Locarno, Switzerland 🇨🇭

Simon Smeraldi

SPOT Heroz Graphic & UI Designer

Ciao guys 🖖 I'm Simon a Graphic & UI Designer at Sport Heroz ⚡️. I've spent many years designing printed stuff 📖 and now I'm evolving to Digital Design 🚀
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Where are you from and/or where are you based as a Memorisely student?

I’m from Locarno, which is a small town in the Italian part of Switzerland 🧀 , but my mother is Italian 🍕  and my dad is British 💂‍♂️ (I Guess they found happiness in the middle 😅 )

A snap of Locarno from the nearest mountain (we’re literally surrounded by ⛰)

Another 📷  of the old town of Locarno

What inspired you to pursue UX/UI and become a designer?

UX/UI is something that I’ve bumped into because I realised that print is slowly dying, especially in a small environment like where I live. Before moving to UX/UI I used to work for a newspaper 📰  , I was responsible for the layout and I noticed that the newspaper was getting thinner and thinner. So I started to have a look around and jobs as a graphic designer have become a rarity, and then I’ve found Spot Heroz⚡️. I got an interview with the founder, I shared my work with her and she said to me “I think you can make it in the field”, decided to give me a chance, fast forward 2 years I’m growing into this field and I’m loving it!

Which Bootcamp did you choose to enroll in, and why?

I’m in UI Design. Once we discovered Figma and all its potential I immediately thought “I’ve to master this tool”, I wanted to be the go to person for anything that it’s related to design and especially designing in Figma. I also asked Zander which Bootcamp would be best suited for me 😅  But I thought that just saying “Zander told me to enroll UI Design” wasn’t a great answer 😂

What's it like to be a student in Memorisely's virtual classroom?

It’s fun! 🥳  I like to jump back in a school environment, get to meet new people and share the tips & tricks that we learn along the way.

What has been your favorite part of Bootcamp so far? What's one learning that has surprised you in Bootcamp?

The amount of inputs that I’m receiving it has been a blast! Books to read, plug-ins that have changed my life, free sources that are basically a digital heaven. All of this was before the bootcamp even started! 😍  One learning that has surprised me in bootcamp, is that everything has a purpose and there is always a reason behind a decision. From naming layers, picking colours to choosing layouts. Nothing is random.

What is the biggest challenge you face learning UX/UI Design?

UX/UI Design is something that I’m learning and while I’m learning is already changing and evolving, it’s hard to keep up and it’s also hard not knowing everything. I don’t like to ignore things and just come up with a solution that I think it looks good, it has to work, to be functional. To achieve so, it take time ⏳ , study 🙇🏻‍♂️ , and endless curiosity. 🧐

What does a typical day look like for you as a student?

I’m working full-time while doing the bootcamp, luckily the agency allows to follow the bootcamp during working hours so I only have to do homeworks afterwork, which is great. At Spot Heroz ⚡️  we’re in 3, but the agency is part of a bigger group. We’re 22 people in total.

Here you can see the mood during work is quite chilled 😎   and fun  🥳

Sort of Wakanda Forever pose 🦸🏻‍♂️

Lunch with our colleagues from St. Moritz

Beers and drinks after work 🍻

Learn UX/UI live →

What is your current workspace setup?

I mainly work at the office and I do 1 or 2 days per week from home. The agency is very flexible with us and we’re using a hybrid setup (home / work) based on our preferences.

Barney agrees with my desk setup at the office 💼

This is where I work when I have classes and office hours, my homeoffice setup, with the best coffee ☕️

What are your go-to or "must have" apps?

Figma, Spotify, PixelSnap, Colorbox

What (digital or physical) product recently blew your socks off?

Figma has totally changed the way I’m working, not only from a productivity aspect, but also for a creative aspect, it gives the designer superpowers! ⚡️ From animated and interactive components, to auto-layout and responsive elements. You can work simultaneously with team members, share prototypes. I ❤️ Figma

What tunes do you listen to while designing?

I tend to get distracted pretty easily, I need some chilled beats to keep me focused and on track.

Share three pieces of advice for fellow and/or future students?

  1. Find a mentor, it has to be someone that inspires you and pushes you to do better, to learn more, to discover new things. It can be someone you know by person and or online. See what they read, how the work, their routines. Steal as much as you can.
  2. Always be curious. A designer isn’t an engineer, so you don’t have to be super educated on one single things. In fact you got to know a bit of everything, be an endless amateur.
  3. Learn to understand feedbacks and critics, some people will tell the don’t like your design just by personal taste, some other don’t like because it doesn’t work well. Learn to digest every feedback or critics that hits you and turn it into something constructive.

Thanks for reading my story!

Locarno, Switzerland 🇨🇭

Simon Smeraldi

SPOT Heroz Graphic & UI Designer

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