Ever wondered what a day in the life of one of our consultants was actually like? Not what you see on our website or anything like that, but a REAL account of what they’re up to. This series will give you all the details!

Our second “Day in the Life” subject is Derek Heilmann, a design consultant located in our Innovation Studio. Here’s how a typical day for him progresses.


Let’s start off by saying that I don’t know if there is a “typical day” for me. I get in about 8AM and immediately brew a pot of coffee as I walk in the door…literally I hit the button as I walk by it. I usually do some warm-up sketching to start to get my brain flowing, and then will jump into whatever project I’m working on.

I always have music on throughout the day, usually with no lyrics so I can concentrate. Right now it’s upbeat jazzy music I’m listening to most, lots of “Too Many Zooz.”  I typically have a standup on Slack every morning with the client team I’m on. Then I’m pretty much heads down until lunchtime, focusing on client work or UDig internal projects. Lately I’ve been working on mostly internal UDig projects.

Right now we’re working on a non-profit pro-bono project. Yesterday I spent a ton of time sketching new logos for the company and figuring out why each idea I had would be a better option than their current logo. I went through all the concepts and narrowed them down to 3 or 4 and put them into illustrator to see what the final logo would look like and even narrowed down further…into something clean and simple, they don’t need anything crazy. From there I moved back over to our other client work. Working on the front end and workflows of an app. Right now we’re going back and restructuring things because some aspects have changed, so we’re in the process of reorganizing where things are living.

Lunch Time

I usually bring lunch from home…if I have a salad for lunch I usually end up spilling it all over the studio. It’s been 3 days since my last lunchtime disaster….never to forget when I set the microwave on fire a few months ago. Then pretty much back to project work, trying not to get distracted because at that time it gets a little noisier and hectic around the office.


At a certain point in the day, I’m going to take a break and watch something on Youtube. Usually, I’ll watch a clip from the Daily Show from the night before, or a drone video. I like to fly drones and I actually drone race competitively. I’m pretty bad at it but I enjoy it. I have fun tinkering with it because it’s not just a regular big camera drone, I actually built it myself. I’m constantly rebuilding it because it crashes a lot (because I’m bad…) but it’s still a fun side hobby.

I’m also learning CSS Grid right now which is going to replace Bootstrap and all other frameworks. I’m excited to be able to not use Bootstrap anymore because I’m not the biggest fan of it. I’ve been getting deeper and deeper into Adobe XD and wishing it would have even more features than it does. Then by the time I know it, it’s time to leave for the day.

After Hours

At the end of the day, I usually go home and play with my daughter. Most times we will head to the river because we live so close to just play around or fly my drone. I love being able to have the time and flexibility to spend so much quality time with my daughter.  My last job had a very 1980s office mentality. The boss always wanted to see people in seats to justify having an office. Being able to work from home and form my own hours is awesome because I can get all the precious time with my daughter I want!

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