Going Forwards

I say this every year but the past 11 months have been insanely busy.

From December 2011 to July 2012 I was the Product Designer at Happiest and when I left I knew I needed to regroup. For 7 months I’d worked nearly every single day, often 6-7 days a week with little to no time to myself. I missed so much of my daughters first six months that it breaks my heart but you live and learn and now I’m making up for lost time.

Hello, Obox.

I’ve known Dave and Marc for about 4-5 years. I was an early watcher of their ‘From The Couch‘ series and since then have chatted to Dave nearly every working day. He’s been the best sounding board and feedback giver that you could ever ask for. Often, when he’s needed feedback I’ve been there to give an opinion or point of view and there’s a lot of mutual respect so when I told him that I was no longer at Happiest we had a ‘chat’.

Dave and Marc used to do client work, well, they still do but not as much as the old days. They began Obox Themes about 3 years ago giving themselves a goal of setting up the theme business in a month. Delivering 4 themes initially in that month as well as the Obox Themes website, I’ve never seen such inhumane working to reach a goal. Not only did they reach it and launch the business but since that point they’ve gone from strength to strength but managing to keep the team small.

I like small teams and fully believe that a small group of talented individuals can achieve a lot. When it came to Dave and I having a chat about me joining Obox I was genuinely excited, not only to work with two friends who I respect a hell of a lot but working on products with customers is something I adore. I’ve been at Obox for nearly 4 months now, time has flown by and I’m only now getting round to writing/announcing me joining the team. It’s been busy, very busy as my role there isn’t as a product designer. You’ll see on the about page that my role title is ‘Executor’, I’m not one for titles but the meaning behind it is pretty succinct. I just get shit done. Very similar to a COO (Chief Operating Officer) in a larger organisation, I keep people on their toes creating endless manageable to-do lists for the team and take what I’ve learned over the past 8 years and put it in place to affect the way we move forward as a business.

Just a few small things I do are;

  • Communicate with our customers for all pre-sales support – if they have a question, I’m there to answer. These communications happen from various places on the web, with creating WordPress.com themes, tumblr themes and having a listing on ThemeForest the questions come in from all directions.
  • I work with partners or potential partners which could compliment our core offering and make plans for implementing them within the business.
  • I’m the go to guy for all of our affiliates, working with them to expand their commissions.
  • Marketing Obox, whether that be blog posts and advertising or anything else. Infact, it’s not just Obox as a whole, individually each new product needs marketed so people know about it.
  • I’m working towards getting the team to release more products more often but making sure that quality and UX are at the heart of what we do.

That is just a small part of what I do every day and each new day is different.

Going forwards the future for me is Obox.

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Gavin

Lead Interaction Designer at DigitalDWP. Organiser of Industry, The Practical Web Conference..

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