Let us introduce you to the new host of UXBelgrade meetup, Bojan Đuričić or simply known as Đura. Đura is a designer and former front-end developer, with a lot of experience in the field.
When he’s not designing you can find him giving inspiring speeches at various conferences and meetups.
We asked him few questions about his own experience in becoming an influential designer. Here’s what he said:
How did you decide to become a UX designer?
– Long time ago, when I was just starting out as a front-end developer, I couldn’t stand looking at unusable and ugly computer interfaces. I guess I always had an eye for detail and functional aesthetic. Back then industry was young and there was no UX/UI designer position the way we think of it today. There were hardly any UI designers, most of them were still doing print design 90% of the time. Nobody paid too much attention to web UIs. So, I started doing a little bit of design myself. In that sense, I haven’t decided to become anything – I simply had a challenge and decided to take it on.
Which educational path did you choose; good and bad sides?
– I have a computer engineering degree from university, but I am completely self-educated when it comes to design. Good side to self-education is that you can take your own direction and pace, provided you have enough self-motivation. The bad side is sometimes (especially in the beginning) too much freedom, lack of structure and lack of guidance from mentor can make your path very twisted and difficult. It’s not like I regret something, I just think a bit of formal education comes very handy. Especially on how you approach your work, people, your ego.
Do you think that education plays an important role for a designer?
– I believe that education in general is essential to any kind of progress. Formal design education plays important role in a sense that it gives you information on well established principles (which are there to be further improved) and what is the state of design landscape at the moment. Without this, you often end up reinventing a torch in your own dark cave, which is kind of futile work with light bulbs existing over 100 years, if you catch my drift.
Which sort of education would you recommend to young UX designers?
– Any course or school organised around a practical project that gives you experience – something tangible, something to be made – a website, or an app. Books are just information and they rarely have transformative power unless they are combined with sustained practice.
How long have you been in this job and have you ever made a switch from or to something else?
– It’s hard to say a number, because for a long time I was doing development in parallel. Let’s say around 10 years. I made switch from development. Don’t know where future might take me, though.
What was the first thing that you ever designed?
– Membership cards for skateboard club. It was three of us in the club, I was 6-7 years old. I drew it on a piece of paper, had it photocopied and we kept it in our back pockets.
What is your favourite job/project and why?
– We were working on an online photobook creator. There was a lot of freedom in designing the product, a lot of ideas and creative thinking. The team was great, very dear people, we had some good times.
What has been your biggest challenge as a UX designer?
How did you solve it?
– I didn’t.
Do you sometimes have communication problems with the developers/other colleagues you’re working with?
– Of course.
How do you solve them?
– Patience and understanding. It’s often very challenging, though. Being aware of other person’s perspective makes me eventually understand why things are as they are, which in turn guides my behaviour towards more productive discussion. As long as there is resistance, things will go south.
How do you see design scene in Belgrade?
– I love design scene in Belgrade. It is blooming, still very young and in development compared to something you’d have in Berlin or San Francisco, but hey – we are catching up. Most of all, it’s about wonderful people I have a chance to spend time with. There’s so much more than just design we share and talk about. I believe this kind of bond is very important for scene development.
What would you do to improve it?
– Enable people to get in touch with each other in a more profound way, get them to work together around something of public interest. Organise a design hackathon for improving public services.
What are you learning at the moment?
– Foremost, I am learning about myself, how to overcome bad habits and how to be of better service to others. Also, I started learning a bit about bioinformatics for the upcoming project.
Do you write and where can we find those stories?
– I don’t write…yet. I always enjoy a cup of good conversation, though.
Which books and blog would you recommend?
– “The Elements of UX” by Jesse James Garett is classic UX read, “The obstacle is the way” and “Ego is the enemy” by Ryan Holiday for personal development. I also read NN Group newsletter, they have very insightful, research-backed advices.
Which UX designers are you following?
– No one in particular. I bump in random people on the internet. I keep in touch with Janko Jovanovic
Do you have any advice for your colleagues?
– Work on allowing yourself to see out of the box. Learn to accept failure. Learn to listen to other people regardless of your opinion. Allow yourself to change and adapt, for nothing is constant and world is always changing. Always stay a student.
If you like Đura’s personality like us, and you’ve missed first UX Belgrade meetup, you can take a look at his speech here.
Know more UXers that deserve our attention? Reach us out at: email@example.com