TYPO3 Blog

I had the chance to spend a little time with Piccia Neri, a special guest and featured speaker—with three talks!—at the TYPO3 Developer Days 2018 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Piccia has a deep background in art and design, where she started as an art historian, moved to print design and then on to the Internet. Piccia’s work in the online space has been focused around WordPress and DevDays was her very first TYPO3 event. I was keen to find out more about her, her work, and her impression of TYPO3 (spoiler alert, she got pretty excited about it). I’ve included a couple of highlights below. Watch the full video of our conversation for more!

You can see and hear her sessions from the Düsseldorf event on the TYPO3 YouTube channel. Piccia’s three sessions were:

  • UI that rocks: A practical introduction to Gestalt principles applied to web design

  • How to use the principles of Design Thinking for better UX and marketing results

  • Colour on the web: colour theory, usability, and accessibility

Piccia on the TYPO3 community event audience:
“I talk about design and design issues to developers, and techies, and geeks, and marketers in general. So the audience is perfect here. My point of view is that anyone should know about design because to me design is a thought process rather than simply a visualization of things.”

Piccia on moving from the world of art and print to the web:
“It was inevitable. I felt I wasn’t complete as a designer. … I started with books, editorial design. I think it’s inevitable because I used the web a lot and it frustrated me that when I wanted to create my own website, I wasn’t able to do it and I had to rely on other people to build it for me. … I learned how to code. I’m by no means a developer, but I know much more than normal designers because if I didn’t I don’t think I would be able to build good websites and above all to advise my clients correctly. You need to know the limits of the tool or when you need to add bespoke coding. And I can’t now imagine life without it.”

Piccia on empathy in her process and in Design Thinking:
“It all starts from empathy. I ask as many questions as possible and I ask them more than once. Empathy,” as she mentioned in her Design Thinking talk, “... Even if you do just that and you don’t observe any of the other phases of the process, you’re already halfway there. Empathy is absolutely essential. When someone comes to you with a problem to solve, if you don’t ask questions, if you don’t put yourself in their shoes, you won’t find out what the problem actually is. Often a client comes to you thinking they have a certain problem, but if you probe and ask the right questions, you might find they have a different problem from the one that they think they have.”

“Clients who need a website, what they don’t realize often is that it’s not about what they want, it’s about what their clients want. So we have to do it on two levels: We have to do it with our direct client, the person or business who needs a website. And then we have to make sure that we do it also for their clients because otherwise, the website visitors won’t get what they need. It’s about what they need, not what the business wants them to need.”

“The whole thing about the Design Thinking process is that it has humans at its center. And empathy is a fundamental thing that unites human beings. That’s how we connect really, via empathy.” 

Piccia’s impressions of TYPO3 and its community:
“Great community, really really liked it. It seems very intimate, which is great. And it seems like a tool that covers areas that WordPress can’t cover, but I’m really intrigued by it. This is how change happens! … I see different possibilities now.”

Find more Piccia on the web:

Jeffrey A. "Jam" McGuire

About the Author

Jeffrey A. "Jam" McGuire

Partner, Cologne, Germany
In demand as a global keynote speaker and communications expert, "Jam" has built a strong following at the intersection of open source software, business, and culture. Over the last decade, while helping Acquia grow from 18 to 800 employees, he created value-multiplying connections between people, companies, and projects in the open source, government, and business worlds. His unique approach to content marketing–making human stories out of complex technology solutions and celebrating the expertise and success of their creators–left its mark on the company and the open source communities around it.

More posts by Jeffrey A. "Jam" McGuire

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