Neil Byers

Digital Strategy & Product Lead

Leading the creation and growth of digital products

I’m a highly qualified and experienced Digital Strategy & Product Lead with a focus on delivering innovative digital products and services.

I’ve been leading digital teams since 2001 within the media, energy, travel and education industries. Promoting the use of Agile methodologies, data, and technology to grow digital products and meet user needs.

Experience

  • Oct 2015 – Present

    Digital Development Manager

    Skills Development Scotland

    Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is the national skills body supporting the people and businesses of Scotland to develop and apply their skills. I lead the team responsible for the design, development and measurement of multiple products, serving over 2.5 million users per year. Additionally I track our procedures and tools to ensure best practice across our digital operations.

    Key Achievements:

    • Leading the development of multiple digital products and services including the relaunch of My World of Work, the creation of the “Ican” offer for primary schools, and the Course Management Tool to administer the launch of the ITA scheme.
    • Overseeing a 17% year on year growth of users and engagement across the products.
    • Leading the relaunch and continuous development of My World of Work, which is the SDS flagship online service and has over 600,000 registered users. Overseeing year-on-year increases in pages/session (+19%), session duration (+61%) and reducing bounce rate (-24%)
    • Creating and growing the internal development team across multiple technology stacks (PHP and .Net), implementing an agile, continuous improvement process and culture.
    • Implementing new analytics and reporting strategies.  Ensuring product usage is recorded, analysed and reported to form data-driven decisions.
  • Mar 2015 – Aug 2015

    Product Manager

    Skyscanner

    Skyscanner is a global travel search engine, allowing users to compare flights, hotels and car hire. As a Product Manager I led a team developing features for 3 products: The ‘everywhere’ search; flexible dates and the flights map.

    Key Achievements:

    • Improved mobile conversion rate through Agile A/B testing of numerous UI improvements
    • Creation and launch of a new flights map, resulting in an increase in booking conversions by 73%
  • Jan 2013 – Mar 2015

    Content and User Experience Manager

    Scottish Power

    Scottish Power supplies energy to over 5 million customers in the UK. As the Content & User Experience Manager I managed all user experience development including research, user journey definition, wireframe creation and design across the website and mobile apps.

    Key Achievements:

    • Reduced website bounce rate by 52% through the creation of new site structure and user focused content. This was based on full review of the existing website, utilising user research (interviews, focus groups, card sorting exercises) and analytics
    • Increased online sales conversions by 150% through the delivery of A/B user tests. I led the mapping of the user journey, created wireframes for each of the tests, and oversaw the design and development of the new sales process
    • Provided UX and design oversight for the new iOS and Android apps, ensuring that the final product matched the user and business requirements
  • Jul 2011 – Dec 2012

    Digital Product Manager

    STV

    STV is Scotland’s leading media organisation. As a Digital Product Manager I was responsible for the end to end development of key digital products – News, Sport and Entertainment – and introducing a cutting edge responsive website.

    Key Achievements:

    • Creation of a new responsive website structure and custom CMS for all of STV’s digital products. I undertook the business requirements gathering, and worked with the technical leads to produce detailed project specifications and project plans
    • Managed the development team day to day through the creation of new responsive templates and a modular framework, acting as the Product Owner and functioning as the liaison between the development team and the STV management team
  • Dec 2007 – Jul 2011

    Web Producer

    S1

    Web Producer for s1, one of Scotland’s most successful internet companies. Primarily focused on leading the development of s1homes.com and s1cars.com.

    Key Achievements:

    • Led the development of the innovative s1cars cashback concept. Leading to 102% increase in monthly site traffic
    • 1st independent UK property portal to integrate Google Street View
  • Jun 2006 – Dec 2007

    Senior Consultant

    Vision Consulting

    Senior Consultant for a business change consultancy. Undertaking project management roles that required a high level of integration with client’s staff and systems.

  • Mar 2005 – Mar 2006

    World Traveller

    Career Break

    Travelling and working in a variety of sales and marketing roles throughout Australia and New Zealand. Gaining experience in different countries and cultures.

  • Apr 2001 – Feb 2005

    Consultant

    Accenture

    Consultant for market-leading global consultancy. Gaining a variety of digital experience through diverse technical roles with global organisations such as AOL, Microsoft, and British Telecom.

Skills

Digital Strategy

  • Able to develop long-term vision and objectives, focusing on what is important and relevant.
  • Wide knowledge of industry best practice, advances in technology and how to integrate with wider services to produce complex systems.
  • Build business cases based on user needs and implement across an organisation.

Product Management

  • Extensive experience of leading the creation and growth of digital products from initial idea to end of service.
  • Coach and lead teams in Agile practices, thinking of innovative ways of working to achieve the right outcomes.
  • Apply strategic thinking, provide insight and expertise to ensure user needs are met and products are successful.

Technical

  • Highly experienced in digital product design and development and the use of multiple programming frameworks and languages
  • Significant analytical experience including Google Analytics, Tag Manager, Mixpanel, and Hotjar
  • Knowledge of multiple CMSs. Including Drupal, Alterian, WordPress and Umbraco.

Behavioural

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to bridge technical and business teams.
  • First-rate problem solving ability, combining analytical skills, industry experience and design instincts to produce results.
  • Strong relationships skills, influencing, challenging and coaching others to achieve operational excellence.

Education

Google Analytics Individual Qualification (2018)

PRINCE2 Practitioner (2011 – 2016)

Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) in Management Science (1996 – 2000)
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow