Time-Frame for Rookie Retail Design?

Hey all!

I have a question regarding work I was recently asked to take on at work. I’ll try to include as many details I feel might help with the answering of my question.

About Me & My Current Day-to-Day at Work:

  • I’m a newer student working towards a BA in Graphic Design - I’m currently in my third semester

  • I have working knowledge in Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign, If in a hurry, for quick & easy social media content I do use Spark Post

  • I work as the Assistant Manager at a locally owned wine & liquor store (small staff, 2-3 solo night shifts a week)

  • Im enrolled in college, full-time (3 courses, 4 credits each)

  • While in school I work 30-35 hours at the store

  • I am horrible at time management but it’s something I’m working on (hence this post :wink:)

My New Job Duties (the focus of this question)

  • Maintain, manage & create all content for our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram), web site & mobile app

  • Redesign our website & mobile app (like every part of them, they are both terrible in their own right)

  • Design & create all in-store, off-premise & web promotional materials, advertisements, etc.

  • I’ll be maintaining all of my current Asst. Mngr. job duties in addition to this new work

I think that about covers everything! Now, for my actual question:

Considering the hours I spend at work, what kind of time block do you guys think I should be setting aside for this new design work??

I’m asking this for two reasons:

  1. Im not the best time manager (as mentioned before).
  2. I know my boss & I are not going to agree initially on the amount of time I should be scheduled for each week to work on this new work.

Sorry for the lengthy post, guys! I just wanted to make sure you had all the info you might need! I’m meeting with my boss in a week to discuss how we are going to move forward. Your advice will be greatly appreciated in that meeting.

Thanks in advance!!

What you are basically doing is an unmentored internship. Not really recommended. That said though, interns initially cost more money than they are worth simply because they have to ask questions, and in your case do research to find the answers. Eventually, after they ask enough times about enough things, they can be left to be semi-autonomous, up to a point.

I hope your boss understands that you are at the internship phase of your design journey and is willing to allow the extra time for you to do this right. It won’t be easy. The list of things you mention are diverse and would not be something I’d hand to an intern right out of the gate. You are basically in charge of the company branding.

You will need to take it in small chunks and your boss is going to have to give you some time himself to answer your questions on design direction.

1 Like

There won’t be a simple answer here. In my view, the most important element in your success will be realistic expectations. Taking all this on in your first year of study is probably ill-advised, seeing as your design capabilities are in development, let alone all the other skills it will take to balance this all out to a point where favorable results are possible. When you sit down with your boss, remind her/him that foremost, you are a student, working there part time. Crafting the relatively small things like in-store point-of-purchase and social media posts will be good exercise for your creative muscles and writing skills while adding only minimal time demand, but the rest of your new duties list is the kind of work most often undertaken by already-accomplished teams of full-time specialists in several flavors. Taking them on single-handedly as side projects to your Assistant Manager duties, which is a sideline to your education, won’t be resulting in an all new, redesigned web site or app anytime soon, if ever. Your boss’ vision of the future will have to tempered by realism. Lofty expectations will surely become perceived failure.

1 Like

Managing social media is not that tough to update, especially for a liquor store.
last year i filled in for my friends internet company and updated over 20 clients’ social media on FB, TW and PRest. I mostly typed a burb about their services, posted a pic and added keywords while trying to stay awake and not mis-spell anything. This was 5 hours a day. While in college i worked 30 hours at a local newspaper cutting copy and pasting that on blueboards while juggling 18 credits (2.87GPA), traveled out of the country, raced bicycles and played hockey-softball, drew comics and paid rent all without computers.

what im typing is anything can be accomplished time management or not.
You need to decide what is important and HAVE FUN!
i did !

1 Like

That’s the goal.

1 Like

My personal sense of fun is knowing I’ve done a good job, and the cheque is in my hand.

1 Like

As others have said, social media probably won’t be all that difficult. The difficult part, it would seem, would be finding interesting things related to liquor stores to post about. Then again, here in Utah, there are no private liquor stores, and I don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about out-of-state liquor stores. :wink:

As for redesigning a website and an app. The answer is very broad. Websites can be out-of-the-box WordPress themes where you pick a few options, fill in the blank and, poof, a website is born. More than off-the-shelf themes requires lots of know how, so I guess the technical difficulty would be in how well-versed you are in HTML/CSS, Javascript, php, content management systems and maybe databases and electronic shopping carts. A combination of what the store needs and what you’re capable of doing might be easy or very, very hard.

The website UI/UX is another matter. As a first-year design student, well, maybe you’re up to it and maybe not. You’re likely the best judge of that.

Much of what I just wrote applies more or less equally to mobile apps too. It really depends on what that app is, how it’s built, how big of a change you need to make to it and the underlying technology behind it. Again, it could be as easy as tweaking some colors and fonts or it could be as difficult as creating a ground-up, online liquor purchasing platform, complete with inventory, user accounts and who knows what else.

I don’t think either one of these development projects would be a regular, ongoing thing, however. Websites and mobile apps are typically put together over weeks and then launched. After that, it’s mostly routine content maintenance and planning for whatever updates might be needed down the road.

Promo materials are another matter, but again, it’s awful hard to say how much time and effort would be required without knowing more about what materials need to be created.

Personally, it all sounds like a lot of work that your boss might be underestimating. It all depends on what’s expected and what you’re able to do.

I’m not at all sure there were any answers in anything I wrote — just a lot of words about it all depending on the projects themselves, your capabilities and your boss’s expectations.

1 Like

Hey guys!

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their amazing responses!! I’m a brand new user to this forum & this was my first post. I’m also VERY unfamiliar with forums as this is the first one I’ve ever actually signed up for, let alone posted on. My point is, I honestly was not expecting responses, advice, help, etc. like this. This is incredible!! You guys are AMAZING!
I just felt like I wanted/needed to tell you guys how I feel. :wink:

“Re-designing” may have been a horrible word choice. After reading through the response posts, I’m realizing I may have left out a crucial piece of information:

  • Our website is built using a free WordPress account. (I probably know what you’re thinking & I probably agree. The plan to argue for a paid account is scheduled for the future. For now, I’m working with what I am given. :wink:) So the ‘re-designing’ process will involve me working alongside our contact at a local website design agency. This guy is someone we pay per service. I will be doing most of the work in regards to the designing of a new layout (on paper) & then will work with him to help make it happen.

  • The same scenario exists in terms of the app design as well. We hired a small independent app development company a few years ago to build us a mobile app. Like the website, I will be the designer on this project & I will have a point of contact to help me with the finalization of the designs, as well as the actual building & editing of the app.

So MOST of my time & design work will be managing the social media & in-store POS (point-of-sale) materials. Like HotButton said, I thought these types of projects would give me the opportunites I wanted/needed to practice what I was learning in school. Between work, school, life obligations & desperately trying to hold onto a shred of a social life, I don’t have a ton of extra free time outside of work to practice & work with the skills I’m learning.

UPDATE: Also, since my original post, we have hired 2 new employees (thank the lord!). One of those girls will be directly taking some of the daily store maintenance responsibilities that have been tying me down, & keeping me from fulfilling my actual job description. The main goal is to free up time for me to work on these design projects.

I wasn’t sure if this would offer any further insight or change any details in anyone’s responses, but II am curious, after clarifying the areas I should have in the first place (sorry, guys!) if anyone feels like this work-load is still a crazy-person idea?

Thanks again, guys! I’ll try to check back sooner this time! (This is a new thing for me, so it might take me a minute to work it into my routine.) I’m excited to have this outlet & am so grateful to everyone!

1 Like

“Realistic expectations”…what are those?? That will be the title of my autobiography. :joy:

That right there is a CONSTANT struggle for me. All other issues aside, I know much of the challenge of producing work I am proud of will depend on my ability to set realistic expectations. I need to do this in every area of my life, and it’s little moments like this I hear that tiny voice in my head saying “SEE!? Now what are ya gonna do about it??” :sweat_smile:

Also, I try to thank anyone who reminds me my job is second to my education. True, I need to put food on the table, but no one should consistently prioritize finances over the more important things & the things that make you the most happy. I tend to forget that. :relaxed:

1 Like

©2019 Graphic Design Forum | Contact | Legal | Twitter | Facebook