UX Design is more than pretty icons, typefaces and colours
Lviv, August 17th, 2016
‘Design that works’ is QubStudio tag line. The digital design company based in Lviv, Ukraine, currently employs 25 people, and its work is mostly on UX/UI design.
QubStudio is the brainchild of Lyubomyr Koval, a web developer, and Victor Fedyuk, a designer and artist. With a mutual passion for contemporary web design and a shared business sense, the friends decided to get together and fund the company over seven years ago. First there were two; now they are 25 and only last year they moved into a bigger office to allow for more growth and creativity.
The hard working Ukranian team knows that great things don’t ‘just happen.’ On its website, it lists a code of rules, which it uses to achieve what its customers want: creative and effective user interfaces. The page opens with a quote from contemporary Artist Andrew Hendrixson: “Anyone who has ever made anything of importance was disciplined.”
We talked to Lyubomyr to find out more about this central Europe company and the secrets of his trade. He confessed that the team loves working on challenging projects, trying new approaches and expanding their expertise. However the fascination and challenge about working on UX/UI, is to be able to combine creativity with a business-oriented approach.
In your opinion, what ingredients are key to create great design?
In our work we have to take a human-centred design approach. This is a process that has to start with the people you’re designing for in mind and it should end with a tailor made solution to suit their needs.
Human-centred design is all about building a deep empathy with the people you’re designing for. Generating tons of ideas. Building a bunch of prototypes. Sharing what you’ve made with the people you’re designing for, and eventually putting your innovative new solution out in the world.
If you really care about the result, you need to do research and workshops with your customers and/or their clients. This will ensure that you have complete and clear understanding of the project goals, as well as the customer’s and user’s needs and expectations.
The most interesting thing for us is to participate in start-ups from the very beginning and see them turn into great business.
For instance one client was a start-up related to events tickets booking and printing services. These services combine both online and offline presence. Bringing together the two works is fascinating.
I believe the key to project success is to have an interesting idea, good sense and a hardworking team. But also to be fearless in the face of challenge.
An other good example of this approach is QubStudio’s recent project for VODA (which means ‘water’). This entertainment club offers a space for peaceful sunny rest during a day, and crazy parties at night. To represent this vibe, the company designed a UX that gradually changes from a sunny-day colour scheme to a twilight and deep night high energy feel.
How did you get started in the industry?
I got my degree in Computer Science in 2006, my graduation work was dedicated to online project management systems. Back then I already had a few completed projects on my portfolio.
Since I was enjoying this craft and it felt like a promising business idea to me, I invited my friend Victor Fedyuk to start a business together. That is how everything began.
What is your personal definition of creativity?
Usually people associate creativity with artists, designers, musicians or artists in general. But I believe there is a place for creativity for everyone – from a janitor to CFO. In each particular case creativity will show up in a way of thinking and problem solving. I really enjoy working with creative people.
Which cities outside where you live interest you creatively?
London and New York
What do you like doing in your free time?
Besides being a CEO, I’m also a husband and father of two little girls.
Name a challenge your team is currently facing.
We are currently transforming into a qualitatively new organisational structure. We are adjusting and formalising our business process in order to scale and become a better team.
What’s your story with your agency?
10 years ago my friend Victor and I were sitting in one of Lviv’s cosy cafes discussing contemporary web design and graphic design. It took less than two cups of coffee for us to find out that we share the opinion that most of the online stuff could be much better – mainly from the efficiency point of view. This is how the idea of setting up an agency to be able to designstuff that really makes a difference emerged.
In your opinion, what is a digital design trend that is here to stay?
User oriented design.
Where do you see the future of the industry?
I believe the industry is still on the establishing stage. The next stages would be it’s integration and adaptation to everyone’s life – from a little child to an old man. Digital services will evolve into usual ones, must-haves, where there will be no clear boundary between material and digital. And that’s exactly where design plays a crucial role.
What piece of advice would you give a recent grad looking to work in digital design?
The first thing you need to do is gather experience, both professional and personal. Go from little things to major projects. Be proactive and have initiative. Don’t be afraid to experiment. And never stop learning!
By Geny Caloisi.