Pepper Talk with Grace Hilyer

It’s time for this month’s Pepper Talk featuring Grace Hilyer!

Just a little background before we get started, Grace works as a Principal Designer supporting one of our government contracts. She’s been with Eleven Peppers for almost a year.

1. Do you have any nicknames?
My full name is Grace Elizabeth, and I went by Beth for 18 years. When I started college, I decided I liked my first name ‘Grace’ better than Beth… My family and pre-college friends still call me Beth and my husband, kids and post college friends call me Grace. There are some that have converted and yes it gets a bit weird.

2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I tell myself I’m going to work out, and then I close my eyes! But then I have one great cup of coffee (froth included) and throw the ball a couple of times with my golden retriever.

3. What is your favorite thing about working as a designer?
I love that every day brings a new opportunity to learn. Technology is forever changing, so you never get bored! I embrace change, some might say I like it!

4. How did you get started in this industry?
I worked on my high school paper and yearbook crew, then went to college and majored in art. My first job was with Kinkos and the first 6 months was all graphic design training classes. I love where I have landed in UX and especially being a “Pepper” – 11p, graphic design and UX is a perfect pairing of creativity and tech.

5. What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Favorite tools are most certainly the prototyping tools – Axure, XD, Sketch, InVision… both sides of my brain working together! I love the organization, user interaction and how the small details come together to form ‘the bigger picture’ in a pretty package! Worst – that would be PowerPoint and “Brush Script” font.

6. Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
I brainstorm, write EVERYTHING that is in my head down, lots of note-taking, draw tons of pictures and set personal goals and timelines.

7. What do you draw inspiration from?
A lot of excellent ideas come at 3AM – have a notebook handy!! Newsletters, podcasts and blogs are my go-to. They always reference some pretty awesome apps, sites and design inspiration.

8. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: YES

Sweet or savory: 50/50 (I even add sea salt to brownies)

Favorite movie: Anything scary

Favorite place to travel: Croatia – I’ve not been there, but I’m thinking it will be my favorite place when I do go!

Hobbies: Gardening, reading and DIY projects

9. Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
The Nike logo – so simple.

Thanks for meeting Grace. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!