"The new ways of working that came out of our collective experience of Covid in 2020 has been for me the bright and sparkly silver lining behind that very grey cloud."
Nic Marucci, Head of Design, Bud
Where do you live?
After years of thinking about it and many holidays exploring areas of the South West, in December 2017, we sold our 3 bed, Victorian, terraced house in Nunhead, London for a new life in Cornwall.
It is the ideal place, a rural smallholding 6 minutes drive from the beach on 5 acres with a habitable bungalow, tumbledown barn, and a few workable outbuildings. Perfect to start a cottage industry business and raise two small children.
What changed for you over lockdown?
It took at least a year to find our feet and feel settled in our new surroundings. Slowly I began developing my craft business of natural wax candles and homemade soaps. After the first successful Christmas selling at craft fairs and markets I was excited at the prospect of growing the business in 2020. But as the impact of Covid started to take hold, the regular craft markets and seasonal fairs began to close.
I needed to go back to experience design to earn a living. Although I was sad that the craft business was fading, I was also excited about getting back to work with a team and to collaborate. After a short time at a FinTech working on a robo investor wealth management application I landed at Bud working with a diverse team of designers, data scientists, developers and product owners.
Before Covid, finding remote UX work was as rare as hen's teeth - yes, we have chickens - the reality would have been travelling between Cornwall and London on a weekly basis. As we all know, this has all changed. Working from home is the new normal. I now work remotely from our smallholding in our recently converted studio/working space.
What do you do?
The work I do at Bud varies - storyboarding financial wellbeing scenarios, bringing to life the products and services that Bud develops through what can be described as abstract, conceptual, data beginnings, designing interfaces to add layers of meaning to someone’s spending and income, working closely with clients on enhancements to existing journeys and imagining journeys of the future. All of this and more is done from our home in Cornwall where not only breaks are taken out of doors when the weather is fine but also designing and most importantly thinking. Spending time in nature provides me with the perfect way to tackle design problems while gazing across at the Fal estuary and rolling hills.
Working at Bud has provided me with a work life balance that I couldn’t have achieved working in London. I can continue my user experience professional career, collaborating with talented individuals across equally remote regions as well as London, while having immediate access to nature whether that is growing our own food, taking the kids and dog to the beach or simply breathing in the fresh air. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
What’s a typical day like?
With a young family and a smallholding there isn't a typical day! It changes by the time of year, whether the kids are on hols, if it is peak growing season or the nights are drawing in.
My work day is pretty varied. It can be a day dedicated to experience design explorations using pen and paper then moving to Figma for higher fidelity concepts. The explorations are often an orchestrated ebb and flow of collaboration, starting with initial ideation with different team members then a design break out, where I can focus on a design problem and drop in and out of conversations with the team on direction of travel.
Other days can be a blend of the usual suspect virtual stand ups and meetings, responding to project design questions and participation in feedback sessions. Either type of day, they are never boring. And at the height of summer, once I’ve clocked off, we usually grab the bodyboards and hit the water.
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Bud® is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 765768 + 793327.