Web designInterview

Victor Erixon on humility, Swedish minimalism and commuting across borders

The self-taught, globetrotting web designer and net Awards nominee discusses his fascinating career to date.

One of the 10 nominees for Young Designer of the Year in the 2014 net AwardsVictor Erixon is a self taught designer who has worked with clients around the globe, including Layervault, MailChimp and Conde Nast. Born in Sweden and currently based in New York, his skills cover a wide spectrum of visual and digital disciplines. We chatted to him to find out more.

Give us a summary of your career so far.

I began designing two years ago. The journey has been quick and fun. I've had the chance of working both as a freelancer and a full-time employee during my young career.

I've had the luck of working with some of my favourite companies such as Mail Chimp, Layervault, Condé Nast and many more until I landed at Articulate, where I work as a product designer.

What have you been working on over the last year?

After a short period of freelancing I've been working with Articulate since May 2013 on their next-generation E-Learning products.

On the side of that I've had numerous of personal projects such as Mochila Mail which is a simple lightweight email client, though it is currently being paused due to a heavy workload at Articulate which is my priority at the moment.

Mochila Mail is a simple lightweight email client

What have been the particular high points of your career?

My best decision was to join Articulate. Every day I'm challenged and grow more as a designer. I also will always remember flying from Sweden to Denmark every week to work in-office at Trustpilot and live my life in a hotel.

But the highest point would be my starting point, which was being hired by Lifesum as my first design job. I had no portfolio or knowledge at all but managed to impress them with my work on their design exercise and earned the position.

Who and what inspires your work?

When I started at MailChimp I was welcomed by Aarron Walter, director of UX. He is extremely talented and very humble about it. How he structures the Mail Chimp Design/UX process is phenomenal.

During my stay at Mail Chimp, I learned much from how he likes to work and collaborate. And since then I've applied it throughout the rest of my career.

"During my stay at Mail Chimp, I learnt much from Director of UX Aarron Walter," Erixon comments

My biggest design influence would be Kerem Suer, his work always appeals to me and I always get the feeling like "why didn't I think of this?" when I’m watching his work.

But apart from that, what always will influence me is the Swedish culture of minimalism which is deeply rooted in me and hopefully throughout my work.

What are you excited about at the moment?

Using this year to improve the online learning experience is both challenging and rewarding. And I'm also very excited about this award!

The nomination came as a surprise for me and I'm very honored to be among all these talented young designers.

Tell us about an important lesson you've learned in your career.

Be humble, stay hungry and never get satisfied. Early in my career I never really enjoyed the work I put out when I looked back at it after a week, but I learned to channel that into something positive.

I hope I never get satisfied with what I create when I look back at it, because that means that I’m still evolving as a designer, and that I keep on being hungry for more. The day I'm completely satisfied with what I craft is the day I've stopped evolving.

Name an 'unsung hero', someone you admire who deserves more recognition for their work.

  • My father, who bought my first computer when I was about seven years old, and sparked my computer interest very young. He has always been there when I needed career advice or if my old Windows PC broke. He could fix anything.
  • My CEO, Adam Schwartz, who is a great listener with a great eye for design aesthetics. We often pair up and design together, even though he has a company of 115 employees to manage, he sets time aside to work with me on tough design problems.

Vote in the net Awards!

Celebrating the best in web design and development, the 15th net Awards is open for public voting until 24 March. With a record breaking number of nominations this year, it's set to be the biggest and best yet. Have your say by casting your votes here.

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