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Breaking into UI/UX Design

5 min read

There’s a common saying that UX is the key to a long-lasting business. No surprise that the demand for these designers is on fire in today’s tech-heavy world. And so it should be! Meet Kasparas Danilevičius, our expert in UX/UI here at Tesonet. Originally he was on his way to becoming a front-end programmer, but in the middle of the studies he found out his passion for creating all the things visual. This was when Kasparas decided to learn what are the key things in a great UI and what are the best practices of UX. Today he’s one of our pros and creates next-level designs. In this article Kasparas explains his role in the team, and even shares some tips on making the digital experience awesome. 

Could you introduce yourself and what responsibilities you have here at Tesonet?

Hi, I’m Kasparas Danilevičius UX/UI designer in the CRO team. The CRO team is responsible for the constant conversion rate rising on the web. So my responsibilities as a designer in this team are to find out best user paths, reinvent sections in order to increase CR and test UI element performance. We collaborate with other teams in order to conduct ideas/insights from them and then update the design system with new tested elements accordingly.

What challenges have you faced since you started in the industry?

I guess I could distinguish the two main ones. One of the biggest challenges would be when noticing a problem, not to think about its solution right away. First, we need to look at it from different angles and to understand if this is actually the right way to solve that problem. Another trick is to check if (in most cases) this is the right problem because sometimes we rush into solving problems where there are none of them.

Another challenge is the lack of time or the client’s money for some parts of the UX process. Working as a UX designer, you’ll find yourself short on time and money for conducting user research. Your client or product owner might even ask you to skip the research phase and move further on. That can be tough.

Why would you say people should consider choosing the UX/UI design for their careers? Is there a high demand for these specialists today?

Each new technology or product requires design input to be successful. I think designers’ roles are great because we get a chance to contribute to the development of a successful product. So, if you’re someone to whom empathy comes naturally and is eager to innovate and be creative, then yup, UX/UI designing can prove to be an ideal career option for you.
And oh yes, there is always a high demand for experienced UX/UI designers.

Tell us about your role as CRO, how does it intertwine with your UX workflow?

So these are two different processes, but one becomes part of another one. In the CRO process, we have such a cycle (illustrated in the diagram below):

1. Analysis. At this stage, we analyze completed tests, gather information, and insights on what could be improved to enhance performance.
2. Hypothesis. Then we develop the hypotheses and try to discover the issues where improvements could bring the biggest lift in CR.
3. Design.
In this part of the CRO process, the UX process appears. As a designer, I examine the hypothesis raised, find out, and define the problem to be solved, then move on to the generation of ideas. At this point, we try to come up with multiple ways to solve the problem, and then we choose the one that seems the most appropriate. In the next stage, we create designs and build prototypes in order to ensure the designs work as we want them to. Finally, we test them within the team before running the test on users.
4. Integration and Test. In this stage, the A/B test is released, when we test a control version with a newly developed design and any change in user behavior. Here we find out which version performs better.
5. Learnings and Improvements.
After the required time interval, the test is finally being stopped. Then we define its results and conclusions. Once the winner of the test is announced, its implementation process begins, while the loser goes back to the analysis step and the cycle goes on again. 

What do you think will be the next big thing in UX design? What’s trending now and soon?

First of all, the UX writing is on fire nowadays: the text doesn’t accompany design, it’s a part of it. Context matters, the author matters. Text is as important as what happens after it – the picture is a reader’s mind and their action. Now, UX writing allows a reader to judge, choose, and relate to the product.

Also, subtle animations are truly trending. Subtle motion can be a simple and innovative way to lift an otherwise tired web page, and recently we’ve been seeing it more and more in design ideas of the typically dry subject matter (think cybersecurity, healthcare, or other services). Of course, it’s important to achieve balance and ensure movement doesn’t dominate or distract on the page.

Where do you go for UX design inspiration? Could you recommend any resources (online guides, references, YouTube channels, etc.)? 

  1. Books that I could recommend:
  • Steve Krug “Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited”. I think this book should be like a designer’s bible.
  • Tom Kelly & David Kelly “Creative confidence”. It’s great for people who start their careers and need to boost their confidence.
  1. As for Youtube channels, try these:
  • Google Design. It’s great for keeping up with the most current design guidelines and insights. It’s led by a group of devs and designers at Google.
  • Conversions. Here you can catch up with some cool presentations from the Conversion event at Google, held by their advertisers.
  1. A tool that I find extremely useful to reach any design bookmark I’ve ever needed: Evernote Design

What is specific about UX/UI designer roles at Tesonet (if you can compare it to the other companies/workplaces/industries)?

Before Tesonet I worked in a digital agency. The key differences between product and agency life are the variety of projects on which you work. At a product company, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the main product, how to nail its brand concept, and focus on making it the best. At an agency, you’ll work on a series of projects with different clients. Of course, both have their own advantages and challenges. Here at Tesonet, we build cybersecurity products, so we need to have knowledge about the industry in order to understand our user needs.

Could you share any tips on how to prepare for the first UX/UI job interview?

First, do your homework. Make a research about the place where you are going to. What are the main company/product areas, what are the markets, company culture – that will give you the main idea with what kind of people you’ll be working with.

Then, the first job interview is usually about your soft-skills – the HR specialists want to know if you culturally fit their company since it’s as important as your technical skills. So, consider your answers to questions about your greatest strengths and what interests you about the role. 

Finally, take your time while preparing a good portfolio. There are lots of great tips on how to make a proper one. Just don’t rush and make it right because this is the thing that will make an impression about you and your skills

And finally, what would be your call-to-action to others:

Be strong – feeling overwhelmed is normal.