Cogent Crew member Ben Rowe talks to us about a day in the life of a Senior Designer at Cogent – and why no two days are ever the same.
Hi, I’m Ben. I joined Cogent back in July, so I’m still one of the newer members of the team. In those 5 months, no two days have been the same. Let me describe what a typical day looks like…
6:30 – Up and at ‘em
I’m one of the many Cogent staff that commutes to work from the country. I moved up to Kyneton about 5 years ago, so I travel in on the V-line train into the city. The Cogent office is just a stones throw away from Southern Cross station, so it’s the perfect setup for commuters like me.
The first two hours of my Wednesdays tend to be my most hectic. I have three daughters, an 8 year-old who goes to school, and 3-year old twins who go to child care. So there’s the morning childcare and school routine to contend with before making my way into work. Plus I need to feed our chooks!
I use my morning commute time to plan out my day, read, do some focussed work and listen to podcasts – that kind of thing. It’s a nice way to ease into the day, and If I have time, I’ll grab a coffee from Fox in the Chamber in Woodend – it’s the best coffee in the Macedon ranges, imho.
9:00 – Out with a client
This morning I headed out to Richmond to work onsite with one of our startup clients. I’ve been working with their founder to create a set of design principles for the organisation. Rather than a strict set of design rules, a set of guiding principles will be more like a design compass, to point designers in the right direction, and help teams to make better design decisions.
12:00 – Back in the office
Just last week, we moved into our new premises at Donkey Wheel House, a beautiful old building in the city. Its quite the novelty to work from the new office! Before lunch I caught up with Amelia and Dan. We’re preparing for next week’s Cogent Campus Masterclass. Cogent Campus is a series of workshops that we run with startup founders, helping them, to turn their idea into an actual business.
1:30 – Lunch
I’m still discovering the the best places to eat nearby our new offices. I found a Vietnamese lunch place that do a delicious Banh Mi roll, so things are looking up!
2:00 – Doing designing ’stuff’
Here at Cogent, we tend to have more generalist designers that can work end to end. That includes user research, interaction and UX design, and user interface design. I’ve always loved being involved in the end stages of the design process; I find having that variety in the day keeps things interesting.
This afternoon I’ve been working on building prototype to help demonstrate a new product concept that I’ve been working on with another client.
We showed some potential customers a “quick and dirty” paper version of the concept last week. This has helped us to and our client validate that the product concept is actually solving a problem that their customers have.
Today I’m taking feedback from what we learnt from customers and building out the concept as a clickable digital prototype, using tools like Sketch and Invision.
5:30 – Back on the train
Work-life balance is something that is really valued here at Cogent, so I’m usually out the door at 5:20 to catch my 5:30 train home and back to my life in the country.
I have to say, I’ve truly enjoyed every day at Cogent so far. It really is a company who lives true to their values, and put a lot of effort into hiring the right people. Since starting a Cogent – one thing I’ve really noticed is that I’m surrounded by a team of lovely, super smart people, with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. It’s a great place to work.