“If you want to animate, I recommend acting classes.”

said my supervisor Ernesta, as we worked on empty states for the Cervest platform. Thanks to COVID-19, I did not have a chance to fully execute that insight in my two and a half months at Cervest. But I look back on my time as an enriching experience with high-speed tutorials in Adobe After Effects (AE), insights into the animation industry, and a virtual tour of how one amazing tech company carved a solution space for climate change.

At Cervest, I focused on creating empty states. These icons appear during instances such as first use, user cleared, no results, and errors to show the user there is nothing to display. Empty states lessen the amount of words users need to read, and they can convey a company’s values or aesthetic.

Here’s a timeline of the work:

In June, I did frame by frame animation with Rough Animator, with mainly squash and stretch. Ernesta and I went through branding exercises to determine what values we wanted Cervest to convey.

In July, thanks to Pluralsight and Youtube (especially Ben Marriott), I could navigate Adobe AE with ease, and sketched ideas for empty states using the branding concepts. I also studied animation concepts through tutorials, and learned about transitions, follow through, and more.

In August, I iterated the sketches into high definition illustrations with Adobe Illustrator. Then animated them with Adobe AE. 

In September, I presented my work.

It was a challenge to work remotely, and in a time zone where I eat breakfast when the team breaks for dinner. But Ernesta and the product delivery team went beyond to welcome me. They changed their meeting times and working hours to meet my schedule; I was especially touched to see them rename our “Bye Bye Session,” a designated space at their end of the day (and my beginning) for non-work conversations, to “Hi Bye Session.” I also enjoyed our Weekly Wins – Friday Zooms that look at positives of the week, as well as #Donut, an app on Slack that connects random employees for fortnightly conversation. I was very impressed and appreciative with how Cervest handled the remote work transition. As I leave Cervest, I want to thank my mentor Ernesta for her endless animation insight, design expertise, and Marbles. Thank you Jasmine, Fedo, Conan, Dorota, and Natalia for the warm welcomes and hi-byes.

If you want to help create a world resilient to climate change with bright, creative, and kind minds, I highly recommend Cervest.

And if you want to animate, I highly recommend acting classes.