- Shay Kennedy
The past year (and more!) has been a time of change both for Nomadic Labs and for me personally. After five wonderful years of working together, my business parter and friend Luisa is moving on to new creative projects through her independent practice and as the Studio Lead at Ukai Projects. I wish her all the best in her new role(s) and I look forward to collaborating with her on future projects!
I have decided to continue running Nomadic Labs independently, albeit with some exciting changes...
Goodbye Nomadic Labs and hello Dreamside Digital
You may have noticed that in the past year Nomadic Labs has been unusually quiet. I have been taking this time to reflect on the future of the business and my own personal goals. While I have been doing some client work, I have also been dedicating more time to personal projects to explore my interests, gain some new skills, and have fun with creative coding!
I also had a baby in 2022 so for a good portion of 2022 and part of 2023 I was on maternity leave. I now have two daughters who are tiny little rock stars. Having a young family has really brought the future into focus for me, and gives new importance and urgency to continuing to work towards a world that is equitable, sustainable, and inclusive.
This period of reflection has led to my decision to reboot Nomadic Labs as... drumroll please.... ✨Dreamside Digital!✨
I will be running the business independently as a digital product studio serving non-profits, community initiatives, and meaningful projects that align with my values. I hope to bring much more of my full and authentic self to my work, especially since it's just me now! That's not to say I'll be doing everything alone; I will continue to collaborate with other creatives on a project-by-project basis.
Wait, what happened to Sharon?
As part of my personal journey of growth, I've started going by Shay instead of Sharon! My pronouns are still she/her, I've just decided to use a name that I prefer and that I can embrace more whole-heartedly. If you're curious, please don't hesitate to reach out directly, I'd be happy to share more and chat about names, identity, and personal transformation!
Renewed Vision and Strategy
Nomadic Labs was always committed to doing purposeful work. We served primarily non-profits and our tagline was:
Catalyzing social impact through design and technology
And I continue to stand by that! I am so proud of the work we've done over the past five years and the many fantastic organizations we've worked with. As I reflect on what we accomplished and look forward to the future, I have a renewed vision for creating digital products that engage and empower communities and enable organizations to accelerate their impact.
My strategy for Dreamside Digital is to develop a set of product templates which can then be white-labelled and further customized based on each client's specific needs. This will allow me to move faster and offer more fully-featured products to each client. It means that I can consolidate the knowledge and experience I gain from each individual project and pass it on to future projects in a very concrete way, by improving and developing the product templates.
You can read more about the initial product packages on the home page.
This is a departure from our previous strategy with Nomadic Labs - as a designer/developer team, our typical approach to new projects was to conduct an in-depth design process and create a bespoke product for each client. However as soon as Luisa told me she was leaving Nomadic Labs, I knew I would not be able to fill her shoes as a designer and strategist. She has a profound undestanding of stategy and design and an ability to translate that into creative concepts. On the other hand, I'm more on the technical side and I love to experiment with different tools so that I can confidently choose the best approach to execute the projects I'm working on. Moving forward, my focus will be more solidly on web development and UI/UX design, which I consider to be my strongest areas of expertise.
Keeping it open and creating connections
As an independent creative, it is even more important to me now to develop a strong network, share what I'm learning, and participate in tech and creative communities. This is what I'm committing to this year:
- revive my social accounts and connect with others in the tech, design, and social impact sectors
- maintain this blog and regularly write technical and business updates (and maybe personal too!)
- make more contributions to open source projects
- strengthen my authentic voice and use it to talk about the things I care about!
If you're interested in the work I'm doing, let's connect! You can find my social accounts and contact information in the footer and I'd genuinely love to hear from you.