Riga, Latvia 🇱🇻

Emīls Kraucis

UX/UI Designer

Hey, I’m Emīls! I’m a Web Developer currently switching to Product Design. I'm passionate to solve problems and create meaningful experiences. Oh... and I love to sing.
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Where are you based as a UX/UI designer and/or student?

I'm based in a lovely and beautiful northern European city, Riga. The capital of Latvia, like all northerners, is quiet and reserved on the outside; but, there is some powerful chemistry going on inside the hip bars, modern art centers, interesting experimental restaurants, and rich culture.

What led you into pursuing UX/UI design?

I have started my professional career as a developer. Specifically, front-end development has always been a preference for me. I enjoy being closer to users and create interfaces that are easy to use and look nice.

I always had a bit of a crush on design. Something about creating and coming up with meaningful user experiences was something that excited me. About a year ago I decided to pursue this passion and switch my career path to UX/UI design, and so far I love this journey.

What have you found most exciting about UX/UI Design?

In a world where consuming seems like the default behavior for more and more people now, I enjoy being on the other side where I can be the one who's creating. And with that hopefully, also bring some real value for other people's lives. It's a wonderful feeling to see something you have come up with be used by real people.

I read a quote somewhere that a nice digital product or website is like an art gallery where hundreds of people are going through every day and it can be your art gallery. This resonated with me and I like to keep this in mind when I am designing.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I'm a passionate sleeper, especially in the mornings. With that said, I still try to push myself out of the bed before 9 AM to get the most out of the day.

My morning starts by brewing coffee with Chemex. I see it as a bit of mindfulness exercise or even meditation. It requires some patience to grind the beans with a hand grinder and do the slow pour-over pouring process. I usually don't eat breakfast.

I start my work session by setting up notes for the day. I write down my main goal of the day, one thing I'm grateful for, and one thing to let go. Then I write all the tasks I need to do during the day. I check my emails and slack and come up with a prioritized to-do list. Then I immediately start to tackle tasks one by one.

At 12:01, I attend a daily standup. After that, I take a short break where I'm grabbing some breakfast/lunch. After that, I try to push myself to go out of the house for a small walk to get ready for the next work session.

I always try to keep my evenings busy with different types of activities. This helps to run away a bit from the routine and work. Usually, I end up in a choir rehearsal, vocal group rehearsal, wakeboarding session, functional fitness training, or working on one of the startup ideas that I have in progress.

What is your current desk setup?

I like to keep everything as minimal and clean as possible. I think that helps me to concentrate and be more productive during the day. As I am currently working remotely and my workplace got rid of the office during the pandemic, I purchased myself a standing desk. It has been a real pleasure to use it. I am mostly in a standing position during the day and I already can feel some health benefits from it.

And your Workstation setup across devices?

For my devices, I try to keep things minimal as well. I always like to clean up the desk after the workday and close all the apps and opened browser tabs. On my phone, I keep only the most used apps in front. For everything else, I use search to open apps. I also tend to uninstall and reinstall some apps quite often so they are not a distraction during work time. Mostly those are social apps.

Why did you choose to take a Memorisely Bootcamp?

When I began developing more and gaining more interest in Product Design, I realized that there is some gap in my knowledge about design. I had read multiple books about design, but still had a feeling that I needed some more in-depth education and guidance with it. I was even looking into various design Master's degree programs, but realized that I'm more into practical working instead of a more academic type of study.

Then I found Memorisely courses. The sales page looked a bit too good to be true. I joined the Memorisely community and was sitting on the thought for a bit. All the energy there and the people I got to talk to were so nice and motivating that I decided that this is something I have to try and be a part of. I like to learn from people who are passionate, and one big reason to join was definitely Zander's energy and enthusiasm about design.

How would you describe your experience as a student in Memorisely's Bootcamp Classes?

It has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of this Bootcamp. The energy and thought put into the classes and everything around them is amazing. Two-hour classes pass so fast and I always feel energized after the classes. I love that the classes are really practical and engaging. There is always someone ready for you to help with a problem or even just to hype you up to keep going.

What has been your favorite thing about your Bootcamp so far?

I think it has to be the chance to meet and get to really know multiple designers around the world that are on the same journey as I am. Also, it has been the best learning experience I have experienced. I wish all my school years would have been this interesting and engaging.

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Name one learning that took you by surprise while taking the Bootcamp?

It was the 8 point rule. There's something so simple and elegant in this rule to keep your designs consistent within the increments of 8. It can be used for grid systems, fonts, spaces, etc. I haven't heard about this; and, learning this put a lot of questions I had before in place. It helps to keep everything consistent and in-line with the rest of the design. I now already see how this could have helped me in some of the designs I had created in the past.

What challenges do you face as a student?

As I'm currently working in a full-time job, it sometimes gets hard to keep up with everything. Some things are also taking way more time than I would have initially estimated because I want to do something better, or do a bit more in-depth reading about the things we are learning. But, all of that is not coming with difficulty. I enjoy the process but I know that after this Bootcamp I will need to take some time off from everything to get a bit of a restart and rest.

What tunes do you listen to whilst designing?

While designing, I like to listen to some lo-fi music. I have a bit of a problem with listening to songs I know. I start to sing along to them and that sometimes is a bit distracting (although, sometimes it's quite the opposite). This is a playlist with something in between these that I have created recently.

Three suggestions for fellow students or soon-to-be students?

  1. Just join, you won't regret it and this could literally change your life.
  2. Dream big.
  3. Keep designing and keep creating.

Thanks for reading my story!

Riga, Latvia 🇱🇻

Emīls Kraucis

UX/UI Designer

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