19 Jul

This came up today – thought i’d “re-blog it”. Moved the advice info from the word doc it was in to the post so it’s easier for folks to view.

The Personal Blog of a UX Designer

So most of you know, I business coach on the side. It’s something I enjoy doing. Today, I recieved a note from a newer less experienced graphic designer, asking me for a little guidance in the world of freelance. He needed guidance in marketing, sales, and business in general. We talked a LOT and when we were through, it dawned on me that perhaps I could use what we’d written and offer it to other’s as a way to get some free advice.

So … here it is. I’ve changed names and removed personal info and web addresses for the person, so to protect their identity.

Enjoy.

J.

Olsen:

What am I doing wrong? Oh, I know partially what I’m doing wrong. I’m not out there beating bushes looking for clients. Not on a regular basis anyway. I’m not making cold calls. I only went up and down one street…

View original post 4,138 more words

An amazing day…

26 Aug

So I’ve been carrying that torch for a week now.  Yep, been boss officially for a week.  Weird.  I don’t like the word boss but whatever.  It’s been an odd, stressful, wonderful week (so far), I know there is still one day left.

Today one of my contractors had a satisfied look on his face and I asked him how things were going.  He said “Great!” and then proceeded to tell me that the team felt different, but in a good way.  Our boss was a fantastic boss, and although we miss him and his friendship, he said the team was hunkering down and making serious progress.  That things were more organized, and we were working better as a team.  We’ve been scheduling in brainstorming sessions and taking some time to prepare as a team (when possible) for reviews.  Later, another team mate spoke up and shared similar sentiments.  And it’s true.  We’re creating some shared systems to help make our team more efficient and collaborating more.  It’s a really good feeling.

To be honest, I was a little nervous about all of this.  I knew I could do the work, and I’ve been in management roles before.  This one is/was different.  It’s one I truly care about, one I really want.  Being a manager on this team, this size of a team, on project that’s challenging and inspiring and fun.  But I find myself, a week in, finding a comfort I didn’t think I’d find.  As if the role was perfect for me all along.  Oh sure, there’s things I’m still trying to figure out – the hiring computer system is odd, and I have yet to figure out who to talk to about getting one of my contractor’s a laptop… but these things are small things that i’ll figure out and all will continue to be well.

Have you ever felt that way?  Been given the opportunity to truly challenge yourself and step up to a new role and be both terrified and excited all at the same time?  Did it turn out the way you’d hoped in the end?

Next week is sure to be an interesting one.  Lots of design work to do.  Some new UI and UX design to consider.  Things to plan and things to learn.  I might even get to work with a little typography if i’m lucky.  I hired a new guy and he starts on Monday.  So there will sure to be a lot of password issues, computer set ups and the like.  But he’s got a lot of skill, and his personality was a treat in his interview.  He even giggled! 😀  So I’m sure the rest of us will enjoy getting to know him and getting him up to speed.

Well, I’m done for the night, I hope all of you out there will enjoy your night!

The passing of the torch… sorta

19 Aug

Today is going to be a very busy, very interesting day.  It’s 7am and I’m here sitting in my office looking over my calendar for the day.  It’s bursting at the seams.  I have 7 meetings today.  And although I’m sure they’ll be very interesting, they are not the reason my day will be so interesting.  Today, I will lose 2 of my coworkers.  These 2 people have been my friends and mentors.  They are still going to be at the company, but they are moving to a different department to work on a different set of projects and will be on the other side of campus.  One of those coworkers happens to also be my boss.  Although him and I don’t have a boss/employee relationship.  I wracked my brains to figure out what I could possibly give him to remember me by.  I ended up buying him a gift set of 3 of his favorite whiskeys.  I’m sure I looked like quite the Lush walking into work this morning.  How funny that is, as it’s so far from the truth.  I’m sad to see these two go.  They have given me guidance and advice, they’ve allowed me to come in and shut the door to vent about anything, they’ve given me the ability to laugh at my mistakes and they’ve pushed me to think differently or take a product to a whole new level.  They’ve trusted me when I didn’t even trust myself.  To Jason and Keri – I wish you the very best of luck at your new jobs.  You will be missed!

Come monday morning, I will be taking over my bosses place and be the leader of my team.  Part of me is very excited to be given the opportunity to step up the ladder a bit further, but there is also a part of me that is nervous.  I know I’m damn good at my job.  Graphic Design and UX Design is a passion.  That’s never been much of a worry for me, but leading people is a whole new ball of wax.  Not to mention, now I not only have to continue to do my job, but I also get to do his.  I’ve done management before, and found I was good at it.  I just hope I can still say that in a few weeks when I’m in the full swing of things.

So as I start a new journey into the world of management, I thought i’d share it with you all.  🙂

Happy Friday!!

Jen

 

Been a while.. thought i’d update

24 Jun

So here’s my update.  I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind of activity as of late.  I received an offer to be a judge for a pretty prestigious online design award group (http://www.webaward.org/).  It’s something I’ll do in my spare time and i’m pretty excited to do it.  A week after I accepted the position, I received an job offer from a Software/Computer Giant in Redmond, WA for a position that.. well… I just couldn’t refuse.  We’re talking DREAM job.  So I gave my two week notice to the ad agency where I worked and 3 weeks later – here I am.  So far – it’s been amazing.

We had a minor setback with Creative Fusion Pro.  We hired someone to work on it with us and they accidentally deleted some things in the server, namely a few databases.  Soooooo… we’re on it – learning a few new lessons as we go – but it’s been frustrating to have those kinds of set backs.  However, I CAN say that the set back had an alternate effect.  Because of it, we decided to take a look at the overall structure of the design and launch schedule.  Rather than trying to push everything out and then go back and fix as we originally intended, we’re going to fix the bugs and clean the slate.  In the long run – I think it will be better.  We’re going to launch the CMS system (for those curious – we’ll be using Expression Engine), and then we’ll be launching the stores (Multi Store Magento) etc etc… hey I can’t give away ALL our secrets 🙂

I hope everyone is doing well – for those of you who know me and talk to me on skype – send me a hi and hello!  It’s a bit uncomfortable starting a new job, you get a bit lonely at times for a friendly familiar face, so a hi and hello from a friend I recognize would be wonderful!

And to anyone else…. Hi and hello.. I look forward to getting to know you and discussing design, development, type, photography, art, theory… whatever our passions drive us to discuss in further detail.

– Jen Walter

Some AWESOME tutorials

12 Dec

Paint a portrait in 30 steps – http://acidlullaby.deviantart.com/art/Portrait-Painting-Tutorial-22707443

How to paint eyes – http://acidlullaby.deviantart.com/art/How-to-paint-eyes-21817387

Hanagumori – http://dianae.deviantart.com/art/Digital-Painting-Tutorial-74468761

Realistic Painting – http://alexiuss.deviantart.com/art/Photoshop-Painting-Tutorial-2-115791296

How does a whole month slip by so fast?

29 Apr

Been busy this month.  I’ve completed a new booth design for the company I work for full time now.  Along with a complete set of new collateral and brochures.  I’ve done some work with HR to “decorate” the offices a bit more than your typical standard office posters and artwork.  Going to have to grab the camera and take some pictures when it’s all done.  I’ve built about 6 microsites and designed about 12 others that haven’t launched yet for some pretty big name clients which is always a bit of an honor.  Still waiting for the new machine at work – hoping end of the week that I’ll get it from the IT guys.  Also currently studying up on some new techniques for building some really complex flash demos.  It’s exciting work actually – ground breaking in that I’m trying to do something a bit different than your standard demo.

On a personal note – i also managed to get a bit further in a comic i’m working on – 🙂 which in my book is ALWAYS a good thing.  Progress!

Things i’ve learned in the last month:  Corporations never really change.  Why I thought 5 years would improve things is beyond me.  But at least i know i’m strong enough to handle that world.  If only I could get through to these people that I’m not a button pusher, i’m an artist with valuable marketing and business experience and valid ideas. 🙂  They’re slowly coming around, so we’ll see.

Oh.. and I’m expecting my second child.  🙂  I’ve also learned that i’m not one of those women who enjoy being pregnant.  Instead of that beautiful rosy glow that some pregnant women get – i’ve discovered my glow is mostly pea green.  We’re due on November 20th and the hubby is just beside himself he’s so giddy.  It’s quite funny.

Well must get back to work.  But wanted to check in with everyone and see how life was going.

Talk to you all later!

-Jen

http://www.jwdesigncenter.com

Inspiration Friday and the end to a long week

13 Mar

View

This week has been strange, my department moved to a new building about a block from the old one.  Here’s a view from the 13th floor I found online 🙂 I’m up on the 18th floor so i can see a bit further than this but it’s the exact buildings I get to look at from the windows.

Since it’s friday – i figured I should post up some inspiration for everyone.  🙂  Funny how I look forward to posting these as much as some of you look forward to recieving them.  And always – it’s nice to recognize talent 🙂

simplicity by bella elizabetta

simplicity by bella elizabetta

helvetica poster

helvetica poster

http://myst49.deviantart.com/art/Typography-Helvetica-Poster-115052698

park_by_goodghost1980

http://goodghost1980.deviantart.com/art/park-115062762

Web Interface Design

Web Interface Design

http://fedrick.deviantart.com/art/wCMS-layout-115325618