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Interview with Artur Konariev

Home > Designer Interviews > Artur Konariev

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Artur Konariev (AK) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Artur Konariev by clicking here.

Interview with Artur Konariev at Thursday 21st of May 2020
Artur Konariev
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
AK: I have two educational degrees that help me interact with design - philosophy and cognitive psychology. My first design education is in the Product Interface Design Course and after that, I was studying the UX and Human-Centered Design. The idea “to change life for better” is the part of design thinking. I'm a perfectionist by nature. Therefore, I feel passionate about each of my projects. I’m a Product designer specializing in design thinking, user-friendly interface, and creative direction.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
AK: Wadoo. is a Product Design Agency combining innovative, professional design, and creation of emotional connections for the superior online experience. Our approach is based on solving complex business tasks with the help of a high-quality, inspiring and exclusive design with extremely high ROI. We are a full-cycle product agency delivering a beautiful design with a passion for startups & leading brands. We are a team of dedicated professionals creating the eye-catching and functional designs of a website, mobile, and desktop applications, brand identity strategies. We combine expertise in UX, UI design and web/mobile development to help you conceive, build, launch and steer digital products. Our team works with clients to help them build applications that are intuitive, scalable and friendly.

FS: What is "design" for you?
AK: For me, design is about communicating feelings through visual sensations and unique experiences. Design provides an opportunity to create distinction, in visual communication, service or product design by adding your personal touch.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
AK: I like creating concepts in general. At first, I work on the overall idea. I like all the process on the way of turning this idea into something meaningful and functional at the same time. I never get bored with this routine.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
AK: I like the design by Jonathan Ive. Everyone should understand that the point here is not only in design as a visual component but also in user experience. His work is functional and thought out to the smallest detail. This is what I call excellent design.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
AK: It was a web design project for a beauty salon: an exciting project but just a hell of a client. I had no experience in communicating with clients, and I thought that "The client is always right." However, this is not entirely true. Therefore, he put me through the wringer; there were a lot of corrections and concepts. As a result, I created my design concept, not according to the brief and vision of the client. Guess what - it was approved by the client right away with minor corrections. It was my little victory, but still, it was not the most pleasant experience. After that, I had thoughts to end up design, but I decided that one client is not an indicator. After this, I pulled up my technical and communication skills a bit and continued to work with the design.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
AK: I prefer using Google Material Design and Human Interface by Apple. I leave enough time for creativity, but firstly, the design must be functional. I usually follow these two guidelines in my work. They are especially effective when developing mobile and desktop applications. It’s essential to do things that may be easily implemented later, and that will work well, the sequence and rules are crucial for the developers. I can provide that, and it does all the chemistry between us.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
AK: I feel the most creative when there is a certain interest to create or change something. Usually, a new task just attracts my attention and then creativity seems to appear right out of nowhere.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
AK: I pay much attention to the quality of the final product. I believe there’s nothing worth for a client than bad designs, created without any attention to the quality. When the design meets user needs, this means that everything is done correctly. The design works, the user is happy; the client is satisfied; everyone gets benefits.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
AK: Mostly positive. Doing design is an opportunity for me to express myself. First of all, it is a chance for me to transmit my positive emotions to others.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
AK: Usually, I experience delight and fulfilment. Every completed project brings even more satisfaction to me. I understand that all efforts were not in vain. Each project has its idea, and when it reaches the goal of realization, then magic happens.

FS: What makes a design successful?
AK: Design is successful not just when it looks good. It also needs to fulfil its purpose. To my mind, all the process contribute to the overall success of a design project.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
AK: I think, first impression matters, but I would advise focusing on usability. It is a make-or-break issue.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
AK: Designer design. We design solutions to cater to the individuals' needs. Well-designed products improve how people accomplish tasks and as a result, the operation of a society as a whole. Thus, our main sphere of responsibility is efficiency and comfort. We can convey complicated things in a language that is easy to understand, and also, through trial and error, improve existing principles and things. For example, a designer can create a universal type of bottle which, during production, will use 50% less plastic but remain convenient and functional.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
AK: Obviously, over the past century, the design field has evolved and expanded. I guess, this tendency will get even a faster pace in the future. To my mind, in the near future design will get more paramount. It will address even more complex problems. Design is not only a beautiful cover; the design is a problem-solving tool. Technologies like AR / VR / MR / XR will change major industries like medicine, architecture, transportation, space, and the automotive industry. An excellent example of Elon Musk with his ideas. Do not also forget about Biodesign; unity with nature is now more relevant than ever.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
AK: Recently, I have not devoted much time to exhibitions and publications, but I hope this year to fix everything. My design has already won one award at the A’Design Award & Competition, and I will not stop there. Follow the news, and soon you will be able to learn about new exhibitions and publications first.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
AK: I never know when inspiration will strike. I just feel inspired while working. It is nice while taking a break to find yourself inspired. This is what concerns super-creativity. But it should be clarified that the designer is not an artist. We do not need muse or external factors to create. Designers use principles, guidelines, laws of physics, and code. Until the moment of “Creative,” there are as many as six stages of UX processes that create the basis of the product, and only one stage is the creation of the visual design.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
AK: I never stop exploring myself. Every new tasks open up new sources in me. I would say I value the simplicity. I strongly believe in the principle 'genus is based on simplicity'. Each project is a news story. I can’t use styles from the children's online store for the banking system project. I can say that the approach to working with each project has a style. This is the approach that I developed for myself over the years of practice and which I use to make projects successful.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
AK: I live in Kyiv. Ukraine is my native country, and I feel 100% Ukrainian mentally. At the moment, I see vast perspectives for design in Ukraine. There are a lot of talented young professionals capable of delivering quality products. This fact inspires and motivates to develop the field.

FS: How do you work with companies?
AK: Different collaborations. We create beautiful design with equal passion for startups and leading brands. I help my clients’ businesses to grow and develop through distinctive, meaningful, and enduring design. Whether they run a multinational corporation, a small independent venture, or something in between, if you’d like to collaborate on the design, redesign, or refinement of their visual branding, it’d be great to see if we’re the right fit.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
AK: I would advise to choose a designer according to your own goals and ideas. Of course, knowledge and experience are important, but more important is the common vibe.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
AK: This process turns out to be pretty much the same in all cases. I would describe it in 10 simple words (at the same time steps): Understand, Discovery, Research, Mindmapping, Low-fidelity wireframe, Analyse, High-fidelity prototype, Design, Launch, Analyse (again). Of course, behind each of these words are complex processes and design sub-steps. All of them are important, and I always try to follow them since they are 70% successful; the rest must be covered by empathy, idea, innovation, and detailed work.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
AK: We've moved to a new flat for a long time, so we have not had time to organize the space as it should, but I will write it to you as soon as I buy exciting stuff.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
AK: Wake up, brew coffee, take the child to the kindergarten, road to the office, hellos to my colleagues - these are for every day. Then the most exciting part begins. For the rest of the working time, I am engaged in establishing business processes in the agency. I make plans for the day, check the work of the team, communicate with customers, search and sell services, emailing/correspondence, set up, structure, and document the work processes. Lunch. Discussion and work on projects, research, innovate, and play doing sketches, brainstorming, and conceptualizing projects. Get to the kindergarten, pick up the child, come back home with a smile.This is it.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
AK: As for young designers, my advice is 'be dedicated to what you do'. Explore, learn different technologies, follow the news, read the blogs by seniors, read a lot. Now there is a lot of information and literature, audio, and video content. These are sources of insider information in the public domain. Use it if it is available. The best way to test and improve your skills is to work. Do not be lazy, and you will be rewarded. Find an agency of your liking, where you can work in a team, ask a lot of questions to senior and experienced who have already gotten bumps. It will be an invaluable experience. As to those who decided to hire a young professional I would advise keeping calm, be appreciative and supportive, and not to forget that we all were young professionals some time ago.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
AK: As a true fan of my work, I can see only positive aspects here. Clients come to me with business problems, and with the help of design, I offer them business solutions. Sometimes these are global changes that directly affect/help users, and that's cool. The negative side of being a designer is that we are not artists and cannot just do whatever we want because there are tasks that need to be addressed. Besides, the designer’s job is not only to create, but it’s also sales, management, marketing, which are quite tiring because you can’t just relax and create.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
AK: Keep it simple or 'genus is based on simplicity'

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
AK: Creativity is, of course, an important skill, but it is not necessary to be a genius to work as a designer. Now the designer is more of a technical speciality, so cramming or learning and understanding the basic rules and practice will help to become a good designer.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
AK: Over the years, I got a considerable number of tabs with ideas and inspiration. I look through them often. I’m also subscribed to different news portals, so new designs skip through my newsfeed all the time. Mindmeister, Sketch, and InVision are the main tools in my work. They cover 80%: the remaining 20% - Google Analytics, Usertesting.com, Wrike management tool for work and planning. A major role is played by research and the search for solutions to new problems, Dribbble, Behance, Pinterest help me in this.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
AK: There are many tasks and distractions, especially when you work for yourself or own an agency. In a pandemic, many office workers felt how it's like to be focused when Netflix, a sofa and a refrigerator, seduce you, or when children think you have a day off. Usually, I plan out each day’s activities and try to stick to the plan. Plus, for me, it is very important to find the right time for the right activity to stay productive all day long. It is also important not only to plan but also to take stock of what has been done. You can determine which tasks you have done and which not, and why. Thus, you can understand what blocked you and exclude these factors.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
AK: It depends on the object complexity. It may take from several days up to several months, actually. At this time, when the world is changing rapidly and dictating its own rules, I cannot develop some projects for months. Business needs to offer quick solutions that are relevant now. We killed a perfectionist. We took maximum responsibility and decisions on ourselves. For us, the speed of response, relevance, and strength of an idea are more critical than a licked creative. We have narrowed the deadlines: from the brief to the finished materials - one, two weeks, instead of 3 months. We approve ideas with clients, even at the level of thoughts, without a long preparation of presentations.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
AK: How much does it cost? Why is it so expensive/long? Many, not all, customers have no understanding of what designers do. Many people think that the designer opens Photoshop, sits at the computer for several minutes, and everything is ready. Design is something everyone can do, but not everyone has time for this. This mistaken vision has existed for a long time. In such cases, I try to explain the process of creating a design, or rather a solution to a business problem. As soon as they learn some details of the process, how thoughtful and vital it is for the development and launch of a successful project, they cease to be so frivolous about design.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
AK: With each new project, I am becoming a little better than yesterday. I always try to implement new technology in a project, create a new concept. In this way, it gets possible not to stop and develop all the time. One such project was the development of an AR application for LG Uplus along with the EyeCandyLab team from Augmented Reality. Then it was my first touch of Additional Reality not as a user but as a designer. This project gave me deeper knowledge and skills in using new technology in practice. Now I use this experience to make new projects more successful. By adding new functionality, applications become better and more popular as they solve even more tasks.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
AK: Helen Marlen Group, EAK Digital, EyeCandyLab, Augmented Reality, LG Uplus, Stadium, Interview-Maker, Wheels for Wishes, InstyMeds, Comfort Life, Piastrix, Meela (Juno baby), Shopafor, Edvoy, IECabroad

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
AK: I’m always curious about the result. Thus, I enjoy finding new ways of doing things or solving issues.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
AK: My goal right now is to make Wadoo. company the one that enables young professionals to work with people they can learn from. Later down the line, I would like Wadoo. company to hold a strong position on the market and an excellent reputation among the customers. I hope for continuous improvement and growth.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
AK: At the moment I am a team leader. Everything I do immediately affects my teammates. Thus, there is no division between developing myself and developing my team at the moment. We are improving and we are doing our best.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
AK: Many of the projects we have been working on have stalled due to the impact of the pandemic. But we are currently negotiating and will launch new projects shortly.

FS: How can people contact you?
AK: Please, by e-mail: hello@wadoo.space Or via Wadoo. Design Agency website https://www.wadoo.space/ Follow us at: https://www.facebook.com/wadoo.space https://www.instagram.com/wadoo.space https://www.linkedin.com/company/wadoo https://twitter.com/Wadoodotspace https://www.behance.net/wadoo https://dribbble.com/arturkonariev https://medium.com/@arturkonariev

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
AK: If you have interesting ideas that you want to implement or you need to reformat, improve the business, my team, and I will help you succeed in this and start/restart your products.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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