Working as a UI Designer at ePages

Do you want to learn more about what it’s like to work as a UI Designer at ePages? Well, then you can find it out in this post. To give you an introduction into our world of design, we’ve talked to one of our UI Designers, who shared some insights about her daily work.

Here’s her story:

Hi, my name is Verena and I work as a User Interface Designer at ePages since July 2012. I originally started as an intern in January 2012 in Jena, but then got offered to work as a full-time employee, which I happily accepted.

When I started in Jena, I was involved in a project that was managed both in Jena and Hamburg. This project is known as ePages Now. In July 2015, the project was relocated to Hamburg, and I was asked to move along with it. After some reflection, I took the opportunity and I now have been living in Hamburg for already a year and four months.

Well, what am I responsible for? Together with my colleagues, I’m working on a new shop design, which includes simpler functionalities as well as a responsive storefront. I also conceptualize and develop different designs for the shop so that our merchants can later choose between a wide range of different designs.

How did you get to know ePages?

Originally, I studied communication design. I then decided to head more into an e-commerce direction and work with languages such as HTML, LESS, JavaScript, and alike. At an open door event at the University of Jena, I got to know two ePages employees. As we got engaged into a discussion, they told me about an open day at the ePages office in Jena. I then took the chance to visit the office. I got a very good impression of ePages as a company and employer as well as of my potential new colleagues and I was able to clarify some of my open questions. I applied for an internship, got invited for an interview and finally got accepted.

How did you experience the onboarding process and your first weeks at ePages?

I remember on my very first day, I was shown around and introduced to all teams, such as Application Management, QA, etc. Afterwards, I set up my computer and checked out our company’s intranet Confluence to get familiar with the departments and remember all of my colleagues’ names.

In the first month, I attended a partner training in Hamburg and thereby got to know our office in Hamburg as well as my Hanseatic colleagues - already a little sneak peak of what was about to become my future workplace and home so to speak.

After the first week, I began to develop a style guide, which was a perfect way to get an overview of what kind of software we use and also to get in touch with my new colleagues. Thereafter, I started with some smaller Jira tickets and fixed some bugs.

What are typical tasks of a UI Designer and which technologies do you use?

This varies quite a bit depending on the type of task. At the moment, for example, we are redesigning our existing software. Therefore, we create UI elements, or even complete new designs, and improve features. Sometimes, we also refactor code - so you see, my work greatly varies from conceptional and design-related work to code-related topics.

I mostly work with LESS, HTML, CSS, GitHub, Source Tree and Photoshop for creating themes, e.g. the home page or category pages. At the moment, I don’t work a lot with JavaScript, yet I always need to know some basics of React, whenever I need to change a bit of code in our templates. When it comes to responsive design, we don’t use tools such as Bootstrap, but develop our own solution. We do use Bootstrap though for pages of our administration area, such as the new product detail page or the general settings page.

Tell us about a typical work day.

My day usually starts at 8 o’clock. In the morning I am mostly by myself as I am the early bird in the team. This way, I have enough time to concentrate, go through my e-mails, check the tasks on our board as well as to find out what’s new in our intranet Confluence. Then I fetch a glass of water and start working on my tasks. Every now and then I get “interrupted” by a chat message, which I respond to.

At 10:30 a.m. we have our daily, where the whole team comes together to talk about current tasks and eventual challenges. At 12 o’clock, we have lunch with the team, although I also enjoy to go and have lunch with colleagues from other teams, or bring my own food. Depending on whether we have meetings or not, I try to focus on my dedicated tasks in the afternoon.

What type of tasks are these?

Currently, I’m working on a conceptual task. I also support other teams to prepare UI elements, which can be reused. For that, I provide templates, for example for payment methods or alike. In particular, my colleagues from Jena and I jointly provide a design guideline for another team as they don’t have their own designer.

Other than that, I’m designing new features. Just yesterday, I designed new icons and a new approach for our drag and drop editor. My work is also about bug fixing and code reviews in HTML and LESS.

Which skills does a UI Designer need at ePages?

Regarding soft skills a UI Designer should be communicative and not afraid to ask other colleagues to clarify open questions. As already mentioned, I also support other teams and we all don’t work together in one room. For example, I often communicate with my colleagues from Jena or Barcelona.

And from a technical point of view? Well, you should of course know HTML and LESS, and have a good understanding of frontend technologies. You would also need some basic UX knowledge, as we often work with the UX team in conceptional contexts. It is absolutely necessary to be up-to-date when it comes to new design principles, patterns, and latest trends.

What do you like about ePages and our company culture?

Apart from the scrum meetings, it’s great that I can structure my day as I like. As we have flexible working hours at ePages, I am able to come - as I mentioned before - a lot earlier to the office than my team colleagues and therefore a bit more flexible to organize my work day.

I like working in a team. All of my colleagues are very friendly and helpful. If I have a question, I can always count on their support.

Concerning the culture of ePages, I appreciate a lot our yearly get-together, the YOU, as well as the internal hackathons. I then have the chance to see my colleagues from Jena and Barcelona.

About the authors

Rose belongs to the epagesdevs content team.
Serena is a passionate Tech Recruiter, who enjoys talks about technologies, and believes in creating an awesome candidate experience journey.
Verena Zerwas is a UI Designer, and loves to create things that are beautiful and functional.