When starting my internship with GearedApp I had no idea what to expect, however, what I did know was that I was going to have a summer of learning and gaining new experiences.
I am going into my third year of Digital Interaction Design at the University of Dundee, and I would like to share my experiences with GearedApp and why I would recommend that every student get real-life experience whilst at university.
How I got the job?
Before starting the summer, I made the decision to look for some work experience. I came across a site ranking GearedApp as one of the best Edinburgh mobile app companies in Scotland. So, I got in touch. I sent an email letting them know that I was interested in the company with my C.V and portfolio, explaining why I would love to do some work experience with GearedApp. Josh and Lara had me in for a meeting, and I before I knew it I was offered a summer internship. As simple as that!
About the role….
During my time with the company, I worked closely with co-founder, Josh – he is the lead UX designer on the team. At the start of my internship, I was assigned a project and Josh showed me the ropes and the ways GearedApp work as a company; whether that be communication with the development team and clients, or the structure of technologies and processes.
My role was to design the look and feel of all of the mobile app screens. I was given a lot of freedom, and I really enjoyed being able to take the reins on the project. I was designing to the client’s specifications, and Josh would then tweak anything that was needed later on. The project I was working on was a complex app with quite a few features. This gave me an opportunity to learn how to scope things out, mind-map and plan the designs that we would put together. We would then wireframe the platform, to clear up what was going to be in the app, before proceeding the full mock-up designs. Josh watched over me every step of the way, but also gave me the freedom to do what I wanted in terms of design. This allowed me to make my own decisions, but have the support I needed.
What I learned!
I am really grateful for my time at GearedApp as it has given me an entirely new set of skills which I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. As practical as my university course is, it lacks the real-life communications aspect of design. This experience has given me the opportunity to work in an environment that is constantly changing and adapting – in an agency environment, there are a new set of challenges every day.
I have always liked to take on roles that help me improve, both during my course and elsewhere. I started getting into design when I was really young and it was all self-taught, which put me into the mindset to always just get on with it. At GearedApp, I have been able to use these existing skills whilst also having the support to develop further. For example, I was keen to learn about a program called Sketch which I was never really able to get my hands on before. Through Josh’s guidance and his strong understanding of the software, I was able to learn from his expertise to really get to grips with the program whilst also having the freedom to teach myself.
I was excited about this internship because I enjoy design work. However, I have learnt much more than this. I have learned about the different aspects of design which must be taken into consideration. I have had to think about more than the way things look, but how they work for developers. What an insight!
One of the biggest learnings at GearedApp is teamwork. The best part, being able to communicate with each other easily and effectively so that the work gets done on time and to a good standard. Whenever I am involved in meetings with developers, everyone is happy to listen even though I haven’t been around for long. I love being able to share new ideas and suggestions.
The most memorable part of my internship was receiving positive feedback on my designs from real-life clients. It is great to know that the skills you have learned from university can really be applied to real-life. Having clients come back with positive comments has affirmed my knowledge and really boosted my confidence.
I found that GearedApp are good at congratulating people and giving people praise when they deserve it. The culture behind GearedApp and the way that they operate is really friendly with a positive atmosphere – it always helps if you’re having fun when you’re working. I have learned that when you’re actually enjoying going to work and producing work that you like, you can produce work that others enjoy too.