A talented design generalist from a storytelling background working for 20 years in content, technology, communications & media. I specialise in human-centred information design & working in enterprise, arts and digital heritage. I am a design thinking practitioner, service design advocate, with additional specialisms in digital video, semantic metadata, and narrative modelling. I have a passion for quality and attention to detail, helping to design products and services that are greater than the sum of their parts.

Current Activities

Entering the pre-production phase of a large arts-heritage project (To be announced soon) User experience & Digital Strategy work for Sharpham Trust. Audience development for Encounters Arts. Production of Kickstarter campaign for innovative new mental health product (Launching at the end of September)

Currently looking at

  • Opportunities to design data-driven applications for either business or consumer products and services.
  • Developing further academic relationships relating to the data visualisation of semantic archive.
  • Finding technical partners to explore DSpace extension of the StoryMachine Project.

Ongoing Projects

StoryMachine: A new commercial entity in partnership with Encounters Arts. StoryMachine is an innovative semantic multimedia database that enables multiple users to co-create stories, media, contextual and relational information on mobile devices, concurrently, & in real-time.

Development of a new agency: Some consider the digital revolution has now ‘happened’, but it’s really only just getting going. The level of disruption organisations face will be greater & have far wider implications than most of us realise. Imagine if there was an agency which was focused on where the ball would bounce next ? Thats us.

Psynapp: An elegant mindfulness based cognitive behavioural tool. Psynapp (pronounced ‘snap’) looks to address a need in society for easy access to effective self-administered mental health resources. The project is particularly inspired by friends working in children’s mental health & child services.

Background Summary

I started my career in the arts before moving into page layout & graphic design, then moved into film, video and multimedia. My twenties were an exciting combination of directing pop videos and making high-end corporate productions including the launch of the Playstation, an award winning Windows 95 launch campaign, and Formula One. Pioneering a concept called Condensed TV, I began a technology startup called Frameline which looked to deliver a semantic database driven interactive content platform. Working with clients such as Paramount Pictures, Freemantle Media, Oxford Scientific Film, Harvard University & the US Libraries of Congress, I created a time-based semantic annotation structure for video logging and archive, the first commercial MPEG7 product. Having just completed a contract with blur group as senior user experience designer working on the next generation of their business services trading platform, I have now returned to freelancing & consultancy to allow more time to develop special projects.

Please visit LinkedIn to find out more. I look forward to hearing from you.


This is the public site of James Engwell. I am currently in the process of updating my project portfolio, however if you would like me to see examples of my work  please get in touch…

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