Beverly May is the President, Founder and Principal Consultant at Oxford Tech. She has nearly 20 years experience in tech and has helped well over 100 clients of all sizes create compelling, impactful online businesses and digital products and services, from start-up consumer mobile apps to blue-chip transactional software and information portals.
Beverly has a diverse skill-set and experience that focuses on User Experience while spanning strategy and general management, technology development, operations management, brand marketing, journalism, graphic design, and hands-on roles across the full software development lifecycle. Beverly’s mix of business, design and technology expertise allows her to add the greatest value to her clients through an integrated, comprehensive and multi-faceted approach to each problem. She a triple US, Canadian and EU citizen.
EARLY ENTREPRENEURIAL & TECH BACKGROUND IN CANADA
Beverly began her career in undergrad by co-founding her own successful music entertainment company and independent music magazine in Toronto, Canada. She produced or co-produced over 25 music and entertainment events from 1994-2000, each with attendance to 2,500 people per event. These events typically sold out well in advance, based on a pre-Internet physical mailing list that Beverly and her company’s partners created and grew from scratch to over 3000 active followers.
During this period, Beverly and her partners pushed the limits of experimental electronic music, multimedia and arts in Toronto. Beverly and her team members partnered with larger global arts organizations like Creative Time and the JVC Jazz Festival, as well as hired and worked with many of the premiere electronic and popular visual and multimedia artists, musicians and DJs of the era, including Orbital, members of the Orb, Autechre, Plastikman, Scanner, Mark Farina, Derrick Carter, members of Underground Resistance, Dubtribe, Jazzanova, Ron Trent, Carl Craig, Theorem, Speedy J, various members of Chain Reaction, Pole, Wunmi, Osunlade, Gilles Peterson, King Britt, Sylk 130 live, Liquid Soul, Nightmares on Wax, Fred Everything, and many more. Beverly was also featured in or interviewed for over two dozen radio, TV, magazine and book publications because of the critical acclaim these events achieved.
Beverly first became involved in the Internet in 1996 in Toronto. During that period, Beverly worked on dozens of web projects and either worked for or helped to launch a half-dozen start-ups, including helping found Telepathic Visual Communications, a boutique digital and graphic design agency and one of the very first integrated print and digital agencies in Canada, and becoming an early designer-developer at the NRG Group, Canada’s first Internet incubator.
NEW YORK TECH
Beverly moved to New York in 2000 and worked in the top New York Interactive agencies as Lead Producer, Account Manager or Lead Information Architect / Interaction Designer, including at R/GA, iDeutsch, Euro (Havas), and Atmosphere BBDO for clients that included Nike.com, Nike Gridiron, MCI, Con Edison, Schwab, the Art Institutes, AOL, Diageo, and many more. Her projects at R/GA won a Cannes Silver Medal, One Show Interactive and AIGA Annual Design awards.
In 2004-2005, Beverly led the Data Services platform team at Wireless Generation, a very fast-growing mobile applications educational software startup that powers elementary school reading and math assessments at most US public schools. Wireless Generation was sold to News Corp. in 2010 to lead News Corp’s new education initiative at a price for over $400 million- one of the larger technology startup acquisitions in NYC startup history. While at Wireless Generation, Beverly grew, managed and led the Data Services department from a team of 5 to 20 people as the company’s user base tripled to over a million users in less than a year. This multi-faceted role included creating all requirements, specifications and wireframes, as well as full-lifecycle product management for a suite of ten concurrent data-driven products and services that ranged from internal admin tools, to custom data integrations with large districts like New York or Miami, to complex client-facing data-management, data warehousing and reporting applications.
Thereafter, from 2005-2008 Beverly helped Rodale, the healthy living book and magazine publisher, overhaul their signature magazine brand websites like Prevention and RunnersWorld to generate up to 800% increases in site traffic, user retention and advertising revenue through new features and functionality, usability initiatives, CMS upgrades and large-scale redesigns. Her contributions at Rodale earned her a prestigious CEO Star Award, given annually to a nominated top-performing 1% of the company, and her enterprise site redesigns of Runnersworld.com and Prevention.com won several industry awards, including a General Excellence “Ellie” from the American Society of Magazine Editors, a 2nd Place for Website of the Year, and Best Online Tool, both by the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA).
Lastly, Beverly also has had a long side-career in professional journalism, business and technology writing that began with founding and growing her own music and culture magazine, Transcendance in the mid-1990s and writing several features for US music and culture magazines like Urb, Blue and XLR8R. Thereafter, Beverly authored a prominent chapter on the history of electronic music for the Routledge academic anthology African American Music: An Introduction (Routledge, 2006) despite being the only non-academic author in the anthology, and she has written dozens of features for both academic journals and general culture magazines. In 2000, Beverly also researched and wrote NRG Shift for the Canadian Internet incubator The NRG Group; NRG Shift was a new-economy strategy and future scenarios book about the demographic and cultural implications of Generation Y with the impact of the first wave of Internet adoption.
2008 ONWARD: Oxford Tech + UX
In late 2008, Beverly founded Oxford Tech + UX because she believed great UX was increasingly essential for any digital product’s success, and that there was a need for senior specialists to assist both startups and large corporations in launching the most effective, useful, and engaging products and services possible to satisfy both user and business needs. Oxford Tech + UX has remained boutique and focused, growing to a peak of 10 full-time consultants by early 2011. Beverly personally leads most Oxford Tech + UX engagements and has worked with many major corporations, including Pitney Bowes, Consumer Reports and Hearst.
Beverly has also been the acting President of NYC-CHI, New York City’s largest and oldest UX and Usability organization, since 2009 and is also the founder, organizer and host of the User Experience Awards, the premier global Awards for great digital UX since 2011, as well as giving several other talks and events.
In 2012, Oxford Tech + UX launched the first version of MiniDates, a matching and scheduling service that proposes real dates to members by merging compatibility, location, and scheduling matching. This was the third project Oxford Tech + UX has pursued in-house since 2008. MiniDates was initiated as a showcase product for Oxford Tech + UX to illustrate proper Lean UX, Lean Startup and UX-focused software development processes and to highlight the value of a differentiated end-end product experience in a very crowded and competitive market. MiniDates launched in private beta in late spring 2012 to a waiting list of over 5000 and was featured in a review in TechCrunch as well as winning several pitch awards, including at The Hatchery.
In 2014, Beverly began teaching, training and mentoring startups and students at both incubators, with on-site corporate training and at General Assembly. Beverly has now taught UX and Product Management related capabilities in metrics and content in London, New York, Washington DC and San Francisco.
Beverly received a Bachelor’s degree with High Achievement in English and Philosophy at University of Toronto, a Master’s Degree in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University with a focus in computer systems design, and an Executive MBA from Oxford University, with a focus on General Management and Finance. She also spent a semester in the Design and Technology MFA Program at Parsons School of Design in2000, prior to NYU.