I was lucky enough to start work at a small company in 1998, where a group of wonderful, patient people taught me how to write HTML with MS Frontpage. I was hired for my first web design job because I had no web design experience! Back then, web design followed a rigid grid structure as a result of the HTML tables, and they wanted someone fresh whose brain literally worked outside the box so that we could create websites that looked a bit different from everything else out there.
I have been taking entire website projects from design, through build, to delivery.
In 2014 I was brought in to Blackbaud's Peer to Peer fundraising UK client services team. Initially a tiny team of just a technical consultant and I, we grew from a £0 revenue business to bringing in £1,000,000 in 2018, and adding three more members to our team. At the start of the transition to the new services team, I created new design concepts that helped clients visualise their requirements for their projects, enabling the sales team to then find new opportunities and therefore grow the team significantly over the years.
More recently at Fin-Ex, I am the designer responsible for the visual brand and assets for seven of the eight companies that make up Fin-Ex's portfolio. This means that I do whatever is needed across the various teams - website design, packaging, logo and brand design from scratch for new companies, paper form design.... I love it. There is never a chance to feel bored.
I have always worked in small teams where I have been the only designer, or half the team! This means that I have had every role involved in creating a website from scratch (and a full hat rack):
- helping to sell the project,
- consulting directly with the customer,
- mocking up a design and dealing with questions and design iterations,
- making decisions about when a design is ready for the customer (ie. the Creative Director hat),
- building the design in a CMS or from scratch with HTML and CSS,
- creating new brands, and then refining the ideas for use on- and off-line,
- testing of the built website and its functionality,
- post-project support,
- writing supporting documentation,
- making a cracking cup of tea.