Here is our talk with Zhenya Rynzhuk — Art Director, Co-founder of Sochnik Design Thinking School, AWWWARDS and CSSDA design judge of 2018:

I am passionate about everything that has to do with Visual & Product design, Mobile & Web projects as well as Branding, Typography, and Animations.

I believe that my architectural background (Master’s degree in Architecture and Design of Urban Spaces) has been helping me create a different kind of products and be recognized by Muzli as one of Top 5 product designers in 2017.

Dive

I guess generally speaking within what I do — «Design is the considered approach to aesthetics with a view to best communicate a message»In my opinion, there are two primary parameters that influence on how deep should a designer dive into the field of the project he/she is working on. The very first criterion is how experienced the designer already is in this particular industry. It is pretty evident that for highly skilled designers much less time is needed to grasp what the project is all about.

The second parameter is the actual size of the project. I am certain that the level of involvement does depend on the scale because you can hardly compare the time investment needed to familiarize yourself with a complex product dashboard versus a promotional leaflet.

Based on the above, I firmly believe that the key to success is the balance between the complexity of the task and the designer’s current industry expertise or the amount of extra time put into learning the specifics of the field he/she is confronted with when taking on a new project

Little teaser — in the end of our interview Zhenya and FlowMapp team left nice bonus for you!

New Industries

I am always open to trying out something new to make sure I constantly challenge the status quo, leave my comfort zone and grow both personally and professionally.

However, I also enjoy taking on cool projects in the industries, which belong to my key areas of expertise. The reasons here are twofold:

  1. I have higher chance of succeeding and creating something of the highest quality.
  2. When you already have a certain level of confidence there is also a good chance of experimenting and pushing the limits further. What’s important here is that you risks are mitigated by your knowledge.

Trends

I am always on the lookout for new trends and tendencies because it is important to stay on the edge with the designs you produce. It is also crucial to consume a lot of high quality content and smart design solutions to be able to rethink them and possibly adapt to some other business cases.

However, it is crucial to consume all this content responsibly and do not blindly follow the trends. What’s important to highlight here is that each design first of all has to solve a real project or business need. In this respect, if following either of the trends doesn’t contribute to this purpose, it doesn’t really make much of sense to do this.

Quality of Design

For me, high quality design is both appealing and functional. It evokes positive emotions, provides users with flawless experience and contributes to the success of the business behind it.

Can you give few advices for young designers in the beginning of their creative way? Things you’ve already passed.

In the beginning of your design career (probably applicable for many other fields as well), it is very important to find a right mentor/coach, who can give you constructive feedback and explain in great detail what you do right and what’s wrong and how this “wrong” can be turned into “right”.

One more advice which I can give is to do proper research before actually starting the design itself. This could be anything from trying to understand the business model of the client to checking out some cool references on Dribbble, Behance, Awwwards or other platforms.

Don’t take things for granted and try to think critically in order to grasp the idea behind each design solution

Challenges

I think that the most difficult but important part is the investigation of the project filed prior to the actual start of the design work. However, when done properly such a research helps a lot during the production phase.

Another challenging task is working on a completely new product with very few analogues/competitors. I also believe that challenges are essentially good because they make us leave out comfort zone and move on to outgrow both personally and professionally.

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Learn

I think that the most difficult but important part is the investigation of the project filed prior to the actual start of the design work. However, when done properly such a research helps a lot during the production phase I find inspiration in the works of design classics as well as in classical and modern art. It is also crucial to follow design media to be in the loop of the recent trends, communicate and exchange knowledge with other designers as well as visit various conferences and meetups.

I am also a strong advocate of practical education — «learning by doing and learning by teaching others

The “classic” way of education is good for the general background in the very beginning of your design career. Once this stage is over, it is absolutely crucial to practice by doing what’s trending today, visit different masterclasses and workshops conducted by design gurus.

Favourite Designers

My favourite designers are Dieter Rams for sure (swiss design father), Johannes Itten, Bruno Monguzzi, Kazumasa Nagai.

Regarding the studios, I would name Anagrama, Ueno, Pentagram, White Russian Studio.

Inspiration

Almost every day, I check new projects and search for inspiration on Awwwards, httpster, FWA, CSSDA, Muzli and some other blogs. Always try to find some new cool resources. Each month I buy and read a new design book.

Do you feel lack of something (tools, capability, approach, ... ) in current software?

There is no tool to directly visualize all my thoughts… Just joking :) I really enjoy all recent developments in the design sphere. I feel like this industry is one of the most rapidly developing ones.

Design Revolution

I believe that the next design revolution is most likely to be connected with the development and expansion of AI and new forms of interaction between humans and digital things.

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