We had the good fortune of connecting with Toby Riley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Toby, did college have a meaningful and positive impact for you?
I do believe that attending college and receiving a Bachelors degree positively impacted my life and career. However, my college experience as a whole, is where I find my value. For me, the life lessons I learned during my time away at college impact me more frequently than my career has been impacted from my college degree. Everyone’s college years are crucial for social skills, situational awareness and other critical character trait development. Aside from my first job out of college, I would say my design skills/portfolio speaks more to my value as an employee and designer than my degree would demonstrate. During my time in college I learned a ton of new design skills, programs, best practices, and creative processes. My first job out of college was for a large Ad Agency, where I was very underprepared. At the time, I had no understanding of project management, how to navigate the advertising world or its bureaucracy. I hadn’t even used Photoshop before to this job! It was a real learn by fire experience. Which, in turn, I learned so many skills and built a great network of professional contacts and friends. Now, higher up and further a long in my career, I would say when looking to hire a designer I look more closely at their skillsets, passion and processes than at their schooling background. If someone’s design skills are amazing, it will be apparent. Bridging the gap of skills and general workplace character/work ethic can be determined by the interviewer.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My current work revolves around UX/UI projects and collaborations. I am always working on a website, app, or wireframe. I think my work now is set apart from others due to its foundations in research and exploration of solutions. I am most proud of how much I invest in clients — I truly care about finding efficient design solutions for user experience problems.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Well, if one of my best friends decided to visit me I would hope that this quarantine would be over and we could take full advantage of the city. I would definitely want to grab some food at Restaurant Progress. Then maybe head over to Thunderbird Lounge for some Montucky’s best beer. I would also take my friend/s on a night hike of South Mountain, to get a great view of the city and experience the desert night life — like our local animals.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to all my team members throughout the years who helped develop my skills and grown in my abilities as a designer!

Website: tobyrileydesigns.com
Instagram: tele_toby
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/tobyriley11