Peter Cowen - Headspace
Scamp Studio managed to catch five minutes of Peter’s time to discuss all things creative, here’s what he had to say for himself…
So Peter, first things first. For those who may not have heard of you. Where do you work, and what do you do on a day to day basis?
I think that most people will have not heard of me, but I’m a product designer at Headspace. The actual day to day of my job is always different. It depends on what kind of project I’m on and at what point of the project I’m in. So that could be a day of just doing research or sketching, while some days I’m more heads down in Figma creating comps. I think this is pretty much the case for all designers, but what makes working at Headspace really rewarding is our mission to improve the health and happiness of the world. It’s a pretty big mission, but it makes those days spending hours specing designs worth it.
Sound’s pretty cool! As you a designer, you have a multitude of different tools at your disposal. What tools do you opt for to do your role? And why?
At Headspace we use Figma for all design work. It’s really great because it allows more than one designer to be working on the same file at the same time. It’s also cloud based so you can essentially work from anywhere and it’ll update live. If I want to test basic usability then the prototype feature in Figma is great. But if I want to show motion or animations then I’ll use Principle (but recently our team has been playing around with Protopie).
If someone wanted to get a role at your company, what advice would you give them so they can make an impact? And stand out from the crowd...
I think that most importantly, we are looking for team players and people who can work collaboratively. Show how you can work with others to create something that you never could have on your own. We are also looking for people who enjoy the full design process. Are you able to look at a problem and understand from a top level what your users are saying and need. But at the same time, also be able to get in the weeds and work through all the little details. Oh yeah, and also strong visual designers! Haha seems like a lot… but I think that even if you don’t check all the boxes but show potential and the desire to grow, that’s a great place to start a conversation.
Are there any books/ebooks/podcasts would you recommend for some quality bedtime reading or listening?
I really only read fiction. I love anything by Kurt Vonnegut, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Haruki Murakami. However, my favourite book about design is Paul Rand’s, “A Designers Art”. Not coming from a traditional design background, Paul Rand ‘s writing really influenced the way I think about design. For podcasts, I love High Resolution. It’s a series where two designers talk to 24 masters of design and ask them about everything from process to diversity and inclusion. I’ve gone through the series about 3 times now.
I’ve given you £3,000 to start you up as a junior designer. What’s your budget going on and why?
I think that it would be really cool to use that money to start hosting events for all the people I know who are artists, dancers, musicians, and designers. I would love to see those events be used as a place to build a community around sharing thoughts and work. I feel like all we would need is good food and music. And then people would eventually invite their friends and it would keep growing. I’m learning more and more that the people you surround yourself with influences who you are. I felt pretty isolated at the beginning of my career and it would have been nice to surround myself with others who were going through the same thing I was or even those who have been through it and could offer some guidance.