Directing over three-thousand clients while also leading a multitude of in-house innovations was the primary focus of my Art Director position at DealerOn, Inc. Guiding and supervising three departments, Design, Front-End Development, and Implementation; providing and seeking new solutions to design tasks. Lead design planning meetings adhering timeline goals, coordinating feedback to CEO, CCO and VP of Operations to push new product designs and development on multiple platforms. Visualizing clientele and upper managements ideas while striving the idea of experimental design; shedding a new light on different design methods, allowing the teams to explore with their abilities and problem solving; i.e. ‘letting designers be designers.’ The freedom of design in the workplace brought plethora of conversations that were previously messing in the planning, design and implementation stages which the company kept seeing issues prior to my arrival. Allowing for exploration of different design avenues lead to new research within the teams as well as allowed us to reach new potential market that otherwise not possible. With this out-of-box thinking implemented the teams outlook became more positive and changed the ways we approached designs with our clients. The feedback would be felt throughout the company and be carried over to our sales department who mostly handled the one on ones with the clients.
Team building and idea sharing grew tremendously while my time at DealerOn; leading teams of bold ideas, unique design exploration, and fun coding experimenting. These strives to separate our projects from the overused corporate vibe was encourage throughout the office. The fantastic ideas that came about kept the workplace upbeat as well as energized the team for wanting more. However, not every idea that came about got implemented or was even present in the final project, but the team’s knowledge that their ideas and designs were being used was enlightening to them. That there was potential use for them later within other projects.
Freedom of design exploration along with time management was exceptionally challenging, keeping ourselves on track and looking at the big picture was constantly addressed. Team leads and I would meet throughout the design sprints to rundown the good, bad and the ugly. This ‘rose and thorn’ collection would be shared with everyone of said team at the next phase or sprint to show what works and what we all needed to improve on. An open dialogue was introduced to help the team as a whole and also to hone in on individual skills to uplift one another to keep each other up-to-date on our abilities. Constructive criticism existed through and through which kept the company learning and gave us the chance to grow in our planning and design execution.
Other design elements that I took lead on were major site redesigns, complete branding overhauls, and creative advertisements which put me in touch to speak directly with manufacturers. Guiding team members on upcoming trends was key to make sure each design piece we outputted were not outdated as soon as it was posted; these range from advertising, marketing collateral, presentation designs and complete UX/UI re-designs. One strenuous redesign that I lead was the complete redo of the clunky content management system (CMS) they have been using since starting off as a company. Creating it was beyond challenging, my small team built it from the ground up, keeping a constant eye on the reviews of multiple UX testing of current and new users. New assets and completely new code had to be created to make certain functionalities possible, but we manage to push through and launched the first several phases of the redesign.
As the Art Director, contribution on every level was a must, giving each member a voice and allowing for participation was what the company had been missing; not only did this make the workplace environment that much better but gave everyone the satisfaction knowing their ideas and abilities were being used in the final product.