Getting visual feedback over the phone or email is truly a nightmare that every designer experienced it in some way. What do you do when client sends you an email full of swear words telling you that the image is not in the right place or the custom fonts you’ve used are not recognizable in his browser? You try to fix it. But it takes ages and is very stressful.
Just recently I’ve came across a very neat and extremely useful tool for getting visual feedback called TrackDuck. I’ve had a chat with one of the founders, Anton and decided to interview him for you to find out the behind the scenes of a very promising Lithuanian startup.
Hi Anton, please shortly introduce yourself and what you do in life.
Hi, I am a designer, mostly design interfaces, but also have some experience in game dev. I’ve started working about 10 years ago with a small full cycle advertising agency in Minsk, Belarus. Since then I have worked at three bigger companies in both Belarus and Lithuania. Also, I’ve spent a few years doing all kinds local and international freelance projects. My last position was an art director at a digital marketing agency.
Last year me and 2 more colleagues co-founded TrackDuck, where currently I work as a CDO.
How did you come up with an idea of TrackDuck? What problem it solves and why people use it?
Few years ago I was invited as art director to a large digital agency in Lithuania. Main profile work of the agency were promo sites and digital ads. It was very interesting and challenging experience.
That’s when I noticed that in like my previous agencies, there were major problems in communication with customers. The lion share of time was spent on coordination of design and product launch. Tools for matching design layouts already existed at that time, but problem with real websites was still there.
In practice, it looked like this: the client makes screenshot of the issue and places it in Word document, then sends an email with comments and attachments. And you would know nothing about the client’s system, browser version etc. Often it took way too much time to just figure out the reason.
I talked with my colleagues and almost all of them had the same problem. At one point, my friend, experienced programmer Yauhen (now our CTO) proposed to collaborate and create a service that would allow to solve this problem. This is how it all started.
How is it to work in a startup?
It is very enjoyable and difficult at the same time. When you work for an agency – it’s a big load of work in the beginning, because of the limited time to deliver. If you want to earn more money – you will have to do more projects. But at the same time you have a project manager working together, which controls all the processes in the department.
In a startup it’s a different thing, you will manage your time and choose range of tasks yourself. I often have to change hats and become a programmer or writer to write a short press release. At the same time you have a possibility to see the bigger picture, and be responsible managing your own time and collaborating with colleagues. The best thing about my work in TrackDuck – receiving letters from customers happy about our product!
Please share your experience on working in an international team.
I’ve worked abroad for about 3 years before we started TrackDuck, which also is an international project. The most interesting thing for me was to see how designers work in another country. Level of visual culture always depends on the environment in which people grow up and work. In Lithuania, there are very good traditions of design, strong influence of the Scandinavian school, designers think much more about practicality and minimalism. In addition, while living in another country you expand your horizons, which is certainly very useful for designers.
How would you describe your typical work day?
My day starts with a bicycle, and the way to work. After that follows traditional cup of morning coffee with colleagues, discussing plans for the day, mail, processing requests from customers. Then of course design work. I usually need to finish something before the lunch. In the afternoon we have daily SCRUM call and discussions on development with colleagues. Then again, work up to 7-8 pm.
What do you think it takes to be successful?
I think for designers it is important to have a critical look at their work, constantly learn, respect more experienced colleagues and the people who will enjoy your work.
What would you advice for the designers who want to get into entrepreneurship?
I believe that the best way to learn something is to understand how the analogs work. To all interns with whom I worked, I gave a very simple task – to repeat in Photoshop or Sketch any existing interface. I am sure that after that they will better understand flow of the UI and how to improve it.
Headquarters: Vilnius, Lithuania
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