#WeAreModex series of interviews continues with Theodora, User Interface Designer at Modex. Theo tells us more about the current UI trends, how important is the UI design for a new app / website, but also what it takes to become a good UI designer.
Theodora’s studies were impacted by the fact that she went, for ten years, to a private catholic school. “That’s where I evolved so much on the educational, as well as the moral part of life”, recalls Theo. “After that, I graduated from a local high school where I studied foreign languages and went on a different path, choosing International Business at the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest. At the same time, I did my Bachelor’s in Pedagogics so I would be able to teach, since I loved interacting with students.”
Right after her Bachelor’s Degree, Theodora started working within the Internship Governmental Program. She chose the Ministry of Youth and Sports, where she had the opportunity to learn and work in the International Relations department. Once her internship was completed, she switched to the private sector working as a Customer Representative at Nobel.
“Being young, I was still trying to figure out what path I should take. I resigned from my job at Nobel and was hired as a Customer Analyst at tigerVPN, which proved to be that big change in my life and career that I needed. To be fair, I owe my current designer status to the owner of tigerVPN (Sebastian Scherl), who saw that little spark, gave me time and pushed me to want more. Within this company I did VPN support, VPN setup guides, testing apps, checking feedback from customers, learning graphic design and slowly, but surely, doing all the stuff a designer would do.”
“In 2019 another project came to life, in the opposite direction of SaaS, namely importing electric scooters. I took up this challenge, so I had to do branding, website design, promotional materials, and all the visuals for the new company which was to import NIU electric scooters for the first time in Romania. Now, each time I see a NIU I know that I was there when it all happened, all the ups and downs with getting them on the market, presenting them to SMAEB or Tech Week and – above all – having to endure all the paperwork at the RAR office”, says Theodora, smiling. She then adds: “As a designer, the biggest challenge was making a 10 m² booth look nice on a 100 EUR budget.”
When and how did Theodora start working for Modex? “Well, this has something to do with the owner of tigerVPN and NIU scooters project, who’s the same person. Elena Scherl, his wife, was kind enough to refer me as a graphic designer at Modex and this is how my journey here started.”
At Modex, Theodora handles the UI for different projects, but she’s also helping out with social media design, presentation design and whatever is urgently needed. “I love the people I work with. Also, I can say that Modex has an environment which allows you to learn and grow. Summing it up: great colleagues, a culture of understanding and a framework for developing your skills.”
Would Theodora do anything different if she could go back and start her career all over again? “I would do the same thing, but I’d focus a bit more on UI. Still, working as a Customer Analyst helped me understand the user needs and during my time in tigerVPN I was doing UX research without knowing it.”
Commenting about the current trends, Theodora states: “I was a fan of physical design applied to digital, but since trends come and go, I mainly focus on the usability side and not on what’s hot on the market.” We’ve also asked her what does it take to be a good UI designer. Her answer? “Always finding a flaw in your design and striving to become better each time you start a new project. Another important aspect: put the users first!”
“I cannot express how important is an UI for any digital product. For instance, if we’re speaking about a website, the UI is the ‘face’ of your company and the UX is how customers surf that website in order to find the info they came for. A good UI should come hand in hand with a good UX since not only you try to please the customers’ eyes, but also generate positive emotions.”
We’re ending our pleasant chat by asking Theodora to tell us more about her hobbies. “Painting with oil paint was my go-to hobby, but since I have less time for that, I am happy with reading mystery novels and watching / reading design-related videos and books. When it comes to outdoor activities, I love hiking and skiing!”