June 17, 2013

I’ve been at Mogul for a month now and it couldn’t have gone any quicker. I’ve gained a huge amount of insight into the industry, and I’ve realised there’s a big difference between what I learned at university and what applies in the workplace. My impressions of the way we work at Mogul makes me excited about my future and I can’t help but think how lucky I am to get to start my career so close to home.

The main difference between university and the environment at Mogul is that everything is more structured according to rules and time because the projects are client-based with direction and purpose – as you would expect. I had some exposure to dealing with clients for pro-bono jobs at uni for internal projects but they were not driven by keeping costs down and they were getting a free service so often didn’t have too much running commentary and input. I have had exposure to clients at Mogul already and am beginning to see the reality of how they work, what they want and how to deliver a successful solution.

What I definitely don’t miss from the university environment is the lengthy, drawn out projects that take weeks to design, refine and deliver. The time often drains your creative juices as you’re constantly touching up this here and there, and when it comes to delivery it has gone from being this ingenious and creative idea to something that’s been cluttering your desktop for weeks. You’re only reminded when people (who often haven’t been involved in the process) see the final product and give you overwhelming amounts of praise. Thanks to my time at uni I know the design process like the back of my hand, but I understand now that it’s not a blueprint but a set of guidelines.

For example, at uni you might get instructed to design 3 different concepts before you move on to the next phase of a project. In the commercial world, if you nail it on the first one, no-one wants to spend any more time on 2 more that aren’t needed.

 

uni-vs-reality

 

One thing that Mogul is doing really well is “pushing the status quo”. When you’re in an environment surrounded by people that are inspired by their work and live and breathe design, it becomes contagious. I love being involved in the ideation phases, learning the business strategies in place and processes of which you would not get exposure to at bigger firms. Everyone has a voice within the office which is one of the perks of being such a small team, and really improves the quality of our work, not matter how small the project. If you asked my girlfriend what I do when I get home from work, she would say most nights I have the urge to run off to my computer to map out an idea I thought of during the day or start sketching down an ingenious web layout, always accompanied by running commentary and justification.

 

mogul_methodology

 

Since I started the job I have learned a lot of technical and mental skills which have made me more productive. I hate to say it but time-management is absolutely essential; it’s something I thought I had nailed at university but now I’m fine-tuning in the work place. There is a grey area within the design industry when it comes to time constraints in the ideation or inspiration phase, and experience seems to play a big part of getting this right and being consistent.

The billable work I have done so far for Mogul has been fairly substantial even know I’m still really under the wing of the senior designer and director. My role at the moment is based around making / keeping Mogul young so I have taken on managing the Mogul social media channels like Facebook and keeping the Mogul website up to date with current content and life. I have been involved in various projects including Strea.ma UI + UX design and currently working on re-designing websites for the Hawke’s Bay Opera House and Patel Pike Accountants based in Auckland.

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