I have to admit, I was a little nervous as I walked towards the Clearleft office on day one of my 12-week placement. Will they like me? Will I like them? Will I be good enough? Will I embarrass myself terribly? These were just a few of the questions rattling around my brain. They are an impressive bunch, with an array of published books and a reputation as the best in the business. The three founders alone have a collective Twitter following of 200k+. But my nerves quickly subsided as everyone I met was so down to earth and made me feel welcome straight away.
I spent most of my first week doing background research to support my major project. I also took the opportunity to have short intro meetings with as many members of the team as possible. It was great to hear more about each person’s background and get a sense of how each role fits together. It became quickly apparent that everyone here is multi-skilled and the boundaries between design, development and UX are quite blurred. Being able to cover multiple areas obviously makes it easier to flex and juggle multiple client projects but also gives people useful insight to understand their colleagues’ approach. I haven’t quite determined which area of UX I want to move into but having a grounding in all facets is obviously a good place to start.
The project I’m planning is to devise a new search interface for Virgin Holidays, potentially using voice interaction or a chatbot approach. I’m starting on a three-week design sprint with them next week, so that will form the basis of whatever I decide to do. I think it makes sense to let it evolve naturally and hopefully fulfill a need or a gap that we identify during this project, so whatever I produce has real benefit for Virgin. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into that next week.