A day in the life of a hedgehog lab designer


20th January 2020


3 min


Jay Clark

My job is incredibly varied – so it’s hard to describe a ‘typical’ work day. Here‚ however‚ I’ve tried my best to break one down into chunks‚ giving an idea of the sort of tasks that crop up time and again – and my approach to getting them done. 


I arrive at work‚ grab a bowl of cereal‚ a black coffee and a pint of water‚ then catch up on emails & slack messages. This is also a good time to check out websites like Panda and Muzli for design news. 


It always helps to start the day by making a list of tasks that need completing‚ both large and small. This helps me see clearly what I want to be achieved by the end of day – and‚ by giving the tasks a hierarchy‚ allows me to prioritise. Some people use the Stickies app on their Macs for this purpose‚ but I like to tick them off on paper.   

09:30 – 12:30

Currently‚ I’m designing an app called Tempt‚ and am iterating on the main feed page. I have written my goals on a whiteboard alongside four printed variations of how the screen could look in order to gauge team feedback on which they prefer and why. 

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 When we do this‚ we often ask colleagues to place sticky dots on the parts they like‚ supplemented‚ if they wish‚ by further information on sticky notes. It’s helpful to get the rest of the team involved as much as possible‚ since it makes them aware of what you’re working on‚ boosts the flow of ideas‚ and ensures constant sense checking.


Around this time‚ I take a half-hour lunch break – and on Thursdays that means Lunch Club‚ an initiative that sees six of us take it in turns to cook for each other. Things like this are important in the workplace‚ helping people bond; nothing says ‘trust’ like cooking homemade jerk chicken for your workmates.


The four hours following the half-way point are often the most productive – that is when meetings and Slack messages don’t get in the way!  

This week‚ my afternoons have been filled with UI (User Interface) work‚ which gets the creative juices flowing. Mainly‚ I use Pinterest‚ Dribble and Uplabs for design inspiration‚ before taking to Sketch and Illustrator. I use the former for all UI design work and the latter for icons and anything more detailed.  

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When it comes to bringing these designs to life‚ I love using Principle; clients often appreciate seeing these interactive prototypes‚ as it leads to the desired ‘aha’ moments.  


By this point‚ some are packing up and heading home. Often‚ however‚ I’ll be on autopilot‚ realising I need to make up for all the crumpet breaks I’ve taken!  

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This is an example of just one day in my life as a designer. Depending on the stage of the project I’m involved in – and the problems I’m having to solve – my work changes all the time. But at least it never gets dull…