Behind the Design Curtain
by Jason Bustamante
on Aug 16, 2016
Listed in Design

Hi, I’m Jason, Senior Designer at TRIBUS. I’m a small part in the recent transformation of TRIBUS (check out Eric’s post on 3.0 here.) and I’m all about how we design.

Over the course of my next posts, I’ll give you a peek inside my department and how we contribute to projects such as Custom websites and our new logo.

First things first, what exactly do I do?

It helps to define what exactly design is at TRIBUS because it means different things at different places. We predominantly handle visual communication, as our deliverables mainly take the form of editable image files.

Most days, you can find me managing and producing the artwork for TRIBUS’ marketing materials and interfaces. There’s a lot of working parts as we collaborate together with Product/Marketing departments for concepts and the Development team for implementation. But with a dedicated process, we are united in communicating the same working language that allows us to perform and track clear design tasks.

Our process heavily values defining the what, why and how (if you’re keeping track, this post is structured as such). It’s the foundation that helps us understand the daily problems we face and how we discover design solutions. It also sets expectations and maps our route to delivering engaging experiences like our CRM and Intranet.

Why do you need that?

Great question. In the grand scale, our department is in between making the concept and then living concept. Everything has a face to it and we help mold that face in the middle of our process. The effectiveness of that face is quite subjective. What is good or bad design? Pretty tough in itself and great designers strive to take that subjectivity out as much as you can. We go to great lengths to define words like luxury and high-end through visual cues.

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OK, all well and good, but how do you do that?

The biggest takeaways involve understanding concept/problem (what), understanding your audiences’ needs (why) and establishing direction that sets goals that matter (how).

Those things are pretty tough to accomplish, make no mistake. If it were easy, we would have indispensable, stunning products that made a ton of money and made people happy forever. Obviously that’s not the case, but I can’t emphasize enough how having a strong process will at least get you moving in that direction.

How that’s done can happen in many ways. In our case, it involves meticulous research, a lot of sketching, a lot of bouncing ideas off walls and teammates, which then leads to prototypes. But however you solve your problem and reach your goal, if you are honest and achieve the understanding of the three pillars at the start (what, why and how), you have everything you need to make decisions on what needs to be done.

Take this blog post. What am I going to do? You’re looking at it: a post. Why am I writing this? As a team, we decided to educate the public about who TRIBUS is and what we are about so we can be closer to our clients and users, giving them a side of us they don’t normally see. And how are we going to do this? Speak at least 500 words of English. Checkmate.

This way of working is something we do for every product that goes out our door. It’s a crazy, tough, fun, exciting experience that helps us grow as a team and produce great work. I’ll dig even deeper in my next posts.

Check back for me in the TRIBUS blogs for the latest in design and watch out for upcoming blogs on product, marketing and support for real estate.

Sr Web Designer

Jason is the heart and soul of the creative team at TRIBUS. He invests himself heavily in every single web page design in order to craft experiences that are meaningful for all users. In addition to being an excellent graphic and interaction designer, he’s obsessed with typography and dabbles in video editing. Jason has also worked on a few major branding projects, the TRIBUS brand overhaul being one of his latest accomplishments.

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