Interview With Ondřej Půček, an Art Director & Designer at Localazy

ONDŘEJ PŮČEK is an art director and designer at Localazy, tool for seamless mobile app translations. In this interview, you can find out what Ondřej finds most important in the design process and how he approaches the creative process within a small team.

In Charge of Localazy Design

What encouraged you to start working on Localazy? If you have been asked why you do it, what would be your answer?

There were two reasons. I love to design things. With joining the Localazy team, there was an excellent opportunity to work on a unique new service and make a massive impact on the product. I like to feel that my work does have an effect, and I felt that from the start with Localazy. The second reason was I believed in the product. When I first met with VÁCLAV HODEK (CEO), he really hooked me in with what he said. I love that the idea of Localazy came from his own needs as a developer.

What you find most attractive in your work with Localazy from your perspective?

I love the combination of doing UX based decisions with a design of the app. Being in a small team accelerates the graphic design because it counts out various visual styles that would be too time demanding. As a designer, you are always looking for some restrictions that will guide you. Since I am also an HTML/CSS coder, I find these guidelines in the code itself as well. I feel that I am the right person to make art-related decisions because they are not art-related exclusively.

Behind the Curtain

What is your current professional background, i.e. what you have been working in recent year?

For the last two years, I have been working as a freelancer, mainly focusing on web development, but also all kinds of graphic design - from print to interactive animations. You can find some of my work with Jan and Daniel at elision.design.

Your colleague JAN BÍLEK, who is a project manager and frontend developer at Localazy, was your classmate at high school. Nowadays, you have a successful business with him and also with DANIEL CHARVÁT, who was one grade below. How is it possible that all of you are working together for such a long time?

The full story is even more exciting. I have known Daniel since kindergarten. Our families used to go on vacation together, and we became super close. We have always loved to do stuff together, I remember, we had recorded an audiotape of our songs when we were around 10 or 11. I have met Jan at high school, and we got along. We were interested in the same type of music, same hobbies, but later on, we have also found out that we both dream about creating our digital products. So we started and asked Dan if he wants to come aboard.

For me, it is a dream scenario, we are all close friends, and we can rely on each other. We also know each other faults, so we know how to divide the work. So far, it always was a pleasure to work with guys, and it only strengthened our friendship.

Which tools do you use to deliver high value?

The primary tool I use is probably my visual imagination and the need for clear hierarchy and structure in everything I create. I can’t stand when something just doesn’t fit or is not aligned correctly. I love to sketch by hand and can’t do anything without a pencil and a piece of paper. To bring the design into the digital world, I use my 2 in 1 Lenovo with Adobe Creative Suite. To create a coherent and complex UI, I use Figma.

You are an architect who made his graduation from VUT Brno, Czech republic. Do you believe it changed your perspective regards your current daily routine, although your primary professional focus is not within the architecture industry? How?

It changed my overall approach to projects. I was fortunate to have a great mentor at VUT Brno, who was always raising questions to any decision we made in our projects. Some of these questions were based on the real physical world, some were focusing on the social aspect of the work and some were almost philosophical. This became a fundamental part of my design work, and now I am asking these questions myself. The other thing that I have brought from architecture is the relation between large and small scale. In the city there is a look of the entire city, usually based on traditions, history, etc., but then there is the neighbourhood with its unique atmosphere, and at the end, there is a single house. But all of that work together. In the design, it is pretty much the same. You have brand guidelines, you have a website, printed materials, an application, and at the end, you have a single component or a single image.

Outside of Localazy

You are a musician and a football player. How it comes, you can manage your spare time with such a time demanding free time activities?

It is easy. I love my work, but I also love both music and sport.

If you are really into something, you somehow squeeze it into your schedule. Always. What helps me is to put all the prearranged stuff into my calendar - even if it is the stupidest thing like meeting friends on Friday night. Then I somehow manage the rest.

What is the latest most beloved mobile app you would love to use in the Czech language if your only language was Czech and you had a place for a single app on your mobile device?

That is a hard question, maybe the Premier League App. It’s an official application of the English football league. I am a huge Chelsea supporter, and I am trying to follow all the news regarding British football. That would be so cool in Czech.

Are you an Android or iOS user?

Android, but I am thinking about switching to iOS soon. But I see good & bad things on both platforms. It just depends on what exactly you are looking for as a user.

Thank You, Ondra!

More interviews coming soon.

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