Say hello to our lead designer, Mark.
Hi Mark. How are you? What’ve you been up to today?
Good thanks. Today I’ve been in meetings. We’ve done our daily design scrum with the producers, where we look at what we have to do for the day and check for any blockers.
I had a feedback call with a client to go over their website. I’ve had a production meeting where we discussed what’s going good, what could go better and what we’re going to do about it.
Then I checked my emails and now we’re here. Been a busy day!
And it’s only half 12! What’s your official title here at PracticeWeb?
It’s lead designer.
What do you do day to day?
It’s a variety. My job is to make sure the design team can work effectively and efficiently. I’m there to soundboard ideas and look at designs.
I help create structure and help their workflows. I’m there for them when they have issues and make sure they’re happy.
Then on the design side of things, I contribute to a wide variety of different client and internal projects.
As the lead designer at PracticeWeb, was the rebrand that’s taken place over the last year always naturally going to sit with you?
I joined PracticeWeb four years ago, so out of the design team, I’ve got the most legacy knowledge with the brand. I’ve been through the teething issues. I’ve been on a journey with the company so I guess it was natural for me to lead.
I did the orchestration and the direction, then collaborated with the other designers because that’s when you get the best work.
What were you doing before you worked here?
I was in Birmingham – I’m from Birmingham originally – working at a really small web design firm. And I was a bit of a jack of all trades – I did a bit of project managing, I was designing, doing the SEO, updating websites, doing a bit of basic coding.
It was an amazing opportunity to expose myself to all areas of web design, but you couldn’t specialise.
Working here has enabled me to focus on my craft – be a designer and a leader.
That’s brilliant. Can you describe yourself in three words?
On a good day I am, laid back, cheerful and either curious or cheeky. On a bad day, I’m hungry, hungry, hungry.
Nice! What do you enjoy the most about working at PracticeWeb?
This might sound cheesy or cliche, but I enjoy working with really good clients. And what defines a really good client is someone who understands that they need help. Someone who talks to you openly. When you get that nice, open dialogue you can be quite frank and there’s real room for growth and change.
I think the financial sector can be quite an uncreative space. It can be quite difficult for accountants to come out of a world of numbers and order into a world of colours, shapes and sometimes chaos. It’s not always in their vocabulary to communicate what they want or need.
What I love is going in and making something better than when I found it. Having a client come on that journey and enjoy the process, enjoy talking, and making a lasting relationship is the best thing.
And the team. I love working with the team that we’ve got so that’s really nice too.
What’s the weirdest thing on your desk?
I cleaned it today! It’s usually really cluttered.
I’ll talk you through the weird things on my desk: there’s a Buddha for when I get stressed. There’s a picture of Danny Devito from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Once I had the biggest egg sandwich for lunch and got it all in my beard. The team laughed at me and decided to gift me a photo of Danny Devito offering me an egg. So that’s pretty weird.
I have loads of little vinyl figures on my desk. The best one is called the Monster Burp by Peskimo – a Bristol illustration company. It has this really cool ghost burp coming out of his mouth. It’s an amazing feat of design because it’s tiny and it shouldn’t be balanced but it is balanced. It always makes me smile.
I have some Amethyst too – I have a precious gem. I’ve got loads of weird stuff.
That’s a closing quote if ever I heard one. Thanks, Mark!
Thank you, goodbye!