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Behind The Curtain: Inside The Bandzoogle Design Team

Josh-workingHypebot is so busy chronicling the new music business and how tech is changing discovery, marketing and monetization, that we seldom look behind the scenes at the people that make it all work. As we did with the Bandzoogle support team, here is a look inside the design team behind the music website builder and e-commerce platform.

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From the Bandzoogle blog

After taking some time to introduce you to the lives of our lovely support team, today we wanted to interview Josh, our Lead Designer at Bandzoogle. 

He and his two man team (consisting of Josh and Daniel, our proudly Scottish designer) are responsible for the majority of the beautiful designs you know and love on Bandzoogle, including all of our templates, the look and feel of our features, and the control panel. 

We sat down with Josh to ask about how a day generally looks as the Lead Designer for Bandzoogle. 

Josh-working

Favorite part of the day

I love coming out of a meeting with solutions. Anytime I come out of a design presentation with great feedback and a path forward I feel rewarded. Or doing a design review with Danny and seeing my design brief come to life in his designs is also really fun. On the opposite end of that spectrum I love a quiet room (perhaps with some music on) and a blank canvas. 

What is the design process like in a remote office?

Danny and I usually “meet” over voice chat and discuss the upcoming project (usually this is a new template).  We’ll look over the design brief I crafted from a previous meeting with our product owner, support, and marketing. 

I usually end up adjusting the brief as I get a load of good ideas from Danny in this meeting and adjust the brief accordingly. And from there I let Danny run wild with the design with the exception of some check-ins to do some critique. We do lots of screen sharing and Slack is integral to us keeping the lines of communication open for help or feedback. 

Designing in a remote office is similar to being in a physical one. What’s funny is that when I used to work in a physical office the workflow actually started to play out as a remote office would with people 10ft from my desk sharing over chat and Basecamp rather than having me sit at their monitor with them. 

The remote workflow, in my opinion, can be more efficient than being in the same room at times. There’s a lot less hovering than a physical office.

Favorite Design so far

This is a tough one.  I think the design of our new image editor was a really satisfying project. It’s a part of our platform that was heavily requested by users and the collaboration between support, design, and our developer Dave Spurr was really fun. 

It was an interesting UI to design and prototype, but I also kept the specifications pretty loose which allowed Dave to really run with it and refine and tweak as we went.  

I also really enjoyed creating the infographic for our 15th anniversary. This was different than many of the projects I work on so I liked being able to step out of the UI design tasks and do something a little more graphic design orientated.

A Day in the Life

8am-ish EST 
Day starts out with getting a dark roast coffee from Capitol Grounds which is conveniently located across the street from my office.

8-9am EST

Get settled into my office and log into Slack. Many of my coworkers are on different timezones so I’ll catch up on any chatter that was happening while I was sleeping. 

I like to check our #jukebox slack channel where we share music. I’ll pop on the latest music posted there while I move onto Basecamp and check updates on all of our active projects. Recently my morning ritual also involves pinging our developer Colin to discuss the latest Red Sox playoff victory or loss.

9am EST

If it’s a Monday I’ll meet with Danny and go over projects from last week and see where we're at. The conversation usually ends with me asking many questions about Scotland (Danny’s country of origin) as I have never been there. I learned about Lorne loaf last week.

We also spend this time looking over any design work that might be in progress. Danny is responsible for all of our gorgeous template designs and we will spend time screen sharing through Slack and critiquing his work. 

Recently we revamped the way we develop templates in Sketch and how to better output a style guide for our developers, so sometimes we strategize how to make this document/workflow even better.

10am - 12pm EST

At this point I leave Danny alone and let him get back to designing things and I’ll post notes from our meeting. Because a bunch of our staff is in Europe the first half of the day is spent communicating with them before they sign off for the day. 

I’m involved in the majority of the projects at Bandzoogle, so I am either in stand up meetings or answering questions from the devs on Basecamp. We have at least 5-8 active projects going at once so there is usually lots of communication and QA and adjusting specifications during the lifecycle of a project. Around this time I am also usually asking Danny for his eyeballs on any design work I’m currently working on for some opinions and critique.

12pm EST LUNCH!

I don’t eat breakfast, so at this point I'm starving and need to get Thai food. There are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe how delicious the food at Wilaiwan’s is. I’m lucky in that my office is right above my wife’s workplace so we get to enjoy lunch together. If I have time I also go for a 1.5-2 mile walk before I get back to my desk.

1pm -1:30pm EST

Depending if we have any more meetings I usually use this time to read or collect inspiration. I recently switched to Pixave for gathering and organizing reference and inspiration. I spend a lot of time either looking at UX inspiration or any design trends we may want to incorporate into the latest theme.

1:30pm-5:30pm EST

Usually my is head down and designing UX/UI for the next project. While my morning is usually geared around pushing existing projects my afternoon is all about the next projects in the pipeline. 

I might also use this time to organize user testing with our QA expert Desi so we can either test legacy parts of the platform we are getting a lot of support requests on, or new projects that are getting ready for release. I also might be using this time to write up a brief for the next template project.

MORE: Behind The Curtain: Inside The Bandzoogle Support Team

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