Meet Slawek Domanski, a User Experience (UX) Designer based in our Opole office in Poland.
Tell us about your job.
My job is to make websites and products easy to use by the people accessing them. Imagine a project, app, or website as a human body. The UX Designer creates the skeleton, with all its possibilities and restrictions, so it will be able to fulfill its purpose. The Website Developer then creates the muscles that allow the body to move and function. A User Interface Designer, or ‘UI’ Designer, creates the skin or clothes, which we can call the ‘look’.
How does that work in practice?
I have a broad range of tasks to do but the most important is to communicate with all team members and share knowledge, mainly from the user perspective. This involves desk-based and field research to pinpoint the core features needed, creating personas, user journeys and Information Architecture, design paper prototypes (from rough sketches to more hi fidelity), prototype testing, business analysis as well as wireframing.
Where are you based?
I work from the Opole office and travel to London regularly to catch up on projects and meet with other team members and clients.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I start the day with a strong coffee and an inspirational browse through some of my favourite websites and designers. I then check my emails and tasks for the day, and get to work on my current projects, which could be anything from a new website to integration in diverse sectors from property to pensions. After work, I catch up with the latest UX, UI and marketing news, which inspires me to create paper sketches to consolidate my thinking. Then it’s time to meet friends, which is always a good end to the day!
What do you enjoy about your job?
I like the fact that I can change a process so it’s more user friendly or accessible, for example, for visually impaired users. In my own way, I can help make the world a better place. Although these are not big changes, as long as they make a difference to the user, it’s worth the effort. The other thing I love about my job is working on new things, constant learning, researching and developing new approaches to a challenge.
What did you do before joining Kolab?
I studied Social Psychology and Journalism at the University of Opole. I then did a postgraduate course in Internet Marketing at AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow.
I also worked as a PR/marketing specialist in my early career, where I was responsible for creating and executing print and digital campaigns for my clients. This experience is very useful now as it gives me a good understanding of the different viewpoints of businesses and creative teams when working with clients at Kolab and the wider Ferrier Pearce Creative Group.
What are you passionate about?
I really love psychology, especially cognitive psychology, which tries to understand the human being and the world through the prism of psychology using scientific methods, rather than philosophical.
Who is your role model and why?
In UX it’s definitely Don Norman. He is one of the first to talk about user centered design. He showed the world that designing to solve user problems is better than designing just for the purpose of designing. I really like that he combines cognitive psychology, science and design in his work.
Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be significant in your career?
One of the most interesting projects was working on the user experience design for HSBC. I loved it because I worked as part of a multidisciplinary team consisting of experts from the client, Kolab and Ferrier Pearce. There were a lot of challenges we had to solve with collaborative workshops from beginning to end. No matter how large or how small, each project has its own set of challenges and it’s about finding solutions that work for the users.