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Designing since 2004

It began in Africa

Before I get into the serious stuff, I thought it would be good to share some of my background. I was born and raised a proud Italian in Johannesburg, South Africa. Both my parents were Italian immigrants living in Johannesburg when they first met and eventually started their family together. Growing up in an Italian household, I not only ate really well but also learned a lot about craftsmanship, hard work, and passion.

In my late teens, my parents decided to leave South Africa and our whole family moved to Ottawa, Canada. A number of years ago, I had a short stint of living in Italy but for the most part have been in Ottawa since I left South Africa. It's where I honed my craft, met my wife, and had three beautiful children — Stella, Andrea, and Alessio. I spend most of my free time hanging out with them but also enjoy exercising, cooking, making music, working on my house, and watching movies.

A coming of age

I originally trained as a graphic designer and started my career in the print industry working on corporate branding, brochures, posters, and newsletters. From there, I eventually followed my passion for the web and took on a role as a front-end developer at a local web development shop called RealDecoy. Unbeknownst to me, the engineering-led firm employed a number of design tools, such as information architecture diagrams, wireframes, and prototypes, to help derisk their development process. This ultimately led me into the world of UX for my first role as an interaction designer at the same company.

After a couple years in that role, I found my way into my first product company designing experiences for a web host and domain registrar. In this role, I was embedded on a marketing team where I learned a lot about quantitative data and measuring the impact of my work. My next move took me to Shopify where I dove deep into product management with the task of building tools for Shopify's designer and developer community. While my wife and I were expecting our third child, I decided to make a change to a remote-first company and accepted a role at Automattic. The new position not only gave me the flexibility to work when and where I liked but it also gave me the time and space to hone my qualitative research methods and remote working capabilities. 

An onward journey

After spending close to four years at Automattic, I recently joined B12 as a senior designer. It's been exciting for me to join a small company and work at the intersection of artificial intellegence, automation, and professional services businesses.

This is a new field for me and while I have almost twenty years of working experience behind me, I feel like I still have so much to learn and grow. As busy as life is with three young children, I hope to continue documenting and sharing the lessons I learn along the way. If you'd like to follow along you can connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn, or subscribe to my blog.