In this edition of Digipeople, we catch up with Ava, our Digital Designer here at Digistorm.
Each month, we sit down with a team member at Digistorm to talk about their life, career, and what their experience has been since joining our team. In this edition, we chat with Ava, one of our Digital Designers here at Digistorm. We cover Ava’s journey to Australia, why she became a designer, and how she got the chance to cozy up with some cute koalas.
Tara: Tell us about yourself and your role at Digistorm.
Ava: Hi, I’m Ava and I’m a Digital Designer here at Digistorm. I design apps, enrolment landing pages, and websites for schools. I also maintain the design-related elements once the product goes live, so if a school wants to update an app module, change imagery or add a new feature to their website, I make sure that the new assets work well with their existing products.
Tara: Tell me a little bit about where you’re from and what led you to Australia?
Ava: I’m originally from Stockholm, Sweden. When I was younger I was always excited about travelling. I love the outdoors, sports, and wildlife, so when I finished high school I came to Australia (I don’t think anyone was too surprised that I ended up staying).
Tara: What was your journey to becoming a designer? Was that always the plan?
Ava: It started when I was little, I liked arts and crafts. I then went to university where I studied a degree called Design and Product Development, which related to the design of physical products and 3D modelling. I’ve always been interested in taking an idea and turning it into a physical product.
Tara: Why did you decide to join
Ava: After I finished studying at university I realised there were so many jobs on offer for digital design. I was interested in the UI and UX aspect of design and that’s where I came across Digistorm. I realised it would be a great opportunity for me to expand my knowledge into the digital field and Digistorm took me on! I’m really happy I made that decision because I wouldn’t change anything.
Tara: How would you describe Digistorm in one sentence?
Ava: Digistorm is like a big group of friends who are also professional and committed to providing great service and products to our clients.
Tara: What do you enjoy most about being a designer at Digistorm?
Ava: I like that my work is so varied. In just one day I’ll have worked on four or five projects with different clients. It’s all fun work, and I get to do so many different things.
Tara: Can you tell me about a project that you're proud of?
Ava: One of the projects that I’m proud of at Digistorm is an app that I designed for Pilgrim School in California. It was our second app in the United States and my first-ever American app. It was exciting to start working on a project over there, and I think that the school has been thrilled with the design and processes so far! I enjoyed the Pilgrim School project as they had this great, colourful branding on their marketing material. It wasn’t as strong on their digital presence just yet, so it was really fun for me to take that vibrant, playful design and apply it to the app.
Tara: What qualities do you think you need to be a good designer?
Ava: To be a good designer you need to be able to consider the whole process from the initial mockup to the final product. At Digistorm we have a great content management system for apps and websites, so, once we hand over our product and it goes live, the schools can easily update their content and go in and edit their website imagery. I think that’s what’s so special about Digistorm – we don’t just provide a beautiful product but an easy to manage product too.
Tara: What do you like most about working at Digistorm?
Ava: I like the fun environment that we are in, I think everyone at work motivates you to do a good job. You're having fun whilst you're doing it, but you're also really professional and committed to providing great products to our clients.
Tara: What has been keeping you busy this year?
Ava: When COVID first hit, a lot of schools realised the importance of having good communication tools, so we ended up being quite busy. I’ve been working on new apps, updated app modules related to health information as well as new websites and enrolment forms.
Tara: If you weren't a designer, what do you think you would be doing?
Ava: The degree I studied at university was in the mechanical engineering faculty, and a part of me always wanted to work in engineering in the environmental field, but that was before I found Digistorm. Now I'm just focused on all things digital design!
Tara: When you're not in the office, what do you like to get up to?
Ava: Outside of the office, I like to be active. I'm normally outside doing something that involves a surfboard or horses. I’ve been doing a lot of horse riding lately as working from home has given me that extra time before and after work to be outside and active.
Tara: What's something you think people would be surprised to know about you?
Ava: I completed a research project for Griffith University, where we did a full research article about the macroporosity of additively manufactured titanium bone implants for bone regeneration. The article was recently published in Materials, which is a material science and engineering journal.
Tara: Where do you look for design inspiration?
Ava: To find design inspiration I have so many different tools to choose from. When I open my browser I have a plugin that shows new design inspiration, my inbox is always full of design-related emails and I also listen to some awesome podcasts. Some websites that I usually go to for inspiration are Dribbble and Awwwards, which showcase great app and website related projects.
Tara: How do you stay creative?
Ava: For me to stay creative, it's important to have a great work-life balance. I like to work in an environment where I feel comfortable getting into a creative mood. I think it's important to know what environment you work best in, whether you like listening to music or podcasts or being able to talk and interact with people or just sit by yourself. I also love to be outdoors, and I try to go outside before work and I finish the day horse riding or at the beach to be in a good headspace.
Tara: What's a piece of advice you would tell your younger self?
Ava: My advice is to not be worried about going your own way. For me, growing up in a very career-orientated environment, it wasn't the usual thing to do to go backpacking and move across the world. But I have and I’m proud of that and I’m very happy that I did. I don’t think anyone should ever doubt their own journey and they should rather just go for what they really want to do.