Bulb Insider stories with UI Designer Luke

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For this Bulb Insider story, we sat down with UI Designer Luke, to find out what life at Bulb Studios is like for him.

Tell us about how you got into design and your experiences before Bulb?

I went to the U.S.A on a soccer scholarship and studied Graphic Design for 4 years. Part of my degree was a 4 month internship for a tech startup in Kansas City and upon graduating they offered me a full-time position where I worked with both the Marketing and Product teams. Over the next 2 years my role shifted and I solely worked on Product. This is where my passion as a UI Designer emerged.

How did you end up working for Bulb?

I moved back to the U.K. in late 2014 and although I could work remotely, I was desperate to break into the agency world. I made a list of design agencies around Leicester and contacted them directly. Bulb Studios was at the top of my list so I was pumped when the Creative Director got in touch and wanted to setup an interview. I met with him and the Managing Director and we hit it off. The rest as they say is history!

What were the key factors that made you choose to work for Bulb?

Bulb Studios advertises themselves as a design led agency and that really grabbed my attention. Other agencies refer to themselves as marketing, creative, web agencies but don’t offer the same UX design expertise we do at Bulb. We don’t do template jobs or customise white label products, every project we take on is completely bespoke and starts from the ground up.

We apply the User Centred Design methodology so that means our designers take the time to understand our clients needs and their users objectives. This ensures every product we release is designed with all stakeholders and user groups in mind.

Tell us about your day-to-day responsibilities?

As a UI Designer at Bulb, I report to a Lead UI Designer. We both work very closely with the UX designers and a full-stack development team to conceptualise and implement a variety of digital products.

Depending on what stage we are on within a project, I could be designing a HMI, iOS app or website in Sketch. Then if the project is close to launch, I might be reviewing staging links and creating QA tickets of bugs and styling issues for our developers to fix. So it varies a lot and we’re always facing new exciting challenges.

What are you doing to make sure you are keeping up to date with current industry standards and trends?

I follow leaders in the design community and am constantly reading the latest blog posts by key tech companies such as Sketch, Invision and Adobe. Bulb Studios also host’s a quarterly design event called Create. We’ve had speakers from some of the largest organisations in the world such as Apple and Jaguar Land Rover so it’s fascinating to hear from these people on how they tackle some of the challenges they face.

Another thing I find really useful as a UI designer is to work on self-initiated projects. I try to design one thing a month, just for myself. It may just be a landing page or mobile design concept but it gives me the opportunity to flex my muscles and look at trending UI styles without working to the constraints of a project. Sometimes they’ll make it to our Instagram feed.

Is there a project your most proud of?

We designed and developed an iPad app called EO Detective for the National Centre of Earth Observation. The client wanted a kids game that would showcase Tim Peake’s photos from his year long voyage onboard the International Space Station.

NCEO EO Detective iPad

Working to a tight budget, we had to think smartly about how we could build an app that was flexible and could scale easily. Using clever UX and some savvy iOS development technologies we crafted an app that was interesting and fun to play but also had room to grow in the future.

What do you love about working at Bulb?

My colleagues and the projects we get to work on. We have an open and collaborative environment at Bulb which allows anyone to speak freely about issues they may be facing. This creates the setting for our teams to craft great products. Working with global brands like Jaguar Land Rover and smaller businesses such as our local coffeehouse St. Martins are both equally rewarding. No matter how big or small, every new project poses a new set of problems which are always fun to solve.

What advice would you give to any aspiring UI Designer or someone wanting to work for Bulb?

Read and write! There’s so many great designers out there now sharing their knowledge. Learn from these industry leaders and develop your communication skills so you can clearly articulate your ideas to colleagues and stakeholders. It’s easy to design beautiful UIs but sometimes it can be a struggle to sell your vision so I would recommend designers always improve their communication skills.

If you want to work at Bulb, simply get in touch, either through one of our social media accounts or send us an email. We like to hear from the best local talent so even if we don’t have an opening, let us know you exist and we’ll keep you in mind for when when do.