Ivona Tenji comes from Serbia and has worked with Native Teams as a UX/UI designer for quite a while now. Learn more about what she has to say about her role, Native Teams and working remotely.
Read the full interview below!
Hi Ivona! How are you doing on this lovely day?
Hello 🙂 I’m perfect, made a large cup of coffee to start my day, so nothing can go wrong.
Who is Ivona? How would you describe yourself?
I hate describing myself, but for everyone who will perhaps read this, I guess the best answer is that I’m stubborn, I am learning every day to cope with failures and enjoy successes, and I like to keep track of my progress in everything I do, whether it’s a job, hobbies, or some everyday challenges. It keeps me balanced and joyful.
What were you doing before joining the Native Teams tribe?
Before Native Teams I was doing different design jobs, I didn’t choose much, which gave me a great experience and taught me what are my strengths and weaknesses. I learned that some skills I need to work on more, and some that I’m naturally good at, so when I decided to pursue a new job, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and the things I’m good at.
Have you always been interested in design?
Somewhat yes, but it’s more something that I discovered in my late 20’s and then nourished. Luckily I already had an art background, I was drawing and painting since 15, and later
I got a master’s degree at the Faculty of Applied Arts, which served me a great deal later when I made a career change from art to design. I realized that both are connected in many ways, and that designers use some methods as artists for finding creative inspiration.
Where do you find inspiration?
It’s not that hard, it’s just practice. Easier said than done because we all have those days when we wake up with our left foot. 🙂 The important thing is to keep learning on those good days, explore design courses, social platforms, listen to designer podcasts, interviews, read UX studies, and generally be curious. Have a ‘visual library’ in your head, so when the design problem comes, you can explore it from different angles and try 100 things till you find the solution.
What kind of design projects do you love to work on?
I love and enjoy working on stuff I’m good at, where I have the control, know the process and I know everything will go smoothly. However, it is also important for us designers to get out of our comfort zone, and bite the bullet haha. 😀 Taking the project where you need to think ahead and plan strategically can often be challenging for me, but it’s always rewarding afterwards.
What brands do you most admire and how do they influence your work?
All the brands that have quality, purpose, sustainability and innovation. I will use the quote “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
What are pros and cons of working remotely?
Pros are that you have control over your working hours and schedule, no commuting and if you’re well organized, you can work from anywhere. I have two cats at home, so I don’t travel as much as I would like, but each time I go and work from a cabin in the woods (check if it has a good internet connection first), it’s refreshing and inspiring.
The cons for me are almost none 🙂 I love working alone in peace & quiet, but staying in touch with the team over Slack. I am so lucky I have the best team ever and we are aligned with everything. However, I sometimes miss human interaction in person. I think we easily solve this in Native Teams with our team gatherings from time to time. After that we always have some new inside jokes we can later overuse on Slack and plan our next trips.
What’s your happy place and what’s on your bucket list?
I’d say every place where my loved ones are, or once were. I get attached and cherish memories from places, like my grandma’s house by the river, where I spent my childhood.
I have a lot of places on my bucket list, but visiting Greece every year in summer is something I would like to do for the rest of my life. This year it will be Rhodes island, and I can’t wait to go!
Thanks so much for your time Ivona!
Do you want to work for Native Teams and join our amazing team? Make sure to check out our open positions.