Kamila is a designer based in Bratislava. We first worked together in September on an animation for the opening of our PAKTA STUDIO Workshop & Store which served as an invitation. We were back-and-forthing ideas and designs throughout the night. By the morning we had at least a few animation ideas that she had sent us. We worked together in the evenings because during the day Kamila already juggles working in a start-up and studying visual communication.
It is this diversity that she enjoys. When she started working, she was initial hired as a 3D designer, but began taking on extra work such as working on content for the site. Since then, her role has expanded to include UX (user experience) and UI (user interaction) design, and grown to where she has suddenly found herself working on almost everything.
“I don’t enjoy monotonous work, I need to have some diversity, so the work in the start-up works for me - there is always something new to do. But I also enjoy that I can sit after work and do other projects which are closer to graphic design the way I want to do. I enjoy interesting and experimental visuals, but in my own work I try not to favour the experimental over the functional.‘
And that’s why you enjoy working in UX and UI?
It is important for me to not communicate only to those in design circles using design terminology. In UX/UI, the user is the one who’s most important, and there are some set rules to adhere to which can be quite interesting. There is the whole psychology associated to user behaviour and interaction. I cannot let myself loose completely and invent an experimental visual, because it will not be understandable to the user and wouldn’t serve its purpose.
So that limitation helps you.
To some extent, yes, it limits me, but I take it mainly as a challenge. I personally like that focus on function. For me - the highest ideal is when the visual and function are in balance and harmony.
Don't you have the urge to visually call people? Because even an ordinary user is becoming more and more visually literate - is there any room in the UX and UI to visually educate the user?
The urge can be there, but ultimately it depends on the project. Sometimes there are things you can't afford to do, and you are better off reaching for proven solutions. But essentially you are educating the user - on how to use your product, page, app, for example - and you are meant to make it easier for the user to use it.
What do you think is the ideal UX/UI design?
The user looks at something, knows what to do and understands where it'll get them. Perhaps they don't have to think about the design itself, and there is no "visual" misunderstanding.
How should a designer constantly improve?
Perhaps the most important is the general overview, not only within one's field, but to know what is happening on around them, to think critically, not to forget who will most often be in contact with design, and to approach the environment responsibly.
I think that this should be a big topic in design circles in general. A responsible design approach to the environment is a huge issue to be addressed. I understand this now more than ever, and I also realise that my school has given me the opportunity to develop as a designer, but I only got to the topic of sustainable design after five years, and that is very late. Environmental responsibility should not just be a principle or a separate field, but should be integrated within the design process itself.
Does this mean to approach design more in an interdisciplinary manner?
I do not think that it is possible to approach design in any other way, because in the end, if I understand it correctly, you will never get a project that will not interfere with other spheres. For example, if you design for print - you need to at least roughly understand printing techniques. You have to select the right material to print on, etc. It's not about knowing everything but knowing how to work with people and know a little about everything to get the depth and detail of the project.
From my point of view as a craftsman, your work is very intangible. It may be interdisciplinary, but it does not interfere very much with the material world. Are you missing working with material?
I love to work with material, I like prints especially, but I'm not trying to use material at all costs. If it is not necessary for the project, I do not insist on using material there.
I definitely miss working with my hands, so I do linocut prints from time to time or take photos with my analog camera. Sometimes it's nice to do something else rather than click on a computer and draw on a tablet.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on an animation, actually. After we worked together on your animation, I found a way back to it after almost a year and started to like it again.
You can follow Kamila and her work on her Instagram @kml_vls