Projects

(2019) IndustrySwarm

A side project of mine. So far I've built a Node.JS Framework that I intend to use as the basis for a series of enterprise applications. More info can be found at the IndustrySwarm Website.

(2019) ProductPipes

A side project of mine. More info can be found at the ProductPipes Website.

(2019) LivingData.Me

A side project of mine. More info can be found at the LivingData.Me Website.

(2019) My Family Blog

A blog where my wife Callie and I intend to write about our hobbies and adventures. View Here.

(2019) Setup User Research Function Within Product

After roughly a year and a half working within the Growth & Innovation Team at Zip Co, the team was dissolved - with the growth & innovation function moved to be run out of the Product Team.

I moved across to the Product Team where one of the first assignments that I was tasked with was to setup a User Research Function so that we could move from "Voice of Product Manager" to "Voice of Customer".

I formulated a comprehensive user research strategy that covered most areas of the business and distributed this to all stakeholders who were involved in any of the relevant initiatives.

I then performed a number of analyses on quantitative surveys that had been conducted prior to this assignment - specifically on consumer engagement with the Zip products. From these analyses, I produced deliverables that were used to help prioritise focus and initiatives in the Product pipeline.

This was followed by a user research project in to Consumer Acquisition - which made use of online surveys, street interviews and combined the results of the analysis of these results with market research to produce deliverables for the business. Within the deliverables, I included personas, quantified the purchase funnel and benchmarked a number of aspects from this (such as awareness) against our competitors.

(2019) Gift Card Marketplace

In roughly September 2018, our CTO at Zip decided to run an internal Hackathon where Zipsters could form teams and work together to build a product or enhancement to an existing Zip product.

All together approximately 14 teams participated, including ours - Team Gifted.

I pulled the team together a few weeks before the Hackathon. The idea that I pitched to my team members was to begin selling gift cards from the Zip Stores page - where consumers could use their Zip account balance to buy them.

I managed to get 4 others to join our team (a product designer and three engineers)

The hackathon went for roughly 36 hours, during which our team architected a scalable solution that could plug and play multiple gift card aggregation platforms in to it, designed the user experience, came up with an omni-channel marketing strategy including social, developed a commercial model, built out a pitch deck, developed a functional MVP and then pitched the MVP to the entire Zip business.

After much deliberation from the judges, it was announced that we (with our gift card project) had placed third amongst the 14 teams. A couple of weeks later, we were informed that the MVP that we had built for the hackathon would get more resourcing and would go on to be published as a consumer-facing product to the Zip consumer base. Only one other project from the Hackathon also got resourcing for a roll-out to the Zip base, but that one never made it to a full-scale roll-out.

The gift card project, however - did. And it has gone on to be amongst our top channels of revenue for the Zip business.

(2018) Ran Payment Gateway RFP

In 2018 I was tasked with running an RFP to replace our payment gateway at Zip.

The process that I formed and executed involved:

  1. Getting together a cross-functional team of stakeholders from the business to form the RFP Group
  2. Selection of a number of candidate payment platforms
  3. Preparation of a "Background & Notice of Participation" document (with a set of timelines / schedule defined)
  4. Workshopping what we would be looking for in a payment processor with the core RFP Group
  5. Preparing the "Request for Proposal" document
  6. Reaching out to all candidate payment processors and inviting them to participate - initially by signing a mutual NDA covering the content being shared by both parties - and then by sending them a copy of the "Background & Notice of Participation" document
  7. Collecting notices of participation from interested parties
  8. Distributing the "Request for Proposal" document to those parties
  9. Giving them time to prepare their responses
  10. Receiving all of the proposals from interested parties
  11. Creating a scoring matrix to assess all proposals and come up with a shortlist of candidates
  12. Inviting those candidates in to pitch to the core RFP Group
  13. Hosting a number of workshops with the core group to trim the list back even further - including reaching out to candidates for additional information where required to help make these decisions
  14. Once we had arrived at a shortlist of two candidates, we requested some further information to help break the tie
  15. We then workshopped this additional information with the core RFP group
  16. And then prepared a presentation comparing the advantages and limitations of the shortlisted candidates - highlighting the two final participants AND our recommendation
  17. And presented this to a subset of the executive team (CEO/COO/CTO)
  18. They agreed with the decision that we made and we announced the results to the candidates

(2017) Super Retail Group Tender Response + Pitch

No further detail available just yet...

(2016) Catch of the Day Zip Integration

No further detail available just yet...

(2016) Forever New Zip Integration

No further detail available just yet...

(2015) PayPal Payments Wristband Trial

This was a project that I (and a greater team) worked on whilst at PayPal.

We built a payment wristband solution - where each wristband had an embedded Visa EMV chip within a defined BIN range. The solution was tested at the Splendour in the Grass music festival. Where participating consumers would (i) on-board by tapping their wristband and connecting it to their PayPal account (I built the on-boarding app); and then (ii) consummating purchase of drinks at the bar by tapping their wristband against a PayPal Here card terminal device.

We modified the PayPal switch (upstream of the PayPal Here device) so that it detected taps from within the pre-defined BIN range and routed them to an application that I and a colleague had written that attempted to charge the PayPal account of the consumer and responded back to the switch and down to the terminal if it had worked or not.

Ultimately the project was successful at the festival, but shortly after PayPal terminated ongoing investment into their hardware strategy (incl. PayPal Here) and any further work on this and other hardware projects were abandoned.

(2014) Oxfam 100km Trailwalker

Click here to view the certificate that Darren got for completing the Oxfam 100km Trailwalker.

(2014) Adobe Analytics and Test & Target Integration

No further detail available just yet...

(2013) Grays Rewards & Gift Cards

Grays Rewards & Gift Cards was a product that I project managed the development and launch of, captured requirements for and architected the technical solution for.

It was a flexible rewards and gift card management system that we defined and outsourced the development and hosting of to a third party firm.

After not receiving the value out of the relationship that we were hoping for with this firm, I proposed that given I had designed the solution - I outsource a re-build of it and we bring it in-house. The re-build took ~3 weeks and cost $500 and went off without a hitch.

Ultimately the solution allowed business users to generate rewards codes (one time or multi-use - once per customer - up to a defined ceiling) that provided fixed dollar or percentage discounts. The codes could be tied to product-level attributes such as category, price or any of the custom properties against the products. Included within the product design was a workflow for approval and billing to business division. The solution also supported the sale and auto-generation of gift cards that could be used to purchase anything from our two websites - GraysOnline and GraysOutlet, across multiple purchases.

(2012) Single Sign-On for Grays Websites

This project involved building a single sign-on system for the Grays websites - GraysOnline and GraysOutlet. So that customers could sign in on one website and then navigate to the other and not have to login again.

(2012) PayPal Integration

This project involved the integration of PayPal with two eCommerce websites - GraysOnline and GraysOutlet. I project managed it, performed the business analysis duties for it and contributed toward solution architecture.

One of the things that was slightly left-field with this integration was that on GraysOnline we had auctions where consumers placed bids but were not charged until the auction closed and they won (which usually happened when they were offline). To solve for this, we made heavy use of PayPal's billing agreements feature. Where we effectively tokenised the PayPal account against the consumer's Grays account to get a billing agreement ID. And then when the auction closed we charged that user's billing agreement ID for the value of the won item.

We also integrated express checkout (the yellow button) on both websites, allowing for the user's shipping and billing addresses to be fetched from PayPal and pre-filled - thus making their checkout experience much more frictionless.

(2012) GraysOutlet

GraysOutlet was a consumer eCommerce website that was launched in 2012 and sunset in ~2015, that I project managed the development of and was the product owner for. It was Grays Auction's first foray in to consumer eCommerce (outside of wine), having primarily focussed on commercial and industrial equipment to date.

The management at Grays opted to call the consumer eCommerce strategy "Murray" (or "Australia's Little Amazon") - with a goal of making it big in the Australian consumer eCommerce landscape.

Ultimately the website failed to gain traction, with major competitors already having established first mover advantage in the market. So it was sunset, and Grays changed tact and acquired a number of major Australian eCommerce players - including OO.com.au and Deals Direct.

(2011) Google Analytics Integration

No further detail available just yet...

(2011) Site Intelligence Analytics Integration

No further detail available just yet...

(2011) Alterian Data Warehouse Integration

No further detail available just yet...

(2009) Kleenmaid Insolvency Asset Disposal

No further detail available just yet...

(2009) ECP Australia Insolvency Asset Disposal

No further detail available just yet...

(2008) NSW Councils Asset Disposal Programme

No further detail available just yet...

(2008) Fax Marketing Improvement Project

No further detail available just yet...

(2008) City 2 Surf Fun Run

Click here to view the certificate that Darren got for completing the City 2 Surf.

(2008) Accellerated Freefall (AFF) Skydiving Course

Click here to view Darren's AFF Stage 1 Certificate. He went on to complete the whole course, resulting in him becoming a licensed skydiver - although this has since expired.