1. Valentina, what role do you think UX/UI design plays in the project's success?

A successful project is impossible without a top-notch UX/UI design. A web designer is responsible for creating attractive, convenient, and logical interfaces that let users leverage the product or service easily and effectively. Great design helps increase users’ satisfaction, that, in turn, boosts brand loyalty and conversion. The designer not only develops the design itself but also analyses users’ behavior, conducts tests, and optimizes the interface.
After that, based on ready-made layouts, the developer creates a working product or service that reproduces the customer’s vision and meets users’ needs.
I’d like to stress that it is impossible to create a high-quality product or service without close cooperation between designer and developer. For example, designer’s layouts can be challenging to implement due to some objective reasons, or when the developed website does not correspond to the concept of the layout. That is why effective collaboration is vital for this tandem.

  1. What do you consider most important in web design?

In my opinion, the most essential thing in web design is compliance with the target audience’s requirements - the design should be aimed at meeting the needs, ease and clarity of use, readability, adaptability, speed and optimization, visual appeal.

  1. What is the most difficult thing for you in web design?

When working, the designer should understand the role of each element on the page, create a layout that will correspond to the idea, and take into account the customers’ wishes. The main thing is that the requirements and change requests should be accurately formed.
The biggest difficulties usually appear when the customer does not fully understand what result they would like to see. In such a situation, before the actual work. I try to assist with that to get an idea of what they want to receive in the end and ask many clarifying and leading questions.

  1. What inspires you?

Browsing different modern websites and designers’ portfolios inspires and helps find brand-new ideas and, at the same time, catch up with the latest trends. Also, nowadays, there are plenty of cool websites for designers.

  1. Do you keep up with trends in web design? Can you tell us about the latest trends?

Yes, of course, I always follow trends. The latest trends in web design are minimalism and simplicity, dark mode (or the ability to switch from light to dark mode, as it reduces users’ eye fatigue), animations, responsive design (any website should be displayed correctly on any device), typography (using different sizes and thicknesses of fonts that catch users’ eyes).

  1. What are your favorite design tools/software?

I prefer Figma as a tool. My favorite thing about it is a bunch of different plugins that help optimize the working process and perform my tasks at an excellent level. Also, if needed, I can switch to Adobe XD, Adobe Illustrator, or Adobe Photoshop.

  1. What factors may affect the time frame for creating a design? Why can the deadlines change?

The following factors affect the deadlines: identifying the target audience, branding (selection of colors, fonts, and other design elements), functionality (the design should be functional, adaptive, and easy to use), budget (if the budget is limited, some aspects of the work may change or be postponed for some time), customers’ needs (for example, a customer can change some requirements during the working process, or provide some additional corrections).

  1. What difficulties do you most often face on your projects?

Most difficulties are related to the fact that a customer does not always understand what they actually want and how they see the final result.
Sometimes work may be complicated due to insufficient communication with the customer. For example, when the customer does not get in touch for a long time, I cannot continue working without their approval of certain points. In this case, there may be a delay in the implementation.
Sometimes, customer can change the requirements for the project design - this can also lead to delays in the execution and increase the project budget.

  1. Can you tell us about the most difficult project? What were the challenges, and how did you overcome them?

The first project which comes to my mind is a website where people can purchase various medical devices. At the same time, there is an opportunity to buy a ready-made device or to assemble it yourself, using a special constructor tool. A unique functionality has been drawn for this constructor, where the user could independently choose various elements, save the created model, and then make an order.
The most difficult thing for me was to understand how this constructor should work and how to create its layout correctly, since I hadn’t had such experience before. The customer was communicative, answered all my questions quickly, providing all details, which helped to cope with this challenge. This project was successfully completed and put into development.

  1. How do you deal with demanding customers who don’t know what they want or require the impossible?

Working with customers can be quite a challenge. It is especially tough when clients do not know what they’re eager to obtain, can’t express the idea, or have unrealistic expectations.
My main rule is to actively communicate, not to be afraid to ask, clarify the details with the customer. It is always better to specify one or more times than to make wrong assumptions.
If I see that the client does not have a clear vision, I offer them possible solutions, send examples, and develop ideas. I always suggest those options that can be effective and feasibly implemented. Also, one of my strategies is to be transparent by regularly reporting on the progress of my work.

  1. How do you improve your professional skills?

Firstly, it is about self-study. I constantly keep up with the latest updates of tools or software, as well as the trends in web design.
I often explore inspiring websites with nicely-done patterns and styles. It goes without saying, practice makes it perfect. I normally try to allocate enough of my time to that. Moreover, the company’s managers regularly provide me with links to interesting and useful articles, blogs, or webinars for web design.
Also, I usually have projects of various complexity, and working on them increases my professional level as well.

  1. Can anyone become a designer? What can you wish beginners?

In my opinion, yes, anyone can be a designer, the main thing is to have the desire to create and learn, develop and improve your skills.
Firstly, one should not be afraid to experiment and implement their brave ideas into life, be fearless to take risks and be engaged in projects that may seem too complicated.
I recommend getting actively involved in design communities where you can find valuable advice and support, get inspiration from other works, and read or watch reviews of works that are analyzed by other experienced designers.
The main thing is not to stop, and success in this field will certainly find you!

Interview with our UI/UX Designer Valentina S.