Before my time at Gaslight, I thought I had a pretty good grasp on the technical skills and practices in the design industry. Boy, was I wrong. In school, we learned about a wide variety of practices such as agile project management, design thinking, and user research but you never really understand the benefit of these practices until you start using them in a real world setting.
Agile = Efficiency
The very first thing that I noticed was that using agile methods such as Kanban and SCRUM are very beneficial to team efficiency. Having “standup” meetings every morning with our team and client is a great way to start the work day. This is where the client and team determine what work will be completed for the day. It is also where everyone can ask questions about their work if they need to. Another thing that helped me tremendously was the use of Trello. Trello is a great tool that allows you to visually represent the flow of your work. The greatest benefit to this is being able to see what everyone is currently working on as well as what I could begin working on next. Overall, I feel that practicing agile has helped me become a more efficient designer.
Technical Skills Yield Personal Growth
One positive from this was that it gave me the opportunity to learn more about other languages. One skill that I acquired was Sass or Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets. At first, I was a little skeptical about it but after using it for several months, I would never go without using it on another project again. Being able to define variables in CSS for things like color was great because it gave consistency throughout the application. Another benefit I found was being able to nest different CSS attributes to use in different parts of the application.
Our Culture is Founded on Relationships
Working for Gaslight was the best experience of my college career. Not only did I gain valuable experience, I also met and became friends with awesome people. From my very first day, I was treated as an equal. I was never looked at as “just the intern” and my opinion was respected just as much as the other full-time designers. This felt very good as someone who was just getting their first real design experience. Our “design squad” did a wonderful job mentoring me. I spent roughly two weeks with each designer, helping them tackle work on their project they were assigned to. Each project had its challenges, which is what made it fun for me. It was great to get such a broad range of experience while also getting to know each designer.
The most important thing that I learned in my time as an intern at Gaslight is to always be getting feedback from your peers and the client. It is important to have a constant feedback loop or else you may design something in a way that the client didn’t intend it to be and then you have to spend more time going back and readjusting things.
If you are looking to gain experience from seasoned professionals, I would highly recommend that you try to get an internship with Gaslight. Whether it be for development or design, each Gaslighter is equally helpful and awesome.