Cate is one of our longest serving members at Billie, having joined in 2017 as a designer. Originally hailing from near Padova in Italy, a fascination with the startup world brought Cate to Berlin, and more specifically to Billie. We sat down with her to get her take on what it was like to shape the design of Billie from its inception to where it is today.
What made you join Billie back in 2017 and what were your first impressions?
“I came to Berlin as I was looking for a challenge, after having finished my studies and some initial design experience in Italy. I was looking for something international, tech driven and somewhere I could develop in UX Design. I actually initially studied Accounting before switching to Design, so you could say Billie perfectly bridged the old studies to the new!
When I first arrived, there were just seven of us. The company was at its very beginning, but I could see it was an exciting project and I was entrusted to build up our design portfolio from scratch. As a young designer, it was a bit intimidating but it was also a great opportunity.”
So what were those initial projects and how did they develop?
“I remember one of the first things we did was sit down and select colours for the brand. From then onwards, the focus was building the product and how the platform looked. This was great to work on the UI and think about all the facets of the customer onboarding. It was thinking about every basic step from ‘How do people create an account on the platform?’ and ‘What does that look like in the product?’.
Once we had finished the product, it was time to start selling it, so this led to building up the brand. This is where I got to start working on the illustrations for the website and the product. These illustrations were designed to build empathy with our target audience, whilst maintaining a feeling of clarity and simplicity.
Away from the product, there was also a really big piece of work on the pitch deck for our Series B funding round. Alongside fellow stakeholders from the business, we designed what we saw as the perfect storytelling for the Billie journey so far, and used design to help investors visualise the next steps for the company. Overall it was successful, as we managed to raise €30m in total in the funding round.
From UX to illustrations you have touched a lot of different projects, what has that experience been like for you?
“That is one of the things I love about Billie. I have always been able to jump from project to project. Whether I’ve moved from Product UX to Branding, I have always been given the opportunity and flexibility to do this. As a designer it can be stressful at times working on so many initiatives, but it has helped me to grow my skill set in many different areas.
When we started working on big product improvements, we worked with some external Art Directors and UX Consultants. I took this as a learning opportunity and really tried to develop my knowledge. The company supported me here, and gave me a budget to develop myself through training and courses. The company has supported my growth and I have tried to make the most of it.
Back to 2020: earlier this year you switched from product design to brand design. What have you been working on recently?
“We have just finished working on the rebranding project and the new branding guidelines. We are currently working on developing our assets (videos etc) for the new brand. This has been a big project and we took our time to get it right. It took a while to get the final iterations, which was worth it – we are really pleased with how it turned out. We are already seeing people respond to it, due to the improved clarity and transparency.
Whilst that project has come to an end, I know I will not be bored! New projects come in all the time and having the freedom to work on them is what makes my role exciting. Sometimes it feels like having lots of different clients, but it is great for a designer to work on high impact initiatives across the business and I am excited for what is coming next!”.
Do you feel Billie is the right working and growth environment for you, too? Check out our current job openings on our career page. We are looking forward to hearing from you.