Industry Profile: Deputy director of design Lisi Schappi

22 June 2021
Lisi Schappi

Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

This week we speak to Deputy director of design Lisi Schappi.

Time in current role/time at the company:
I have been working at Deputy for nine incredible years. It’s been a very fulfilling opportunity and in this time I’ve been able to advance to director of design. In my role today I direct both product and brand design and I love my job. I feel lucky to have come along the journey with Deputy and watched it grow from start-up to global tech company.

How would you describe what the company does?
We create web and mobile apps to streamline scheduling, timesheets and communication for business owners and their workers. It’s our mission is to simplify shift-work for our two million users around the world.

What do you do day-to-day?
The beauty of my job is that no two days look the same. There is always a new challenge that the team and I are trying to solve by using clever design. That is why I love working at a company like Deputy. Product and brand is constantly evolving to keep up with the speed of the business.

During the past year a big part of my job has been leading the Deputy rebrand. From its logo to its colour palette - I have been at the forefront of rebuilding the Deputy brand, that is now more inclusive and diverse and talks to a new world of post-pandemic shift workers.

Separate to this big project, I also spend time coaching designers, facilitating workshops, participating in user research, sharing customer stories, and giving feedback on design critiques. I also work closely with the leadership team to help shape and communicate company strategy.

Define your job in one word:

I got into design because:
My interest began when I was just 13 years old and taught myself how to create websites using Photoshop and Geocities. I soon became fascinated by digital art, and how you could tell a story by blending and layering images, textures, and typography together.

I was super lucky because my brother employed me at his small digital agency straight after graduating from university. It was there that I worked closely with mobile engineers and learnt the intricacies of designing for both the iOS and Android platforms. I used this knowledge to create mobile experiences for entities like IKEA, Foxtel, Philips Lighting and the Australian government.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Prioritising. Because design contributes to every aspect of the business, customer, employee, marketing and product experiences, I need to make sure we’re focusing on things that will make the biggest impact to our customers.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
Stronger collaboration between product and marketing designers. When product designers and marketing designers don’t interact, the experiences they design can feel really disconnected from each other. Magic really happens when these two types of designers work closely together: marketing designers can bring extra creativity and brand consistency to product experiences, while product designers can bring customer empathy and understanding. This leads to a more intuitive, engaging experience for users, and ultimately helps build brand recognition and trust.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
I’ve been at Deputy for most of my career but before that I worked at Key Options. At Key Options I project managed and implemented the UI/UX designs of various mobile and web applications for award winning clients like IKEA, Foxtel and National & NSW Rural Fire Service.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
Ashik, Deputy’s CEO/CTO/co-founder. He taught me to think more strategically, holistically and to look at things from different perspectives. Because of this, I can communicate to stakeholders the value of design across all different parts of the business.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Be audience driven.

The most meaningful product and brand experiences come from collaboration and honest conversations. Listen to your users, seek different perspectives and bring people along on the creative process and design journey.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
A cinematographer. Definitely a creator of some sort.

My mantra is:
Always lead with love.

My favourite advert is:
As a creator and designer, I love how human and relatable this Behind the Mac Apple ad is. The ad isn’t tone deaf to some of the big conversations happening around Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements. Inclusive branding is something I am very passionate about and have built the entire Deputy rebrand on the concept of designing for all. This is something you see come through this Mac ad and is an inspiration to me.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
I subscribe to all the things Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime, 10 Play, ABC iview, Binge Spotify, Headspace. My favourite show is Handmaid's Tale and I listen to electronic house music on Spotify when I work.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I played the violin for 10 years. I’m also more of an introvert than an extrovert.

In five years' time I'll be:
Mentoring the next generation of designers and design leaders. I’d love to help all kinds of start-ups embrace design, not only to create meaningful customer experiences but to drive business strategy and growth.


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