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As we move into a new decade, this new year also signals the end of my first year at Cargo and brings about a time for reflection. Although I have been working within the design industry for 6 years, I feel as though the last 12 months at Cargo has been particularly good for my personal growth and I have really enjoyed being able to work on a wide range of exciting projects in my time.

I’ve always been an artistic and creative person, illustrating picture books and diaries since I can remember. I love being a designer because I can be creative every day and feel lucky to call it my job. But the learning never stops, I challenge my skills daily like when I worked on branding for the Social Value Practice who encompass all efforts and activities made by a company to achieve a positive social impact, tested my UX knowledge to work on the Stop Smoking websites for CGL and created some cool graphics for AR Power’s marketing campaign to promote their services in renewable energy.

I have also come to realise that being a designer isn’t just about design at Cargo, it’s all about working with and managing clients. We all build close relationships with our clients and really get to know them; this allows us to tap into their point of view and deliver something that aligns with their entire vision. One of these clients for me is RMT Accountants, someone I’ve worked with since day one at Cargo who I’ve seen through re-branding, print and a digital update. It feels great to really take care of a brand and feel like I’ve been a part of its development and journey.

I’ve also learnt it’s important to get away from the desk and absorb all things creative and innovative around you to keep the ideas flowing. On weekends I love going to theatre shows, exhibitions – anything cultural going on in the area and I’ll be there! There’s often a digital, tech or UX event to go to or social events such as Ladies Wine & Design where I can chat to likeminded creative ladies and discuss all things design over a glass of wine.

One of my stand-out projects over the past year has to be a website we designed and built for Change Grow Live (CGL) to promote their Newcastle Stop Smoking service. CGL approached us with the challenge of not only promoting their service but of driving users to join the 12-week quit smoking programme. This required extensive research to understand the types of users the site would get, allowing us to create several user personas and to map their interaction with the service. From this research, we designed and planned the User Experience of the site through sitemaps, wireframes and user journeys to ensure that each requirement from the client was met. The final part of the design process was to apply a modern, clean user interface that worked well across all devices and work closely with our developers to realise the vision of the projects. This project was a great success and the client loves the website, so much so we have continued to work with the client to develop similar sites for other areas across the UK.

After one year and counting, I couldn’t be happier at Cargo. I’m part of a wonderful family of like-minded people who support you professionally and personally, a group of self-driven, skilled people who are fun to work with. Everyone honestly cares about each other and it’s great to work at a company who values you as a person and takes cares of you and wants to see you grow.

The past year has flown by so fast, so I may just take the rest of today to stop and reminisce more…nah…there’s too much work to do!