Hello everyone, I’m Jan Losert. For those of you that I haven’t met yet, I’m an Interface designer currently living in London, born in a beautiful historical city of Prague, Czech Republic. For the past several years, I’ve been doing what I love the most — I enjoy seeing how people think, I love to do complex dashboards, find ways how to save their time and make their jobs easier. This is what I do every day now.
When your friends or parents ask to you what job do you do, how do you answer?
When I started I was retouching and “improving” other people’s pictures so it was easy to understand and showed what I was doing. But now, I’ve switched to designing interfaces and web apps and as it’s always hard to describe what I’m doing so I would rather say that I’m creating designs of easy websites. Also, I remember that when I started freelancing and working for clients my mom told me.
“Don’t play on the computer all the time! Read books or something.”
I love one tweet by @Helen Tran (link — https://twitter.com/tranhelen/status/407525319755567104):
“What do you do?”
“I’m a Product Designer… uh, or UX Designer.”
“I make things easier for users.”
“I make websites.”
What is your background, how did you train?
I spend 2 full years playing whole evenings with Photoshop editing and creating various Wallpapers, Space arts, Signatures. a number of things for various Rap people (I’m fan of Rap). Then, I started receiving many small jobs and in one year I was working 12 hours daily on webdesigns. It’s all been practice, tutorials and drilling. I’m just love to spend nights with my mate… Photoshop.
What the web can do to make this world a better place? How did the web improve your life (if it did)?
Basically the internet provides me the opportunity to work on things what I love. I can easily sit at home and work with or for people from different countries. Technology has made this world a much better place in a number of important ways. This is almost seamless nowadays in that we can communicate with an enormously wide and varied audience instantly you don’t need to send them a letter and pray that it will arrive. In addition, people can easily learn things. Everybody can be anything at this moment.
Can you show us three examples of interface that in your opinion improved human life?
Nokia 3310, Keyboard and Communicators (SMS, iMessage, Facebook, WhatsApp)
On quora.com, time ago there was a long discussion in answer to the question “what is the most intuitive interface ever created?”; according to Felipe Rocha it is the nipple, in your opinion instead? (http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-most-intuitive-interfaces-ever-created)
In this way it can be anything. I’m not a daily nipple user (my GF is still in my hometown) so I’d rather say bed. This is because I don’t need any manuals and walkthrough for that and I know what I’ll do there.
How is your work day type?
I wake up at 7:50 and I go to the Badoo office. In the middle of the day I’ll turn off the pixels for an hour because I go to the gym to push heavier pixels. After Badoo, I go back home, and in the evenings I work on personal stuff which you can usually see on my dribbble. Finally, I go to bed at 0:30 — 3AM.
What is the most stimulating and challenging project you have accomplished?
I enjoy working on big projects with lots of screens where you need think about consistency and all the possible states. For example, my last big project and whole experience was about Customer Care systems. It was an amazing opportunity to start from scratch and prepare the whole study and the new system for those people. I passed a few user testings and lot of discussion about what are most important parts and what we can hide or remove.
Additionally, I did 2 projects at Socialbakers where we also started from scratch and built something really big for the measurement of social media. It was also an amazing experience, where I probably learned most of my current skills.
What is, among the existing digital services, the one you wanted to do?
I love what I do so I don’t want to change. However, if I must name one, then I really love the style of guys from Mixpanel.
Many designers commit the mistake of starting a project directly from Photoshop, is there a perfect design method? What is your approach to the creative process?
And yes, I always start with research, thinking, sketches on paper. When I’m 100% sure that this will works and I want to sign that off, I’ll then move to Photoshop. Others could have different approaches for this.
The “design” is an important part of our analogic life. What is the role of the designer in our digital life?
To keep things simple and create visually pleasing and easy to use things which can be used by everyone, including your grandma.
Do you believe it is important for a designer to have a deep knowledge of matters as User Experience, Interaction Design, Product Design, and Front-end development?
It’s necessary to have the basic skills of each of these parts. Without it, you’ll be preparing something what you can’t be 100% sure that is possible to develop. However, I’m not big fan of that idea that designer also needs to be an HTML coder. It’s just nice to know.
I wrote about my process in an article which you can read about that here: https://medium.com/best-thing-i-found-online-today/3f349a19e613
In which way do you make a difference between User Interface and user experience?
That’s something that has to be connected. The best user experience of a user interface is when you don’t need to create tooltips for every button and prepare a 5 min walkthrough video as an intro to your product.
Beautiful Places List
What is your relationship with the developers? There are people that have a relationship of continuous confrontation and other of deep friendship, where do you collocate with respect to this question?
One of my best friends is also the guy behind code, consequently, I like to work with these people. However, virtually everybody will agree that there are only two types of developers. One group will never understand what is pixel perfect or “almost” pixel perfect, and in contrast with this group, you always want to cut your head off. Additionally, in most of cases these people can teach you a lot of things about consistency and guidelines etc.
How do you think that your career and job will evolve in the next 5 years?
That’s something which I can’t predict.
My career massively changed in the past 1 and half years, so I’ll be happy if it continues in a similar style.
A famous quotation of David Carson (noted American graphic designer) says: “Graphic design will save the world right after rock and roll does”. Will the User Interface Design save the world, before, at the same time, or after the graphic design?
User Interfaces are already saving the world, that’s the reason why we are doing this interview or nah? (Just kidding!!)
What do you think about Dribbble? Is it a good way to get a job? What’s the best way to find a job as designer?
Dribbble is a huge thing at this moment. Dribbble is an amazing opportunity to see what the best people from the market are working on. Also, it’s a nice way to promote yourself. And yes, dribbble is seen by a huge amount of people who need help with their products and you can easily get in touch with some interesting projects.
What book would you advice to a Junior Designer?
I’ll say: Share what you are really doing. This can be applied to every type of person. I know a lot of talented people who have nice paintings in their drawers.
But, if I really need to give advice, then probably: Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon, that’s a funny book with lot of nice quotes and interesting thoughts.
My advice to everyone: Find something that you really like and try to explore that and try to learn everything about that. Everything else comes in a moment. It always starts with passion, not with money.
Always as far as advices: what tools for the design? What tools for the projects management?
Design: Photoshop, Paper and Pen, InVisionApp. Skala.
I’m using Things for Todo and Projects.
I need my Thunderbolt display to see all these pixels and I’m using a Wacom tablet instead of a mouse. It’s much easier to work with that for me.
Dribbble : https://dribbble.com/JanLosert
Website : http://janlosert.com/
FRONTIERSX November 12–13th, 2015, Milan, Italy
As the meeting point of design, technology and everything interactive, this year we’ll dive deep through innovation and disruption in Banking, Health and Retail industries.