Anna’s one of our talented designers. In this blog post, she talks us through her background working with children, the importance of empathy in design, and yoga.
What’s your role at Cuvva?
I’m a Designer. It’s quite a broad role.
It ranges from product design to illustration and marketing design – digital or print. It’s a generalist role, so the design needs are quite varied.
That suits me fine. I’ve done a bit of everything, and I like the variety.
What did you do before Cuvva?
Before Cuvva, I studied Psychology at Manchester Uni. Then I spent a year and a half as a behavioural therapist for children with autism. It was challenging, but incredibly rewarding.
At the same time, I messed about on Adobe Illustrator as a way to relax. I showed some of the stuff I was working on to a friend who worked in design. He encouraged me to start building it up and try to get some freelance work.
It was a big career shift. I had no idea if it was going to work or not. I just knew I could draw.
But when I was getting home and spending the whole evening working late on it, I realised I really loved it. And as hard as it was to let go of the behavioural therapy, which was super rewarding, I decided to pursue design.
I started getting jobs through family and friends. My first bit of work was designing a logo for a circus.
Once I’d built up more of a portfolio, I applied to Design Inc., a (sadly now defunct) online platform that connects designers to clients. That got me a lot of jobs and experience.
After that, I worked for a small design agency called Point. I contracted for different companies for about a year, and I really enjoyed it. Especially being able to work from my bed.
Eventually I started contracting for Cuvva, and I really liked working there. After about six months, I set up camp at Cuvva HQ. And before long, I was getting into the social life – which I never expected to do – so I joined the team full-time.
My psychology background has made a big difference to my design career. It’s made me more empathetic and scientific, which is really important because it stops you making decisions based purely on your own opinion. It keeps you creating things that work for the customer.
What drew you to Cuvva?
Ooh, this is hard. There’s quite a few things. I met with Blake, Cuvva’s Principal Designer, and he talked me through the design process. I thought it was great. Plus, I was really impressed with the product.
But ultimately, I think it was the culture that drew me to Cuvva. I’ve contracted for a lot of different companies, but never quite worked anywhere like this. It’s tight-knit, but also very welcoming.
What’s your favourite thing about working for Cuvva?
Generally people are very open. You get a huge amount of autonomy, and you feel like you have a say in the big discussions. All feedback is taken on board, whoever it comes from, so you don’t feel like another cog in a machine.
I’ve made really good friends at Cuvva, which, being freelance, had never happened to me before at work.
What is your main focus at the moment?
Our fancy new website. We’re rolling it out gradually.
Back in October, we started a rebranding process. As part of that, we’re designing and building a new website from scratch. It’s more sophisticated, more relatable, more realistic. More human, really.
I’m also working on customer interviews and usability tests.
What does a typical day look like?
Every morning, we have a design team stand-up. We talk about what we did yesterday and what we’re doing today.
Beyond that, there’s a range of projects. It might be designing new screens for the app, updating existing ones, or working with developers to implement design features and align projects.
I also work closely with the marketing team, designing adverts for Facebook and Snapchat. And I work a lot with the content team, too, on copy for the new website.
I also spend a lot of time on user interviews. We’re very focused on making sure what we build always meets the needs of the people using it, and a big part of that is understanding who our customers are and what they want.
If you didn’t work for Cuvva, what would you do?
I might have teamed up with my husband. He’s a developer.
We’re a pretty good team. We used to work together on contracts.
Tell us something about you that might surprise people
I’m really into yoga. I go nearly every day. I plan to take a teaching course so I can teach it in the office at Cuvva! Team-led training sessions are something we do quite a lot of at Cuvva.
We’re always on the lookout for creative, collaborative types to join the team. If you’re interested in being part of Cuvva, take a look at our job openings.