In our series blog “A Peek Under the Sea” we continue our journey with Lisa Dodd, Tuna Traffic’s Senior Creative Lead. Lisa conceptualizes and creates brand consistent designs for a diverse client base. She combines traditional graphic art skills with interactive design expertise to deliver results for clients.

No matter what challenge is presented by the client, Lisa works with the design team to create a clear design process and strategic plan. Her outstanding ability to relate customer needs and ideas into producing high-quality designs consistently amazes our clients. Lisa also does a majority of the planning for the Tuna Traffic team, keeping the office intact and organized at all times.

Now, let’s explore the creative depths of the sea with Lisa.

How I Design Beneath the Sea

Where do you office?

I office in two places, here at the Tuna School and at my home office. The environment at the Tuna School is great because people are always around, making it easy to collaborate and receive quick feedback. My home office has a quieter atmosphere where I can get a ton of work done, no matter what it is. Whether I need to crank out some designs for a website or do style tiles and mock-ups, I can sit down and focus without any distraction. My home office includes a desk, some bookshelves and a couch for my dog, Penny. She likes to keep me company when I am away from the office 🙂 .

Peek-under-the-Sea Lisa's-Dog-Penny
Ready to enter my home office? Listen to this sampling of the soothing sounds made by Penny.

How do you get your work done?

My work is split into two categories: designing and planning. For my design work, I do a variety of graphics from super small ads all the way up to complete website mockups to help improve the branding of websites. My design process starts with developing a style tile with color palettes, icons, and fonts to show the client pieces of what their website is going to look like. After the style tile is made, I create a wireframe to display the site’s structure and functionality. By designing wireframes, I am able to show our clients exactly what their website will look like when it is viewed in a variety of different formats, such as on a desktop, mobile device and tablet.

I get my planning work done by staying organized and communicating with the Tuna Team. At Tuna Traffic we use Scrum, an agile methodology that focuses our team energy by doing all our work in bi-weekly cycles called sprints. Every other Monday I have a meeting with Saravanan Shanmugabaskaran, our Director of Client Solutions, to review the work from our previous sprint. After, we then plan the work we are going to do in the next sprint to make sure we are getting everything done in a timely manner for our clients.

What is your hardware of choice?

I do all my work on a 15″ Retina MacBook Pro with a Dell 24″ monitor and I periodically use an iPad. Before I use my computer to craft my final designs, I like to brainstorm my ideas by sketching them out. Old school, I know, but it helps me remember things better.

What is your software of choice?

This is an example of one of Tuna's Style Tiles that Lisa created.

This is an example of a Style Tile
that Lisa created for Tuna.

The three design programs I use fairly consistently are Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. I use Photoshop when I work on anything for a website such as style tiles, wireframes or mock-ups. Photoshop makes it easy for me to slice things out and save images to quickly send over to our developers. When I am doing any print work such as making different flyers or advertisements for clients, I use InDesign. Illustrator is the third program I use for both print and website graphics.

For my planning work I use a great app called Wunderlist. This app helps me stay very organized with my daily work by allowing me to arrange my assignments in into folders. Whether it’s planning for Tuna or a specific design project, I can break it down with Wunderlist and understand what tasks I should prioritize to get done each day.

What helps you get your work done?

One tool that helps me get my work done is Get To Done©. Get To Done offers composite views of our internal work and external work making it easy for me to coordinate my work with my team members and vice versa. Our assignments are divided up into “stories” and each story is assigned to someone. If multiple people are working on a story then “tasks” will be linked to that story.

For example, a main story for me would be “Work on Style Tile” and if I needed help with parts of this story, I could task them out to different people. Organization and transparency is key, and Get To Done allows the entire Tuna Team to see what we need to work on as well as what everyone else is doing. This is awesome from my standpoint since I do so much of the planning for Tuna Traffic, I can keep an eye on the status of everything, and focus on teamwork flow.

Tuna-Traffic-Designer-LisaOne thing you couldn’t live without?

I hate to say it, but I couldn’t live without my phone.  I have a Samsung S4 and I mainly use it to keep in touch with clients and team members when I am out of the office.  The main app I use on my phone is Slack.  Slack is a great way to stay in contact with the Tuna team since it allows all our communication to be in one place. Everything in Slack is instantly searchable and available wherever I go, allowing me to respond fairly quickly whenever I am needed.

But, enough about me. Let’s talk about you.

I can conceptualize and create a variety of work for the branding of your website from a few basic graphics to a complete new design.  I will make sure everything on your website is consistent, professional and responsive to provide an enjoyable experience for your users.  Along with creating a new innovative design for your website, I will also supply you with tips/feedback to keep improving your website with the latest design trends.

Need a new creative and responsive template for your website? Interested in adding some spark to your visual content?

Then I am the designer for you.  Let’s talk.