Sandra Meek

UX & UI Designer

Time in the industry

11 years


BA Hons Graphic Design


Information architecture


Old things

What do you do here at Pretty?

“I design websites… how the information is structured, how a user should interact and experience the site and the look and feel.”

SM “I design websites. So, I work on the initial and middle stages of a project - working with a client to work out a brief and find out what their requirements are. I’ll research the client’s brand, competitors, users, audience and company through a variety of methods. I then use that research to define the user experience of a website. That’s how the information is structured on the site and how a use should interact and experience the site. I do that through creating wireframes and prototypes. Once that’s done I move onto more traditional designer where I define the look and feel of a website - either from scratch or using the existing brand to work from”


What's your background?

SM "I actually started down the path of languages. I did A levels in French, German and politics but I quickly realised it wasn’t for me as a career so I joined the A level art class in order to get a portfolio together. From there I did an Art Foundation course and a degree in Graphic Design at Reading which I graduated from in 2003. I would say my languages sometimes comes in handy when working on foreign language sites but only for the odd word. I can’t remember much and Google translate does a better job than me!”

What makes you tick when it comes to work?

SM “I’m good at understanding people and their problems - empathising with them and really getting to know what they want and translating that into workable answers. I really love the problem solving element of my job. I like to think. I like seeing things from other people’s perspectives, trying to get into their mindset and working out how to make things work for them. It’s a mixture of being empathetic and understanding what people want but also pre-empting what they might want or don’t know they want and conceptualising that. I like making things better for people.”

“It’s a mixture of being empathetic and understanding what people want but also pre-empting what they might want or don’t know they want and conceptualising that”

What about outside of work?

SM "I obviously love all things design but especially things I can make with my hands and more especially, textiles. So, I love sewing, knitting, crochet - all of that. I have a small side business called Gather, designing and producing sewing patterns, So my free time is largely spent running that."

DM “You’re a bit old before your time in way aren’t you?”

SM “I was definitely born in the wrong time..! I should be 83 not 33. I love old things. - stately homes, galleries, art, vintage trinkets, old books. Oh I love reading too - books about melancholy and historical kick ass women particularly. I also love riding my bike - largely because it is old.. and rickety. Oh, and to complete a massive cliche, I also like to bake. But I don’t get much time to do that at the moment. I’m basically living my retirement now, whilst still working!”

What are your big personal achievements?

SM “I’ve had some of my work featured in a book of pattern design and my work with Gather has been in a number of sewing magazines. We had a short lived column in one. Oh and I failed my Duke of Edinburgh award!”

DM "How did you manage that?!"

SM “I did my Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition on a weekend when there were torrential downpours and flooding in the Norfolk Broads where we were walking. When you do D of E, you work out your route before you go away, ensuring that you check in at all of the checkpoints along the way, so they can be sure you're not dead. Checking our planned route the morning of our first walk, we wondered why we'd done it so it went the long way round to that night's campsite, forgetting about the checkpoints. We duly re-planned it, didn't check in all day, arrived at the campsite that afternoon to panicked D of E volunteers who thought we were lost and had sent out a search party. Hence we failed. It was horrible anyway. I don't know why I thought it'd be a good idea in the first place. I now have a lifelong hatred of camping.”

Quick fire questions

DM "Favourite website and why?"

SM “Hmmm, I like Ravelry for knitting stuff but it has terrible terrible UX. I’d quite like to rework that one actually. And I’ve been using Code Academy for upping my code skills. That’s pretty good."

DM "And what could you not give up?"

SM "Books. Wine. My hands… for making things”

DM “Finally, tell me something I don’t know about you”

SM "I used to be a majorette. Oh, and I used to be a singer in a band..."

See also