Many UX designer just became a designer by accident, and some of them came from other related fields like art, but one thing is common in all of them. They just love to be UX designers. Luckily I met two passionate and enthusiastic UX designers, Klau and Luca. They work at UX studio Budapest (Hungary) and I got a chance to interview them. So if you want to learn how these two girls became successful UX designers, how do they improve their skills and what do they think about the future of the UX then keep reading. 🙂
When did you start working as a designer?
Klau: I was 13 when I first started coding websites. This habit brought PaintShop Pro, Gimp and Photoshop into my life. Since I didn’t know that being a designer is a possible carrier opportunity, I went to uni where I learnt English and American studies. After that I became an intern at a marketing agency where I created some designs as well. Later on I developed a mobile app design for a friend of mine. He gave me a conference ticket instead of paying me real money 🙂 I met David (CEO of UX studio) on that conf. He offered a free seat on his UX design training. After a week long training I got a job offer from him. And I am still here 🙂
Luca: I’ve never learnt design. I came from the “art world”. I loved painting and sketching. And then I got interested in digital solutions. Slowly-slowly the digital world sucked me in. I was working for agencies when UX just came along. I also brought many soft skills from my uni.
When did you 1st hear about UX?
Klau: I decided at the uni that I wanted to be a UX designer, but that time I didn’t even know what is UX was all about.
Luca: It was about 4 years ago. I had to design develop an app for Adidas which was used by its employees. That was the first time I developed for smartphones and I realized that it’s very interesting.
How do you improve your skills?
Klau: I used to read random articles and Smashing Magazine. But recently I have just been reading articles that others share in on our channels. (It is still enough)
Luca: Random blogposts. It is much easier nowadays. I read Pttrns.com, Behance and Guides. I also check existing apps on my mobile. There is always room for learning from apps. Everything has to be tried. That is the best way.
What are the main challenges for you in this profession?
Klau: Project specific things. When we have to find solutions for problems that no one’s dealt with before. So when there is no best practice. In this case, we start thinking about the problem, organizing creative breakfasts with others from UX studio. If I can’t find a good solution on the first day, I most probably I won’t have a “eureka moment”. In this case, I start involving others. Another challenge for me is when there are 8 people on at a meeting and 7 of them are men and they are all older than me. But they said I handled these meetings well too. (But please, never bring 8 people for to a meeting). And a new client is always a challenging situation.
Luca: To have recieved feedbacks from others. But it is good. While I was “just” an illustrator, that wasn’t necessary. But as a designer it’s important to build products together. You can’t get offended when you get negative feedbacks. And communication is always challenging.
What was your favourite project and why?
Klau: Definitely HBO. Because movies and series are my life 🙂
Luca: My first project at MOME (Design university at Hungary). That was an app for people who suffers from asthma. That was my very first UX test. I did the whole project alone and it went very well. It was awesome.
What is your opinion about the future of UX and the direction it will take?
Klau: Well… UX is just rational thinking. UX was, UX is and UX will be. Always. In the future the different compontents of design, such as UX and service design might come closer to form a whole unit.
Luca: As we let technology become a part of our lives, UX is becoming more relevant day by day. Let’s imagine you open an app and it has a bad UX. You close and maybe even delete the app and that’s it. But when a self-driving car takes you to a the wrong address because of bad UX, that can ruin your day.
Where will you be in 5 years?
Klau: I’ll be a designer for sure. Maybe I’ll move to another country. I really like project based works jobs, so I’d like to work in a small company where I can work on different projects. On the other hand if Tumblr hires UX designers I’d consider it. But I definitely don’t want to work at a multinational company.
Luca: I would really like to have an my own product. But who knows…
What do you like to design for?
Klau: I like to design for smartphones because they have no limitations. Designing for mobiles is more challenging for me. We tried different platforms at HBO like Xbox and Smart TV. That was interesting too.
Luca: Depends on the project. I like to designing for everything. Of course mobiles and desktops are the two platforms which I feel most comfortable with.
Which phase is your favourite in design?
Klau: Prototyping. Because I get feedbacks immediately from users. There is a possibility for experimenting. It is a very dynamic phase at UX studio. I love Axure too.
Luca: I really like the detailed design phase. I like playing with shadows, fonts and colors. I like the testing stage as well because then you can get a lot of feedbacks from real users. That is the stage when you know whether your idea works or not. What I also like to do is sketching on paper. Basically I just love all parts of the UX. What are your hobbies?
What do you do in your free time?
Klau: I am addicted to series and movies. I love playing tennis and I am a 24/7 Tumblr fan too.
Luca: I hand-knit and crochet.
Why is UX so important?
Klau: There is no life without UX. 🙂
Luca: I agree with Klau 😀 The users just see the UX part of your product. It depends on UX or service design what they can feel while they using your product. And it needs a collaboration between the whole team (designers, developers, stakeholders, researchers, everyone).
Whatever you want to be or you’re already a designer it vital to understand users’ needs. And you have to combine them with stakeholders’ and developers’ requirements as well. No matter how long you’ve been in the industry or how did you get your knowledge. You have to deliver decent answers based on UX researches and implement them into your product.