Thinking Out Loud

"Straight from the horse's mouth"
Oliver Bailey Co-Founder, Absurd

Meet the team: Rowan

Our newest team member.

Due to continued client growth and new wins, we're currently recruiting across our design, engineering and delivery teams. I sat down with Rowan, one of our newest team members, to give an insight into working at Absurd.

So, where did you work before Absurd?

At Great Fridays, a product and service design agency—which was eventually acquired by EPAM, a large software engineering company.

Why did you choose to work at Absurd?

I wanted to move to Absurd to take part in something new. To be able to shape the beginnings of a design agency and leave my own mark on its' output. Moving here felt like the right option after working at agencies of 50 and 24,000 people.

What does your role consist of?

I’m Visual Design Lead, which as a very broad overview is the oversight of Absurd’s output on an aesthetic level. This involves a lot of smaller parts like the creation of production-ready designs, collaborated on with the client and our other designers.

As we’re a new and relatively small team, it makes it possible for us to work towards a common goal and level of creative output, under my direction. I am also then involved in the overlap of interaction design, service design and front-end implementation.

I’m also involved in the management of the design team as we grow as an agency, which was another appeal of moving to Absurd. I’m able to track goals and monitor progress with the rest of the team; pushing for their growth, building responsibilities and exposing reverse-mentoring situations.

What’s the best thing about working at Absurd?

With the company being so new, there’s a certain level of autonomy and an ability to dictate the way in which we approach problems, in the processes we take and the way we interact with a client to solve them. These decisions are often made for you in larger agencies.

Describe your typical day?

As anyone would say, it varies. On some days I’ll be sketching interaction or visual design ideas on paper or a whiteboard. I might be collaborating in the design of a service or mapping a user journey. I might be facilitating an internal or stakeholder workshop. Or I might be knee-deep in the traditional world of shades of grey rectangles in Sketch and shouting at symbol auto-layout properties in frustration.

What’s been your biggest challenge?

I’m not sure there would be anything I’d regard as a big challenge so far. It’s definitely a change for me moving from a large corporation with so many moving parts, so many levels of bureaucracy. It’s been freeing in that sense. As the Visual Design Lead, I’m without another level of support in my day-to-day work, so I need to make sure I consistently step up the quality of my output and keep putting challenges on myself.

What are you most looking forward to getting involved with next at Absurd?

I can’t wait to keep pushing our internal tools forwards. We’ve started to create a couple of platforms to allow ourselves to manage our growing team, creating efficiencies, better support and communication. It is a great opportunity to be able to imagine the best systems to create a better agency.

We’re currently recruiting for a number of roles at Absurd, if you like the sound of the above and think you’d be a good fit, check out our current vacancies or get in touch jobs@thisisabsurd.com