About:

Please share a summary of yourself and your career "in a nutshell" to help introduce you to the community.

I'm an Italian designer specialized in effective and intuitive design systems.

I have a degree in Computer Science but always loved Graphic Design and, from my childhood, never missed an opportunity to draw something. To me, digital design is where the two worlds meet.

Today, I spend my time working for clients at Taostudio, crafting resources at Coding Divas and creating a new product that will be soon on our screens.

In The Beginning:

1. Can you remember who or what gave you the idea to begin a career in design?

How could I forget? I already knew how to write some HTML and was intrigued by web design, but something was missing. Only after visiting a couple of wonderful websites I was amazed by how interactive and fascinating a website could be. From then on, I decided to do this profession on a full-time basis.

2. What was the first website you were involved in designing and / or developing and how well did it go?

My first website was for an estate agency. It never went live but helped me to gain my first real clients who liked the work in my portfolio and decided to hire me.

3. How would you describe your career thus far? Is it all going to plan or is there no plan?

The plan is to be enthusiastic and motivated in my daily work and to make things I'm proud of. This involves the balance of many factors: people and projects, time to learn and experiment, time for myself and family. If I realize I'm not as motivated as I could be then I try to understand the reasons and plan changes accordingly.

4. What career advice would you give to yourself if you could send yourself a "temporal text" 5-10 years into the past?

Trust your gut.

Favorite Things:

1. What are your favorite aspects about working in design?

To have fun and challenges at the same time. With design, you can help people to have better experiences in their lives. With digital products, so many people across the world can interact with your work. It's so refreshing to get messages from people you don't know and listen to their feedback. You can continuously learn from others and sometimes meet wonderful people.

2. If you could pick only one favorite project from your experience thus far, which would it be and why?

With no doubt it would be the second version of my portfolio. It gained me a lot of exposure and my first international clients. It allowed me to meet some great people. Some of them eventually became real friends and partners in some projects. The nicest thing is we still do plans together.

3. What would be your favorite trend in web design and development from the last 5 years?

I'm a bit afraid of trends. When taken too literally, they can result in homologation. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the overall paradigm shift we assisted in the last years, from heavy to light in graphics and websites where typography definitely gained a lot of relevance. I see this as a significant evolution.

4. Are there any favorite trends you would like to see more of in 2016?

I would love to see more websites tailored on the brand purpose and not just on trends. In my opinion, this is what make you love a website in the long term.

Life Hacks:

1. Did you always want to work in the creative industries or did you consider any other career options?

I seriously considered becoming an herbalist.

2. Do you have a good work and life balance or is it a work in progress? Any tips?

It's definitely a work in progress. There are times when I'm able to manage it very well, but when a project is in a critical step or very challenging I need to put extra time on it. For me, the best way to take a break is doing something I love and I'm lucky enough to love so many things. A walk, a concert, a dinner with friends, rethinking the space where I live. The more things you love, the better.

3. What advice would you give to younger professionals wanting to find success in design?

Be curious and challenge yourself, be inspired but don't copy.

4. If you had all the money you would ever need, what would you do with your life?

Of course it would help to improve my work and life balance spending more time close to the nature but, you know, designers never retire.

Projects:

1. What type of projects and what industries do you prefer to work in?

I tend to fall in love with projects where there are constructive discussions about the development of the project. I really love good questions. The industries I prefer are the ones that reflect my passions: everything creative, everything related with nature and food.

2. What memorable challenges or highlights have you experienced from the projects you have worked on?

In my experience the more challenging projects are my portfolio and side projects because it's where I play two roles at the same time: client and designer.

3. What are your, or your company's, greatest strengths?

This question should be asked to my clients. However I strongly believe in the uniqueness of every project and try to put this in practice in my everyday work. This translated in many little choices along the way.

4. What is the latest project you worked on or what are you working on right now?

Recently I created my first course on Skillshare, Using Typography to Convey the Right Message. I really enjoyed the experience as it is something quite different from my everyday job and of course I love the topic. Type is a powerful tool in modern web design.

Thank you for sharing an insight into your world. Any last words?

Just want to thank the CSS Design Awards team for the huge work they did in putting together an awesome community. I'm very proud to be part of this.

Michela is a Designer and Art Director at Taostudio, specialized in intuitive design systems with a touch of simpatia. Michela is also Co-Founder of Coding Divas.