King Harmsworth Design and Photography

About Sacha Harmsworth, UX Designer & Frontend Developer

Subtitle: A short story about the career journey of a UX Designer and Frontend Developer and what I do…

TL;DR I have been making websites for a long time.

Sacha Harmsworth smiling while working at a laptop

It all happened by accident.

I’m Sacha. I was born and raised in Dubai, educated in Western Australia before building a career in the UK working with some incredible people.

Today I am a Frontend Developer and UX Designer after a long winding career through web design and development.

My specialist interest is the intersection of user experience, accessibility and performance. I tend to focus on the frontend of the frontend, using semantic HTML markup, scalable CSS solutions and presentational Javascript.

It's a long way from my BA in Fine Art, Politics and History from the University of Western Australia. Growing up as a kid I was passionate about anything involving visuals and constructs - comics, miniatures, painting, drawing and Lego.

I fell into working on the web after doing a animation evening course at City Lit, London in 2003. Where I learned Flash and some basic HTML.

While working at Edexcel's (now Pearson), I was asked if I could edit some HTML for CD-ROM and after that the rest is history. I moved to Edexcel's first e-learning department in 2003, designing and building e-learning materials, including Edexcel's first online learning tool "Breaking the ICE" built in Flash.

In 2005, I was seconded to Pearson Education's pioneering online education tool "Knowledge Box" as a digital content producer, building animated content.

After returning to Edexcel, I was headhunted by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) in 2006 to become their in-house digital designer. At the RAB I worked cross media on all the RAB / RadioCentre brand collateral, as well as the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards and the Big Listen (at the time, the largest online survey in partnership with YouGov). I also maintained and designed the large RAB website, including the site's first overhaul for 10 years.

I used this high profile project as a stepping stone to start my own freelance creative studio King Harmsworth, which has been running since 2008. Operating as King Harmsworth, I have worked with clients in the UK, Middle East and Australia, from well known corporate brands, such as MoneyGram Int, Myspace and the Australian Medical Association to various SME's helping push their businesses forward online.

After five years of freelancing I decided it was time for a new challenge and I currently work at Big Mallet a specialist Drupal agency focusing on the 3rd sector. It’s a small team helping charities maximise their online presence. My role in the team involves Frontend development, UX best practice and accessibility advocate.

I went on to complete a Professional Diploma in UX Design from the UX Design Institute in 2021. My journey so far has been based on continued learning, curiosity and pushing my knowledge. Around the next corner, who knows what else is in store… TBC.