How long have you been at BaseKit?
6 years! Which blows my mind, it doesn’t feel like that long at all.
How did you get into the industry and company?
I’ve been interested in the web and tech since as far back as I can remember; I built my first website in Microsoft Publisher when I was at school and became the go-to guy for styling MySpace pages (good times!). After I finished school I jumped between a handful of different tech/creative jobs and picked up various skills… I’ve been a wedding videographer, a school IT technician, a computer repair person, a creative at Apple (where I got to teach people how to use their devices and build websites) – a bit of everything really!
I ultimately knew that I wanted to design and build for the web and eventually went on to work for Simpleweb, a small digital agency in Bristol, where I got to design & build various products and websites. It was there I realised that I enjoyed designing interfaces the most.
Having followed BaseKit for a number of years I jumped at the chance to apply to be a UI Designer. Since being at the company I’ve naturally progressed to become the Lead Product Designer.
What does an average day in the office look like for you?
My day always starts with coffee – I’m not able to function without it. As soon as I’m fully caffeinated I like to have a quick scroll through Product Hunt, TechCrunch and various other sites to see what’s happening in the world of tech and design. I like to know what’s going on.
The rest of my day can really differ from week to week. Sometimes I’m using Miro to sketch out very rough conceptual ideas for the future of the product, other days I might be taking a look at other tools and products, and then some days I’m working on detailed UI designs and prototypes ready to be handed over for our dev team to implement.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Working on a product and with a team that’s constantly evolving. It’s a fast paced industry, so you have to keep up and know the market, but that’s also one of the most exciting things about it: we get to change and simplify the way people interact with the tools we build.
What’s been your biggest achievement since joining the company?
My biggest achievement has probably been designing the first fully featured website editor that works on both desktop or mobile – until the last few years, the majority of website builders only worked on desktop devices or had very limited mobile editing.
Reworking what has traditionally been a desktop experience into mobile was a challenge, but a necessary one. I essentially had to redesign the sitebuilder from the ground up so that it was as simple as Instagram while maintaining the level of control you’d expect from a desktop website builder.
More recently we launched BaseKit 10, which simplifies building and customising a website even further and introduces sections. It’s a great and less painful way for small businesses to quickly get up-and-running online.
What are you working on at the moment?
During the current covid-19 situation we’ve seen an uptake in people wanting to start their own businesses from home, so we’ve spent some time improving our commerce offering which has been really great. We’re about to kick off some work on a new part of the product, which will be pretty exciting and challenging.
How do you spend your spare time?
I can’t sit still for too long, so I like to keep busy by working on various projects. Sometimes that might be a website, other times it might be creating or building something physical, I’m one of those people who will take something apart out of curiosity and then put it back together and understand how it all works.My most recent project – Design Vault is a UI/UX pattern and design inspiration library that should be useful to other designers, developers and product managers.
In a different life what would you do?
Probably something equally as geeky – maybe a writer for TV. I have an insane amount of ideas for TV shows and movies and love the idea of building these imaginary worlds for people to escape to… maybe I should chat to Netflix