It’s time for another instalment of Freeish Time! Just to refresh your memory, “Freeish Time” is the opportunity for Cubes to focus on their passion projects outside of their day to day work commitments. They have an entire week to identify a problem, build and then create a solution. Finally, they get to present it to the rest of the team during our Friday Happy Half Hour meeting!
This has become an integral part of 3 Sided Cube. The encouragement and time to work purely on whatever their heart desires, all while getting a little reprieve from the hustle and bustle from the normal workload is a welcomed treat. Whether they opt to go the “innovation” or “education” route, that invaluable time to focus purely on whatever it is that intrigues them is pretty rad.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to Freeish Time. We got to sit down with Joel, one of our RIDICULOUSLY talented designers, to chat about his exciting UI to help onboard new Cubes…
What inspired your innovation time?
I was in my second year of uni at AUB, and had recently joined Cube Academy part-time as a UI designer. Naturally, there was a lot to learn and absorb, and although I was very excited, it was somewhat overwhelming! As well as trying to take in a lot of new technical knowledge, I had to learn processes and ways of working that were new to me, meet lots of new people, find my way around the office, and gel with my new team. I also had a checklist to complete, in order to progress through probation.
So when I was asked if I wanted to help create an app to streamline and assist the entire process for future Cubes, I was in!
Talk us through what you did
The HR team had been brewing this idea for a few years, but due to time limitations, it had always gone on the back burner. The goal was to create a companion app for new members of staff at 3 Sided Cube.
This app would serve as a home for the checklist of tasks that needed to be completed by new starters, but that wasn’t all. It also held “speed dating”, a quick fire meet the team game that had previously been hosted via a website. Finally, the help section was designed to provide an interactive map of the office, a list of commonly used acronyms and their meanings, FAQ’s, and “find a Cube” which displayed all the teams and staff within the company.
Were there any challenges?
The main challenge was learning on the go. As this was my first real project, at times I felt a bit lost at sea, unsure if I had started in the right place, or was going in the right direction. As I was new to using Figma, I used YouTube tutorials to help me learn the the software, which were really useful!
Because it was an internal project, the team was lean, and for a large chunk of the process, I was working alone to research the ideas and define the solutions. Once a project manager and developers came on board, everything seemed to fall into place a lot quicker and a lot of the doubt was removed. Again, this emphasises the importance of working within a multidisciplinary team. It also shows how having tried and tested processes can eliminate guesswork, allowing me to work methodically and with confidence.
How can you use this within your role at 3 Sided Cube?
This project was a really great proving ground for me. I was given enough freedom to feel in creative control and have real ownership of the outcome. I was also introduced to the production process at Cube, which has since allowed me to work on a client project with more confidence. I knew what to expect, and had confidence in my ability to produce quality solutions to the problems raised.
Going forward, I’m interested in delving deeper into the world of UX design and research. I strongly believe that we can do our best work when we lay the foundations of good research, rather than falling into our initial assumptions. Underpinning great design with rigorous research to make sure the problem is well defined is one of the keys to creating great digital products that people will love and find useful.