This last week I had the pleasure of getting in touch with Ionut Bondoc, a Romanian Interaction designer, doing top notch work that goes from web design to mobile apps and brand identity. If you would like to check out his work, you will find all of his social links at the bottom.
What I thought would be a personal meeting turned into a series of talks, since he and his team have relocated to Stockholm. Talking with him about designer tips, the design space, tools that are extremely useful for any designer and new trends, I decided to share what I’ve learnt with the world. Here is a rough transcript of his opinion:
What tools do you use for design work?
I’m happy to experiment with different tools and right now I’ve settled with:
- Illustrator: I use it for illustrations, icons and wireframes and it’s a super useful tool for this kind of work. I am currently working on a general template for wireframing in Illustrator to use it on my projects.
- Photoshop, useful for website design, user interface design and photo manipulation.
- Sketch 3 from Bohemian Code is extremely good for mobile applications and web design. I’m very impressed with how easy-to-use it is, while also being very complex. While still a bit buggy, the team at Bohemian Code are heading the right way. Also, Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 have introduced a new feature in their latest update: art boards. It’s still in the early stages, but you should check it out.
How do you handle collaboration and communication?
- Trello is a free tool for managing projects that’s extremely cool and easy to use.
- Slack is the new revolution in communication. It’s very interesting as a product and it’s fun as an experience: you can talk with different people depending on the tasks. And Giphy rocks!
- Skype calls: a video call can always fix the problem, either it is about clients or colleagues. I prefer to talk to people face to face si this is the tool i use for that.
- Evernote and GDocs – they’re good tools to save everything you find interesting and very helpful to create briefings and moodboards. I usually make a new doc for every new project and I copy-paste everything I find interesting and relevant there when i’m researching for some project.
- Excel( the nerdy brother): if you are working on a time basis, it’s very easy to make spreadsheets for every client and note the time you spent on every project. You apply a simple formula and bang, you know how much you have to invoice to your clients. Even cooler, you can share the link to the client and he can see in realtime how much you’ve worked. I like to keep things transparent with my clients.
What do you think about emerging design trends?
Well, recently I saw Google was trying some new stuff with Material and it’s a nice try. It’s also very funny and also interesting how 1 year ago we were against shadows and we almost banned blurred shadows and tadam! now we are back to it. So i really think that trends are unpredictable, get ready to wear a mustache or a very long t-shirt 🙂 . Trends tend to mix from each year, they get combined and that’s how a new trend appears. I think that you’re a truly professional designer when you’re noticing trends from early beginnings, understand them, see it they fit to your brand and only after this, adapt them.
You don’t need to show a lack of interest in trends and use Times New Roman, but you can’t adopt every new trend without understanding it either. I think this is a question of fine mixing and only a few people understand it. If a client comes to me asking for “material design”, it tells me a lot: he read that it’s the hot new trend somewhere and that’s it. That’s where you need to start your design consultancy and try to make ends meet with him.
How do you handle feedback?
The thing about design feedback is that it is highly subjective. I think the main point is this: I can’t tell you how to dress, but I can tell you if I think you have dressed ok or not. This also applies to design, although this subject is still a big issue in this industry. So let’s see, feedback…
Be sure to check out some of the stuff me and my team post as freebies here: www.designtory.net and hit me up if you have any questions or cool project. I’m always interested in new collaborations and I’ll always enjoy working with new cool people.
You can find Ionut on social media and of course, you can comment right here if you have something to tell him.