Staying ahead of the curve

At CPL, we deliver a broad range of digital communications projects for clients. As well as creating digital magazines, our teams are experienced in producing websites, apps and bespoke digital content hubs. Six months after joining CPL in a new role, Beth Goldsworthy reflects on the projects she has been involved with so far.

What is your role at CPL?

Officially… senior associate – digital creative, but I get involved in a wide range of ‘roles’ in my day-to-day projects.

What is your ‘average’ day like?

I’m not sure I have an ‘average’ day – but that’s a good thing because it’s part of what makes my role so interesting. As well as working with a wide range of clients, I’m always trying to stay ahead of the curve in monitoring latest industry advances.

I work on the end-to-end process and can often be involved in multiple projects at any given time. I can be working on a range of deliverables – from initial planning and scoping sessions through to analysis, User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design and project/account management – as well as supporting our digital and design teams wherever possible.

What projects have you worked on since joining CPL?

Quite a variety. I am currently working on a bespoke web app that integrates with an externally developed Application Programming Interface (API) for the Newmarket horseracing organisation Godolphin. This will allow users to monitor news of their racehorses, race entries, declarations and results.

I worked on the designs and UX planning for the development of Club Godolphin, including the development of a Fantasy Stable League, where users can choose a ‘stable’ of Godolphin horses to compete in races across the world and, ultimately, win some fantastic prizes.

In addition, I have some major projects in the pipeline, including an online content hub that will be used to generate membership sign-ups and engagement, and a large-scale web build currently at the wireframing stage. For this, we are making the most of my new favourite app ‘Sketch’ to create a searchable online database to help streamline the long-winded paper trail we currently have. This may not sound exciting to some people, but I love solving problems in whatever I tackle – and then measuring the success of the solution we put in place.

What industry trends are you seeing at the moment?

I could spend hours rambling on about the current new and exciting trends, but I'll try to summarise my favourites.

The use of bold typography and ‘breaking the grid’. Thanks to the wide adoption of web browsers supporting the latest technologies, it’s possible for a designer to create pretty much anything – as long as there is sufficient time and budget to do it right!

I am currently enjoying using animations. They can be really effective in communicating how a user interacts with your product, as well as adding depth and life to an end product.

Something I talk about a lot with colleagues at CPL – and clients – is the importance of taking a user-centred approach

From a technological stance, some new buzzwords include Artificial Intelligence – more specifically Chatbots – and Virtual Reality (VR). These can be effective in improving the ways that users immerse themselves in digital projects. Samsung, Facebook and Google are just some of the industry leaders in the VR industry, and are identifying some innovative niche uses of VR technologyApple was rumoured to be another potential player in this field; however, it appears to have a more vested interest in Augmented Reality (AR) after the recent unveiling of the iPhone X, with which Apple has demonstrated how AR can be integrated into everyday consumer technology (albeit with a hefty price tag!).

And let's not forget about the importance of usability. UI patterns – although not new – are becoming more recognisable as a good way to build familiarity with users. By maximising familiar patterns, users will pick up how to engage with your product much quicker.

Something I talk about a lot with colleagues at CPL – and with clients – is the importance of taking a user-centred approach to what you produce, and basing decisions on real data rather than gut feeling. We are using Google Analytics (of course), but I also swear by Hotjar to measure the success of the sites we launch.

Which areas of your job do you enjoy the most?

I like working with the wide variety of clients we have at CPL and I enjoy sitting down with colleagues to immerse ourselves in clients’ industries to solve problems and create solutions that help them communicate better with their target audiences.

The team here at CPL are extremely supportive and I learn a lot from the people around me about a huge variety of disciplines – we have such a range of talents under one roof!

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