Danny Hearn

About me

I have a continuing intention to be 

a curious, empathetic and down to earth passionate design mentor

I’ve had a diverse career background working with various organisations, spanning across several sectors with very different people. This experience has enabled me to have a resilient and adaptable approach for the clients I work with.

My Career highlights

  • 18 years experience working for well known high street brands, smaller startups, charities and organisations.

  • A design leader at John Lewis, Fitflop and Clarks

  • Ran and designed the first John Lewis hackathon

  • Led the Fitflop redesign that led to large uptick in sales.

How my experience has shaped my approach

I’ve learnt that every project & client is different. The dynamics and capability of the team, IT infrastructure, and maturity of the organisation can all impact how I determine the best approach. I draw on several tools with an empathetic, inclusive and practical mindset. I want my work to be open and highly collaborative with my clients. I do my best in conversation, listening with a deeply curious mindset.
Most recently, working in the 3rd sector has given me a deep understanding of the role relationships play in creating change. Any work I do will have a relational focus of what roles and relationships bind and people and the organisation together. I feel this is so important when working in the space of change and design.

From a design perspective, I frame my thinking principally through a Design Thinking methodology, which is embedded in many organisations, from big companies like Google and Facebook to small startups. This applies the basic principle of understanding your customers’ needs, challenges and tasks from their perspective. Focusing on the user needs (rather than just your organisational needs) allows you to design products and services in a way that creates true value and meaning.

Design thinking diagram

This approach reduces risk by validating key assumptions (rather than subjective opinion) of your new design ideas by testing low-cost interactive prototypes with customers as early as possible rather than betting everything on a new website redesign. By developing simple prototypes, you can learn fast, early and often. These insights are invaluable and can inform website and service improvements and redesigns. This can also feed into marketing strategies and developing a more effective acquisition journey.

I’m also a big fan of Strategyzer’s Value Proposition Design approach.  The book inspired me to develop ideas at John Lewis and give a talk on the topic.

Having designed and shipped software in many organisations, I’m very comfortable working with development teams, using LEAN and Agile frameworks.  I’m a new convert to Jobs for research to be done as a useful tool in the bag when looking at qualitative and quantitative research methods.

My Values

I do my best work when I feel in alignment with my values and the people I’m working with. 

  • Valuing strong relationships

    Creating space to understand and build trusting relationships based on a shared understanding with the organisations I work with is deeply woven into the value and impact I want to create with you.

  • Being myself

    I believe in creating an understanding based on honesty and transparency. I will always be professional and find it valuable to bring my human side into work too.

  • Move lightly and quickly

    Sticking to plan no matter what can get you seriously stuck in a rut. I value adaptability and the flexibility to pivot in any direction that best suits an emerging need of the project.

  • Proudly curious

    I’m a naturally inquisitive person, and the way my mind works is to ask lots of questions. I love to challenge and work in environments where this is encouraged.

My personal story

I recently moved from London to Somerset with my wife and recently became a new dad. A lot of my life is about being there for my wonderful boy.I moved to the countryside to be closer to nature, slow down and be present in my local communities. I’m an active member of Journey Man UK, a mentoring charity for boys and co-founded Tech Shed Frome, a local tech community hobby group.

I love to dance Forro, contact improvisation, and camping in the southwest when I have more time.