The Interview Series: Monika Golianek
Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in Poland. I came to the USA in 2000, and I have been in Brooklyn, NY, ever since.
How did you get started in design?
When I came to the United States back in 2000 I worked as a bartender. I worked 12 years in one of the restaurants where I became a manager in 2006. One of my duties as a manager was to promote a business.
I didn't like how flyers, menus, and business cards were done in Word document. I started redesigning our menus and I really liked it. I remember customers complimenting us on visual improvements and overall better branding of the restaurant.
In 2009 I decided to go to college and get professional training in the design field.
Where do you draw your design aesthetic from?
It is really hard to tell. I feel like it comes from my head directly. Very often, I get my ideas from interior designs, especially color palettes and patterns that I implement in my designs. Also, as a native European, I was exposed to certain design styles that are different from people from the United States or other countries. I believe this exposure has a lot to do with the way we design.
Are you inspired by various mediums of art? If so, who are some of your favorite artists?
Not really. I barely touch colored pencils. There is absolutely no time for me right now to explore different mediums. However, I love drawing with pencils or colored pencils. I also, love photoshop and my favorite photo manipulation. I love fine arts as well, Romanticism in particular, and my favorite painter from that period of time is Thomas Cole and his magnificent work " Expulsion from the Garden of Eden"
What are some of your favorite websites you've built?
Back in 2013, I built my first mobile responsive website and for a long time, that was my favorite one because I love how everything worked the way I wanted. I also did my own photography for that site, and I was proud of coding the entire website from scratch.
With the higher amount of websites I build, I have favorites for a day or two and move on. In general, my favorite websites are simple and have high-quality images.
What are some of your favorite websites other people built and why?
If I have to pick a website that I really like, that would be nissanusa.com. For me, every website needs to serve its purpose, and Nissan is one of these sites that is built with an awesome user experience. Whoever builds this site makes sure that their client will see the newest car model first, then right below the main section there are all the model variations to choose from. I like how I can find everything I could possibly look for as a user. I can see that they took into consideration a couple of different user journeys when they designed the site. One of the user's journeys is to build a car and we could do it in at least 3 sections of the home page. Another user's journey could be looking for a particular model of Nissan and that could also be obtained by entering the queries in a search bar or just exploring the models the company suggests.
You have a background in UX/UI. For someone that is a novice, how would you describe this to them?
As the name says, an User Experience has to deal with the behavior of how a person interacts and responds to a product. A classic example is a ketchup bottle that was originally made as a standing-up bottle. Someone noticed how a customer struggled to get the ketchup out of the bottle and got an idea of creating an upside-down standing bottle. Therefore, the user experience, in this case, was highly improved. Also, a good user experience design has to do with a lot of testing and prototyping. I remember prototyping an app that I had to test on 50 people and see how they responded to it. I was observing a user's likes and dislikes of the app. As for the User Interface, it has to do a lot with graphic design with a combination of user experience design. When designing an interface, a designer must take under the consideration many aspects of a design from the aesthetics, information architecture, user journey scenarios, user's persona, etc.
What do you think the 3 main components of successful design are?
Efficient, Marketable, Easy to use
You also have a background in coding. What are your favorite coding languages and why?
I used to build websites using HTML and CSS and as an investor and a business-oriented person I love the fact that I can just build any business I want without running around and asking people for help. So I don't necessarily like the aspect of how the code works but the ability to build things I want.
Besides design, what are some of your hobbies?
Working out. I used to do martial arts and I love all types of sports
Do you have a favorite show these days?
My favorite show ever - DEXTER - and I also have a picture with Michael C. Hall
Do you have a favorite book?
Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I highly recommend