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Behind the Scenes at Sonder

Rob Larcombe  •  Head of Design

As part of a new blog series, we're pulling back the digital curtain and introducing you to some of the talented, hard-working team here at Sonder.

From SEO specialists, marketing experts, lead designers, developers and crack technical teams, content writers, and social media specialists, you'll eventually meet them all—and, hopefully, gain a bit of insight into how their dedicated efforts help your online business fly.

Today, we're chatting with Sonder's Head of Design, Rob Larcombe!

Rob Larcombe head of design

Hello Rob, thanks for chatting with us today! Could you tell us a little bit about your role at Sonder?

I oversee most things in the design-sphere here at Sonder. That can be front-end website design, graphics for newsletters and social media, through to more under-the-hood UX considerations, and collaborating with the developers on various projects. Love it!

What does a typical working day look like for you?

Typical is varied in my world, in the best way. We have such a mix of clients across so many industries and niches, and as a result, design requests and requirements are rarely rinse and repeat.

To try and boil it down: there’ll usually be a handful of smaller jobs and tweaks that I’ll try and clear first thing in the day, to a) have the feeling of victory nice and early, and b) create some headspace for bigger jobs and longer-term projects later in the day. It works for me.

What would you say is your design style, and how do you tread the line between imparting your own tastes into a brief and those of the client?

My design style is quite clean and efficient, I think. As a result, unless a project calls for it, I’ll steer clear of anything too radical, and keep initial designs simple as a platform to build from.

Do you have any golden rules for web design?

Mainly to try and put myself in the shoes of expected end-users, to hopefully get a fairly well-rounded user experience in place...and never underestimate a good font combination!

Are there any newsletters or outside resources you use for design inspiration?

The AisleOne Digest is always a feast for the eyes when that lands in my inbox. And the Baymard Institute newsletter and website generally are excellent resources.

What is the one piece of software that you couldn’t live without?

I spend most of my design time in Adobe Illustrator, so that’s the obvious answer!

Rob Larcombe office set up

Can you describe your work-at-home office for us?

I’ve got a cosy, distraction-free corner of our spare room set up. Arguably excessive screen real-estate. There’s usually a coffee at arms length, and I’m an avid Apple user, and therefore work on a Macbook. 

When I need a screen break, I have a window just over my shoulder where I can look out to sea – something I never take for granted.

"I try to put myself in the shoes of the expected end-users, to hopefully get a fairly well-rounded user experience in place..."

Right, you’re stranded on a desert island. Not ideal, but you’re allowed to bring one TV series, one album, and one book to keep you going until someone shows up to rescue you. What are you taking?

TV series would be Letterkenny - I love an offbeat comedy. Album would be By The Way by the Red Hot Chili Peppers - not everyone’s cup of tea, but it had a huge impact on me as a teen, and I can still listen to it front-to-back on repeat and never get bored. Book would probably be Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island. I haven’t read it in years, so that’s a bonus, but I remember enjoying it, and it seems appropriate!

What’s the best thing about living in Lyme Regis?

Fresh sea air, and in particular just standing in some of my favourite spots during the quieter autumn and winter months just breathing it all in.

How can we help?

If you're looking for a beautifully-designed website, or just need to give your old one a makeover let's talk. Whatever your online business, we can create a stunning site that will help you stand out from the crowd!

Posted on December 18th 2023

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