Platform Design and Visual Identity for Flux - Car subscription Service in Malaysia
Tetiana Donska, Independent Art Director, Design Partner and Advisor at Ester
Hi Tetiana, happy to have you. To start things off we would love to hear a brief summary of who you are and how Ester started?
I'm an independent Art Director, Design Partner and Advisor at Ester and member of the international AWWWARDS jury panel. I love everything that has to do with UI/UX and Product Design, Branding and Typography. Currently, my main focus is using my UI/UX design skills to help start-ups, healthcare and non-profit organizations solve their problems and seize opportunities.
Five years ago, I witnessed the very first steps of Ester’s beginning. Ester was founded by 4 passionate people and friends with different backgrounds in: finance, computer science, management and design. We were all working on the same project at the time and it grew into an organization of designers working on innovative projects. Since then, Ester has grown and opened its doors to talented people in Estonia, Ukraine and Belarus.
Could you describe your trajectory so far and the path you took to get where you are today?
In the past few years, I've found myself obsessed with digital products and new technologies and exploring ways of integrating these technologies into the design process. My main focus now is art direction and UI/UX design, however, I still work on some branding projects from time-to-time and I still love working with typography.
Also, I've been working with a healthcare organization for the past couple of months where I’ve learned how data can help save lives, especially when it's visualized. Recently, I put together some thoughts on data visualization psychology here.
How did I get here? Well, it was a long path in which I tried different things. Hailing from a small industrial city in Ukraine, I didn't have access to a design community but was raised in a highly creative atmosphere. As long as I can remember, I have been involved in artistic activities. Even when I was doing my degree in mechanical engineering, I explored being a portrait artist, mural painter, and I attended web design courses.
Eventually, I found myself being absorbed by game design and 2D art which, luckily, helped me find my first freelance project in this industry. This was the first chapter of my design journey. After numerous game design projects, I realized there was a way to realize my potential and bring together engineering thinking with an eye for design. Then I really got into UX and web design which paved the way to website experiences. Thanks to my curiosity and passion, I then started the second chapter of my journey where I became a UI/UX designer leading to my becoming an independent art-director, design partner and advisor at Ester in 2015.
What does a typical day look like at the office and how does it look like now during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Since I've been working mostly with distributed teams, the typical day in the office isn't really different from the day in my home office, except that I now tend to get up earlier 🙂 A typical day starts with a cup of coffee and reading emails. Then, I usually spend some time with my fellow-designers and other teammates in Zoom or Slack discussing our plans and goals for the day. Then, the actual work happens with some breaks for lunch and coffee. More important meetings are usually scheduled for evenings since some project teams are based in the US and Europe.
The last thing I do at the end of the day is plan for the next day or, if it's a Friday then I work on a rough plan for the next week. From my experience, it's better to have room for unexpected things that can come up during the day though, which means at least 10% of my schedule remains flexible