My First Year at Content & Coffee Made Me a Better Designer
Written by Aurora Iannino
As a designer, you’re constantly in search of creative growth and interesting challenges. In my first year at Content & Coffee, I was able to expand my skill set, both on a personal and professional level. This experience has enabled me to harness my skills as a designer while also learning how to take on more significant responsibilities within the organisation. Let me share with you how this unique blend of empowerment and accountability has made me a better designer – one who is confident, critical, creative and efficient!
From big corporation to digital agency
One year ago, I was a Senior Webmaster and digital designer at a big retail company. I worked in a strict hierarchy with heavily monitored workflows that left little room for self-initiative. These restrictions streamlined the design process but came at a tremendous creative cost. I felt constricted and every change request had to go through a lengthy administrative chain that ultimately discouraged innovation altogether. Seeking more creative freedom, I applied for a position at Content & Coffee as a UI/UX and motion designer.
My initial expectations & how it’s going
I expected this job to be a lot of things. I expected to learn, to be challenged, and to grow as a designer. I welcomed the opportunity to work in a system that allowed room for creativity, innovation and collaboration.
When I first started working at Content & Coffee, I was given a lot of responsibility and empowerment to make decisions and drive my own work. I was in direct contact with clients and was responsible for clearly communicating requirements, deadlines and costs. All things that in my previous job were handled by a project coordinator. As challenging as this was, it provided me with a great opportunity to learn more about the administrative side of design.
I have since been given the opportunity to work on a number of diverse projects, from full branding projects to animated shorts. Combining all these projects has greatly improved my personal and professional skills.
Firstly, I’ve become much more confident about my abilities as a designer. Having experienced the trust of my colleagues and clients has allowed me to push myself and explore new ideas with more confidence.
Secondly, I’ve hugely expanded my skill set by working on diverse projects that at the time forced me to go beyond my knowledge and skills. This helped me to become a more versatile designer and offer clients a comprehensive all-in service.
And last but certainly not least, I’ve developed better time management skills. Taking ownership of my work has taught me how to manage my time wisely so that I can stay on track with my goals and deadlines. This has helped me to become better organised and more productive in my work and to communicate better with clients.
Working in a company without a strict structure or chain of command definitely takes some adjusting but ultimately felt very liberating. Being trusted with the responsibility of managing my own time and work made me more accountable, efficient and creative. It has increased the quality of my work, and I feel more confident now that I can handle and deliver projects, even if they are completely new to me.
As I continue to grow in my role here, I’m looking forward to expanding on what I’ve already learned while embracing new opportunities coming my way.