panel | dubose web design team
Hannah: Hello and welcome back to DWGTV. My name’s Hannah and today I’m joined by our creative director and two of our designers. Today we’re doing a design panel, which is something we haven’t done before on DWGTV, but I’m excited about this format. It gives each of our designers a platform for what they do, and what they’re passionate about and I think we’re going to have some really interesting discussion today. If each of y’all could take a second and introduce yourself and share a little bit about what you do here at DuBose.
Julie: My name is Julie Goguen. I’m the creative director here. I work with our marketing strategist and our designers and content writers just to make sure that everything goes smooth.
Lauren: I’m Lauren Pinckney, and I’m an interactive designer here. I help design websites and social media graphics and that type of stuff.
Amanda: I’m Amanda, and I do everything that Lauren said. I’m also an interactive designer.
Hannah: For any of these questions you all can answer it, or one of you can answer it. Whatever comes naturally to you. But why did you get into design? What makes you passionate about the design world?
Lauren: I chose design because art was one of my favorite subjects in school; I just really loved it. When I got to college, I realized I could turn it into a profession. I majored in Graphic Design, and then I started with print design stuff and then when I came here to DuBose I got into web design with these two.
Julie: I was originally studying to be an architecture major or an architect. So I was an architecture major at Clemson for two years and decided that I did not want to spend my life just doing buildings. That I still wanted to do something that was artsy but not quite that. I transferred and changed my major and ended up doing graphic design and I was in print design for ten years and then Blake and I had known each other from the past. He brought me in as a designer and then I kind of blossomed from there into interactive and web and creative director from there.
Amanda: I have a bachelor’s degree in Illustration, so that was originally what I wanted to do because I like to paint and draw. But I didn’t realize how much work that is and how much it depends on freelancing, which I’m not really good at. I kind of fell into design, which is much more reliable and I can still use all of the more technical principles of illustration along with it.
Hannah: What is y’alls favorite part about being a designer? Or being a creative director? What’s your favorite part about your role here at DuBose?
Lauren: I would say we’re never actually doing the same job. It might be for the same partner or client, but we’re always designing a new graphic or playing with new colors or typography. Things like that. So, it’s never the same task that we have to do.
Amanda: It’s constant learning.
Julie: Yeah, I have to second Amanda. It’s constant learning. It’s always changing. There are no two days the same, for better or for worse.
Hannah: So, on the flip side, what’s the biggest challenge that y’all face in this role?
Julie: No two days look the same. I don’t know, you guys want to answer?
Amanda: I think the biggest thing for me is just keeping things fresh, innovative and in budget.
Lauren: And I’d say design is also very subjective. We could design something and then love it and then share it with someone and be like, “No. Not for me.” So you never know.
Hannah: How has the web industry changed in the time that y’all have been designers? How have you seen it evolve over the years?
Julie: A lot. So, Amanda and I started right around the same time. When we started, Parallax was the new big thing. It’s like, “Everybody wants a parallax image.” I mean it’s still very cool but it’s borderline, “Yeah, that was five years ago. We’re onto new things now.” It’s changed a lot just the interfaces that people want and that they’re seeing but the devices are the biggest thing for me. But the sheer number of devices and browsers that you have to design for and optimize for is just insanity. That’s probably my biggest.
Hannah: Where do you think that the industry is headed based on some trends that you’ve seen recently?
Lauren: I’d say definitely towards more animations. The websites are just stale and sitting anymore. There’s movement, there are colors, there’s bolder typography and things like that. You definitely have to stay up on the trends.
Hannah: How do you stay up on the trends? How do you stay current with everything with it being such a constantly evolving industry? How do you y’all stay abreast of everything that’s happening?
Lauren: I’d say definitely lots of research. Lots of blog reading.
Julie: We’ve got our favorite blogs that we’ve bookmarked and our designer resources folder that we can go to and see upcoming trends for 2018, 2019, and 2020. I mean a lot of it is out there, you just have to search for it. Some of it is just intuition too because you want to be able to put your own creative spin on it so you try new things and see what comes out of it.
Lauren: And what looks good to you.
Hannah: How would you go about, for an organization or business that’s kind of on the fence about hiring a creative agency, a digital marketing agency, what would you tell them? If they kind of think that, “Oh we have a website and it’s out there,” but they’re not really actively involved in improving it, what would y’all say to them?
Julie: I would say that your website is probably your most powerful marketing tool and it is one of those things that is working 24/7 and to ignore it is not a good business tactic. I mean it could be working for you instead of working against you and I think it some cases for people out there it’s working against them.
Hannah: Going off of that, working in an agency world, you obviously have strategy design development, so you’re working alongside, me, myself as a digital marketing strategist and also the developer. How have y’all figured out how to work in a team setting in the design world? Is that every challenging? Is that inspiring? What’s that experience like from your perspective?
Amanda: Really it requires constant communication. Personally, all of my pod members are remote except me, so I have to slap them all the time.
Lauren: On my team, all my pod members are here, and it’s constant communication. I think that goes for anyone. Us, as a design team, are constantly communicating and asking for opinions and things like that so it takes a lot of communication like Amanda said.
Hannah: I guess too, the idea of it comes from strategy and the designer is ultimately responsible for bringing that to life, and then the developer is responsible for implementing that, so it’s kind of balancing the two. You have to keep strategy in mind and make that person’s side but also be on development to make sure that everything looks as you designed it. Awesome. Constant communication.
Julie: And it’s been a process, let’s be real. It’s been a process. But constant learning and growing and one of the things that we do a lot of.
Hannah: It’s kind of what we do. Always learning.
Julie: It’s what we do.
Hannah: Do y’all have any favorite brands that you pull design inspiration from? Any that you are constantly going to on Instagram or visiting their website and just really getting amped up about everything that they’re doing?
Lauren: I’d say one of my favorites is Nike; they’re always pushing the envelope. Their product designs and the way that they show them to people really draws you in, I think.
Amanda: Slack just redid their website and it’s pretty nice; I like that. CSS-Tricks did their website, a new design, and I like it.
Julie: There’s so many. From a product standpoint, I really like to see what Coca-Cola is doing. I love to go to food, not just because I love food, but because they just tend to have a lot more fun with their websites. They have cute little animations or they have fun little games you can play and they’re colorful and bright and happy and all of those things that I tend to like. Anything from Halo Top to a Spanish soda, I can’t remember the name of right this moment, to Coca-Cola and there are several other ones. They’re fun sites, their product is fun, their brands are fun. But then one of my favorite places is Dribbble. I love going to Dribbble and seeing what people are doing. It’s more of a designer community sharing their work and their designs and what not and I think it’s really interesting to see people putting their spin on existing brands and then see what projects their working on. I go there a lot for inspiration.
Hannah: For a company they know a lot needs to be done with their website and their brand. What is the one thing that you would make a recommendation for them to implement design-wise? What’s really going to make their brand come alive and revamp their website? If you could pick just one thing?
Julie: Can we tell them one thing not to do?
Hannah: Yeah that works.
Julie: Do not put sliders on your website. Stop. I’m just kidding.
Lauren: I would say just step up the typography, would be one of the main things that we can definitely do. And that’s something I’m still learning and trying to play with but that definitely makes a difference.
Amanda: I’d say user research.
Julie: I’d say white space. Too many people are afraid of white space showing.
Hannah: Good tips. My last question is do any of y’all do any design work on your own, on the side, just out of pure passion?
Amanda: Well it doesn’t really fall into the realm of design. I do pet portraits on the side.
Lauren: And they are beautiful.
Julie: They’re amazing.
Amanda: My little side business is called The Painted Whisker.
Hannah: And you’re multi-talented in that you can design with a computer and with your hands.
Amanda: Playing around with my Whack the Tablet, I do some digital art and hopefully bring some more of that into some of our future projects.
Hannah: Do y’all have any other words of wisdom for designers out there wanting to get inspiration or anything of that nature?
Lauren: I would say never stop learning and always push yourself. That’s something that I’m trying to learn.
Julie: Yeah practice is a good one. Just keep practicing. Keep plugging it. Don’t give up.
Amanda: And play. Play with stuff.
Hannah: Gotta keep it creative. Well, that’s everything. Thanks, y’all for being here and thank you for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed this new format. It’s something that I’d love to bring back in the future.
We will be back on April 2nd at 1 pm EST to talk with Parker Moore from Tuks on Truks; that’ll be a really interesting conversation. He is the co-founder and CEO of that business and we’re really going to be chatting about how he found a pain point in the industry and built a whole brand and business around it for a very niche market. That’ll be a great conversation for you to tune in on April 2nd for.
Other than that, follow along with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. Give us a follow, give us a like, and continue the conversation with us there that way you’ll always get alerts and we’ll show up in your feed when we’re going live again on DWGTV. Other than that, I can’t wait to see y’all next time and have a great day. Bye.
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