2014 review and my goals for 2015

A quick blog post about things learned and accomplished in 2014 and areas of focus for 2015.

Just over a year ago I was made Senior UI Designer at FTA and was looking forward to working on some exciting projects in 2014. Twelve months later and I feel I really established myself and went up a level as a designer. It was a lot of hard work but when you love what you do I think that makes a big difference.

Pretty much all the UI design work I do now is in Sketch. I absolutely love it and can’t praise it enough, and it changed the way I worked in 2014. I was more efficient and a better designer as a result. I designed the whole Visionfta web app with it and was so proud of the results. I also designed an e-commerce mobile site, an Android app, plus two business critical web apps to name but a few.

A big success was also working in an agile environment as we as a team got to grips with this way of working, which was much more effective and efficient. Working in two-week sprints is pretty relentless at times but me personally, as a designer, I like this way of working producing my best work as a result. The retrospectives at the end of each sprint allowed us to iron out any issues or problems we encountered but also to praise each other if things went well.

In June I went to the Responsive Day Out 2 conference in Brighton, which was really inspiring and I learnt a great deal. Seeing Ethan Marcotte speak about responsive design was a big highlight for me.

I also used SASS this year, which was great, and have used it a number of times on projects and wouldn’t go back to just plain CSS now. I recommend reading SASS for Web Designers if you are just starting out.

For 2015 I’m actually really excited about Google’s new Material design and want to design a few Android apps as the new look is very impressive. I’m working on a golf scorecard app as my side project this year so this will be one I design for first.

Blogging more about what I learn and achieve is also high on the list, as is contributing to the design industry a bit more too. I’d also like to learn more about processes and tools such as Grunt, Gulp, Bower and Yeoman and incorporate them more into my workflow.

Happy New Year. Let’s make it another good one.