It’s true, I can be obsessive. I surround myself with the colour orange every day, and I freak out if I spot an improper use of quotation marks. I correct typos in newspapers I find on the bus, I crave product requirements, I listen to songs on repeat (for days on end), and you’ll hear about it if I don’t have my morning coffee.
Well, most of my clothes are orange so it’s not too much hassle. Why are most of my clothes orange? I’m not sure. My obsession spawned, seemingly from nowhere, almost a decade ago and over the years it’s become a fairly significant part of my identity. I try not to let it influence my design work, but sometimes orange is the perfect colour for the job (though I could be biased). It’s easy to see I’m obsessed with orange because I wear orange shoes, socks, pants, tops; I write with orange markers in orange notebooks; I drink out of orange mugs and eat orange food out of orange bowls (not always, that would be mad). But I’m actually obsessed with lots of things…
I wake at the crack of dawn so I can get a good walk in before landing at work. I take the same route every day which takes me past a barrage of school kids glued to their phones (when I was young we had mud-fights before class). It’s the exact same walk every day but I never get bored. I cross the same cracks in the footpaths, duck under the same low bridge, and pass the same familiar faces. But the little details keep it interesting. Like when somebody paints their front door a new colour, a tree is trimmed, or when that gate that’s never open is open. I meander up the same steep hill, simpering at the struggling cyclists who misjudged the day’s weather and wore their entire wardrobes on what is a remarkably hot morning (or forgot a hood on a rainy one).
I arrive at the office, invariably get chatting to someone while making breakfast (gotta be granola), and hear the scoop on the latest email campaign, the frustrations in test, or the technical challenges surrounding a forthcoming release. At my desk, I scan yesterday evening’s notes and get cracking. I work with a bunch of talented designers on the Product team, and my product is our Android app. Depending on what stage we’re at with any given project, my day involves either creating or presenting sketches, prototypes or refinements (or all three as the case may be), meeting with engineers and product managers, and liaising with any number of stakeholders. I also dip into the Play Store every so often to see what actual users are saying about the app.
Working on the Android team has led to my current obsession with material design, Google’s design language for the operating system. I spend my days poring over the specs and experimenting relentlessly with ways to incorporate material into the momondo app. We have a whole bunch of really exciting features in the works and I can’t wait until they’re out in the wild. When I’m not designing or discussing the future of the app, you can generally find me scouring the web for other people’s experiences designing their products. Six o’clock comes round in a flash but I can’t bring myself to log out before reading the plethora of tabs I’ve opened throughout the day, or knocking out one more iteration before preparing tomorrow morning’s checklist.
My mind a flurry with the successes, failures and musings of the day, I make my way home, taking my morning walk backwards, or occasionally rambling alternative routes. To unwind I listen to dreamy music, work on side projects, read online (sadly my bookshelf has been neglected of late), cook for friends, socialise, go hiking, visit galleries and shows, travel regularly, wander hidden streets, sit in parks, and basically try to remain positive and curious about the world. Bedtime is often when ideas strike so there’s always a pen and notepad on the bedside table, mostly filled with somnambulistic scrawls and indecipherable illustrations, but there’s an occasional diamond in the rough. I go to set my alarm and invariably get sucked into a Medium story, Twitter conversation, or Instagram post, before shutting down for the night.
That’s a pretty typical day in the life of Emmet. I love what I do and I’d like to keep doing it. If you think I could do it while working with you, we should talk.