A Day in the Life of a Wunderkind Designer

Welcome to the second edition of the Wunderkind Design Studio series. In the first of this series, we took an in-depth look at our internal Design Studio. We saw how they maximise client value by creating sleek, native-looking designs for our clients. Today we focus inward again to look at a day in the life of a specific Wunderkind designer: Cosimo Scarpa, who is based in our London office. Below, we interview Cosimo to get a better sense of how this creative individual is able to surprise and delight clients with world-class, high-converting designs, and more. 

In a few short words, tell us about yourself.

My name is Cosimo Scarpa. I’m a designer originally from Italy. And I moved to London in 2015.

Briefly describe what you do at Wunderkind.

I’m a Senior Visual Designer for the EMEA region. I design onsite, email, and text messaging experiences for our clients. A major focus of my work is ensuring that our client’s brands are accurately represented in our designs. The experiences we make are native to the client’s site: everything from the fonts to the colours and UI are fine-tuned to match the brands we work with. I also ensure that all designs are performance-driven, with our best design practices embedded. In addition to designing, I’ll also use HTML & CSS with our internal platform to deliver dynamic and responsive creatives for our clients.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

Well, before turning on my laptop, I always make time for a proper breakfast. To ensure a successful day, it has to be a bowl of cheerios with milk and coffee inside for maximum efficiency! I always check my email and client queue first. Then I organise my day based on the amount of client work I have. I also spend time responding to questions from account managers via Slack. At 2pm I’ll break for lunch; usually pasta because it’s quick and easy to prepare. At 3pm I’ll sometimes have a check-in meeting with the US-based Design Studio. The rest of the day is spent finishing up client work, or working on various long-term projects if I have time.

Are you good about taking proper breaks during the workday?

It’s hard for me to get into the habit of checking the clock or building a routine. But generally I’ll break for a coffee at 11am, and go for a quick 10 minute walk just to clear my head. It’s always nice to step away from the monitor–and especially good for designing so you can come back to a project with fresh eyes. 

How has your daily routine changed since the pandemic?

Initially it seemed like working from home would only last a couple months. In those early days I would just work from my sofa. But when it became more apparent that lockdown would last much longer, I made more of an effort to set up my home office. I got a yoga ball which I use as a chair, and I set up a nice desk to accommodate my large monitor. And most importantly I always make sure I have a jar of peanut butter within arms reach.

How do you mix up your work-from-home routine?

I have my desk setup, but sometimes I’ll bounce around to different spots while working from home. It depends on the type of work I’m doing. If I’m working on an email full suite, it requires going back and forth between a copy doc and the design, so I like to sit at my desk where I can use the extra monitor. If I’m working on something that requires zero distraction, like a creative pre-unveil (which is the first design touchpoint for a new client), I’ll work in my hallway next to the window: it’s away from the high street so there is less noise, and the natural light is very calming.

Describe your biggest milestone moment at Wunderkind.

Good question! Definitely the completion of my first quarterly OKR goal. OKR stands for “Objective and Key Results.” We use them on a quarterly basis to keep track of long-term projects. As part of my OKR, I was working on how to build our creative deployments (overlays, bottom bars, top bars, etc.) using Sass, a CSS extension language that simplifies the coding process, and makes styling creatives easier and more efficient. After completing the project, I felt like I learned so much about the types of products we build for our clients, and the framework behind them. Another milestone was my recent promotion to Senior Visual Designer, I gained more responsibilities, working closer with clients and jumping in calls to talk through creative work.

How has designing at Wunderkind changed since you started 2 years ago?

Our creative process has gotten much more refined. We now have boilerplates for all of our deployments, which means the overall creative structure is standardised. And it’s up to the designers to correctly translate the client’s brand into each, which is something the team is able to do in a highly personalised way for each of the brands we work with. We also have a better understanding of recurring tasks and have built a more structured workflow between Customer Success Managers and Designers.  It’s also exciting to see how we implement new tools into our process: we use Sketch a lot. However we’re starting to work more with Figma and we’re continuing to work to make it more embedded into our processes.

What is the future of design at Wunderkind?

Design evolves so much over time. Every year is different. There are new tools being released, more designers joining our team, and also Wunderkind products are changing and evolving. Thinking about this year in particular with Text Messages, I think the biggest change we’ll see is adding more “client delight” to our creative work. We work hard to make sure our clients get excited when they see what we’ve made for them. So, that will be a main focus for us. We’ll also start to standardise things like UI elements and transitions; little animated enhancements that may seem small but do a lot for overall user experience.

What advice do you have for a designer starting at Wunderkind?

Our product is very nuanced. There are a lot of things to learn in the beginning. Stay persistent and you’ll eventually start to pick up the pieces and connect them. Ask questions. Don’t be shy. Use as many resources as you can: we have an amazing internal documentation system in Confluence. There you’ll find many useful tips to reference as you’re onboarding.

What advice do you have for a designer fresh out of college, and about to start their career?

Don’t get bogged down with new design trends. I know as designers we like to stay up-to-date. But it’s also important to just think on your own. Take bits and pieces from what you see. Don’t focus on just one thing. And last but not least, a proper balance between form & function will get you to where you want to be.

Let’s end with a few fun bonus questions. What is your favourite thing to listen to while you work?

My “Discovery Weekly” playlist on Spotify. I love it because every Monday I have this new playlist based on what I like. I end up loving most of the music I hear there. I also enjoy listening to podcasts. My favourite podcasts right now are “Design Life,” “Behavioural Design,” and the new Scrubs podcast: “Fake Doctors, Real Friends.” In general though it depends on the type of work I’m doing. If I really want to focus, I’ll just keep my headphones on but not have anything playing.

What is your favourite font right now?

It’s a Google font called Manrope. It’s minimal, clean, and different from the standard sans-serifs. The font just gives me a nice feeling. And I quite like the name as well.

What is your favourite colour right now?

Salmon. I really like this warm vibe. It’s between pink and red. I like that it sits somewhere in the middle.

Interested in learning more about how our designers can help you translate your brand into high-converting, one-to-one messages across email, text, and your website? Get in touch with us today.

Author

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Cosimo Scarpa

Cosimo Scarpa is a Senior Visual Designer for Wunderkind EMEA. He studied Biology, with an emphasis on Neuroscience, and combined this background with Design, focusing on interaction and behaviour. Cosimo is a native south Italian, and loves cheese and good wine.