Smadar Krampf is Wilco’s Creative Director, but it doesn’t mean what you likely think it means. The creativity she’s in charge of isn’t just visual—it’s narrative. While there’s much we can’t say about Wilco yet, you should know that immersive storytelling is a part of what makes us different than anything you’ve seen before. And Smadar, as an experience designer, is the one in charge of that aspect!
Smadar, how does one become an experience designer?
Learning experience design is not like getting a medical or engineering degree; there’s no defined path you can take. I’ve had previous experience working in media and advertising, as well as organizing murder mystery dinners while consulting on escape room narratives and puzzles.
Then I fell in love with immersive experiences and the creation of everlasting memories, which can only be a product of total immersion—when rather than solving a puzzle, you’re experiencing something that has a story, a personality, feelings.
I’ve studied every experience design class I could find around the world and created a syllabus for myself—one that included workshops, practical experiences, courses in behavioral economics, psychology, sociology, gamification, anthropology, game theory, and more.
The product-related parts I’ve learned online and through Jolt, but most of all by working at companies that gave me the opportunity to learn on the job.
So what do you do at Wilco?
I’m creating a world that our users will begin exploring very soon. This includes working on Wilco’s narrative concept and plotlines, writing the content for these plotlines together with our developers, planting surprises into the product, and finishing all of the office Pringles.
When we asked you what your skills are, your response included “goat herding.” Smadar, are we the goats?
At the very least, you’re not the *only* goats. There are other goats, too.
Ok ok. Any other skills, preferably ones that can’t be perceived as a jab?
Rapping and being late to everything!
We’re still a bit sad about being goats, so compliment us. What’s the best part about working at Wilco?
Working with a bunch of incredibly talented & passionate people on such a unique project. Also, the barista on the 11th floor.
Awww, thanks. Even though you didn’t mention the fact our name is taken from an 80s video game. Speaking of, what’s your favorite memory from the 80s?
The memory of the crippling anxiety while I'm trying to pretend like I have memories from the '80s even though I wasn't even born yet.
Oh. Well, never mind then. So, tell us a bit about yourself - what do you like to do when you’re not here?
When I'm not herding goats, I'm an autodidact whose main hobby is acrobatics and learning how to play a bunch of random musical instruments, such as the mandolin, violin, harmonica, melodica, and kalimba. I also like swing dancing. And chess. I just like hobbies, ok?!
Let’s get back to Wilco. What made you consider working with us?
The first call we had included the terms "alternate reality game," "immersive experiences," and "evil conspiracy." How could I refuse?
Oh, you couldn’t refuse. We made sure of it. Now let’s make some helpful content for our readers. First of all, what was the best career-related advice you’ve ever received?
You don't need permission to take your weird hobby and turn it into your career.
Nice! Do you have a work hack most of us probably don’t know?
Organize your email inbox. Trust me, it’ll save you a lot of time. I love Tommy Barav’s guide, and can wholeheartedly recommend it.
Thank you, Smadar!
You’re welcome, disembodied voice that asked me questions!