Erin Casali, known as “Folletto”, is a senior product design director and coach. She has a hybrid background in design, psychology, business and technology — with a people-centered approach. Over the years she built products and helped businesses transform by trusting people and giving them agency, and by clarifying goals, with a firm belief in transparency and diversity. Her objective is to change for better the quality of life of the people through the products she designs and leads. She currently works in Xero, and was previously in Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, Tumblr, Jetpack, WooCommerce and many other products.
She believes that “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”, as Leonardo DaVinci reportedly said and her approach is to reach a focused simplicity through the existing complexity.
During her 17+ years of professional experience, she designed consumer and enterprise products and services for millions of users worldwide in different markets — and with WordPress, 40%+ of the web. She worked with companies like Bank of England, Intesa Sanpaolo, Banca Sella, Unicredit, Nokia, Vodafone, Telecom Italia, Ferrari and Benetton.
She co-founded Good 50×70, an international social communication project, and Baker Framework, a platform to publish HTML5 books and magazines on the iPad.
She was a design partner in the startup WideTag where she led the product design of WideNoise, listed in the Compasso D’Oro selection, the ADI Design Index 2010 and selected in the Top 10 Internet of Things Products of 2009. She worked on P2, a remote collaboration platform that got nominated for ProductHunt’s Golden Kitty Award in 2020.
She developed with Gianandrea Giacoma Motivational Design, a method that provides a theoretical approach and tools to deal with social dynamics and design social environments.
She advised multiple startups: Ernest, Impacton, PosterForTomorrow, Flythegap, Tallyfy, Pick1 and Tonight.eu and was evangelist of Hunie.co.
JETPACK + WOOCOMMERCE + WORDPRESS.COM
I’m VP of Product Design for Jetpack, one of the main Automattic products (19M+ downloads), where I work directly with the GM to manage product and design. Automattic is a quite peculiar company with high flexibility, so in the past I changed roles a few times: Sr Principal working on Design Operations, Director for Product Design on WordPress.com. I led the v1 launch of the WooCommerce mobile app. WordPress.com alone has a reach of over 86M monthly uniques. The open source WordPress.org CMS powers 40.4% of the web (Feb 2021), a large part of which is enhanced by Jetpack.
I co-founded Baker in 2010, the first ever HTML5 ebook framework to publish interactive books & magazines on iPad & iPhone. The idea was to use open standards to build a simple open source publishing platform.
During the 3 years I led the product design of the project we have released 10 versions (one every 4 months) with more than 20,000 downloads just from GitHub. We were also able to bootstrap an opensource community around the project, a community that engaged with more than 300+ forks, 16+ contributors and over 1,200 discussions, and still run strong.
In 2008-2009 I led the interaction design for the new wave of internet banking in a few European banks. Intesa Sanpaolo was the most extensive work among them, done right after the merger to become the biggest Italian bank. It was a full re-thinking of their online presence, model and interaction, with multiple stakeholders, integrated with their banks on the territory and covering both personal use and trading. In 2010 it was awarded Best Bank of the Year for West Europe by The Banker, and was the center of their online offering for more than 8 years.
RESTITUZIONI VIRTUAL MUSEUM
How to create a museum with the exhibitions distributed all over the country? This was the challenge that we undertook with the Restituzioni project: a museum that exists both as a virtual space where everyone can create exhibition tours, and as the physical art pieces themselves connected through a mobile app.
I co-founded Good50x70, an award-winning no-profit international contest to help social communication, endorsed by UNESCO, charities (Amnesty International, Amref, Emergency, Greenpeace, LILA, Unicef and WWF) and design associations (AGI, Icograda, Beda, ADI, AIAP). The 2009 contest alone had more than 323.000 unique visitors. It won the Aretê Award 2007 as best Social Communication project.
UX FOR GOOD
This international project aimed to apply design practices to the most important problems in the world, partnering every year with a different no-profit for a one-week design sprint with research and strategy definition. I participated for two years (Vancouver and Kigali) and later I was one of the Fellows. I helped also to define the Inzovu Curve, an approach to design impactful and actionable museum experiences.
Creating the first mobile app that monitors in a fully distributed way the soundscape around us. This was the WideNoise project, an iOS and Android app to monitor the soundscape around us using WideTag’s proprietary Internet of Things platform.
I led the study and design of a bluetooth bracelet for kids, blending the needs of the parents worrying of their little child getting too far away when playing outside, with the needs of kids to wear something enjoyable and fun. Its design included an inner component and swappable soft-plastic bracelets.
This is a methodology to analyze and design social networks – not the platforms, but the social dynamics when people interact. I co-developed it with Gianandrea Giacoma.