Ringcentral Talks To Ashley Oliver, Cto At Kodak On How They Use Contact Center To Interact With Employees And Customers




What does a typical day look like?




The days are quite varied, but we have some regular events throughout the week. We have a meeting once a week where we discuss creative challenges, projects or things happening inside or outside the industry. We also have a company meeting and once a month we have half a day we can devote to professional development.
I design pretty much every day but there are other responsibilities I also have to tend to. I often discuss ideas and challenges with the other designers and usually because I work on several projects at the same time there might be a meeting or two during the day. I follow-up on projects in its final stages before launch and there may be a check-in with the developer to discuss some ideas for animations if we need to do some changes or create new features.
What’s your workstation setup?
Usually, it’s a bit messy but I try to tidy it up it from time to time. We don’t have the biggest personal workspace but make it work and since we spend a good amount of time there I try to make it space I enjoy. The office is currently going through a major renovation which is helping a lot. As soon as the air conditioner starts working we’ll be very happy.
What pieces of work are you most proud of?
I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% happy with my projects. I can always find something that could have been better. If I have to mention something it’s a project I’m proud of in terms of professional growth. One of the biggest projects I’ve worked on is a Norwegian travel app called Ruter Billett. I was a lead graphic designer on the team that created RuterBillett, from 2012 to 2015. My learning curve was steep as I had to figure out what was involved with being a native app designer for several platforms (Android, iPhone and Windows phone). It had to be done in just under six months. I worked closely with my partner who was an interaction designer along with a team of talented people. I learned the importance of user testing and user-friendliness, I held workshops and made a lot of mistakes and gained so much experience.

It’s a good idea to be honest about how you’re feeling about all of this, take deep breaths, and celebrate the happy moments throughout each day

What challenges do you face at your company?
We need to work at a high pace in an industry where the competition is tough. We must challenge ourselves and it’s important to take creativity to the next level. Even though it can be tough, it makes the days interesting and exciting. I work with a lot of highly creative people and they keep me on my toes and inspire me every day.
I’ve been lucky to work on a lot of interesting and fun projects, but once in a while, I get a project that will really challenge me. Clients need reassurance through discussions, design proposals, and workshops. Trust is established over time, but sometimes it takes longer than usual and it can be a challenging and time-consuming part of the project. Especially if the client doesn’t agree with the proposals. I think it’s important to fight for your ideas, but sometimes it may be best to pick your battles. Negotiating is challenging and a very important part of evolving as a designer.


Any advice you can give?
Cut right to the heart of your design projects, always ask yourself why you’re doing something, or better yet why your boss or client wants you to do something if you get a very prescriptive task or project. As a designer you should take on the burden of that problem, the client’s job is communicating it. A talented designer that blindly makes things will only ever get so far. Being strategic and inquisitive will take you way further.
Be nice, polite, and grateful. Often these qualities will outweigh your actual design skills when someone is thinking about working with you. Plus, it’s a small world, especially in design. It’s so strange but the amount of times people I don’t know have emailed me asking for advice or to buy me a coffee and pick my brain, and then after I spend an hour with them, I never hear from them again. I don’t expect a medal but a simple, thoughtful thank you email here and there will do wonders for your career, and your karma.