a day in the life…
Variety is the spice of life, and one of my favourite things about being a product designer at a consultancy. I’m regularly meeting new clients, learning about new problems, understanding new user groups, thinking creatively about products I’ve not designed before, and finding solutions that surprise and delight. These are the ways I spend my time, and what make me love going to work each week.
9am // trend research
Each day I start by catching up with design blogs, trend forecasting and tech news of the last 24hrs. I’m responsible for the Megatrends and CMF capabilities at Outerspace so I keep our material libraries up to date as well as do periodical presentations to the rest of the team on the latest movements in cultural, consumer and design trends.
10am // concept ideation
Most projects come through our team before going into detail design. I love being at the front end of the design process, using quick hand sketches to explore concept possibilities. Sometimes this means breaking down a product into separate elements and brainstorming ideas for each required part, sometimes it means establishing a coherent design language and styling direction for a product, and sometimes it means exploring far and wide for all the different formats a product could take.
11am // user research
With extensive experience in facilitating usability research, I’m always keen to understand the user better, and let them be the ultimate guide for the design of a product. This might involve using market research tools to better understand user groups, conducting interviews, or facilitating and observing usability testing.
12pm // colour, material, finish
As part of my role keeping on top of trends I am also building my knowledge and the expertise of my company in colour, material and finishes. When a project needs a CMF specification for prototyping or production parts, I help out to make sure the product is both on trend and fit for purpose.
1pm // lunch
My favourite way to replenish, refresh and rejuvenate for the afternoon is to practice Yoga in the park, followed by a homemade lunch and some Japanese study.
2PM // PROTOTYPING
When it comes to prototyping, I am a bit of a perfectionist. I enjoy making things that are precise and beautiful. Presentation prototypes and soft goods prototyping give me a chance to get my hands dirty and see my designs come to life.
3pm // storytelling
Every great product tells a great story, and I believe that understanding how products speak to people - what the colours, form, textures and functionality say to those who touch, use and see those products is an integral part of being a designer. I really enjoy presenting my work, and getting others excited about the ideas that excite me.
4pm // rendering
On the creative team, not only do we set the vision for a product, but we need to make sure we get the vision across - to a client, to a prototyping house, to venture capitalists, to a patent attorney, to consumers. Using a combination of Wacom sketches, Photoshop and Illustrator renders or Solidworks and Keyshot, I get a kick out of bringing designs to life on screen.