Alex Idicula was born and raised in a place known for its natural beauty, backwaters and various beautiful sceneries that is called Karuvatta in Alleppey, Kerala. Sensing his creativity from a young age, Alex decided to build his career around it. He was always fascinated with the “wonder box” that we now call computers. His web-design career started during college when he started designing simple websites during his free time.
Alex moved to Bangalore in 2003. Bangalore is known as the silicon valley of India where young IT professionals go to find their dream job. He started working as a Web Designer in Tao Info Tech. In 2010 he moved to Dubai and started working as a senior UX/UI designer for Meomyo LLC. He currently works for Emaar Technologies as Senior UX/UI Consultant. Alex enjoys every aspect of his job and the learnings that come along; he can design for hours and hours and never get bored. Design is his specialty and passion. Since the beginning of his career Alex has designed more than 200 websites, web applications and mobile applications that testify to his talent and passion.
Alex is blissfully married to Shini Alex, a fellow in the IT industry, and a proud father to nine-year-old Ashley. In this interview with Bayt.com, Alex tells us about his beginnings, how his passion for design grew and became a profession, and what he thinks makes a great designer.
1. When do you usually start work?
Alex: I start my work at 8:00am.
2. What is your role all about and what are your key responsibilities?
Alex: I am a UI/UX designer, and my key responsibility is to design Website, Web Applications and Mobile Applications. I receive the requirements from the Business or IT stakeholders. I convert them into visual designs, which are then passed on to the software engineers for development.
I am also responsible for improving the live applications on regular basis, and ensure that all the updates are tested before they are released to production.
3. What problems do you typically face at work?
Alex: There, definitely, are challenges, but I can’t think of any problems.
4. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Alex: Product usability is my key focus area, as once the product is launched, it should be neat and easy to use without creating any confusion to the users. Gone are the days when training was a part of software product launches. With products like iOS and Android, every user should be able to navigate through the application and complete any transaction quickly and easily.
The most rewarding part of my job is when my designs go live and I get good feedback from the business and IT departments and clients.
5. What is the most challenging part of your job?
Alex: There are days where we are expected to deliver within very tight timelines. When it comes to creative work, like designing mobile application and websites, this can be very challenging; no two designs should look alike, and each design should have its own uniqueness and bring some innovation to the table.
I often deal with stakeholders who have conflicting views. The designs aren’t all the time accepted by all. This is the most challenging part of my work. As a UX/UI professional it is important for me to convince the client on why certain approach or color concept works better than another.
6. What advice do you give young professionals who want to succeed in your field?
Alex: My advice to young professionals who want to succeed in this field is to always think that the designs that you create are used by a big percentage of users who may not necessarily be tech savvy. Keep the designs as simple as possible. Successful people are those who are committed, open to feedback, and work constructively. Always keep yourself up-to-date on industry trends and new technologies in your field.
7. How do you juggle between different tasks at work?
Alex: I plan my day first thing in the morning. I understand priority and timeline commitments, and dedicate myself to complete my pending tasks. If an urgent task pops in, which always happens, I re-prioritize. In case of delays, I have to keep my coworkers or clients informed. At times, I even put in additional time if it’s an urgent business need.
The only mantra here is to be realistic in your commitment, and to some extent, flexible. It can be tricky.
8. How do you balance work and life?
Alex: I always try my best to complete the day’s work and to get back to home on time. We go shopping, or I help my wife with cooking, and play with my daughter. We plan an outing or movie every weekend.
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
My day starts at 6:00 am, with a glass of warm water and exercise. From 6:45 to 7:15 I get ready to work. I reach the office by 8:00 am.
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
The first thing I do at work is to log in and check emails and plan the day accordingly. This is typically followed by a status update meeting with my line manager.
I then take a quick break with the team for breakfast and catch up on the day’s activities and commitments.
The first thing that I plan for is the high priority work which could be design updates on live mobile applications or websites, or pick up the design for pre-assigned projects with earliest delivery dates.
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
In case of new projects, I spend time researching on new trends, ideation, putting rough sketches on paper or create wire-frames or prototypes to get my ideas across to the business team.
I get my ideas reviewed by the management, business and other stakeholders to understand if the design concept and approach meets the business requirements. I note down their feedback and then make required changes to the design.
1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
I take a 30-minute lunch break, then continue working on my projects.
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Before leaving the office, I make sure that all the commitments have been taken care of, and that there are no pending tasks which could potentially delay project timelines. If all is fine, I leave the office by 6:30 pm.
7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
This is family time. I make sure I spend time with my wife and daughter, before going to bed.
By Sara Hamomuri
This article originally appeared in Bayt.com.
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