What led you into design?
I was always creative as a kid, sewing, making scrapbooks and drawing. When I started playing games I wanted to be creative with them too, so spent loads of time making characters, textures and spreadsheets! This naturally led to a love for creating fun, and how we can do that in an interaction design context, and has remained the focus of my professional career.
What does a typical day look like?
At Drest I lead the design team on a mobile fashion game, so a large part of my day is managing the design process, giving feedback and evangelising design across the organisation. With covid we work fully remotely, so I have to be on Zoom a lot of the day! My typical day starts with a standup with the product team, then might do a presentation to our stakeholders on a new feature I've worked on with a game designer. Later in the day I'll have a few 1-to-1s with my designers and other people around the business to make sure I have an understanding of what's going on in the different teams, and see where I can help to unblock the design process. Occasionally I manage to get into Figma, but most of my design work these days is either very boring technical stuff (component managment, help systems and error reporting anyone?) or blue-sky thinking for pitch decks. An interesting mix!
Most days after work I have some sort of mentoring meeting or design event- I find it hard to let myself rest, and I love sharing my knowledge and helping people into the industry.
What's your workstation setup?
Where do you go to get inspired?
There's an amazing cafe around the corner for me with a leafy green interior courtyard. Being in there it feels like I'm not in central London, and really helps me disconnect.
What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?
I've been using an app called Splice for editing my Tiktoks, and I'm amazed by the amount of AfterEffects fucntionality they've managed to replicate in a mobile interface, in a user-friendly way. Super impressive.
What pieces of work are you most proud of?
Design-wise, most of it is unfortunately stuck behind NDAs! However as a mentor and design leader I am so immensely proud of the work my mentees have accomplished. Being able to help with someone else's career even in a small way is these days one of the most satisfying parts of my role.
What design challenges do you face at your company?
At Drest we bring together the fashion and gaming worlds, which both have their own design standards and expectations, especaially in the luxury space! It's super challenging but also super exciting for me, as it's new ground.
What music do you listen to whilst designing?
Any advice for ambitious designers?
Do work you love making. Figure out what tasks, what industries, what working cultures give you energy, and lean into that. Expect to do a few less-than-stellar jobs before you find your groove - use these jobs to teach yourself what you really want to do.
Anything you want to promote or plug?
I occasionally do some illustration stuff on the side! https://www.instagram.com/caiitlinz/