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Life as a Lead Designer

Have you ever wondered what life as a Lead Designer is really like here in the South West? What does one do? What does it take to become one and what to stay top of the game?

We caught up with Kiwani Dolean, Lead Designer at Screen Time Labs, to get the facts for you – regardless if you are thinking of becoming one or adding one to your team – some insights for you right here:

ADLIB: In approx. 30 words and plain English, what do you do?

Kiwani Dolean: I am a designer who creates beautiful and usable digital experiences. I have an holistic approach to design and in my day-to-day work I shift from User Interface Design (UI) and User Experience Design (UX) to Visual Design.

ADLIB: In a nutshell, what has been your career journey so far?

Kiwani Dolean: After studying Graphic and Web Design I worked as a freelancer for several years, mostly in visual design and building websites. After that, I was in London for a few years within the startup environment: first at The Sandpit, a business builder focused on B2B digital marketing, and then at Lantum, an online marketplace for GP locums to connect and find work with practices.

Now I work at Screen Time Labs in Bristol, a startup that builds a software to help parents manage the time their kids spend on their devices. Like many designers, my career has started from Graphic/Web Design and has then moved towards UI, UX and product design.

ADLIB: What do you like most about your job?

Kiwani Dolean: I truly love design and everything I do on a daily basis, every pixel makes me happy and is important for me – but if I had to be specific I would say the ability to solve problems with design, crafting great experiences for users, both from a usability and a visual point of view.

ADLIB: What are 3 key things you consider when choosing an employer?

Kiwani Doolean: If you had asked me this questions a few years ago I would have had a completely different answer – after working in many different environments my outlook changed a lot. The first key thing for me is choosing a company that is doing something positive for the world and having an impact on people’s lives. Secondly, I always consider the company culture, which is very important to me; and finally, the employer’s values need to match mine.

ADLIB: What 3 top tips would you give someone to ensure that their skills and knowledge as a Lead Designer remain top notch?

Kiwani Dolean:

  1. Never stop learning and being curious, exploring new solutions and getting inspiration from everything that surrounds you. Take time, every day, to read something new, listen to a TED Talk/podcast/cool new song or to look at projects by other designers. A curious mind and a keen passion for design will always be one of your most powerful skills.
  2. Get out of your comfort zone: be open to new tools and ways of working, and always ask yourself questions. Technology is evolving faster than ever and although sometimes it’s easy to think we have all the right answers, this is the time to experiment and to start thinking about the evolution of design, with AI, VR and a post-screen future becoming part of our lives.
  3. Share your talents with the community, outside of your job – volunteer, teach, solve problems for other people, do something good with other designers just because you can, and because at the end of the day you truly love design. Your skills will keep growing organically, giving you another perspective in your work and life. But most of all enjoy what you do!

Thank you Kiwani for sharing!