8am – The journey in
I’m on the train. It’s on time today thankfully but I can’t lie, I enjoy my commute in to Brighton. It gives me time to wake up whilst listening to whatever Spotify playlist I’ve created over the weekend whilst watching the countryside go by. Music is my main ingredient for a productive day, it influences my mood which is a vital force of my creativity. This 15-minute journey into Brighton is also the perfect opportunity for my everyday life design observations to kick in, including wayfinding, train posters or architecture (arriving in at Brighton station is my favourite) for example.
8.30am – Arrive at work (if the train timetable is on my side)
After a short walk into work usually with a coffee in hand (thanks to my route through the coffee shop central that is the North Laine) I arrive at our Brighton HQ. Powering up my iMac after a quick ‘Morning!’ to my fellow creatives; a team of designers and front end developers, whilst getting my fuel for the morning from the company supplied fruit basket delivered to our office.
9am – Getting my creative on
I start my working day scanning my emails and then maybe a quick 1-2-1 with my Manager about what I’m going to be working on over the coming fortnight. Whilst finishing off my coffee I decide to have a quick browse through any design-inspired posts on sites such as Design Week, Medium and Invision Blog to see if there are any articles that could give me another shot of inspiration for the day. Now I’m ready to get started on my to-do list.
Today I’m preparing to get stuck in working on a style tile for a new client’s job board; a responsive upgrade based on one of our current client’s existing sites, presentation slides for our sales team to use when pitching to new international clients as well as a stroll around the Brighton lanes for props to be used in our upcoming Madgex photo shoot (to replenish our own stock photos to be used across our promotional design work from the website to presentation slides to this blog post for example). My day to day jobs are never the same which keeps us on our toes and lends itself to my job title of creative designer.
I design for three user groups, our clients (the job board owners), jobseekers, recruiters as well as some of my Madgex colleagues. My Trello board is organised into a number of columns to keep me on top of my to-do list. I divide my work between ‘Project’ work, ‘Platform’ and UX work as well as Internal and marketing/Sales design work. ‘Project’ work is working on a new or existing job board site and ‘Platform’ work is improving the design and usability of the system that our clients’ sites run on. I love that all the teams in the office work closely together. We also have product and innovation teams too who help Madgex and its products keep up with industry and technology changes which is really reassuring and exciting to hear about and be involved with as an employee.
1pm – Lunch time
As a self confessed foodie I welcome lunch time with open arms, and Brighton doesn’t disappoint in options of where to go. You can usually find me with a bowlful of Ebi Chilli Don from Pompoko, Teryaki Chicken from Itsu or Katsu Curry from Kokoro. All fuel to keep my creative mind up whirring for the rest of the day. Using Slack, our team messaging app there will probably be a message doing the rounds in our social channel tempting us all into a trip to somewhere tasty. With an hour I find it productive having a break from my screen, giving me a chance to sit back down with a refreshed mind after a walk around the lanes.
2pm - Back to work
The most unproductive thing you can do as a designer is stare at something for longer than you need to, I always find after a break away from a design I can find a solution or new idea, or if I’m still struggling I’ll just ask one of my fellow creatives– in person or on Slack if it’s just a quick question. It is one of my favourite things about Madgex, how many new skills I can learn from my talented colleagues.
One part of the Project process I might be involved in during my working week could be a discovery day, whether that is a phone call depending on their location with a new client or a visit to their offices (sometimes they are lucky enough to come and visit us in Brighton!). This can give us the opportunity to meet the client face to face, find out what they are hoping to achieve with their site as well as their target audiences and any brand assets we should be using and explaining to them the design process of their project. Today myself and a project manager are speaking to a new client on the phone. My favourite part is showing them a picture of our ‘device lab’ as it interests them how much time we put into making sure their site works responsively. The ‘Device Lab’ is a collection of tablet and mobile devices that the built sites can be tested on to make sure there aren’t any responsive issues in the design process of a site.
After the style tile has been produced we share it with the client on Invision - a great online collaborative tool where we can keep track of and reply to any comments the client may have about what we’ve designed. Once it’s been signed off and they are happy with the colours, fonts, button styles and overall design assets their site will follow I will then go on to review the site once the Front End Developer has worked their magic just to make sure it is following the guidelines and all the building blocks work across all responsive devices.
3.00pm – Hunting for props
Keeping the Madgex brand across our designs and marketing collateral is an important part of our job, we also like to make sure the images we use are unique to us and not just the normal cheesy stock photos you can buy from the Internet. This results in a half yearly update of ‘Madgex-stock’, our very own library of images we can use and edit freely, portraying our offices and responsive sites in a creative and professional way. This results in setting up ‘scenes’ within the office, especially on any spare desks we have going, adding props to compliment the computers and devices we are taking photos of. Myself and our Communications Manager spend an hour or so wandering around the lanes, popping in and out of shops that have creative desk items for sale. The lanes once again didn’t let us down.
4.15pm – Health and Wellbeing meeting
I am the creative team rep for the Health and Wellbeing feedback meeting at Madgex. It’s a great opportunity for me to gather any ideas from my team at what they’d like to see within the office that will aid their health and wellbeing whilst in the workplace. Madgex are amazing at doing everything they can to keep their staff happy. Today we are talking ‘walking meetings’, plants in the office, standing desks and sandwich vans!
4.45pm – Finishing up for the day
As the day draws to an end and it’s been a particularly busy and eventful one I spend my last half an hour checking my emails for any Invision comments I need to respond to or requests from our Brighton or US colleagues, making sure my to do list is up to date.
5.36pm – Hometime
Depending on if there are any after work design meet ups, or even just a drink at our local I aim for the 5.36pm train back home. Headphones on, mind still going over what I’ve done today, it’s difficult to switch off the visual right side of your brain, especially when you love what you do and you have the Slack app on your phone!