At DQODE, one of our main aims is to generate community. We want to connect designers in interesting new ways. One of these ways is by allowing UX folks to sell their templates of course, but we’re also keen to shine a light on those who contribute to DQODE. Enter Designer Spotlight.
To kick of the DQODE Designer Spotlight series we have a seasoned pro for you: Miklos Philips from New York.
A proponent of user-centered design thinking, Miklos has 16+ years of experience as a Principal Lead UX Designer in a variety of industries. As a “full-spectrum” user experience designer, he effectively mediates between user needs, business objectives, and technical feasibility resulting in great product designs that impact the bottom line. We caught up with him online.
DQODE: How did you get into UX design?
Miklos: I came from visual design which over the years evolved into interaction design. This shift forced me to look at the quintessential end-user interacting with UI designs. Suddenly, things flipped, and I was no longer designing for passive media. I had to consider the end user in everything I did. From there, the natural evolution was, of course, UX.
DQODE: What’s your favourite part of the UX job and why?
Miklos: I actually really enjoy user research and testing. The former because of the discovery phase that informs the design. The latter because I always discover awesome new ways to design a product based on user feedback. Things always come out that neither I nor my team considered, no matter how carefully we designed a product.
DQODE: What are the tools of your trade?
Miklos: Whiteboards, sticky notes. Paper and pen to sketch. Balsamiq, Sketch, Omnigraffle, Zeplin, Invision, Axure and Adobe CC.
DQODE: What’s the project you have worked on that you’re most proud of and why?
Miklos: Perhaps the project I’m most proud of was designing a B2B application from the ground up for an advertising-tech company. The company’s vision was to provide revolutionary digital tools for the advertising industry, and they wanted to make an impact.
It’s a long story, but in a nutshell, it was a super-complex application that needed to be reduced to a simple design that just worked. I did extensive user research to understand the industry and tested several prototypes.
The most innovative solution I came up with in order to ease the challenging transition from Excel sheets, phone, faxes, and paper forms was to work with users’ mental models. (A mental model is an explanation of someone’s thought process about how something works in the real world.) Closely matching people’s established mental models enables them to quickly recognize certain conventions and patterns. As a result of the way the design worked, the content was instantly recognizable by users because it matched their mental model of the real world in a simple way.
Nothing new had to be learned and its interface and functionalities were quickly understood. Its design contributed to its widespread acceptance and success, and the final result was significant product differentiation that set the company apart from its competitors, and established it as an innovator in the industry.
DQODE: What do you do outside of work?
Miklos: Outside of my work, travel and photography are my two main passions — and visiting lots of museums and galleries to check out at art and design.
DQODE: What advice would you give to someone starting in UX design?
Miklos: Take your time and practice empathy. Learn how to walk in the user’s shoes. It’s not about the tools or the artifacts that we use—those will continue to change. Understand user-centered design, and design thinking as a methodology. Learn how to ask smart questions—lots of questions.
DQODE: Do you have any useful resources or URLs to share?
Miklos: The Toptal Design Blog – full of awesome articles on design — where I serve as the Lead Editor: https://www.toptal.com/designers/blog
DQODE is proud to showcase some amazing UX assets and templates by Miklos Philips