21 May A day in the life of a designer during lockdown
Working from home has led to a bit of a switch-up in the daily routines of our team. Our Senior Designer Nat takes us through one of his typical days during lockdown, juggling website projects, design jobs and looking after his two-year old son in between!
6.00am… sometimes earlier
My mornings start off with my two-year-old waking up with more energy than I have (even at my highest point) but it’s a beautiful challenge to face every morning, and one I much prefer to an unpredictable M20 commute. Although every morning during this period is different, I usually prepare the largest bowl of frosted Shreddies, with ice cold milk!
The rest of my morning usually consists of checking what the world is up to. Although I’m pretty inactive on social media, Twitter is my go-to — I follow many interesting design and tech companies as well as some really forward-thinking people.
Before setting up at my desk, table, or wherever is the quietest place in the house, I check out a few insightful design blogs that fuel me with ideas and keep me up-to-date with what is going on in the design community. I also spend this time setting up my personal design stack: Notion helps me manage my wikis & daily tasks (although I have to try not to get too carried away with Kanban boards); Creative Cloud, which helps us streamline our design assets; and other software that assists our remote/collaborative working.
Spotify playlist at the ready, I review my outlined objectives for the day. Today I’ll be focusing on designing wireframe concepts for a client who specialises in manufacturing organophilic clay for the oil drilling industry, a few animated graphics for various clients’ social media channels and optimising our clients’ websites.
After reading through a website spec put together by one of our Account Directors, I jump onto an online team briefing where we collate all our findings and carve out the ideal concepts for the brand. We discuss everything from the client’s goals, audience, current analytics and performance, brand positioning, all the way through to the usability of the website and other touchpoints.
Back at my desk I begin sketching out a few initial concepts for home page designs, factoring in usability across all devices. Keeping up to date with current web trends, technologies and the best user interface practices allows me to design a series of wireframes that will engage the client’s users with the site, as well as fulfill the objectives of the brief. After I am satisfied with progress, I translate my thoughts onto screen to create the pixel-perfect design then send over to the Account Managers for their review.
Lunchtime calls. Belly rumbling, I usually rustle up something quick and light in the kitchen, or alternatively my son and I go for a nice stroll in the fields, often turning into a lengthy bear hunt in the woods. We’re currently on #79 and still no sight of Baloo.
Firing up the mac again, I get started on some animated social media graphics for one of our clients who specialise in pest control. We are currently running a #PestOfTheWeek campaign where we select a pest and display some fun yet factual information about them. Designing these has been fun as they have given me the opportunity to experiment with After Effects loops.
With the bulk of my current projects in the hands of the Account Managers, I spend this time reviewing a few of our clients’ websites. Our iterative design approach allows us to continuously monitor performance and optimise where needed. With every update we do I ensure there is a changelog, so that whoever is working on the project at any given time is fully up to speed.
Just got an update from Steve, our Director, that he’s recorded his latest lockdown company update and would like it edited and published. I piece together the relevant footage, tweak transitions and lighting, ready for it to be exported.
Video exported, I upload online and send the information to our social media team to publish through our digital platforms.
With feedback for the wireframe concepts received, I make the final changes before we set up a meeting with the clients to discuss our thought process.
Just before close of play I update progress on all jobs, which eases me into the following day, unless anything out of office crops up.
Around this time, I go out for another walk to clear my head and reset (whatever that means, but it seems to do the job). Then I head back home to prepare some dinner. Not being a seasoned chef, I tend to stick to safe meals if I’m cooking for the family, otherwise fingers crossed guys!
Find out more about the RONIN team here.