Sam joins Clicky: 6 months on
Our Head of Web, Sam, joined Clicky 6 months ago – it has flown by! You may be wondering what has changed since then, so we asked Sam a few questions about his time here so far.
How have you found the past 6 months working at Clicky?
Working at Clicky has been so exciting! Across both our Web & Marketing teams there is so much energy and creativity; it has been great to be involved in so many projects in such a short period of time.
My role within the Senior Management Team gives me an overview of everything else that’s going on within the agency. The genuine goodwill of our colleagues is something we celebrate; our relationships really do matter, whether that’s with clients, colleagues or within the local community – there’s a lot going on in our (growing) corner of Chester (and Nottingham)!
What is a typical day like as Head of Web?
Each day is varied, and that’s why working here is so great – no two days are the same. Working for a company like Clicky means that we get to work with a variety of sectors; from travel brands, helping proud homeowners let their properties to those seeking a country escape; eCommerce fashion retailers, to heritage brands like Raleigh. Our range of clients keeps us on our toes, requiring us to research and stay up-to-date with important developments within each sector.
What do you consider are the biggest and most influential changes within the Web team?
Developing an agile approach within the team is a huge factor in us being able to offer iterative solutions for our clients. I’m a firm believer that users (real people) need to be at the centre of the process – bringing a website to life is one thing – but having a contingency in place to push its limits, making changes and adapting to user experiences is key in its success.
We continue to develop our web solutions long after the project team build, intertwining our solutions with Marketing, Web, and our website maintenance team, ProSupport, from the start means that clients can benefit from an ongoing digital partnership and strategy – something that is needed within such competitive markets, one that can give a business a real edge.
We’re not just a digital agency…
The development of our creative services, specifically branding, illustration and offline are developing at such an exciting pace; there is always plenty of overlap with digital.
A fab example being the digital brand guidelines we created for Orca. Our Front-End and Web development teams are always pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved. Some of the UX design and animation work produced on sites such as Raleigh’s Centros has been award winning.
What do you consider as Web’s biggest achievements?
Simply being recognised for our work is such a great achievement, and having our own work referenced in tender opportunities is fantastic. We have successfully won awards for Best UI Design, Best UX Design, Best Innovation AND Special Kudos for the recent Raleigh Centros project which is a well-deserved victory for the team, and for Clicky.
What website project have you enjoyed the most?
We’ve just completed our second ever biggest project, which I am sure will go on to pick up many accolades, and hopefully, it will exceed our client’s expectations.
While I can’t go into too much detail at the moment, this project, in particular, has been fantastic; while I was involved on a daily basis, practically the whole team has also had the opportunity to get involved and to develop new, key relationships.
Content readiness can sometimes be a challenge on web projects, but the agile approach adopted earlier this year has allowed us to work around the client’s availability. Previously to the Design and Web development part of the project, the groundwork was put in by our excellent Strategy & Insights team. By conducting research around the existing site and our client’s target audience, they were able to feed and inform us on so many of the key design decisions which have been pivotal in not only the enhancing the user experience, but it’s also enabled us to turn this project around ahead of the client launching their Christmas sale.
Do you have a dream client in mind?
My dream client would be to work with a motorsport company. Motorsport is such a high-pressure environment, but it’s one filled with so many fascinating statistics, not just about the cars themselves, but about the target audience; how content plays a significant role in engaging users; quality design assets; and the personalities within the industry – these are all key ingredients that can help create a dynamic, memorable and effective website.
At our agency strategy day out, we were lucky enough to get as close to real life experience with an F1 car during a team-building exercise. Our task was to change the tyres on an F1 car in the fastest time; my team orchestrated the best result they’d ever recorded – it was immense fun!
What do you enjoy the most about working at Clicky?
Having lived in Chester for 18 years (before moving to the Welsh countryside six years ago) it’s great to be working here in the city again. I really have fallen back in love with Chester; you can regularly see me out and about with my camera during the golden hours or walking the walls at lunchtime.
There are so many varied and independent businesses springing up around Chester and there is always a lot to do and see. Working here, I’ve had the chance to re-connect with local friends and old colleagues which has been a genuine pleasure; being so centrally located means everywhere is within walking distance.
At Clicky, everyone is able to make the most of the flexible hours’ scheme, which is obviously great for anyone commuting. Colleagues here travel in from Manchester, Liverpool, The Wirral, North Wales and across Cheshire, which certainly helps if you have family commitments (making it to or from the school run) appointments, or for something as simple as wanting to take a longer lunch to explore or run some errands.
What is the team dynamic like in Web?
It really is great – I will sound biased, and of course, I would say that, but everyone has been so welcoming. The nature of our work means that we have to be dynamic and adapt, depending on client or project requirements. Everyone gets on really well and are happy to be involved in everything we do; there is a range of skills and we cross-pollinate as everyone is so eager to learn.
How do you divide hours between training and client work?
The team has time built into our schedules so we can stay on top of organising regular internal sessions, training and 1-2-1s. With such a diverse set of skills across the team, I’m always looking for everyone though to push their comfort zones and take ownership of development – including others sharing with their peers as they expand their skillset.
As an agency, we appreciate that client work comes first, always, but this is how we benefit from continuous learning. Initiatives have been set up, whether that’s a TED talk for people to join and watch in the breakout room, sharing knowledge of and attending a local networking event (such as CodeUp Chester), or learning something new like BEM in our time – I will always stand behind putting forward ideas in which we can continuously challenge ourselves.
Since we launched our bespoke Clicky gin, how would you recommend serving the perfect G&T?
I eventually got my hands on a bottle of the infamous Clicky Gin at our year-end event, entering a bidding war with our Digital Design Manager, Rhian. It was all for a good cause, though, as we were raising funds for our chosen charity, Claire House Children’s Hospice.
The best way to serve it? Measure into a gin balloon glass, add your choice of tonic and a slice of mango (yes), with plenty of ice. Serve on a hot day and take in the sweet smell of victory!
How would you summarise working for Clicky in three words?
Collaborative, Progressive & Thoughtful.