• Nicole
    Lenferna de la Motte
  • Web design and build

About me

I am a practical person who can work both independently, using my initiative to solve issues and work through projects, and I can work as part of a team. I like the variety of working on multiple projects at the same time. From a design point of view, I can create a design from anything that I am given (or not) - I have worked on projects with customers who have very strong and comprehensive branding guidelines and assets from which I cannot deviate, to customers who could only provide me with a single logo (from which I created a whole microsite!). I have also had customers say 'I don't want to give you too much guidance because I want to see what you come up with'. A crystal ball to psychically know what the customer needs? I've got one (but it never seems to give me winning Lotto numbers).

In 2014 I was brought in to Blackbaud's Peer to Peer fundraising UK client services team. Initially a tiny team of just a technical consultant and I, we grew from a £0 revenue business to bringing in £1,000,000 in 2018, and adding three more members to our team. At the start of the transition to the new services team, I created new design concepts that helped clients visualise their requirements for their projects, enabling the sales team to then find new opportunities and therefore grow the team significantly over the years.

I have always worked in small teams where I have been the only designer, or half the team! This means that I have had every role involved in creating a website from scratch (and a full hat rack):

  • helping to sell the project,
  • consulting directly with the customer,
  • mocking up a design and dealing with questions and design iterations,
  • making decisions about when a design is ready for the customer (ie. the Creative Director hat),
  • building the design in a CMS or from scratch with HTML and CSS,
  • basic Javascript and API integrations,
  • testing of the built website and its functionality,
  • post-project support,
  • writing supporting documentation,
  • making a cracking cup of tea.

Everything that I know about designing and building websites has been learnt by doing it.

Multi-tasking? Hell yeah.

zigzag

I have also had to manage myself, and parts of projects where necessary, so I work very closely with the customers:

  • making sure that I have all the answers and assets that I need for a project,
  • contacting people both internally and on the client's side with information and concerns,
  • making sure that internal resources such as Tech are providing the necessary solutions where required,
  • making sure that I meet the project deadlines and manage expectations where necessary,
  • fix anything else that comes up during and after the project delivery,
  • helping the customer with any urgent little fixes/questions/favours that they might have, while in the middle of another project,
  • being firm where necessary to avoid scope creep,
  • being kind to help the customer feel confident about the project and our part in it,
  • and I use past experience and lessons learnt to spot potential issues early on, and make recommendations for solutions.

But that's not all...

Add to this, working with other teams in the company:

  • helping the Marketing team to trouble shoot their website issues and providing artwork when they've needed a helping hand,
  • assisting the Sales team with answering customer questions and make sales, provide work estimates and realistic quotes,
  • creating site page mock-ups for the Sales team so that they had imagery and user flows to help with their customer meetings,
  • working through questions and issues with product Consultants,
  • helping the Services team to write air-tight Scopes of Work,
  • working with the Support team to troubleshoot and fix unusual, or design- and build-related issues,
  • mentoring and/or supporting another Designer,
  • and helping to refine internal platforms and software by spotting bugs and making recommendations to the Products team.

Skillz (with a zee)

Design skills

  • Adobe Photoshop *****
  • Adobe Illustrator *****
  • Adobe InDesign *****
  • Adobe XD *****
  • Wordpress *****
  • Sketch *****
  • Design workshops with customers
  • Illustration
  • Photography
  • Copy writing and documentation
  • UX and IA
  • Wireframing

Tech skills

  • HTML5 *****
  • CSS3 *****
  • Flexbox *****
  • Bootstrap *****
  • CSS Grid *****
  • Adobe Dreamweaver - hand coding *****
  • Basic JS editing *****
  • API integration *****
  • Basic React *****
  • Flash animation *****
  • Eight different CMSes owned and developed by Blackbaud
  • Github
  • Testing with Browserstack

People experience

I have met so many different people in my career, both as colleagues and customers, that I can find a way to deal with most things that come my way. My most recent experience has been specifically with not-for-profit organisations, and that brings its own set of variables:

  • every size of budget,
  • every level of internal customer experience and resourcing,
  • all sorts of project requirements,
  • internal politics,
  • personality types (sometimes as a result of the type of charity),
  • working with everything from no branding or guidance at all, to comprehensive strict brand guidelines,
  • and designing and building for users with specific accessibility and medical needs.

Work experience

I studied Graphic Design and started working as a web designer at epages (a web company in South Africa) in 1998, and I left the company as Senior Designer. I then moved to London in 2004 where I was Web Content Manager for a tour operator until 2007, when I moved to my most recent company - Blackbaud Europe, which acquired JustGiving in 2017. There, I have worked my way up to Senior Interactive Designer, having worked with eight different software products and CMS systems, hundreds of local and international charities, and even more customers.