Welcome back to Between the Brackets - a series we launched to highlight the great people that make Webstacks... Webstacks. 🚀 Today we're featuring the Blender queen, Kate Kassab! Fun fact: Kate was the first Designer to join Webstacks and is about to hit her 1st anniversary as a Webstacker! Without further ado, let's get right into it.
Some of us already know you as the Blender queen. Tell us a little more about yourself.
I do love Blender! Outside of modeling Gamecubes, I work as a designer here at Webstacks, where I focus on web design and design systems.
You can find me playing the latest game published by Square Enix or drinking too many yerba mates in my personal time.
What’s one fun fact that you always use during ice breakers?
As an introvert, I am terrified of ice breakers. Though, my go-to is that I listen to a lot of video game OSTs while I work/create (OSTs stands for original soundtracks). Some favorites being OSTs from FFVII, Octopath Traveller, and The Legend of Zelda series. And lest we forget Coconut Mall from Mario Kart Wii.
Figma or Adobe XD?
Ahh, the battle of design tools. Truthfully, I’m an advocate of both. I believe that the real skill lies in the designer; the tool is merely an extension of one’s knowledge and skill. At Webstacks, we use Figma (aka ✨figgy✨). Collaboration, organization, and ease-of-use are imperative, which are areas that Figma excels in.
Design at Webstacks
Do you enjoy designing at Webstacks?
I do enjoy designing at Webstacks. I feel grateful to have found fulfilling work for companies that I’m genuinely interested in.
We recently began to focus even more on companies in the crypto industry, which I couldn’t be more excited about.
I’ve always dreamed of being able to work on dope projects with a dope team, and I definitely found that at Webstacks. P.S. They even embrace my lame jokes and memes... so I know Webstacks is a keeper.
Designers do more than only design. Walk us through a typical client project.
Yeah, we make rectangles. (Just kidding) A typical client project can look fairly different based on what our client is looking to achieve. But in the scenario of a typical web redesign project, it looks like this:
Discovery: We meet with them to understand their goals, KPIs, pain points, etc.
Design: One of my favorite phases is where we reference the client’s live site and begin building out the design system in Figma. Here, we also perform a light UX audit and create proposals for early wins. Fun fact: we design under the atomic design framework, so client approval is on an atomic, molecular, and organism level. This prevents any surprises down the road.
Design/Dev: Once the design system is signed off on, we work on pages that are high-priority. During this phase, we discover any revisions we need to make to our design system and we tag the client in for feedback early and often. Once a page is approved, we begin collaboration with the development team.
QA/Review: When the page has been developed, our developer creates a Pastel link where we can leave feedback on the page in development.
I think my favorite part of our process is how open and casual we are with collaboration. Instead of daunting design critique meetings or redundant emails, we collaborate with our clients via Slack, Figma comments, and Zoom.
In the end, we almost always end up creating strong partnerships/friendships with our clients.
Thus far, which is your favorite design project that you've collaborated on?
That’s a tough one! Though, I’d say my most recent project with Pattern would be my favorite design project. In 3 months, we redesigned their entire website (26 pages total) with one of the most complex UI libraries I’ve ever built. I’m really proud of how well our two teams collaborated, presented new ideas, and worked quickly to make this possible. 🙌
How is it working at Webstacks from the comfort of your own home?
I absolutely love it. Remote work has allowed me the opportunity to focus on my health in ways I couldn’t before.
From doing some barre or yoga during my lunch hour to creating an environment where I feel that my creativity can thrive. (Though, Webstacks HQ is also pretty great. 🤓) Plus, no morning commute means I can sleep in just a bit later. 😉
What's your favorite Webstacks memory so far?
Ahhh, that’s a tough one, too! Initially, I want to say our latest team outing to the Padres game would be my number #1. I got to meet so many Webstackers that I’ve only known through a screen. I remember at one point, Adam Buettner and I were betting mini corn dogs on each play, and when I had won, the last corn dog mysteriously went missing... only to realize that Rob Osborn had eaten it unknowingly. That still makes me laugh!
I also got to meet Brady Werkheiser, our SEO expert, and token crypto enthusiast. Btw, if you haven’t read the crypto design blog post we collaborated on... you totally should. Anyway, a very close second would be our first-ever digital happy hour. This was very early in the Webstacks days, back when there were only about 10 of us or so (there’s now over 30!) And the ice breaker activity was guessing what Super Smash Bros character we mained.
If you could offer one piece of advice for designers who may be looking for a new gig, what would it be?
Gigs come and go; focus on developing your palette. Get a taste of what bad vs good vs great design looks like. The biggest piece of advice I can offer is: when you recognize something as good, ask yourself: “why is this good?”
Memorize it and take the sentiment with you to your own work. Once you’ve developed a strong palette and put in the work, the rest will come.
This question comes from Brady: If you could snap your fingers and solve one global problem, what would you solve and why?
A wholesome question - I love it.
We live in an age where there are so many global problems to choose from. I couldn’t possibly, in good conscience, choose one that is more “worthy” of being solved. So instead I’ll go the route of relevancy to our society as a whole: I’d snap my fingers and solve the world’s declining mental health.
Worsened by the pandemic, economical issues, effects of living in the digital age and uncertain times, etc—I’d wish for the world to have the mental strength to keep going.
Editor's note: Webstacks is a full-stack marketing agency founded in 2020 that helps businesses accelerate growth by offering creative, marketing, development, and other services at scale. Webstacks is based in San Diego, California, with 30+ employees across the states. For business inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.