Cover Story: Maria, UX/UI Designer
Cover Stories
30 November 2021
Cover Story: Maria, UX/UI Designer
Cover Stories
30 November 2021

Here at Opinov8, Opinov8rs represent our culture. Cover Stories portray the richness within all of us, the differences that make us who we are. 

In this edition, we will talk with Maria B., our UX/UI Designer. We talked about how it's never too late to start doing what you like, how to find ourselves and not be afraid to try something new.

Get to know Maria a little more through this Cover Story, and don’t miss the opportunity to join us and be part of this gr8 adventure too!

How did your journey start at Opinov8? What has your career path at Opinov8 been like? 

I joined the company as an intern, and I was the first and only designer at Opinov8! 😎 At that moment, the company existed on the market for over nine months. It’s hard to believe that we didn’t have such a large design team three years ago as we do now! πŸ₯° I was engaged in various internal processes, such as helping with presentation designs, banners, articles, etc. 

The first project came to us about a few months later, where UX/UI designer work was needed. It was this kind of pen test for Opinov8 and me. πŸ€“ The company has previously approached external freelance designers for this kind of work, so it was pretty exciting for both of us. πŸš€

In half a year, everything started!⚑️ I had several projects with clients, and besides, there was a lot of work on the internal requests of the company. I remember that it was December, and I didn't know where to start because there was a lot of work to do, and it was my most challenging moment in Opinov8. πŸ™ˆ 

The work became more and more, and we urgently began to look for one more designer. It was incredible because we found a designer who got to work and saved me on December 26th, right on the eve of the Christmas holidays. ✨

Since then, we have had more and more exciting projects, and, of course, our team is expanding and continues to grow. I am happy that everything worked out this way and that I had the opportunity to grow and develop together with Opinov8. πŸ’™

Maria, UX/UI Designer

Tell us about your background. How has your career developed before Opinov8?

Like many of us, I do not work in my specialty. I am a financier by education and have worked in this area for a long time. All this time, I understood that this is not what I want to do my whole life, and this is not my dream job. πŸ‘€

At one point, I realized that I couldn't do this anymore, I wasn't excited about my work, and it didn't bring me any pleasure. I saw how my husband works and how he loves what he does and enjoys it. I figured out that I needed to look for another business that would drive and inspire me. πŸ™Œ

I started looking for myself and started going to various courses. I tried myself in website layout and many other courses. Over time I eventually came into the design. It was funny because I didn't know how to draw by hand at all, as I thought that you have to draw to become a good designer. πŸ™ƒ

Over time, I began to delve deeper into the design and found out that designers are different. I started to study many other design materials, and it all began to like me more and more. For me, it was like an entirely new world. I found out how to create websites, logos, draw icons, what is graphic design and motion design. Everything was so interesting and exciting. 😍

Around that moment, I was offered a promotion at work, which was quite a big one. But I understood that if I agreed now, I would be stuck in this unloved job forever. So, I decided to refuse and quit my financial job to change my profession and do what I really like. For about a year, I was engaged in self-education in web design, as it was the most interesting for me. πŸ€“ I continued studying a lot and took courses where I became friends with a course leader who helped hone my works and create a beautiful portfolio, which helped me get a job at Opinov8! 

What gets you most passionate about your work?

I like a lot of things at my work. One of the main aspects is that my work motivates me to develop and delve into different areas constantly. Even if you do not want to go deeper, you simply will not be able to do your work of high quality. You will need to know as much as possible about the activity for which you are doing the project. The second one is communication with people, so my job teaches me to approach other people. This is valuable to me, not every profession gives it. 😊

What do you think are good habits to stay up-to-date in design? Do you have some tips to share to keep up with trends?Β 

I think these four must-haves that every designer should do:

  1. Knowledge. You need to develop and monitor the market constantly. Nowadays, various sources write about numerous studies, and you need to watch them perennially. Read articles every day, not only in your field of activity but also in related professions, to broaden your horizons. This will allow you to make a quality product and find you the right solution.
  1. Π‘ommunication. Always communicate with your users. You have to know who they are, what they like and want, their goals and needs. If you don't understand this, then you will not be able to give a high-quality result. You should never forget for whom you are making this or that product or developing some solution.
  1. Ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask questions and listen to the opinions of others. If you don't know what to do, you definitely need to know what to do, and users and the team are always ready to help. I realized this with experience, and there are no stupid questions. Therefore, it is always better to clarify and ask something again than to sit and suffer for a long time and, as a result, do something wrong. These mistakes can lead to a lot. It's better always to ask and not waste time and make mistakes.
  1. Test your solutions. Last but not least, you should always test your solution. This applies not only to UX designers but also to all other designers.
Maria-traveling

What’s the biggest misconception people have about your job?

The most popular misconception is that many people, especially those not from the IT sphere, believe that designers are all artists and everyone can draw beautifully. Moreover, it does not matter at all what kind of designer you are, interior designer or web designer. πŸ˜‚

Everyone considers that design is a very creative profession, and many don't know what to expect from us.  πŸ˜‰ But in reality, there is a lot of logic in creation in our work, especially in the work of a UX designer. We need to follow many aspects of construction, rules, and patterns. 

How does your profession help you in your daily life?

Instead, I can tell you what keeps me from living as a designer. I cannot calmly walk past any advertising. 😁 I pay attention to everything: colors, typography, indentation, what is written, and how it is written. πŸ‘€

I ask myself, where are all the designers who make our world more comfortable and nice? πŸ˜€

Here is my top list of service areas in Ukraine to fix: πŸ™ˆ

  • Cafes & restaurants
  • Beauty & spa salons
  • Government agencies
  • Lawyers & notaries
  • Water delivery & office supply

Do you have any tips for staying motivated? How do you deal when you are overwhelmed or underperforming?

I am motivated by what I do, and I really love what I do. My work inspires me and drives me. Of course, there are times when there are too many things to do, and you get tired, but this is extremely rare, and I try not to bring myself to such a state. πŸ™ƒ

Therefore, I try to finish my work on time and not engage in any work processes after a working day. I close my laptop and go about my business to somehow switch. I like to read some books, not for work, go for a walk

I came to this with experience, because before I did not know what time management is, it did not apply to me. πŸ˜€ Over time, I realized that I needed to set the frames and borders to avoid oversaturation. 

Earlier I could wake up in the middle of the night and think about some task and what else I need to do, who to contact and not forget to say something to someone, and so on. πŸ™ˆ After that, you realize that you need more rest and it shouldn't work this way.

If I get exhausted, I try to pamper myself with something. For example, I like to go to lovely restaurants with white tablecloths and numerous glasses. I love to get a massage for stress from time to time, and it is especially good in a set with spa procedures. Lately, I have been getting more and more pleasure from walks in the open air, any park is an ideal place for me. πŸƒ

What are the top 3 destinations on your must-visit list?

I am more and more attracted to different nature, so I try to choose places for travel accordingly. This year I have been several times in the Carpathians mountains, visited Greece and Montenegro.

About my favorite travel destinations, Italy will certainly be in the first place on my list. This country is rich historically, and it has delicious cuisine and incredible architecture. In short, it is beautiful, tasty, and warm. 😍

Next on my list will be Greece. I have been there many times and will definitely return again. And I think Denmark will also be on my list, it is certainly not as warm there as in previous countries, but there is wonderful nature and architecture. 😌

As for the best places where I would like to go, where I have not yet been, then I would like to visit the USA someday, there is certainly a lot to see, and possibly France. So yes, I have such a small plan for now. 😎

Maria_mountains
Maria-Berlin-cathedral

Do you have a hidden talent or hobbies? What is it?Β 

I love to cook, it gives me pleasure. But I cook only when I have some free time and desire. I can cook a lot of things, but I have my signature dishes. I love tiramisu and cheesecake, so I love to cook these desserts very much. πŸ˜‹

Well, I have no hidden talents β€” everything is in noticeably! πŸ˜‰

To be honest, I don't have passionate and unusual things as a hobby. I like to do a lot of things but without fanaticism. I love reading and spending some time with my cats, I have two of them. 🐾 I love rollerblading and cycling and often like to ride somewhere around. ⚑️

If you could go back 10 years, what advice would you give your younger self?

I would advise myself to go early to design and not waste my time on things I don't like. You need to feel yourself and follow the call of your heart. There are so many people in absolutely different areas doing what they do not like and badly doing their job. This is not good for all of us.Β 

It's never too late to start doing something new and what you love.

Even if you have an education in a specific field, you are not obliged to work in it if you understand that this is not yours at all. It is better to do something else that brings you pleasure than to ruin your life and the lives of others.

If you could say only one phrase to people starting their professional path in UX/UI Design, what would you say?

Do not stop developing in personal and professional growth. If you're only interested in design, then you won't get very far. Try, we have a lot of interesting projects and the opportunity to grow. πŸš€

If you could meet any famous person, who would it be?

I would like to meet Donald Norman. He is a researcher, professor, and author of "The Design of Everyday Thingsbook. Norman's work involves the advocacy of user-centered design. His books all have the underlying purpose of furthering the field of design, from doors to computers. I once met with him at a Design Conference in Kyiv in 2019, but it would be great to talk a little more. 😊

UI/UX Design Conference in Kyiv, Ukraine

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I would like to heal people. πŸ™Œ

What’s something you think everyone should try at least once?

To be happy! πŸ’«


If you wanna join our super-cool Op8 Team, don’t hesitate to check our open positions or send your CV to careers@opinov8.com.

Be curious and driven to explore new horizons and technology areas with us. Let’s innov8 together!

#BEBOLD #BEHUMAN

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