In this edition of People of Perpetuum, we have the opportunity to meet the head of our Varaždin office, Zvonimir. In addition to running a small team of developers, he is a UX / UI designer, developer, entrepreneur, musician, father, and a colleague you could wish for. Why is that? See for yourself:
Hello Zvonimir, thank you for finding the time for an interview in such a tight schedule. Can you tell us, to begin with, briefly something about yourself?
In short, my name is Zvonimir Dimovski, I live in Varaždin, I'm 37 years old and I am the head of the Varaždin office of Perpetuum and UI designer with developer tendencies in frontend development and mobile applications. I'm a passionate cinephile, a musicophile, and apart from listening to music, I also play 3 instruments – a guitar, keyboards, and drums.
I'm not only „designing “, I write code, play music, watch, and listen, but during my education I realized that there's a very poor link between the educational system and the economy, so I decided to engage in socially useful activities such as education and helping young professionals to launch their business. This initiative created Voogle, which I started with two other colleagues from the Varaždin Technology Park - a startup event that takes place once a year at the Varaždin HNK.
Prior to Perpetuum, I was running a small development company, MediaTrend Ltd. –in between lots of others ups and downs. As for upsides, I can single out Bicro's investment and a selection for the Eleven Venture Capital finals in Sofia to compete with more than 600 startups across Europe. And as for downs- who cares :)
And last but not least, I recently became the Professional Fellow of the US State Department where I was given the opportunity of a 6-week visit, as well as an education in Chicago in collaboration with WorldChicago.
Tell us how you started working in Perpetuum?
A job in Perpetuum came a bit unexpected :). Namely, I did not go through the standard procedures that every potential worker goes through - finding a job, interviews, showing skill-set, etc., but Perpetuum and my company MediaTrend collaborated on a couple of projects that were the basis for what was going to happen - the transition of all of my employees (and me) in Perpetuum and the opening of the Varaždin office in the Varaždin Technology Park. After two and a half years of work at Perpetuum, I dare to say that this was one of the best business decisions for my employees and me personally.
Which is your favourite project that you worked on in Perpetuum?
Favourite project?! Hm ... It's hard to distinguish between all the projects that we did because each of them has something specific that I like. If I put myself in the shoes of a designer, I love to work with people who are a bit "banged" about design. For example, I really like the project that we recently started for Lazareti Creative Hub of Dubrovnik in the aspect of design.
On the other hand, I like the project for the mobile application of Vodostaji because I ran it from a project management point of view, communication with the user/developer, design and partial work on the technical implementation of the mobile application.
The bottom line is that I like to work on projects which can fill in I can fill more roles and those that bring a dose of innovation and professional progress and growth in terms of learning new technologies.
As a manager of Perpetuum's office in Varaždin, tell us some tips & tricks on how to lead a successful and happy team of developers?
How to run a team and be successful is a topic on which many books have been written - and I can say that there’s no golden rule that can be applied to all the stories and scenarios.
I'll quote Steve Jobs because I think that this statement is reflecting on how I'm working or how I like to think that I'm working with people: "It does not make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do."
For developers, it's very important that they work on projects from which they can always learn something new, that give them a sense of satisfaction knowing they did something with which everyone is pleased. If that's secured, developers will no longer see the project as just another "boring" job to do but as a challenge to grow professionally. And if they are provided with a quality financial incentive then we're on the right path towards the satisfaction of developers, clients, and the company that eventually gets a quality reference.
After Chicago, what were the impressions and internship results?
On the subject of the Professional Fellows program or internship, I wrote a blog post in which I described more of my impressions, feelings and how it all actually looks. In short - a unique life and professional opportunity I would recommend to everyone :). I’ve experienced "daily" life in the US, meaning daily multi-hour "commuting", and driving on an "elevated train". Also, I was part of a team of one of the world's leading technology hubs in Evolve Security, which has the status of a company with the best Bootcamp that deals with cybersecurity. In addition, regular networking events have led to new acquaintances, bonds, ties and visits to the company and people of Perpetuum.
What would you point out as the most valuable lesson in the UX / UI design?
There is no single, most valuable lesson but the set of activities that define the process which makes them feel satisfied - clients, their users, and the designer himself.
1. Always ask questions and elaborate/communicate your design based on relevant metrics - the point is that we are not designing for ourselves or for our customers, but for their users. User experience, quick access to information must be in focus as well as the use of some generally accepted and tested standards.
2. Have a plan, but always keep an open mind - listen, follow, educate yourself, and be open to the ideas of relevant UX/UI professionals.
3. The focus is on customer stories - the best design is a design which users like using and returning to. This is UX that gives the client/company greater visibility and greater customer reach. It is therefore important to understand users well through their stories and create/design a process that makes it easier for people to reach the goal through testing and iteration to achieve the optimum process.
4. Learn to take on a critique - criticism is something that every designer often meets, sometimes it’s unjustified, but sometimes quite justified. If criticism is argued by the client and affects the company's potential revenue, it’s good to pay attention to it and make an optimal design which would meet professional standards, designer affinities, and customer goals. Ultimately, constructive criticism is quite often an excellent opportunity for the professional growth of designers.
And to conclude this interview, what are you doing when you are not working, how are you spending your free time?
In addition to all the things I have mentioned, I did not point out the most important thing, namely that I am a father of a 12-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy with whom I spend most of my time in various ways. Through playing games, also learning/homework, watching documentaries, playing computer games or walking.
Besides that, in the last few months, I spent my free time travelling where I tried to find myself, meet new people, and tried to understand better how the world works.