Author: Andrew Smallwood

I am a web designer by heart and am well versed in all things digital. Having run my own freelance digital agency since 2006 and worked at the University of Westminster, I'm currently immersed in the heart of the music industry at PRS for Music

Training the marathon route

London Marathon

At times I like to switch up my training route to keep it fresh. Sometimes, not knowing how long you have to run down a road until you see the street you need to turn left at, keeps you guessing about how long you have left.

At other times though, it’s really important to tread the same route, especially if you are tracking your pace, or if you know the elevation of the route. It means you can gauge your pace accordingly.

Research of the WWE Network

Reimagining the WWE Network

The most important part of my project to reimagine the WWE Network, I undertook some user research. 

Yes, my brain is full of ideas of how to make improvements to the WWE Network but some of the more crazy ones need to be validated by the WWE Universe.

I set up a questionnaire and seeded it out on various wrestling related Facebook Groups and Subreddits. 

Marathon breakfasts – Porridge oats

Overnight oats ingredients

I’ve slowly been compiling my marathon diet having been given an initial framework to work from. Since then, I’ve been breaking it down into the different meals so here’s what I’m concentrating on for breakfast.

This may sound crazy but at the age of 35 I don’t ever remember eating porridge! And on my first morning of following the instructions of making porridge, it exploded in my microwave so I spent more time cleaning than I did eating.

Then I remembered a friend of mine had mentioned overnight oats. Having researched these on websites like BBC Good Food and the Quaker Oats website, I set about making my own overnight oats with my own recipe.

Reimagining the WWE Network

Reimagining the WWE Network

As a fan of World Wrestling Entertainment since 1993 and a subscriber to the WWE Network since 2017, I feel compelled to reimagine the way the WWE Network functions.

The main reason for this project is to spark discussion in the community and raise awareness to the WWE that although the WWE Network is a great start, it drastically needs to be updated with new functionality in order to increase and retain the subscribers.

It will also demonstrate my skills in Digital Strategy, Product Development and User Experience Design.

This aims to be constructive criticism and hopefully throughout, I can engage in useful conversation with like minded fans of this unique artform and ultimately if some of these ideas can be built into the WWE Network, then it will have succeeded to retain me as a subscriber.

The project will include:

  • A white paper
  • A keynote presentation
  • Periodic blog posts
  • Public roadmap (Trello)
  • Designs
  • HTML prototypes

This is the first in a series of blog posts but it also serves as a call to action. The best UX projects put the users at the heart of it. It’s an approach called User Centred Design (UCD). 

I’d appreciate if you fill in this quick survey and share it amongst your friends, facebook groups and wrestling forums. I’ll be giving away three WWE Network gift cards.

My marathon diet plans

Bananas unsplash-logoScott Webb

I may have stated that getting the right trainers was one of my number one priorities for marathon preparation, but I neglected to identify the most important tool I’ll need to get round the marathon route; my own body!

It’s not just training that I will require to get around the marathon route but months of commitment to a strict diet will also need to be followed.

I’ll be planning this out over the next few weeks but I’ve been lucky enough to get a framework sent to me by one of the fittest people I know. Robbie Smythe.

The following guide was passed onto me by another marathon runner too (Robbie Hutchinson) so I know it works.

The general guide is as follows but I’ll be expanding more on the specific meals I’ll be making over the next five months too.

Sir Mo Farah answers the challenge

Andi vs Mo Farah

After months of texts, tweets and phone calls from me, Sir Mo Farah finally decided to take up my challenge and race me over 26.2 miles next April.

BBC Sport reported the news this morning and it was a relief to me because I thought I’d be running around London on my own next April but at least I have the comfort in knowing that I’ll have a four time olympic champion breathing down my neck.

Marathon training starts now

Andi Smallwood at Royal Parks Half Marathon

As ever, I applied to run the London Marathon. I need to do it just once. I need the lump of metal that you get at the end of it just to say that I did it.

It’s getting harder and harder to get in as more and more people apply. A record 414,000 people applied to run in the 2019 London Marathon.

Just like many others, I got my rejection in early October.