Yonatan Ziv | יונתן זיו
Design work I'm proud of
Building a team of designers
I was lucky to be the first designer to join the innovation department at Rabobank where together with other awesome team members I got to quickly define, validate, design and test ideas coming from the organisation. Following the 'Lean Startup' methodology combined with constant iterations and validation loops, the ideas were transformed into market ready products or were unvalidated and dropped (or pivoted at times). I was able to introduce more designers to this fast pace process and eventually to define and improve it as well.
Designing a social platform
@ hoop video sharing app
I got to experience first hand how challenging it can be to build a social platform from scratch. Just before TikTok started I was part of a startup team aiming to bring social video sharing to the front line. As common in startups, I got to do it all from planning and designing the app itself, with its logic and triggers, all the way to the branding and marketing. We worked quick and dirty but got a lot done in a short time without skipping steps like user interviews and critical brainstorming sessions.
I joined the product team over at GrandVision and together we optimised their white-label solution. Addressing unfulfilled customer needs and helping the business evolve and stay ahead of the competition. With the use of customer behaviour data, usability insights, A/B test outcomes and benchmarking, I got to focus on improving the prescription glasses purchase flow. Introducing design ceremonies and working closely with developers to improve the accessibility of the platform were among the things I’ve enjoyed.
Making my own fonts
@ For myself (and everyone)
Typography is one of the passions I picked up during my visual communication degree at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. The amount of visual design principles you need to apply while making a font is what I find to be so exciting and challenging. I took the time to create a fully working font called NUBA which is also bilingual (English and Hebrew) and has all the special characters and numbers needed in a mature typeface. I've also created a series of fonts out of old Hebrew sci-fi book covers which means looking at a few single letters and converting it to a full font. Feel free to download NUBA and try it out.
Designing a Voice UI for a connected lamp alexa skill
I worked with Philips to create an Alexa skill for their wake up light. Creating a full voice interaction flow, collaborating with our amazon voice skills developers and testing in practice the build. The skill is no longer available on Amazon but you can still buy the lamp ;)
Rebuilding a complete online banking experience
Back in 2017 I was the lead product designer of the account, managing the creative team to design and deliver the new online banking platform for BPI. Our team launched a working platform in 6 months alongside two native mobile apps, iOS and Android, using Backbase infrastructure. After 4 years from that initial build phase, I got to facilitate a redesign process with the bank. Through competitor analysis, workshops and co-creation sessions with the BPI stakeholders we identified the direction the redesign should take to become more modern and intuitive.
Now that we're done with the professional stuff here is the rest of me
Managing a farm is oddly similar to managing a team
My dad told me: "do whatever you want in life… just don’t be a farmer". The reason behind this statement is the fact that as a farmer you are in constant problem solving mode and everyday there is a new challenge. When a water pipe bursts at 3 AM you have to get down and dirty and resolve the situation right away. Funnily enough, managing a team of designers has the same constant problem solving challenge in it. If it's professional or team dynamic related, it's often surprising in it's nature and timing. Even if you solved a similar water leakage many times before, you have to approach the situation with the same assertiveness and flexibility you did before.
Becoming a dad transformed my approach
Becoming a dad changed a lot in my attitude. I started to understand the importance of work life balance, giving myself and my team more room and flexibility. I gained huge amounts of patience which has also reflected in how I react to annoying situations. Finally, it really reset my approach to transferring knowledge. Now I accept that the other side can take my advice, but still make their own interpretations while applying their own style.
Staying sharp by designing in the physical world
When designing in Figma or sketch or whatever the latest software is, you have the freedom to explore, make mistakes and contemplate while moving objects 1px back and forth. When you design and create 'real' objects in the 'real' world your actions have way more implications. There is a saying "measure twice cut once" and for a good reason. I find it super rewarding to plan an object and be able to execute it by plan. There is a huge amount of patience needed in this process, combined with an understanding of form and function. I feel like the better I get at planning a physical object, the better I am at not wasting time staring at my digital designs.
The 6 strings that keep me creative
Probably the most obvious instrument to pick up as a teenager, but it did the job and made me feel cooler. I formed my first band at the age of 13, my second band at 18 and today I’m just having fun with it and playing some tunes to unwind between meetings. Having the guitars visible all day long in the background of my zoom calls helps me remember to pick them up and improvise something for myself. After a short guitar session, I really feel my creative juices flowing.
My first love
FENDER STRATOCASTER 1999
My need for more distortion
EPIPHONE SG 2000
Becoming an adult
TAYLOR 214CE DLX 2005
Pimp my guitar please
IBANEZ STEVE VAI SIGNATURE JEM7 2008
Games are where I've learned the most about creating an experience
While I’m continuously trying to make the experience I design seamless, flowing and almost transparent game designers put the experience in the centre. For them the goal is to enrich the gamers experience by challenging them and giving them the satisfaction of overcoming or learning the mechanism needed to control the gameplay. This is totally contradicting to our product design field, where common patterns and familiarity is key. I grew up playing video games and still play till today. I constantly use the patterns I experience as reference or anti-reference.
These are my top all time favourite games
This is it
Now don't be shy
just say 'Hi'
© Yonatan Ziv 2022