15th March 2012

A view from the inside: Connor’s Placement review

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Connor Home studying New Media at the University of Leeds spent a couple of weeks with Creode to gain some industry experience. He’s kindly collected some of his thoughts for all to read…

As this placement at Creode was the first time I had been exposed to an agency environment, I didn’t really know what to expect. Below is a list of the main points I have taken from the experience.

‘Creative’ offices are pleasant places to work.

I can’t speak for all creative offices, but Creode certainly provides a great working environment, one which trumps all the standard offices I have ever worked in. It’s not as extreme as having bean bags to lounge on, or a room exclusively for ‘thinking’ in, but it’s nice. The little things like having Spotify on as we worked and playing indoor cricket at the end of the day make the difference.

Working to others guidelines is not a quick and easy process.

My first day I had a wad of paper on the table explaining Creode’s guidelines for work. When developing the front end of a website I usually do everything from scratch so that I know where everything in my code is. Creode uses a HTML5 boilerplate template for the CSS, something which I had to learn about on the job. Initially it was frustrating having preset styles on elements but now I have learnt it does have many benefits (they wouldn’t use it otherwise).

Everything must be pixel perfect.

A testament to Creode’s workmanship is the scrutiny with which every deliverable is assessed. It’s not good enough for the website to look similar to the designs, it has to be a perfect representation of the designs. Measuring tools such as xScope were often used to push every last pixel into place. And when the design is perfect, you have to make sure your code is presentable too.

Adobe Fireworks > Adobe Photoshop…

…for web design at least. I never used Fireworks before Creode, but after attempting to mock up a website idea in Photoshop (it was awful) I was advised by UI developer Marc to give the anonymous software package a shot. That night I designed my own website using Fireworks and it proved itself much more precise than Photoshop, and certainly caters towards web design, something which it has over its bigger brother.

I am not a graphic designer… yet.

The majority of young web designing upstarts like myself think we can design as a by-product of developing a website. How wrong we are. Creode’s Lead Web Designer Tom put together a homepage concept for a website in such a short space of time. It would have taken me a full day to have made what he did, plus I wouldn’t have been able to come up with the idea. I thought it was amazing. This leads me on to my next point.

Scrutiny is the best way to learn.

As I was quietly sat in awe of Tom’s work, the Creative Director James still found areas to improve it. This made me realise that no matter how good something is, it can always be improved. Having talented people around who can see past the gloss certainly helps.

Indoor cricket is not my forte.

I’m awful at it.

In Conclusion

My work experience at Creode has been an immense learning experience, one which I could never have been taught at University, one that I have thoroughly enjoyed, and one that I am thankful to all who work there for. It’s spurred me on to work hard to hopefully get into the industry and be a success.