Darko Čengija
Usability Specialist

Darko Čengija

Skills

Information architecture; Interaction design; Usability testing; Wireframing and prototyping; Project management

As a physicist with a natural talent for logic and harmony, he describes his work as “bringing order to chaos” – and clients seem to appreciate that. Today he is the guy in charge of all our usability efforts. He enjoys spending his free time on a bike, listening to music or exploring world languages and alphabets. He has even created his own language.

Skills: Information architecture; Interaction design; Usability testing; Wireframing and prototyping; Project management

Before you became an information architect you were formally educated as a physicist? How did you discover IA?

I met Vibor at university, and when he went to Denmark to work at Microsoft in Copenhagen we stayed in touch and I started realising what kind of work he did there. It was UX. I started reading about it, wanting to know more, and one thing led to another. I discovered Information architecture which seemed to me like something I’d want to do.

Reading

NN Group; UX Magazine; Usability Professionals

Just before you founded UX Passion together with Vibor and Antun you worked briefly as a soft-skills trainer. Why did you leave that career path?

Before joining UX Passion I was employed with a company where I was supposed to grow into a soft-skills trainer. However the circumstances were such that after few months it didn’t seem to me that I was growing as fast as I wanted. When I started to believe that I wasn’t getting the opportunities I wanted to gather training experience, I started to think about other options.

Why did you join your co-founders and start UX Passion?

Near the end of my work as a soft-skills trainer, Vibor returned from Denmark with an idea to start a UX company. At that time I only knew about UX and IA from books and the internet, and I hadn’t had any actual experience. But the fact that I was already friends with Vibor and I knew Antun from my days at Microsoft (where all three of us worked as Microsoft Student Partners), so I decided to join them and see where it took me. Today, I’m glad I did that. 

I'm more and more convinced that websites are like snowflakes - there are no two alike.

Listening

Rhapsody of Fire, Slipknot, Blind Guardian, Yngwie Malmsteen, Il Divo, Gregorian

You have several interesting hobbies. One of them is linguistics.You’ve created your own artificial language. Can you write something in your language (and give us instructions on how to properly read it)?

Yes, linguistics is one of my hobbies. Being self-taught conlanger (constructed language creator), the first version of my language, created back in 2007 was pretty amateur. Then there was a second version (it was a completely different language, to be honest), third version, and now I’m working on the fourth one (again, not at all similar, but I would say much more advanced). I don’t have a lot of time for it, I must admit. The language itself is still not finished, but I hope it will be by the end of 2014. If not, then later. But I’m not giving up on it. 

Pjurogehao omtza hazogbom, pjuzogbomhao omtza haroge [ IPA: pjuˈɹɔɡehɑɔ ˈɔmʦɑ hɑˈzɔɡbɔm, pjuˈzɔɡbɔmhɑɔ ˈɔmʦɑ hɑˈɹɔɡe or pyu-RO-ghe-ha-o OM-tsah haa-ZOHG-bom... ] 

You are one of the several people who are, for the most part, working from home. You recently had a daughter. How do you manage your time?

Well, I can’t take all the credit for taking care of our baby, my wife is on a maternity leave so she is doing most of the work during my work hours (which, unfortunately for this aspect of my life tend to be longer than usual). But then at least after I’m done, I can spend time with them, and also I try to keep the weekends work-free so that we can all be together for more than just a few hours at a time.

Bookmarks

BBC Features and Analysis (smartphone widget), twitter.com, The Daily Show

 

And here’s the question we ask everyone: off the top of your head give us last three artists you’ve been listening to.

Hmm, I’m listening to an online radio station right now, and they are playing Stay With Me by Sam Smith. However, my answer would be Il Divo, Rhapsody of Fire and Slipknot. Yes, I know, how the hell can these three be put together on any list :)

Tell us what’s the most exciting part of your work and how do you contribute to UX Passion?

I’m more and more convinced that websites are like snowflakes – there are no two alike. Abraham Maslow said “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” I challenge myself to see every website as a snowflake, rather than a nail, and coming up with a unique solution for it is actually quite exciting. I feel very good when I “nail it” (pun intended).

Where would you like to see yourself at UX Passion in the future?

I see progress as developing my expertise in what I do. Of course, my role might change in the future – I might take over more managerial tasks, or maybe do more consulting, maybe both… It may come as a surprise, but I don’t actually have an exact plan for the future, just these “vague directions”.

Other team members