of work, Andrew loves exploring Ireland, in particular, the sights and sounds of Northern Ireland’s North Coast. 

Michelle McFadden

Associate – Content Strategist

Michelle McFadden

Michelle started her career in legal drafting as a legal consultant for Mercer and has worked in a variety of sectors including policy and project work within local government, research work in the charitable sector, and document review for Allen & Overy. She is a partner in Colophon Editorial and has worked for HMICFRS, the Care Quality Commission and the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation in editorial and report writing coaching roles. 

Michelle’s background as an editor, proofreader and writer has convinced her of the need to make business communication focused, clear and direct. In Fathom, Michelle has provided content for clients such as Tesco Mobile, Police Service of Northern Ireland and NHS Scotland.

Finán O’Donoghue

Associate – UX Analyst

Finán O’Donoghue

Finán has nearly 20 years of experience in helping large businesses bridge the gap between humans and technology. Having fulfilled Senior Analyst roles in organisations such as Vodafone, KBC, Vhi, Liberty Insurance and Bank of Scotland, he brings a large breadth of experience to our Enterprise clients. His particular focus lies in the implementation of UX process, its efficient integration with project delivery methodologies, other systems and helping clients adapt to putting their customers at the heart of their IT and web development activities.

Memberships

To ensure that we are informed with the latest thinking we are actively involved in leading membership organisations.

We carefully select best of breed membership organisations both locally and globally, to ensure that we are up to date on all matters related to statistics, research, best practice, internet theory and digital strategy.