I'm currently the head of design for a large UK government department. I lead a team of over 25 designers. I'm responsible for the Design Operations (DesignOps) function, improving tools and processes to enable the department and government to deliver design at scale.

Previously I helped Tearfund, an international not-for-profit rethink their digital services, and scale their design work.

An image of Michael Owen working with post-it notes

I care deeply about making user-centred, accessible products and services. My design process revolves around using research and prototypes to drive product iteration.

My experience of front-end development helps me prototype in code. I believe in designing as a team, harnessing others perspectives and information.

What I bring to projects

User experience

The better you know your users, the better you can solve their problems. I take an iterative approach to design, learning about user needs to refine my ideas. Putting the user at the heart of decisions helps make great products.

Interaction design

Interactions shouldn’t be noticeable to the user, they should be simple and natural to use. Solving problems effectively takes a lot of thought and work. I want to do the hard work so that the end-product is simple to use.


Knowing how to build digital products helps me to make better design decisions. I try to build products that are accessible and fast, following the principles of progressive enhancement to make sure what I make everyone can use.


I occasionally get time to photograph landscapes. It'll never pay the bills but landscape photography is a good way to chill out and see the world.

See my photography