Blog Posts

(Book) Designing Connected Products: UX for the Consumer Internet of Things has launched

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Claire submitted a guest blog post previously, providing an insight into her book “Designing Connected Products: UX for the Consumer Internet of Things”. We’re happy to hear it has now launched with great success. 

Below is just a selection of the glowing reviews received; for more, check out her website: www.designingconnectedproducts.com.

“This is more than a UX book; it covers all of the critical design and technology issues around making great connected products.”

David Rose - Entrepreneur, MIT Media Lab Researcher, and author of Enchanted Objects  

“Usability is THE challenge for the Internet of Things. This book is full of excellent guidance on how to achieve that most elusive, but essential, quality of an IoT product: simplicity. This book shows you how to delight your connected product customers by treating their attention as the precious and finite resource that it is.”

Pilgrim Beart, Founder, AlertMe

“The authors do a fantastic job of not only exposing the complexities of a future pervaded by connected things, but suggesting exactly how we can consciously go about preventing that complexity from overwhelming us. This book will be an essential reference for designers as they come to grips with creating these new type of things that will live throughout our lives.”

Ben Fullerton - Design Director, Nike+

Buy the book:

From O’Reilly
Buy print and/or DRM free ebook formats from the O’Reilly shop. Use code BWEBK at checkout for an author discount of 40% off print, or 50% off the ebook format. Free shipping within the US.

From Amazon
Buy print or Kindle versions from Amazon.co.uk

If you would like your work or project featured, please email: steviemitchell@marchmutual.com.​

June 17th, 2015

Meet MarchMutual's Client, Leon Nikoosimaitak and a review of his latest work for Virgin.

Since becoming a freelance Motion Graphic Designer a few years ago, my work has been made a lot easier with the help of March Mutual. Having an accountant has given me the time to focus on my creative work and really deliver projects that I am proud of. This year has been really positive and I have been really lucky to work with some great clients.

A highlight was working for Virgin on their Future of Travel project. Research conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Virgin gave me interesting results to be able to tell a story in an animated visual way outlining the statistics and the key facts on the future of transportation.

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The client was a pleasure to work with and we really bounced ideas back and forth. Animating the video was really fun, I used a mixture of 2d and 3d animation software. 

Virgin Future Of Travel Disruptors from Leon Nikoosimaitak on Vimeo.

If you would like to see more of Leon’s work goto: leonnikoo.com.

This interview was produced by Steve Mitchell. 

If you would like your work or project featured please email 

steviemitchell@marchmutual.com

.

December 18th, 2014

Take-Home Pay Calculation; Freelance vs Permanent Salary

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Here at MarchMutual we’re always being asked, am I better off working as a freelancer or in a salaried position (PAYE). We’ve created an infographic detailing the difference to help with the decision.
We’ve collaborated with Cogs Agency to create this piece, with them providing the data on freelance rates and the salaries of all three positions. 
For more information please drop Allan a line: allan.frost@Marchmutual.com

Download the full-size PDF here

December 5th, 2014

HMRC change rules surrounding VAT on E-Sales in the EU.

Hello
 
There are changes coming to VAT charges to clients in Europe.   
 
Do you supply Electronically Supplied Services i.e.
  • Electronically supplied services for this purpose are Digital services essentially means broadcasting, telecoms and e-services including those selling apps, e-books, streaming services (e.g. sports/film/TV/music), dating services and journals, newspapers and magazines that are subscribed to electronically and smartphone games.
 o NO? Then you don’t need to read further
 
o YES? Then regrettably you need to read on to discover what is in store BUT DO CONTACT ALLAN FROST
 
It is only B2C (Business to Consumer) that is affected by the new changes because for a B2B (Business to Business) business as long as the customer gives a VRN (Vat Registration Number) no charge is made for Vat as it is accounted for by the customer in his own country by way of the Reverse Charge Mechanism.   The main change is now that Vat is charged at the rate prevailing in the country the customer is resident in rather than the rate in the country where the supplier is resident
 
VAT MOSS
The EU is bringing in new rules from 1 January 2015, which cover:
Electronically supplied services:
- Digital services essentially means broadcasting, telecoms and e-services including those selling apps, e-books, streaming services (e.g. sports/film/TV/music), dating services and journals, newspapers and magazines that are subscribed to electronically and smartphone games.
Supplied to customers i.e. B2C
- Resident in the EU
 
The general idea is that if you are caught by the new rules, you can make a single return which will cover all your non-UK VAT.  This is entirely separate from the UK VAT return, and has its own deadlines, payment dates, and so on. 
Changes
Place of supply
- The main change is that the place of supply becomes the country the customer is resident in – this is the exception from the general B2C rule, which is that supplies are made where the supplier is.
MOSS
- The secondary change is that there is a new system (the Mini One-Stop Shop) for making VAT returns where you have such customers across the EU.  This should simplify matters in most cases, but may be complex in unusual ones.
Areas of concern
VAT registration
You will need to be VAT-registered to use the MOSS. There is a suggestion that the rules may quickly change so that only your EU sales are subject to VAT but NOT your UK sales. 
There is no registration threshold for overseas supplies, so an unregistered UK company with a single overseas customer would need either to:
- register in the UK to use the MOSS; or
- register where the customer is
Obviously neither of these is ideal.
Registering for MOSS
This has to be done by the business: although the actual return can be handled by us if we are your agent.  It can be done as an add-on to VAT on-line, and we can then act as your agent to use MOSS when you are registered.
If you are caught by these changes do not worry just contact Allan Frost who will take sort things out for you.  Allan’s e-mail address is:
December 4th, 2014

(Book) Designing Connected Products: UX for the Consumer Internet of Things

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Claire Rowland has a book coming out for US publisher O'Reilly, called ‘Designing Connected Products - UX design for the consumer internet of things’.

Here’s the description from the publisher:

“The Internet of Things (IoT) promises a wealth of new possibilities for interacting with the world around us. But it is still an immature and technology-driven field, and there are many barriers to creating compelling consumer products. This book explains in simple terms what the challenges are and explores practical solutions for solving them.

Drawing on the best of current design practice and academic research, Designing Connected Products provides an introduction to the technology of IoT and practical guidance on designing for diverse devices, cross-device interactions, and complex ecosystems.

UX for connected devices is about much more than UI and interaction design. It requires you to think about interusability, industrial design, conceptual models, productization, and platform design. This book provides a clear and practical roadmap for approaching product strategy and design in this novel market, suitable for both UX design and technology experts.”

The official publication date is March 2015 but it’s available on Amazon for pre-order now: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Designing-Connected-Products-Consumer-Internet/dp/1449372562.

For anyone who’s interested in starting to read it sooner, there are a bunch of chapters already available to buy as an early release ebook from the publisher’s site here:
https://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920031109.do.The early release price includes all subsequent updates and new chapters and the final ebook on publication.

This blog was submitted by Claire Rowland. If you would like your work or project featured please email steviemitchell@marchmutual.com.

October 10th, 2014

Here at MarchMutual we’re always being asked by freelancers and contractors “what expenses can I claim”. We’ve created this infographic detailing all the expenses as a freelancer and contractor you’re allowed to claim.

Download the full-size PDF here

September 11th, 2014

MarchMutual's New Site is Now Live

MarchMutual are pleased to announce their new website has gone live so please check it out. There will some small cosmetic changes to the portal of your online account as well as the login screen as this has been brought in line with the new identity. We would like to thank you for your patience whilst the site was put up we hope you like it.

We would also like to thank all those clients who have given us feedback and supplied testimonials for the site it is all very much appreciated.

July 14th, 2014

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