We design and build frictionless technology that puts the human experience at the center. Our journey to every new app or platform that we create always starts and ends with the user. Because technology needs not only to solve the user’s problems and do the job on their behalf. It also needs to hide all complexity and deliver a beautiful, satisfying experience. And that’s where design comes in.
We’re fortunate to work with a stellar team of UX and UI designers who have both the know-how and the level of empathy needed to create digital experiences that empower and delight users. Bogdan is one of the designers who’s been on this team for nearly 6 years, bringing tremendous value in projects like IKEA, ReadyUp or Virgin Sport, Let’s do it, Romania! and MedEasy.
Bogdan likes taking ownership over his work and is fully committed to creating beautiful user interactions with zero friction. That’s why he’s constantly adding new talents to his skillset, doing not only UI design, but also 3D modelling, video composition and animation. Meet Bogdan and find out why design is his favorite playground 🙂
1. Let’s go the Hemingway way. Tell us who you are in just 6 words.
Social and positive, exigent and perfectionist in my work. Sometimes grumpy, yet always approachable – even when it might appear like I’m not 😀
2. You’ve been part of the Q team for nearly 6 years, leading UI in so many awesome projects, doing innovation workshops with our clients in Moscow and Sydney. We know it’s hard to choose, but still what’s your favorite project and why?
It’s very hard to pick just one, but if I have to, then it has to be the IKEA VR/AR project. The workshop in Moscow was a blast, and then the project itself was exciting as we set out to build the user experience using VR & AR, which at the time were considered to be emerging technologies.
All the UI/UX work was fun too, because the experience of interacting with a VR app hadn’t been explored that much at that time. So we kinda wrote the book on this one ourselves, as we tested different approaches to how users interact with the buttons/media in a Virtual Reality environment. We tested and did iterations like crazy.
It was a “full stack UI” project and apart from the usual stuff like creating 2d UI assets, I also had to develop 3d assets and animations, 2.5d animations, do sound & video editing. I loved it.
3. In 12 years of design, you’ve seen and done a lot. In your opinion, what’s the main challenge for a UI designer these days?
Thanks to software like Adobe XD, Figma, Proto.io and the likes, things have improved dramatically in the last 3-4 years. Today a UI designer can’t complain that there are no appropriate tools to create and prototype beautiful and functional UI.
The main challenge for a UI designer these days is somewhat the same as it has always been – you have to constantly keep an eye on new (viable) UI patterns/trends, always explore better tools or techniques that help you improve your work.
The focus should be on beautiful and functional UI that solves a user’s problem (not just beautiful for the sake of it), high fidelity prototyping (as high as it can be) and user testing. Basically, you need to take on some of the responsibilities from the UX side and get more involved in the testing process.
4. What’s your advice to a UI designer starting fresh?
Approach the UI with a user-centric mindset. Iterate, prototype, test with real users, and improve your work. Fight for your UI and your ideas, but don’t get emotionally attached because the user’s reactions might prove you wrong. So you need to be ready to scrap those ideas you were so fond of. Keep improving and never be fully satisfied with your results.
5. Looking all the way back to 2014, when you joined Q, what do you feel proudest of?
I’m proud of creating designs and experiences that have been helping many users across the world. I’m grateful to be part of this highly versatile product team.
6. We know that you’re also into video design, we’ve made some cool product videos together. What makes you add new talents to your skillset when you could just settle with what you’ve learned so far?
I think every UI designer should try to diversify their skillset and branch out to other fields like video composition, 3d modeling, UX design etc. I started doing video composition and animation as a fun side job every now and then. Now it’s become a “must have” in almost every project, because everyone wants beautiful animations and transitions in their apps, and so do I.
7. Our readers don’t know just yet what we know about you – that you’re always there. Personally, every time I needed help with design or video, you saved the day. How do you do that without losing your focus?
Years and years of mental training :D. Seriously though, I don’t know. I’ve recently found out about myself that I tend to focus better when under stress or a tight deadline. It works for me, but it’s not always fun 🙂
8. What’s your favorite part about your work?
Apart from creating something beautiful to look at and interact with, my favorite thing in what I do as a UI designer is solving “the puzzle”. And that is coming up with an idea that solves a user’s problem/need in the most functional, creative, and easiest way possible. I think of it just like the “runner’s high”, we chase the solution for days or weeks maybe, and we are on top of the world when we find it. Then the dev team comes along and brings us back to earth, saying it’s too much for the MVP 😀
9. We know you’re such a great team player. What do you love most about this team?
I have the privilege to work alongside very professional people, who take their role seriously and also know how to have fun. We mix work and play, have a drink and unwind from time to time. We have a history of unforgettable nights out, but when it’s “business time”, everyone is 100% focused on the job.
10. What do you miss most about life in the office?
The social stuff, of course. I miss the daily chit chats, jokes and interactions, lunches. I miss the days when I had to order lunch for 20 people 🙂 And of course our office parties and nights out. I dare to say I miss even the long, loooooong meetings and short (usually not :D) daily scrums that we did in person.
11. What do you think work will be like once we overcome this pandemic? / In your opinion, what’s the best outcome of this pandemic the world is struggling with right now?
I think we’ll see a shift in the way businesses view software and technology in general. Companies who ignored or didn’t invest much in their online services will think twice.
We sometimes take technology for granted. I remember one day during the lockdown period in April, when my home internet was down. It was the kickoff of a new project and I was locked from doing proper UI research and competition analysis. Even the mobile data was running at dialup speed because it was overloaded with traffic. Luckily it didn’t last long and I was able to get back online, but for almost 6 hours I experienced “life without technology”. It’s not fun when your work depends on it.
Another aspect of work life when this pandemic is over will most probably be the normalization of “remote work”. “Work from home” started to gain traction back in 2018. In our ReadyUp project, we were able to work from home 2 days per week, and we did amazingly in that project.
I think by now people no longer doubt that remote work is a viable alternative to the daily office routine, but of course it’s not applicable in every work field.
12. Let’s go back to design. If you could give one prediction, what would design look like in 10 years from now?
It’s really hard to tell. Things are moving much, much faster than 5 years ago, not to mention 10 years ago. If I have to put my money on something though, I would say that flat, minimalist & clean design is here to stay.
I don’t see skeuomorphic design making a comeback anytime soon. In terms of how UI is done, I see a more emphasis on hi-fi prototyping tools like ProtoPie and easy-to-use but hard to master UI creation tools.
Want to work with Bogdan and bring your own value to new exciting projects? We’re looking for Android Developers that can make a great team with our designers and co-create engaging user experiences for our clients. Our recruitment experience happens entirely online. You’re welcome to email your resume to our HR teammates Gabriela Bombarascu and Ioana Groseanu – they’re fast and fabulous.