Michal Anfisa Michal
What would you do, if you weren't working as a designer?
Designing clothing. I've been concepting collections since 5y old, until my parents asked me to stop consuming all the paper in the house :D
What design tool do you currently use?
Figma, Miro, Notion, Airtable cover pretty much the whole design process
What's your favorite band or artist to listen to while designing?
No particular band, but I often use lo-fi beats and indie soul playlists when I work
Your favorite font? :-)
Not sure! Avenir, possibly...Or any sans-serif typeface
Favorite book or movie (non-design related)
Culture Map, Erin Meyer / Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
What's your favorite color in hex or RGBa? (gradients are allowed too)
Hex #F98152 / RGB 24912982
What was your first real/paid design project and when did you make it?
I was an interior designer before switching to UX, I guess it was around 2009 when I first got paid for a design project. After transitioning to UX I found a first paying client after a hackathon in 2013. It was a startup and I was doing all sorts of design for them Starting from pitch decks to branding, social media, and UX/UI.
If you could write something on the loading screen of all design tools, so all designers can see it, what would it be?
Start with "WHY"
Did you study design, or are you self taught? And how did that path influence your work style?
As was mentioned before, I've been working as an interior designer and wanted to take masters in product design. Well, 10 years ago I was expecting that product design meant industrial design. Turns out I've enrolled and studied user-centered design for my maters. That's how confusing the titles can be in the design industry...But the great thing is: It lead me to a full career switch and it was the best decision ever. Apart from master's, I'm still on a pretty extensive self-teaching path every single day. First, it was a lot of courses, readings, and internships. Then it was own startups, freelance work, and all about learning by doing. And finally, I've started teaching UX in 2016 and started a blog to document and reflect on my daily lessons. I must admit the last 2 methods were 80% impactful.
The biggest innovation in product design right now is...
Last year it was all about remote collaboration. In any form and for any purpose. It's still quite an important trend. However, when we think of a 10y+ perspective I'm starting to daydream about Brain-machine interfaces and how massively they could change the paradigm our our work and the value bring as designers.
With all the current experience, what would you tell yourself when you were just starting out?
Stop worrying! Things always look a little more dramatic before you climb that peak. But after you've tried it, all the spent nerves are just not worth it. So, embrace the uncertainty, enjoy the ride, and always strive for feedback. Yes, especially if it's critical.
What do you think is the biggest problem in the design industry right now and how can it be fixed?
A daily dose of "Sir, how can I learn UX/UI?" in your DM 🤦♀️ The answer is simple: - Just do it! There are more than plenty of resources online. It takes 2 seconds to google it. Learn to figure it out on your own. After all, that's what designers do.