Though he's super engrossed in designing our brand new website at the moment, our UX/UI superhero, Andrei Grigoras, kindly took a few minutes to tell us about his role, how he got here, and generally what it means to be a badass digital designer at EveryStay. Read on if you've ever wondered what a carrot salad has to do with User Experience...
1. Tell us how you ended up as a UX designer
After finishing art school, I got a job as a web/print designer. Back then there were no online UX principles or philosophies, but finishing my university studies in industrial design helped massively. The term 'User Experience' itself actually comes from industrial design.
After a few years as a web designer I kept encountering this 'UX' term and didn’t really know what it was, until one day I googled the definition only to realise that I was already a UX designer! Because I had the industrial designer mentality, using function for the building blocks of form was a very logical and natural process for me.2. What is UX design exactly?
The term 'User Experience' (or UX) describes the overall experience that a user or customer has with your product. In 'web tech', they use it to describe the beginning of a design process (user research, customer journey, usability testing) but when, for instance, you are moving on to the UI (User Interface) design, you still have to consider and keep the 'User Experience' in mind.
For instance, If you are designing a website that sells toys, it wouldn't make sense to make it look super dark and gloomy (unless you are selling specifically dark and gloomy toys!) So in my opinion UX considerations should be a constant point of perspective throughout the design process in order to maximise how well a product or service is received.
Before UCD (user-centred design) there was BCD (business-centred design) or SD (sales design) where the user was not the main focal point for the designer. All of these other models seemed to generate cluttered, unnecessary content, making navigation through products very frustrating for the user. So of course having a UCD approach on your designs increases the functionality and overall perception of a product or service.
3. What's the difference between UX & UI?
To me, the title 'UX/UI designer' sounds about as awkward as 'carrot/vegetable salad' or 'vehicle/bus driver'. I don’t see it as two separate roles as both are totally necessary stages of the digital design process. In my mind, being a digital designer is one role that relies on both UX and UI and I don’t think that separating them is necessarily a good idea.4. Talk us through your workflow
Well my workflow is as follows:
- Understand requirements create personas define user cases
- Research - analyse competitors trends and guidelines
- User flows
- Idea gathering
- Designing for all needs and screens
Test / Evaluate
- Usability testing
- Identifying improvements
Of course I consider myself a team player!
We'll definitely vouch for him!