As a web designer and developer at Rosenberg Advertising, every day is a little different. One thing that is consistent every day, whether in the office or at home, is that I am not a morning person, so I sleep in until the last possible minute. I’ve been working from home every day since March, which has saved me a lot of commute time. So, I roll out of bed, feed my cat, start a pot of coffee, and sit down at my computer around 8:30. I read through my emails and catch up on Slack messages, then make a quick breakfast around 9:30.
My husband and I have both been working from home, so we share a home office in one of our spare bedrooms. It’s a decent size room, and we have our desks facing away from each other so that we don’t see movement in the background. If we both have a meeting scheduled around the same time, I just take my laptop downstairs to our living room. We both have a weekly Monday morning zoom call, which means I get to spend Monday mornings on the sofa. Can’t complain!
The next part of the morning, I try to check smaller things off my list. This is where I always see a huge variety. It could be a revision on a project that I just sent to my coworkers yesterday, or an update to a project that I haven’t heard about in weeks. It could be a website edit, an eblast revision, or a change to a site design. I often have a plan of what I want to accomplish in a day, and then I get something new and urgent that I should work on instead, like an eblast for a client that needs to go out that very week. Some days I’m juggling between ten different projects, spending a half hour on each.
While at home, I typically take a lunch break, whereas in the office I usually work through lunch. I find that at home, I just need a break from my computer more. Sometimes if it’s nice out, I’ll sit on our deck for a little bit or go for a walk. Then I slice up fresh vegetables to make salads and sit down at our kitchen table to have lunch with my husband.
I usually make a second cup of coffee or tea around 2:30, and sometimes have a snack with it like banana bread – anyone else making a ton of banana bread during this pandemic?! Semi-related: Does anyone remember when I compared web design to bananas in this blog post?
I find that I’m most creative in the afternoon or evening (hence not being a morning person), so that’s when I try to do my actual design work – which is typically working on a client website.
I use Photoshop for websites, and Illustrator for icons and other vector graphics that I then transfer into the website design in Photoshop. This is where I get into “the zone” and all of a sudden I’ve spent three hours on something!
We’ve broken up our website process into smaller batches of pages, after the client first approves a homepage design. If I’m working on a new homepage, my process takes a lot more time. We typically have some type of branding already established, either from the client or from our own team, but a website enhances that with new elements and a unique layout. The content – the text – is provided to me from my coworkers, so I have to think about the best way to lay it out, and what images, fonts, colors, and graphics to use.
If I’m working on a website’s sub pages, I aim to lay out the content in the way that makes the most sense, and think carefully about what parts should be interactive. Some pages are a lot more interactive than others, like team pages or blog pages, so I have to think about what parts are clickable, what elements have a hover effect, and how each section could change with different amounts of text on the live site.
In addition to design, I do development work, too! Sometimes I’m developing a new website, sometimes I’m just adding a new feature to a site that’s already live. We use WordPress for our sites because it’s a great content management system, and we use html, css, and php code to make the WordPress pages come to life, matching our designs. Sometimes I’m going into the site’s files, like the stylesheet, and changing something small such as the color or size of something, and sometimes I’m making new files on the backend with pieces of code that will dynamically pull in content and elements to build the page. This is also where I can get into “the zone” and time just flies by.
I usually stop working around 5:30 or 6, and then start making dinner. And there you have it! Even while staying home for the work week, no two days are the same, and I love it.