It’s official…I have passed my probation and I am now a fully fledged team member at Tomango!

In the six months or so since I started, I’ve not only worked on some great projects with the team, I also got married and bought my first home.

It’s definitely been a whirlwind for me, but I’ve enjoyed every second of it!

So here’s what I’ve learned and accomplished in the last six months, and what I want to do in 2019.

My first day and first project

I remember having a meeting with Mark on my first day, when he told me all about the vision for Tomango and where he wanted to take the business. Immediately I was excited and eager to get stuck into some projects.

The first of which was a print project for Hartwell Insurance. The brief was to design a four-fold high-spec brochure for presentations to prospective clients. Designing for print is something that’s always come naturally to me as I’ve trained and worked in print for many years.

After a briefing from Mike, I set about designing the brochure, working with copy written by Tom. I quickly found out that not only is Tom our Digital Marketing Manager, he’s also got a real talent for words. His skills have helped me learn more about the importance of good copy as part of good design.

On my first project, the key thing I learned was to take my time, something I hadn’t had the luxury of before – coming from an artwork background where being able to turn projects around quickly was an essential part of the role. Here though, I get the time to refine my ideas and present only the best work to the client.

Off the leash!

After spending some time learning more about The Tomango Way, and working alongside Mike, I was finally ready to take up the challenge of my first web design project. Slightly nervous, but very excited, I tackled the redesign of Treeconomics.

Having read the project plan Mark had produced with the client it became clear I had to design a website that got the company’s vision and messages across, whilst also showcasing some of the great projects Treeconomics are involved in.

The design process was tricky but rewarding. It was the first time I’ve had to really think about the ‘user’ and not just my own tastes and styles. I was always thinking about what the user would need from this page and that page, and where they would go next. This was quite a challenge for me, which has ultimately unearthed a strong interest in UX design.

After working through feedback and alterations with the client, we made the final changes and launched the site.

That feeling of making something live or receiving a printed piece of work hot off the press will never grow old for me. It’s an amazing feeling for designers, to see weeks or months of hard work come to life and to know your work is out there for everyone to see and experience.

Getting hitched

On June 9th I got married to my best friend and soulmate Danielle, she has been very supportive over the years, despite the fact I find it hard to switch off and even critique restaurant menus or apps on date nights!

Brand rollouts

In the six months I’ve worked at Tomango we’ve rolled out several new websites and brands for clients, and a big part of my job is to help Mike in this process.

We create brand guidelines for clients so they can implement their brand rollout to any channels that might need to use the wordmark or logotype. Setting brand guidelines is really important to us, and valuable to the client - we want to make sure their image is the best it can be no matter where it is or what it’s on.

The biggest of these branding projects has been our recent work for Concept Tag, producing a new website and all the printed materials the client required. We’ve produced all their collateral in different language versions as the company is a global business operating in Europe, America and Australia.

Challenges

I’ve had a few challenges in the past six months - having to learn a new way of working and designing to fit in with Tomango’s processes, and learning a lot from Trys who taught me the importance of designing for web projects mobile-first. I’ve also had to learn how to use new tools and software; luckily I’m a quick learner.

I’ve even re-taught myself Premiere Pro to produce short video clips for marketing collateral, and just recently dived back into what was Flash - now Adobe Animate - to create branded animations. These are nice challenges to have, and I’m constantly trying to learn new techniques or programmes to further my knowledge and experience to create great work for clients.

User first

In 2019 I plan to build upon my already growing knowledge of UX and UI design. I’ve been following Fabricio Teixeira, who’s written some really interesting articles on UX design this year, especially this one - The State of UX in 2019.

Building on my expanding knowledge, I want to put this into practice as much as possible for our clients. I believe by doing the UX research and putting the user first, we can help increase site conversions and our clients can achieve their goals.

In summary

My first six months at Tomango have been a blast.

We’ve produced some great work that we’re really proud of. We’ve worked on various projects from startups to established businesses who need to revamp their existing brand or website.

If you need a new website, brand or just fancy a picking my brains about what I’ve done and how we can help you get in touch.

Cheers

Liam.