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Senior Designer at Vox Media Joined almost 4 years ago
Oooh, High Street on Market or Talula’s Daily. Or a bagel sandwich from Knead Bagels
I like José Andrés's Beefsteak when I'm in DC because we don't have too many healthy fast food places in Philly.
How often do design teams across Vox Media get a chance to meet / collaborate / etc? (especially now with the new Chorus)
For this Curbed launch, we all met in NY for the project kickoff with the Curbed editorial team. We also came to NY for a two day on-site meeting with the entire Curbed team and the Vox Product support team. Towards the end of the design phase, Courtney, Georgia, Lauren- the project PM, and I all met in DC and for 2 days wrapped up as much work as we could. (And then went and got tattoos to celebrate) And then the design, dev, and support team members met again in NY on launch day to support the launch. So that's 4 in-person meetings for the 4 month project.
re: working remote - beyond the apps you use to manage todos and stay in touch, how do you focus on ensuring everyone feels connected to both the project and the people?
The frequent design checkins that we had with the Curbed editorial team helped a ton in keeping us all focused. As far as keeping everyone connected to the project, we did a lot of volleying work around, so if I got stuck on something, I would post it in Slack and get feedback or I could ask Georgia or Courtney to take a stab at solving the problem. More than any other project I've been on in the past, it felt like everyone contributed to the design equally and I think that helped keep us all connected too.
One of the most interesting challenges to creating a design system that scales for a variety of brands is accommodating for different editorial strategies within this framework. Going forward, we're going to keep figuring out where we need flexibility within the design system and how to build that in, in a sustainable way.
The Curbed editorial team played a major role in the brand redesign, like Courtney said. They also created Pinterest boards with typography, design, and illustration inspiration that were really helpful in establishing a shared language between everyone.
Building brands not webpages is an interesting concept (now more than ever), have you noticed your team being more transparent with ideas or taking more chances without the restrictions/limitations of the old website structure.
I primarily did client services work before I joined Vox Media, and a huge part of the design exploration phase would involved getting a brand guidelines PDF and figuring out how to apply that to a website. The guidelines would typically be pretty rigid. What is really interesting to me with the way we developed the Curbed brand is that it's much more responsive. We came up with the basic building blocks of the brand and then figured out how those elements would adapt to different mediums-- be it video, social media, or a website. But it still all feels like it's part of a cohesive brand.
This also meant that the website didn't need to carry the entire weight (pun intended) of communicating the brand. We used a limited typographic palette and were really purposeful with the design elements on the website to ensure that it loaded more quickly for users.
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