Today, Yana Vasileva holds the esteemed Principal UX/UI Designer position. However, her journey to this role was diverse and unconventional, encompassing studies in Scandinavian studies, a stint in marketing, and life in Reykjavik. Her first foray into the working world was as a waitress in a café during her school years, driven by a deep desire to save up for her very first computer, complete with an old-style monitor and cathode-ray tube, all to embark on a journey of learning the intricacies of Photoshop.
Tell us about your educational background.
My path into the IT world follows an atypical trajectory for someone in this field. I hold a bachelor's degree in Scandinavian Studies. This program involved intensive language studies in Norwegian and Danish and delved into various cultural, translation, and communication disciplines. I expanded my horizons by studying classic literature and language at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík. I obtained a postgraduate qualification in graphic design from FNTS and further augmented my design skills through a UX design course at the Telerik Academy.
What was your first role in the IT sector?
My first job in IT was with a Norwegian firm specializing in software development for the construction industry. I was in marketing, and my responsibilities encompassed all aspects of the Norwegian market. Moreover, I interfaced extensively with customers, embarking on business trips and gaining firsthand insights into their work processes and product requirements. Through this exposure, I began cultivating the foundations of my future career as a UX designer.
What does your role as a UX designer entail?
The role of a UX designer is to discern what a software application, physical device, or any product needs to be to be helpful, effective, and enjoyable for users.
"In our case, this entails understanding the diverse needs and challenges faced by users of various software applications, considering the context in which they operate, and strategizing ways to enable them to achieve their goals quickly and efficiently. UX designers play a pivotal role in the product development process."
They actively collaborate with clients and produce digital prototypes that facilitate rapid and cost-effective validation of design concepts before they are translated into code. Designers advocate for the end users, ensuring the final product is technically feasible and aligns with the product manager's vision.
What drives your passion for your work?
At Resolute, we engage in projects spanning diverse objectives and timelines, working on products across various industries.
"What motivates me most is the opportunity to collaborate with experts in healthcare, security, finance, and other fields across the USA, Australia, Canada, and Switzerland. Engaging with such professionals and being able to present my ideas and co-create solutions with them has always fascinated me."
My recent experiences at Resolute are an opportunity to collaborate with a large team of enthusiastic and dynamic designers. Interactions with colleagues, regardless of team affiliation, serve as a rapid and suitable knowledge-sharing avenue, which I find invaluable daily.
Who are your role models, and from whom do you draw inspiration?
Teachers and professors have profoundly influenced me at the university. They possessed deep expertise in their respective fields and excelled in communicating their knowledge to others. I've observed a similar trait in colleagues who lead teams or products – effective communication characterizes exceptional professionals from those in mere positions. Fortunately, Resolute boasts several such professionals, and I always find it increasing to work alongside them, as it presents numerous learning opportunities.
What are the most prevalent misconceptions about the UX/UI designer profession?
One of the most persistent misconceptions is the belief that designers must possess drawing skills or have a background in graphic design before transitioning into a UX design role.
"In reality, what's essential for UX/UI professionals are qualities like empathy, observation, and analytical thinking. The essence of UX design lies not in how things appear but in how they function and serve their users."
What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?
I love reading books in their original languages, avoiding translations whenever possible. My collection spans Norwegian, Danish, and English literature, although finding sufficient time to explore it all remains a delightful challenge. I am also an avid traveler and enthusiast of concerts and festivals. My interests extend to fine art and sculpture. That's why I often explore galleries and museums during my travels abroad. As a testament to my adventurous spirit, I embarked on a firearms course about a year ago, marking one of my most daring hobbies.