James Dennis

Digital Designer

Experience

I have enjoyed a varied career background, with each of my distinct previous work lives in sales, customer service and IT support contributing to my rounded abilities that I appreciate and use regularly in my contemporary work life as a creative.

1994

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At college, I studied a computer systems BTEC national diploma, using green screen VAX terminals and learning Turbo Pascal, it was my first exposure to effective system design and efficient coding. After college, I became a sales assistant at an electrical retailer and stayed for longer than planned (good commission!). It taught me some great fundamental qualities including the effective communication of technical information into a understandable and relational way leading to a sale. I didn’t see a product as a product, I didn’t see a customer as simply another sale, I saw the transition from interest to purchase as a solution.

Retail gave me the skills to listen, understand, convey and solve a solution leading to successfully reaching sales targets and the knowledge that I had helped many happy customers.

1998

While we teach, we learn


In my next role, I was originally employed within the Customer Service team. I learnt to resolve complex disputes between parties whilst ensuring that I promoted calmness and empathy in order to de-escalate and work towards a solution. My IT skills and ability to calmly articulate were soon recognised, leading to an IT training role whereby I managed the training of new employees and organised refresh training for existing colleagues.

2000

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Continuing to work within the IT field on an outsourced IBM contract role for Cable & Wireless. I provided 1st line helpdesk support and service enhancement to end users within a strict service level agreement. After a couple of years, I moved to a desktop support role, supporting the running of a top 100 law firm by providing desk based and desk side technical assistance, software deployment, intranet management, project involvement and training to 300 employees.

2012

Back to school


Although I thoroughly enjoyed my career in IT, there was something missing - creativity. A couple of projects did involve design and these were the most rewarding elements of my role. Therefore, when redundancy occurred, I felt it was a fantastic opportunity to take a different career path. Whilst attending a Graphic design evening class, I became aware of a foundation degree course that I decided to pursue. Although the course helped develop my technical abilities, learning the fundamentals of any degree level course including research techniques, presentation skills and analysis were the most beneficial.

Whilst at university, I undertook a part time role at a creative agency organised though my college. Working on multiple projects concurrently, with sole responsibility of the content management for seven, comprehensive WordPress based UK and US websites. Also involved in several projects designing and managing the content of appealing web pages through collaboration with a marketing agency, back-end developer and clients.

2015

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Working within the Ecommerce team for Wyevale Garden Centres, the UK’s largest garden centre group reporting to the Ecommerce manager with responsibility for improving the customer experience of Wyevale’s online channels through delivery of visually enticing digital content and UX improvements.

Initially managed the web content for various elements of the existing website but my abilities and competence were soon recognised leading to a new design role whereby I became involved in an ambitious project to deliver a sophisticated e-commerce digital solution.

My clear understanding of business goals, ability to make strategic design and user-experience decisions, attention to detail and proficiency in professionally conversing with both internal departments and external providers increased my prominence and influence within the project.

2020

They were great hosts


Short design contract for Fasthosts Limited, a leading web hosting and domain services provider. Primarily tasked to work on revising core and prominent sections of the Fasthosts website including the home, login and support pages. Adhering to UX best practice and helping to support evolving brand guidelines.

Concurrently created GDN adverts for current campaigns, customer datasheet refresh, company stationary updates, weekly blog headers and various landing pages.

Also worked closely with a contracted marketing agency on a successful project to revise email templates used for regular customer communications leading to a notable increase in engagement.