Recently, Rose went on the record with Erin Griffiths, Perfect Sense's creative director, who leads the talented, award-winning design team. During their conversation, they discussed how Erin's previous work with Perfect Sense and it's co-founders led her to Reston, how she sees the demands of design changing in the coming years, and her process for creating impactful user experiences.
How long have you been working at Perfect Sense? What brought you here?
I have been here since August 2017, a little over a year. I came to Perfect Sense because I enjoyed working with David Gang and Lisa Beaudoin previously and was ready for a new challenge.
Where did you work prior to Perfect Sense?
Right before, I was at a company based in New Hampshire called AirTank. I was living in New York, working remotely, and I was there for about two and a half years. Before that, I was at The Wonderfactory which worked closely with Perfect Sense designing Coca-Cola Journey and earlier with David and Lisa when they were at WebMD.
What inspired you to become a visual designer?
I have always loved solving problems and when I was in college the internet was starting to become a real thing. It was a new way to be visual and allowed designers to create things that were used by a large number of people. I liked the newness of it and enjoyed designing things that were interactive. Very simply, I was in the right place at the right time.
When you are designing a digital experience like a website or mobile app, how do you start? What is your process?
My first goal is to figure out what problems we are trying to solve. Are we trying to help people find specific information? Are we trying to create a tool help them complete a task? The first step is to discover the underlying objective of each project and from there connect it to the look and feel of the brand in order to meet the goal of the project.
Are there any interesting new trends in web design that you think will have an impact on users in the future?
When mobile came along, it really changed the industry because everybody now had a computer in their pocket. Now we are seeing the same things with voice recognition like Alexa and Google Assistant. No longer are users just viewing visual content, they are talking to devices to get information which will certainly impact design. Smart TVs and the various technologies people have on their walls will also impact designers as users seek out complementary content. The increasing number of connected devices and the way people expect to use them will continue to greatly impact design in the future.
What advice would you give to a younger designer starting a career in visual design?
Try to work on as many different types of projects and for as many different types of clients as possible. Experiment with different styles by working with corporate clients, smaller brands, non-profits, e-commerce, just get your hands on lots of different opportunities and design anything that anyone will let you. Also, never be afraid of criticism. Welcome it and build a thick skin.
What is your favorite part about working at Perfect Sense?
The people are definitely why I am here. The way everyone collaborates and has interesting experiences and opinions makes my work and my job better.
What are your favorite activities or hobbies to do outside of the office?
I love to cook and bake, those are two of my favorite. I also enjoy craft projects. I am a big knitter and always have some craft project going on. I hope to get back to painting more in the future. I also just enjoy hanging out with my family!
What was the last movie you saw? Do you recommend it?
I recently saw Crazy Rich Asians. I liked the movie. It was a funny, quick, good story, but I had just read the book, which is always better.
If you could have any super power, which would you like to have?
I would like to be invisible because I like to be by myself and sometimes it's not possible, but if I were invisible I could always hide, even when I'm in a group. Or, I would want to be really, really tiny!