Meet Joe Tamunotonye, Design Consultant and Product Designer at Big Cabal.
One does not always have to cross seven seas and seven mountains to solve big problems. In the world of Joseph Tamunotonye, Design is a simple, yet profoundly effective problem-solving activity. With a background in Civil Engineering, Joe currently specializes in Interaction Design and consults with SMEs in Africa and works with Big Cabal Media (BCM) from his home office.
Early 2011, while in college, a friend introduced Graphics Design to Joe, sparking his curiosity about its theories and software. He went on to bury his head in books, figuring things out on his own before finally dedicating a whole year to immerse himself in the craft.
Over these seven years of active designing, Joe has worked in a variety of Design-related roles at Portrait Media, Mesh Advertising and Design Studio, Ringier Nigeria and now at Big Cabal Media where he serves as the Product Designer. Along the line, he earned recognition as an upcoming designer in 2016 and was identified among the Top 10 industry experts in design by Facebook Hub in 2018, the same year he spoke at TEDxPortHarcourt Salon.
As far as design is concerned, Joe believes there is no single source of inspiration. It sometimes comes through nature, people, animation, philosophy or through his wife. Regardless of the source of inspiration, “every design should cater to a need; should solve a problem – business problems, customer problems, or societal problems. I believe the solution should be so simple it scales, that is, it becomes applicable to other cases or fields.”
A recent example is the ‘Get Your PVC’ campaign sponsored by Facebook in partnership with Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). There has always been the problem of uncollected/abandoned Permanent Voter’s Cards in the country. Prior to the 2019 general elections, INEC and civil society organizations sought to minimize the disenfranchisement usually accounted for by abandoned PVCs. Joe and the content team at Zikoko created a lightweight explainer to help Nigerians get their PVCs as simply as possible.
The results were outstanding and that put Joe’s team under Facebook’s radar to sponsor future projects. This commendation could also be extended to his earlier works with Business Insider, New York Times and Ringier Africa Digital Publishing.
Joe Tamunotonye’s design process often depends on the complexity of the project, timeline, and deliverables. For a typical six-week project, for instance: “First, a sit-down session with the client to define the problem, understand their business objectives, their market and competition.” Next is to define the desired state and agree on the success metrics. Finally, we decide on the price, timeline and deliverables. Then, the craft; based on the sit-down session, I research, create a stylescape (mood board), share the stylescape with the client for feedback and validation. Then I build a prototype and share again for feedback before the creating the final piece.”
But Joe is never satisfied with his stature as a designer; often nursing doubts about his accomplishments and hungry for improvements. Drawing influences from Donald Okudu, Dieter Rams, Paul Rand and Johnny Ivy, Joe looks into the future of design with hope and courage, affirming that design will evolve based on human-versus-business needs.