Creatives in the Industry: Q&A w/ Britney from Flipside

With applications now open for Flipside 2022, Britney shares how the programme has helped kickstart her career

15 November 2022

DSCF1715.jpgTell us about yourself

Hey! My name is Britney Martins. I am from east London, and I am currently a junior User interface (UI) designer at Wunderman Thompson.

I would describe the work I do as transformative as we help change the way users experience and interact with digital products for the better. I work closely with the User Experience (UX) designers to build interfaces that focus on a user’s visual experience.

I am most proud of the current work I am doing with Specsavers; helping those with optical and audiological needs by making a difference in the way their customers navigate the website to seamlessly find, book cancel and amend their appointments. Creating designs that are pixel perfect, following a visual hierarchy according to brand guidelines, as well as being accessible, provides a visual experience that is not only pretty to look at but most importantly extremely easy to use for their wide age range of customers.

Seeing the impact that these intuitive designs we create and heavily test can have in this everchanging and profoundly digital world we now live in can have on the lives of those especially the elderly who aren’t as tech-savvy, is extremely rewarding.

What made you apply for Flipside?

I took part in the Flipside programme initially because I was in awe of the work A New Direction are doing in aiding those from under-represented backgrounds and boroughs to get their foot in the door of creative, digital and tech industries. Without initiatives like this, we would struggle to start off our careers.

Participating in this not only helped me and my peers get into the product design industry (via the intense training provided by some of London’s top digital design agencies), but also gave us an opportunity to prove to the wider creative agencies that when given a chance young people from underrepresented backgrounds and boroughs like me can bring fresh ideas and perspectives. This creates an endless and rich pool of future clients for the business, provides them with a diverse workforce, and in doing so generates an inclusive company culture.

I wanted to not only take up this opportunity to help me out of the covid spiral that pushed a lot of us back and only made getting a job 10x harder, but also wanted to be a part of that group that inspired other companies to start hiring those of similar backgrounds who struggle being exposed to opportunities that help them succeed in their career.

What have you learnt during this experience?

During my time on the Flipside programme, I learnt a lot of skills that I felt I lacked from solely completing a product design degree. While I had hard skills in following out a design process and knowledge of industry-standard software’s, I lacked a lot of specific soft skills that would have continued to hinder my job application progress had I not taken part in the Flipside programme.

As we all know the unfortunate cycle of “how I can get a job without experience, if no one would give me a chance to get that experience?” can be incredibly disheartening. Flipside helped me to break these barriers by providing me with soft skills that I now use day in and day out. I have learnt to receive feedback not as a personal attack but as an improvement because your first idea is more than likely not your best one. I have also improved my confidence when it comes to not just presenting but presenting in a manner that communicates an idea as clearly and concisely as possible.

While I enjoyed every aspect of this programme, my favourite moment would be working as a Junior Designer at Ustwo. It was probably the biggest challenge as we put everything we had learned into practice and being given the opportunity and responsibility to work with their clients on real-life projects was pretty cool, to say the least. Not only did it give us a huge insight into what it’s really like to work full-time as a Junior Product Designer on a range of projects from health and fitness to finance, but it also gave us the chance to explore the whole design process – ultimately discovering where our interests and strengths lie.

While leaving university gave me huge doubt about whether I wanted to continue my career in product design, Flipside provided me with the certainty that I did want to continue with the added realisation that I had a passion specifically within the visual (UI) aspect of product design. Working in the industry is gravely different to learning it as a student and I am grateful that Flipside gave me the opportunity to experience this while also providing me with all the possible support I needed from industry professionals, to help direct and land me the job I do now, in a career I can now say for sure that I greatly enjoy.

During Flipside I learnt how to navigate a typical design process within digital product design. I was taught how to use industry-standard software that gave me the advantage to jump straight into work; landing me in my current role. I have learnt how to explore ideas and work with different disciplines within my team. I began this journey struggling with confidence and believing in myself and my talent. I never wanted to share my work solely because of the fear of being judged. Now I am more open to showing my work with the open-minded view of sharing to improve and grow.

If someone asked you why they should sign up for this opportunity, what would you tell them?

I would highly recommend this programme to both aspiring digital creatives and digital design agencies wanting to get involved in providing more opportunities to those who would heavily struggle without initiatives like this. We all deserve a chance to thrive in our passions and we need more companies to see this as an opportunity for them to grow and not just within a diversity and inclusion obligation. The more diverse the workplace is the more opportunities and rounded experiences we can create for everyone.

You may also be interested in...