Morning at Home
When the average human wakes up on a Tuesday morning, at 7am, they often want to roll up into a ball and shut the world out, for a few more hours at least! But that’s not me. I can’t wait to get to the office to see everyone and discuss everyone’s evenings and to see what the day has in store.
After waking up at 7am I shove my dressing gown on and run up stairs, grab a bowl and spoon and pour as many Weetabix Minis into the bowl as physically possible. Has to be the Fruit & Nut Weetabix, of course. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and gets everything kick-started!
I scroll through social media whilst I’m munching on these little chunks of fibre-y heaven, seeing what funny pictures and videos I could find. I say morning to my mum, sister and the dog, (cant forget the dog or he’ll cry, literally.) After having a chat with them I grab my speaker, my clothes and my cuppa and go upstairs again, it’s a 3-storey house, which does get knackering! I switch the shower on, set Spotify up to blast out the speaker – usually Drake/Jeremih/Chris Brown, something along those lines. I hop out the shower, brush my teeth, get dry and put my clothes on, finish my tea, and head down the two flights of stairs. I say goodbye to everyone, including the dog, he’s an emotional wreck, and start my journey to work.
I usually leave at about quarter past eight; it usually takes about 10 minutes to get to the bus stop in Kimberley, which gives me 5 minutes until the bus comes. The bus stop I get on at is hidden around a bend in the road so when the bus does come it always panics me because I always see it late! Anyway, after paying £5.30 for a return ticket, which is ridonkulous, I’m on my way. The bus is always quiet, with only 3/4 people on there every time. It takes 15 minutes to get to work, but over the past week or so the bus has had to take a diversion through a small estate with narrow roads due to road works, which is a pain in the backside!
Morning at Work
When I finally get off the bus and walk around the corner I end up at Room 18, Armstrong’s Mill, Ilkeston; home of the mighty Fifteen Design! I normally get here for quarter/ten to which gives me time to turn my computer on and say hello to the team! I whack my lunch in the fridge, kindly made by me’ mother, and ask everyone if they want a drink. Normally Ollie and Kate slip hints in left, right and centre, saying they could nail a cuppa or that they’re parched, so I know what they’re getting at! I make drinks, hand them out and sit back at my desk.
The first thing I do once I’m logged into my computer is check my e-mails. This allows me to create a to-do list based on what clients/colleagues have sent me. I can structure my day around my schedule and order it in a way so that the most urgent jobs get addressed first.
I check the Google Calendar to see what everyone is doing today so I know what meetings are taking place, what websites are due to go live. I always have this calendar open because there is always someone that rings, usually a client, and they ask for a certain person, who isn’t here. With this I know exactly where they are, who they’re with and when they will be back in the office. This allows me to give a rough estimation of when we can get back in touch with the caller or when the caller can ring us back because we know that the person they are looking for will be in the office!
As my role is in the form of an apprenticeship at the moment, I normally sit down with Sophie and/or Ollie to discuss various things, from jobs and clients, to how I’m getting on, for example what I’m doing well and what can be improved. I love everything about this job so I enjoy these little chats because it helps me to improve and get better what I do, which can only be a good thing.
My role is to take some of the weight off Sophie’s shoulders. Answering the phone is a key element of this. The first call usually comes in between 9.30-10am, and its normally asking to speak to Ollie, Natalie, Kate or Lofty! I put them through to whomever they want to speak to. Website
My second port of call is to rattle through my to-do list. On the list I have various tasks to complete, from writing this blog, to testing clients sites that we’ve designed and developed, to working on my own website (COMING SOON TO A SCREEN NEAR YOU!)
Normally at about 11am I receive a booklet on my desk containing amendments that we have received from clients about their website. Most of the amendments are just wording issues, or if the client has an e-commerce website then they normally send over some products to populate the site with. its something that requires the coding of the site being adjusted then I get in touch with one of the developers, hopefully the one that originally worked on the site, tell him what needs to be done and leave him to it.
Lunchtime arrives unexpectedly, put I’m very grateful it turned up! I offer everyone a drink; take the order (I feel like a waiter!) and head to the kitchen. I make the brews, hand them out accordingly and then run back – literally – and get my lunch. Mums a star! I take it back to my desk, put my earphones in for half an hour and just scroll through social media and football sites whilst I’m on my break.
The seamless transition between lunch and working again takes place, and I crack on with more tasks that have crept up of the last half an hour. One of those missions is to create some images, in a cartoon-y style, for the blogs that go on the Fifteen website. To make these I either use Photoshop – standard – or a really snazzy site called Canva. This basically is a drag-and-drop site where you can create covers for various things. I get a message from India with the title and subject of the blog and I make the cover accordingly.
This normally takes around half an hour, so when I’ve accomplished the mission I go round the team and have chats with certain members. On the agenda for today are Kate, Chanelle, Mikey and Lucy. This is just so that I can get to know everyone’s roles in a lot more detail. I can have a go at what they do so I have a wider range of skills that I can improve at.
After a website has gone through the whole cycle of designing it in Photoshop, to the development stage with Pav, Chris, Mikey and Alex, it heads over to Natalie and her little crew of social whizz’s to optimize all of the content. SEO is a key point in the process; it’s what gets companies to the top end of the results in search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. They run various campaigns and use lots of methods to get a certain audience to go to the website they are working on. One of the key points in SEO is to use major, reliable, trustworthy sites rather than smaller spam-looking websites.
If all of the cycle is complete then it comes over to me. I have to test the website and make sure that any developments are functioning correctly and are optimised to the highest standard. Using our test lab, consisting of Apple, Samsung and Nokia devices plus other cool products, and check out the website on all different browsers on all the items. If the website is faultless with no errors or changes that need making, then we are ready to go live!
When the working day draws to a close, and I’ve asked all the guys and girls about their evenings and if they are doing anything exciting its time for the bus journey home. The buses are every half an hour which is a bit of a pain, but we finish at half past 5 and the bus comes at quarter to 6, so it isn’t too bad. The bus, wrapped in an aqua and orange gradient (not the best, I admit!), rolls through Cossall, Awsworth, Giltbrook and ends up in the rural escape of Kimberley.
Just when I think that my day couldn’t get any busier, oh boy it does. I when I get home its actions-stations and I need to get ready ASAP. I have to eat my dinner, designed, developed and deliver beautifully by my dear mother, then I have a driving lesson almost straight after for an hour. I started off lightly to jog my memory, but got well into the swing of things, and I ended up doing 60mph, I didn’t want to stop! I suppose it’s a whole lot easier when someone is telling you what to do…
After I’ve driven home I grab a snack and head straight to my room to be anti-social for the rest of the night. I have a strict schedule to stick to. Play on the Xbox and listen to music from 8 until 9, until I am completely ensconced in Love Island at 9. As soon as that finishes I just lie in bed relaxing, listening to music and doing designs for my website, wireframes, navigations, layouts and all that shenanigans.
The term ‘tomorrow is a new day’ has never been truer than in the design industry, as you never know what the day will through at you. Expect the unexpected is also a term that can be related to this line of work, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.