Nov 16, 2020, inside iteo

iteo behind the scenes – our freshmen’s story

Nora Wasilewska and Piotr Pająk Junior Graphic Designers

We made it! We’ve got the job. It’s the beginning of September and we arrive at iteo main office in Katowice. From now on, we can call ourselves Junior Graphic Designers! 

And today, after a few months of work, we’re happy to share our experiences.

Product designers team and the office – first impressions

We’ve joined the Product Designers team which then consisted of 6 other people. First, we went through the onboarding process that brought us closer to iteo’s history and origin. Then, we were introduced to our new colleagues and shown around the office. It definitely made a huge impression! Industrial interiors, glazings, orange details, and THESE “PALM TREES”.

Our new team arranged their room in a true designers’ spirit, making it cosy at the same time. Every Dane visiting our office would probably call it “hygge”. Apart from that, it was easy to notice that the organization of work wasn’t of less importance – every room was equipped with large boards ready to prioritize all the tasks and adjusted to the Agile methodology processes.

First day is always stressful, but thanks to a great atmosphere and a warm welcome, we were excited and ready to work. After a short and pleasant conversation with our team, we’ve taken our seats and started to prepare our laptops for another day of work. In the meanwhile, we’ve appreciated the headphones we could use for music and the rest of the room arrangements. Framed pictures were a definite hit – bigger, smaller, retro-style, and presenting various kids portraits. As it turned out, they were the pictures of our quite grown up team! It almost instantly reminded us of the recruitment task. Actually, the picture it included. You surely know the “Friends” series and its cover. Our team recreated it during the recruitment process. Crazy? Rather a great sense of humor and a positive attitude!

The culture of work

In iteo, we pay significant attention to “culture fit” which, apart from portfolio, is a decisive argument during the recruitment process. Mutual respect, friendly atmosphere, and a willingness to improve your skills are the indispensable elements of the company’s value.

Our first day has shown that iteo’s success is a result of work and effort of a large group of people divided into teams, located in different rooms, and coworking together for a common goal. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, most of the employees work remotely from home, so we were only able to meet some of them. We are looking forward to the post-pandemic times and the return to normal to get to know all of the teams.

Let the work begin!

On the second day we enthusiastically took the challenge and started working on the first task. Although we started as freshmen with no experience, we were definitely ready to work. It was great that we could count on our older colleagues’ mentoring. It helped us greatly and reduced the stress that usually comes with the first days of a new job. 

What drew our attention from the very beginning was a good organization of work: project management approach, communication among the teams, work time measurement system in Jira. Everybody knows what to do and when’s the deadline. Every project has its own Project Manager who’s responsible for communication with a client and all the processes around it. Product Designers are in touch with a client, too, but they are able to focus on their role and not on the operational and logistics matters. 

But, let’s cut to the chase. New employees are first introduced to their new responsibilities by the team leader who also appoints their mentor. A mentor on the other hand supports them in their everyday tasks and establishes the plan of work for the upcoming weeks. We meet the team leader every month to sum up the things we’ve done. We analyze what we’ve learnt and what’s worth working on. We evaluate each other’s work, the attitude towards it, and think how to improve current processes within the company.

Sounds terrifying? Don’t worry, it’s not. The atmosphere of the meeting is very friendly. Every team member decides upon their own progress path along with the leader. Thus, everybody knows in which direction to develop, what to work on, and how to achieve the intended and desired goals.

Our work now

As Junior Graphic Designers we work mostly with the marketing team. Among other things, they work on making our social media interesting and up-to-date. And we’re responsible for all the graphic design that comes with the online materials. One of our permanent tasks is creating oneline graphics for the blog. It was a huge challenge getting to know that the characteristic iteo illustration is made with a one, solid line. Sometimes you can really get confused searching for its beginning and end! Apart from that, we had a chance to switch to a new, better software which brings us to the next point. 

A new job connected with creating digital products can be quite surprising when it comes to the use of design software. Most common one is Adobe Creative Suite. But as soon as we started our work, we were taught that it’s better to use more modern tools, for example Figma. Although the team encouraged us also to use tools that suit us best, we have to say that it’s easy to fall in love with Figma and leave Illustrator and Sketch behind. 

Summing up

When we got our first tasks, it was clear that without a good organization and prioritization it will be easy to get lost. Fortunately, every member of the design team assisted us all along providing helpful advice, materials, and tools which allowed us to face the challenges smoothly.