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Published on21 September 2019·Tags#updates

Hello! We're Octopus Think.

Let's talk about design. And technology. And cephalopods, because we can't always be that serious.

Hi there! We’re SarahExternal link and MattExternal link.

Together, we’re Octopus Think, a digital design and development agency. We’re based in beautiful Edinburgh, Scotland but we’re both frequent travellers and can often be found travelling the globe. 🌍

We build accessible, fast, and thoughtful apps and websites. We design inclusive, usable, and beautiful experiences, interfaces, and communications. We’re always learning and teaching others. We’re experienced public speakers and leaders who empower people to build awesome stuff. And above all, we believe in the power of technology to solve problems and make the world a better place. ✌️

Who are we anyway?

SarahExternal link (she/her) calls herself a “designer who codes”, which basically means she’s a control freak who gets her hands messy and breaks things. Her background is in graphic and web design, but she moved into product and UX design once she realised she cares just as much about how it works as how it looks. She’s a thoughtful and holistic designer who connects the user experience from research through to delivery.

Sarah is passionate about leveraging technology in order to create social change and make the world a more equitable place. In her spare time, she likes to renovate our flat and go for long hikes in the woods. 🌳

MattExternal link (he/him) is a full-stack developer with a wide range of skills. You’ll most often see him working with React front-ends or messing about with Kubernetes. An advocate for accessibility and inclusion, Matt embraces best practises and new technology to ensure no one is left out. He loves using technology to automate tasks, and he writes copious tests so that things (almost) never break.

Matt is an avid motorcyclist and coffee equipment enthusiast. It’s possible he needs more storage space. 🛵

Together, we’ve worked on an array of different one-off projects over the years. Realising the world could use more accessible, thoughtfully-designed, and lovingly-crafted apps, interfaces, and websites, we’ve decided to team up and build great things together.

Having highly complementary skills, we’re able have joint ownership and make decisions in a diplomatic way. Where we do overlap are the passions that ignite us: automation, empowerment, inclusion, and social justice. That’s where we’ll be directing the majority of our efforts. 🔥

What to expect from this blog

We’re still figuring things out, but expect us to talk about things that matter most to us. Design and technology. Accessibility and inclusion. Oh, and adorable cephalopod stories, because we aren’t made of stone. Those suckers are really cute. 🐙

What we’re working on

Recently, our time has been devoted to NautilusExternal link, our open-source, inclusive design system. We couldn’t find a good solution in the existing React component library/design system ecosystem—so we started building our own. It’s a ton of work but it’s super rewarding, and we’ll be sharing more about what we’ve learned here soon.

Nautilus is designed and developed almost entirely in the open. Our aim is to build a truly accessible, flexible, and straightforward design system (and component library!) for designers and developers to use.

We’re also frequent open source contributors to projects like localForageExternal link, Mozilla Add-onsExternal link, and WordPressExternal link.

As for the future, we have a lot of different ideas brewing. Follow along to see what happens! ❤️

Follow along

Want to keep track of what we’re up to? For now, you can follow our updates via Twitter: @octopusthinksExternal link. We’ll also be sharing selected stories via Medium @octopus-thinksExternal link.

We also have an RSS feed if you’re into that sort of thing, and a newsletter you can sign up for at the bottom of the site.

A photo of a young redhead wearing sunglasses and smiling.
Job titleWritten by

Sarah London Semark

Chief Design Octopus. Advocate for the user. Believes in constructive criticism. Buys books based on their covers.

A photo of a young man with his eyebrows arched.
Job titleWritten by

Matthew Riley MacPherson

Chief Technical Octopus. Accessibility and React developer. Open-source contributor. Needs coffee to function.