Welcome aboard Charlotte Allen.
UI designer Charlotte Allen climbed aboard The Bigger Boat earlier this year and has since added her creative flair to some hugely exciting projects. Here, she explains how that creative streak has been inside her from a young age and tells all about her time with our crew.
I suppose I’ve been creative from a young age (my mum will back me up on that!). I’d gravitate to sketching out all my toys, writing my own scary stories and saving them out on to floppy disks. I’d sit for hours handcrafting my very own adaptation of Monopoly – cards, board, the lot! In 2002, when I was eight, I upped sticks from Reading to North Yorkshire due to my dad’s new job. Now residing in Leeds, I love living here. It’s my home and you just can’t beat a good pie, chips and beer up here!
In 2016, I graduated from the University of Leeds with a first-class degree in Graphic and Communication Design (Industrial). The industry year was an invaluable stepping stone and since then I’ve worked for a number of design agencies across Leeds. I now have several years of commercial experience under my belt, working with big name clients such as O2, Sony Entertainment, Morrisons, NHS and Unilever.
During university, I dabbled in print and editorial design but after my industrial year I became more excited by digital and its capabilities. The considerations of the user journey, experience and designing for multiple devices all add complexity to the thought process. I need to think beyond visual communication – to interaction and function. There aren’t many jobs like it and day-to-day it’s always different.
I love watching concepts materialise on screen, creating bold work underpinned by intelligent ideas and giving projects that extra oomph with clever touches. It’s easy to get caught up in the detail but when you stand back and look at the design as a whole, it’s totally rewarding. I’m always ready to sink my teeth into projects and designing experiences that are as delightful as they are user-centric.
I’m very easy-going, although I’m a complete perfectionist. I’m also a big collector of stuff. I house far too many design books and I boast around 50 pairs of trainers (some are rather impractical knitted trainers) that I keep in rotation. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t spend a lot of time on the internet and social media. I like keeping on top of evolving trends, design practices and the latest software. It keeps me constantly challenged.
I enjoy getting away on long walks in the countryside with my other half and the buzz you feel when you’ve conquered a mountain! I also love globetrotting, seeing the world and soaking up the culture. I can’t deal with all-inclusive holidays and just sitting by a pool!
I’m thoroughly enjoying my role as UI/UX designer at The Bigger Boat and working alongside a talented team where there are no egos. We all pull together and lean in 110% to deliver the best possible results for our clients. It’s colourful, joke-filled and about as far from a boring corporate office as I think it gets. From the get-go, I’ve been diving head first into projects, from filming agency Location Collective to toy manufacturing giant, Little Tikes. There’s no dictating too much on how to or which way to do things, which I like. Driving the digital output, you’ll find me working across all digital touch points – full website designs, email, digital assets and micro-sites.
I see The Bigger Boat as a place where I can be both challenged and inspired. There’s a flurry of great projects in the works as we fast approach our 10th birthday and it’s incredible to see what the team has already achieved. I’m looking forward to being a part of more milestones and triumphs.