Websites & Systems: A week in the life of Michelle

Shelly working in the studio

Hello, I’m Michelle and I’m a designer in the Websites & Systems team. I also have a second role at Fluid, which is looking after People & Culture. Two very different jobs, but somehow each day I blend them together to do two things I enjoy - being creative and making people happy.

Here’s a little insight into my typical working week…

Every Monday, the Websites & Systems team start the day with a catch-up call. We have a chat about our weekends and the projects that are scheduled for the week.

This week I’m working on website designs with Paul for our recent client-win, Liniar – a market-leader in the UK windows, doors and conservatories systems market. We’re both in the office today, so I go and set up next to him for the day and we chat through our preferred design style and decide on a direction before working up the page designs we’re going to present to the client later in the week.

The day starts dipping into some People & Culture business, as I have a call with a potential new team member. Colin joins me as it’s for a vacancy in the Websites & Systems team. We call these meetings ‘culture chats’. They’re informal chats with potential candidates pre-interview stage, so we can talk to them about Fluid’s culture, our values, our clients and how Fluid’s six teams work together. If we think they’re a good fit, and they like the sound of us too, we’ll invite them to a formal interview for the role. After the call, it’s back to being a creative, and I get stuck into the Liniar website designs.

Once a month, we host the Fluid Team Talkathon. This is a chain that starts with one person at Fluid speaking to a team mate, then that team mate choses another team mate and so on until everyone has had a chat. The idea behind the talkathon is to keep our team connected in this hybrid-working world we now find ourselves in, and also to keep us communicating and socially interacting. It’s always a busy few days for me as I try to keep the chain moving and squeeze in as many chats as we can each day. I kick it off at 9am, and it will run until Friday afternoon.

Quick workload check-in with the Websites & Systems team then onto the rest of the day. I manage to squeeze in a morning of final design amends to the Liniar website, and a team catch up to make sure everyone is happy with what we’re presenting tomorrow morning. We get to work closely with Jamie in the Image & Motion team on this job as he’s creating some swanky new product CGIs that we want to make a key feature on the new website.

At lunch time, I make sure I send everyone a quick message about Walkie Talkie Wednesday. It's our weekly reminder of the importance of taking a break, getting outside and relaxing the body and mind. And also to encourage everyone to have a chat with a team mate. It’s really important that we embrace social opportunities, especially for the team members that work remotely.

In the afternoon, I have a client meeting with Coach Hire Comparison, along with Luca, Adam and Stuart from the Websites & Systems team. We’re talking about some new ideas they want to implement on their website and together we discuss how we can best visualise them and integrate them into the current build.

Later in the afternoon, there’s some internal training on how to get the most out of LinkedIn with Ben M. I spend the rest of the day and evening trying to be a grade A student and showing off my new LinkedIn knowledge.

Liniar are going to be in the studio to see the first ideas for the website designs we’ve been working on this week. Colin and Georgia host the meeting, and myself and Paul present our design concepts. The meeting is really positive and we all go away from it with a lot of excitement at taking the designs forward. We have a project team debrief and discuss the next steps and actions.

After the meeting, I’m straight onto a new website design project for an existing client, Tickled Trout. They want to have a new website design and build to take their online brand presence to the next level. Always nice to breathe new life into older projects.

My afternoon is full of internal meetings focused on People & Culture. The first is my monthly catch-up with Phil and Ed about all things Fluid culture. We usually spend about an hour chatting through ideas, concerns, ambitions and how we can implement them into our culture. This time we talk about possible team social ideas for the summer and autumn months.

The second meeting is with the Fluid accountability team. This is a collection of people across the teams at Fluid who take responsibility in looking after key areas of our business: marketing, our culture, client happiness, our environment, business development and efficiencies. We have this catch up every two weeks and set ourself targets to make sure we all cross things off the list and keep everything at Fluid running smoothly. As with most businesses, Fluid always seems to take a back seat to what we’re doing for our clients. Having this team helps us make sure we’re getting stuff done.

It’s the last day of the talkathon, so I’m still dipping in and out of that to keep it moving.

I spend most of the day working on the Tickled Trout website designs and getting these uploaded to our prototyping software InVision. This way the rest of the Fluid team and the client can collaborate on giving feedback and accessing assets for when we get to development.

The weekly Fluid team call is just before lunch. It’s a chance for the whole team to get together and have a catch-up about business developments and project updates. These calls are a great way for everyone to keep in touch with the other teams and we record them for people who can’t attend so everyone is up-to-date. Today it’s 30 degrees outside and gloriously sunny, Phil tells everyone to wrap up a little earlier this afternoon for the weekend and enjoy it. We all collectively rejoice!

In the afternoon I have a call with our new healthcare client, along with Colin and Luca. Our call is focused on receiving feedback on the website scope we recently shared with them. The meeting has a lot of technical questions from their IT team (that tends to go over my head) and some final functionality preference requests. It’s a productive meeting and we’re one step closer to getting the scope agreed, then we can move onto the exciting bit for me - the designs.

My final job of the week is sending the Fluid weekly update email to our team. It’s a round up of everything that’s been going on at Fluid during the week, what’s coming up next week, announcing our culture champion, sharing some helpful resources and a fun fact about a team member. We have two new team members joining Fluid in the next couple of weeks, so I send this out to them as well so they can start to feel a part of the team and get to know our culture a little better. It’s a fun way to end the day and another busy week.