Happy Thursday, everyone! It’s been a while, and what better way for a comeback, right? Check out this amazing interview with Gery, the designer at Bannersnack. I’ll let him do the talking. Gery, many thanks for taking the time to respond to my many questions.
Check out this amazing interview with Gery Meleg, the designer at Bannersnack. I’ll let him do the talking.
Gery, many thanks for taking the time to respond to my many questions.
Tell us a bit about your background, experience, and life at Bannersnack.
Hi there, my name is Gery, I’m currently the Lead UX Designer at Bannersnack, working hard to improve the product and craft a better overall experience for our product. I’m a marketer by degree and designer by passion, so I’m trying to mix both worlds. I have a pretty wide background experience in design in general. And started creating graphics when others of my age were using the computer only for gaming purposes. A freelancer for almost 3 years and got a job in advertising during my last year in high school. This is my first year at Bannersnack. To recap, my background is pretty wide: branding, UX, marketing & business development.
Our audience here at SERPlified also consists of freelancers. Can you share some of the key motivators that allow to enhance your creativity and keep you focused and “plugged in” in your work?
For me, it’s all about coffee, music, and the ambient I’m working in. Coffee helps me get focused, music helps me get inspired, and the ambient helps me get the work done in a space I’m comfortable with. That’s all folks.
Bannersnack just launched a new editor tool. Could you tell us a few words about it as the “inside man?” All the dirty details included.
Actually, it’s not all new, it’s remixed :). We kept all the old functions. I redesigned the user interface of our app. All elements, icons, colors, and layouts were changed. From the UX perspective, I reimagined the whole workflow and tried to make the banner creation a shorter process. So from the time you begin to the final banner, it was a pretty long roadmap and I tried to shake up the whole layout, introduce a number of features and shortcuts that will help you achieve what you want, in a shorter time. The team rebuilt it from the ground and did an amazing job with the code so everything it’s snappier and smoother now. It’s amazing to me how much you can achieve with code.
But this is only the beginning. We have other key areas where we can improve, too. So more new stuff will be implemented in the near future. Plus, the guys from Flipsnack did an amazing job redesigning their “My Collections” part of their app. Check that out too, if you wanna see more UX stuff and another great, fresh user interface.
Can you tell us a bit about the process and duration of creating a user interface design, for e.g.? From start to finish, hours on average and what happens behind the scenes. Feel free to share as much as you see appropriate.
The process was pretty much what I described in the answer above. It took me almost 4 weeks to get the full design and it took the team 3 super intense weeks of their end, with 12 hours per day to develop and make it work. They did an amazing, amazing work there. The old banner maker was quickly forgotten and people got used to the new app pretty fast. But you can read more about the detailed process on DesignModo, in the case study I published there a few weeks back.
What are your top #3 pieces of advice for those who want to pursue a career in a startup?
- Learn as much as you can.
- Work hard.
- Have fun.
Tell us about your most important achievement, and how it impacted/transformed your life.
The moment when I realized I can make money by drawing shapes. Crazy!
What makes you so good at what you do? From a self-improvement point of view. It’s always good to be aware of our core strengths, right? So don’t be shy, share some of your uniqueness with us.
I’m far from being the best, but I try to learn every day, from others, from my designer colleagues, and from my mistakes, too. My “special strengths” are that I have a long-term vision about what I do. I don’t work on a design just to get it done and go forward. Being a marketer too, I create things from a business perspective, with long-term development in mind. We, designers, have to make decisions all the time about what to do and what not, this way or that way, this color or that, change it or leave it, etc.
What do you think makes Bannersnack designs so great, that people would become not just fans of the brand, but also avid active users of its products?
Maybe this is generally valid. If you have a good product that makes your life easier, help you get your tasks done, generate value and money, people will come and use your product. At Bannersnack, we try to add more value to our product(s). By value, I mean good in-app content, professional designs and banner templates, great resources on our blog, tutorials, support, the banner creation platform, everything. We want to be the go-to tool, when you think about online banners no matter that we are talking about animated banners, display banners or social media visuals.
You’ve mentioned you deal with user experience, content design, user interface design etc. What are your biggest challenges as a designer in this field?
The biggest challenge is to think outside the box, come up with new things and be able to continuously improve the product, yourself, the workflow, the team, the user experience, the graphics, everything. Actually, UX and UI are all about keeping the pace with the technology, trends, and improvements that happen over time. We design a website today which is all fresh and wow, but 2 years later, it gets old, and not because it wasn’t great initially, but because of people’s expectations change, design trends change. So websites change, as well.
It’s like fashion. In my opinion, the defining ability of a good designer is its capability to adapt and improve himself, over and over again.
What is your vision for the “web of tomorrow”? Think about the things that will still be here in a few years, and those that won’t. Feel free to use your imagination to predict the future, too.
I think a few years from now, we’ll be so connected that getting a few days in a private, unconnected space will sell as a luxury service. And that cell phones will disappear 10 years from now on. At least in the physical form we are using them now.
Working remotely (from home, or traveling) vs. working from an office: which lifestyle suits you better and why?
I love traveling so much that I cannot work when I’m on the move, but I have worked from home quite a lot. I have to admit I like it, but I’m more productive from an office. I’m not a super organized guy, so for me working from an office is usually a great help in getting things done on time, because I tend to get lazy from a home office. If you are an organized person and you can stick to a productive workflow from home, then you’re lucky. Otherwise, our office isn’t bad at all. We have the best coffee ever, Playstation and great food. So it’s quite a pleasure.
Last one before we part. Care to share some productivity hacks with our readers? What software and tools do you use in your line of work?
I love any tool that helps me get more organized, inspired, better and faster at what I do. I will leave a list with the top 3 tools I use most on daily basis in my workflow, for different things:
Inspiration: Muzli, Pinterest, Dribbble
Work: Photoshop, Bannersnack, Illustrator
Blogs: Abduzeedo, Medium, Designmodo
Other: Trello, Pocket, Apple Music.
Gery, thank you so much for your time and for your honest opinions. It’s been a pleasure to interview you, and I wish you tons of inspiration, opportunities, and productive results. We love the new Bannersnack and now understand better what is happening at Bannersnack HQs behind the doors. Good luck in all your future projects, and return to SERPlified whenever you feel like it. :)