My name is Vincent Tantardini, I am a self-taught UI/UX designer and front-end developer living in France. I love to work on creative websites and apps projects.
When your friends or parents ask you what job do you do, how do you answer?
Because I’m living with my parents and we often talk about my work, they exactly know what I am doing right now. About my friends and other members of the family, I tell them I « create websites ».
What is your background, how did you train?
I’ve always been interested in new technologies. When I was young, I learned by myself Debian GNU / Linux and FreeBSD open source projects, as well as notions of networking / learning coding. I stopped school when i was eighteen, then I worked as maintenance-man, package sorter and other jobs for some years. I was feeling that something was missing in my life.
I started to learn front-end coding by myself one year and a half ago, then photoshop and UI/UX design came naturally as I was feeling I needed to be part of the creative process. I have practiced a lot, trying to decrypt other designer’s goods and bads, creating PSDs and little concepts. Time and perseverance did the rest. I have to say I’m feeling real lucky right now. This story is some kind of proof that you can real get some great things in your life when you keep your mind and your heart focused on your goal.
What the web can do to make this world a better place? How did the web improve your life( if it did)?
I love the web because it allows me to meet awesome people from other part of the world I couldn’t have met in my life otherwise. We can talk, work on some projects and do great things together, share on a personal and technical level, this is unbelievable.
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)
What about the compass?
How is your work day type?
I’m a freelance designer, so I’m quite free about my organization. I work at home, main from 10:00 to 18:00. I’m not that much a workaholic, but I must confess sometimes, when I get the « flow », I can work till 4:00am. Like I said I’m quite free with that until the work is completed before the project deadline.
Everyday when I get up, I grab a big cup of tea and spend something like 30min/1hour on Dribbble, Twitter, Feedly and read latest news on Designmodo, Codrops, Smashing Mag (…) to be aware of innovations, great projects, useful apps… Keeping an eye on technological developments and design trends is really important for a designer in my humble.
What is the most stimulating and challenging project you have accomplished?
Probably my latest project. It’s a form generator that let you create web forms while drag’n’droping fields from a sidebar to the right side of the app. It was a little challenge for me as I was only the design websites before and the app design was something I wanted to try. This is not a revolution but I like to think that it will be intuitive and easy to use application, as the creation can often be a boring task.
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?
I made those mistakes at first too. I think there is no « perfect » method though, this is also about a feeling and inspiration. Anyway I agree that there is a little list that may work for almost everything:
- Think the project. For who, how, why. Dig some important words. (without computer)
- Get some inspiration, create a moodboard, see what was already done around this purpose/concept. Do they have problems? Can you solve them? (with and without computer)
- Wire framing (with or without computer)
- Define/create the UI components: colors scheme, types, illustrations, icons…
- Finally, create the UI on photoshop
The “design” is an important part of our analogic life. What is the role of the designer in our digital life?
Exactly the same. Creating interfaces for virtual applications that should be ingenious and people would enjoy to use.
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?
I think creative people are naturally open minded and curious about a lot of different topics. If you are aware of the basics that will be used to implement your designs, you certainly know far much what your technical constraints are, and how to work around. Also, UX, Interaction design and product branding are all linked to our job and the more we know them, the more we can improve our work with great ideas and considered choices.
In which way do you make a difference between User Interface and user experience?
The shutter button to take a picture on near all reflex cameras is placed on the top right corner, and should be actioned with the photographer’s index. This is UX. UX is about physics, phycology, people habits, this kind of things. It comes before UI work.
Some cameras got a round shutter button made of black plastic. On some other models, this button is a silver square. This is UI. UI is about space, shapes, colors or even typography. It comes after UX work.
How do you think that your career and job will evolve in the next 5 years?
I would love to work in some other part of the world during some time, meet new people and work on great projects with them, based on ethics. Maybe a day will also come when I’ll work on my own product/project, who knows?
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?
I appreciate Dribbble. Everyday I meet a lot of kind and talented people there like Michelle Ouellette, Axel Hermann, Tommy Roussel, Barthelemy Chalvet, Rovane durso… they are so many and so inspiring! You can find some work opportunities on dribbble yes, but don’t put all your eggs in one bucket. Hm, basket. A good way to increase your visibility is also to create freebies and why not design articles about your process and your thoughts: share with your community.
What book would you advice to a Junior Designer?
I have only one book about design, it is Rework by Jason Fried and DHH, co-founders of 37signals. Most of my reading is online, I’m a huge user of Feedly. A List Apart and Abduzeedo are great sources for articles and inspiration too!
Always as far as advices: what tools for the design? What tools for the projects management ?
I manage my projects on a notebook for now (yeah, real paper with ink), I like to keep some physical objects and not to use my computer for everything. Sometimes I use Wunderlist and Taasky (which is an amazing task management app you should try). I use only photoshop for webdesign/UI and illustrator for vector illustrations/icons (Gimp and Inkscape do great things too if you need free tools). For font management, I like to use Font Explorer X from Linotype. It works great with MacOSX and Adobe applications.
Dribbble : http://dribbble.com/vt
Website : http://www.vtcreative.fr/