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Who we are

Octopus Think is a design & development duo based in Scotland. We build inclusive, usable, and smart digital products. We love open source and are frequent contributors to major open source projects. We believe technology is a tool to make the world a better place, and we are guided by ethical decision-making.

Oh, and we really like strange ocean creatures. 🐙

We care about stuff.

We believe that technology can be a tool to improve people’s lives. As technology becomes more intertwined in our everyday lives, it becomes more important that we build products thoughtfully and empathically. Our mission is to leverage everything we’ve learned to make the world a little bit better—one website, app, or visualisation at a time.

We care deeply about making the world a better, fairer place, and we’re not willing to compromise our values to make a quick quid. We make the most ethical decisions possible, from the projects we take on to the tools we use (sorry Monsanto, we’re not interested). We work with governments so vital services are accessible and friendly and we leverage our experience with big companies to help small businesses realise big ideas.

We don’t do busy work.

Staying small allows us to be nimble and adapt easily. We get things done without getting bogged down in endless meetings or onerous administrative overhead. If we can take a boring task off your plate so you can direct your energy better—we’ll be delighted.

We love automation and efficiency, which is a thread that runs through all of our work. Want to talk about tooling and improving your workflows? We love that kind of thing, and it’s evidenced in our best work.

We get things done.

We’ve been on the Internet since MUDs and Mosaic. (Remember those? No? We do!) We’ve worked on a wide range of projects with clients of all sizes. We’ve built experiences for hundreds of millions of users across the world. We’ve contributed thousands of hours to major open-source software projects. We’ve spoken at conferences all over the world, and we’ve taught, mentored, and encouraged all sorts of different people along the way.

We eschew clever for simple, exclusive for open, and safety for boldness.

Two photos of Sarah: one looking serious, one sticking out her tongue.

Title

Chief Design Octopus

Sarah London Semark

Sarah calls herself a "designer who codes", which means she cares most about user needs and typography but can also write a React component when the mood strikes. She’s spoken at conferences around the world about design, inclusion, and technology. You can find her working happily wherever art and science intersect.

Two photos of Matt: one serious, looking out a window, and one in which he is being eaten by a stuffed shark and looking silly.

Title

Chief Technical Octopus

Matthew Riley MacPherson

Matt is a full-stack developer with a soft spot for React and JavaScript. An enthusiastic contributor to open-source projects, he wrote the popular localForage library. He’s hosted workshops around the world and spoken at conferences on nearly every continent. He cares about accessibility, automation, and writing clean, readable code.

Our values

You shouldn’t need to compromise on the things you believe just to keep the lights on. We are advocates of inclusive design, fans of open source, and we believe that technology is a tool to make the world a better place.

  • We believe that accessibility, beauty, and usability co-exist.
  • We aim for transparency, clarity, and openness.
  • We are advocates for inclusive design and open source.
  • We leave our egos at the door and are pragmatic; not dogmatic.
  • We improve with every project and love to pass on what we’re learned.

Are you making the world a better place? We offer a 15% discount for charities, non-profits, and open-source work.

Hire us

Have an idea you want to build? Maybe you need some extra resources to join your existing team?

Drop us a line and we’ll talk.

Get in touch with us