Who is Kirill Vechtomov?
I was born in USSR, survived the Perestroika (nah, it wasn’t that bad eh), moved to Vancouver, Canada with my wife and 7 month old son in pursuit of a better future; our daughter was born here and became a Canadian citizen before we did =)
Because of the way my brain is wired, I don’t stop finding experience problems in software and life. My interest in web design started in 2000 when I was tinkering with Adobe, HTML, and CSS to code simple information websites by hand for friends and friends of friends. After spending many sleepless nights fighting different browsers’ compatibility, I quickly realized that front-end development wasn’t something I enjoyed that much, so I shifted my focus as a freelancer to graphic design and branding.
Making websites more visually appealing was more interesting to me, but it lacked meaning – something wasn’t right. I started researching more about related disciplines in the online world and stumbled upon “usability”. Immediately I remembered one of the first books I read on web design years ago, Don’t Make Me Think → by Steve Krug. It hadn’t excited me that much when I first read it – I guess I wasn’t ready – but when I re-read it, it blew my mind. The dots connected and I was happy that my search for meaning wasn’t in vain. The next eye-opening book for me was The Design of Everyday Things → by Don Norman. (This is another must-read I recommend to starting UX-ers who ask for my advice). Since then I’ve been learning, practicing and teaching the user-centred design mindset and the importance of great user experience to product success.
I graduated (with Honours) from Far-Eastern State Technical University, Russia with the ability to design and implement complex information and computer systems. Those five years gave me a good foundation in Computer Science and Business and an appreciation for the nuances and challenges of stakeholders and participants around organization, which makes me more empathetic when working with other teams.
- Certified Usability Analyst → (Human Factors International) | See certificate (pdf, 117 Kb).
- Certified Scrum Product Owner → (Scrum Alliance) | See certificate (pdf, 260 Kb).
- Rapid Prototyping by Google → (Udacity)
- Design Thinking → (Nielsen Norman group)
- Communicating Design → (Nielsen Norman group)
- User Experience for the Web → (Open 2 Study)
- User Experience Strategy → (UBC)
- Project Management for Digital Communications → (UBC)
- Creating and Managing the Analytical Business Culture → (UBC)
- Mobile UX Design (BCIT) | See course outline (pdf, 191 Kb)
- Relational Database Design and SQL → (BCIT)
- Get Prototyping →: Teaching and preaching the Why, What, and How of Rapid Prototyping for software.
- UX Inspector →: Helping ecommerce websites increase conversion rates and reduce cart abandonment.
- Startupper →: Entrepreneur’s guide to start a lean startup business.
Team Voice →(retired): Measure and track employee engagement using anonymous pulse surveys. Got Let Go →(retired): Tracking tech companies’ layoffs history. Benefitus(retired): Affordable extended health benefits for entrepreneurs, independent contractors, and freelancers. Tickett(retired): Crowdfunding for people living on the streets. What the Plug(retired): Find if you need a travel plug adaptor. Geeky Events(retired): A place for designers and developers to discover professional events to attend. Three Samurai(retired): Web design agency for ecommerce websites. Clash Store(retired): Ecommerce store for electronic music CDs.
People strong in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
People strong in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.
People strong in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation.
People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
People strong in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
INTJ Personality (“The Architect”)
«Rules, limitations and traditions are anathema to the INTJ personality type – everything should be open to questioning and reevaluation, and if they see a way, INTJs will often act unilaterally to enact their technically superior, sometimes insensitive, and almost always unorthodox methods and ideas».
“I’ve collaborated with Kirill on the website for the Vancity Annual Report and he always does exceptional work. He’s detail-oriented, responsive and super pleasant to work with. Highly recommended.”
“A great pleasure to work with with amazing UX/UI skills and experience.”
“Kirill is very talented in UX design. He brings a mature understanding of users, an up-to-date knowledge of industry trends, and a discipline to the field of UX. In both projects that I worked on with Kirill, I was impressed with his keen insight in designing digital products, and his focus on user centricity. Besides his impressive skill set, Kirill’s sharp sense of humour and pleasant personality make him a pleasure to work with.”
“Kirill brings a wealth of experience and talent to the world of technology development. Working together prototyping pioneering initiatives was a fantastic experience and Kirill went above and beyond, even helping to train others on software and advance their UX/UI skills. All around a great guy to work with and learn from.”
“In the time that I worked with Kirill I was very impressed with his professionalism and his focus on detail in the work that he delivered. He was also a tireless advocate for the customer / user, always working to deliver the most efficient, effective and elegant user experience for a given situation. I would happily work with Kirill again any time.”
“Working with Kirill was supreme pleasure. Not only was he a great colleague from a personal standpoint, but his passion for UX, design, and the customer experience in general was palpable on a daily basis as he came up with idea after idea to improve the presentation of information on our site. Having him on the team was like working with an engine of innovation that was constantly churning out workable, strategically-minded enhancements and tweaks. Kirill was also able to help provide guidance on the structure and processes we needed to implement for a very new role and his input was extremely valuable during the formative early stages of our team.
I wish I could have continued to work with Kirill for even longer, and look forward to when I can once again.”
“I had the opportunity to work closely with Kirill a few times, and always found him a pleasure to work with. Besides always being completely professional, he was able to help when any kind of situation would arise. I can completely trust that anything that Kirill does will be at the highest quality.”
“Kirill is extremely smart and extremely knowledgable at what he does. Kirill also goes above and beyond to make his clients happy. Loved working with Kirill, he’s a complete pleasure to work with and he’s top notch! Highly recommend Kirill Vechtomov.”
“Kirill is about commitment, reliability, and a strong desire for self improvement. His skill set is built breadth first but he still manages to excel at a number of things making him a useful asset regardless of the situation. Of all the qualities that stand out about Kirill, his willingness to sit down with a problem and understand it before providing a solution is easily his best. It is an asset that many professionals will often overlook. When everyone is looking to find the next solution, not everyone is providing the right context and, therefore, the right answer.”
“Kirill is always representing the company in a professional way. His dedication to work is very impressive. He is also a great team player, who is willing to share information and help others to grow. It was a great pleasure working with him. Highly recommended.”
“Kirill is a ‘man of all trades’. He is focused on doing things right and providing the ultimate experience.
I wouldn’t hesitate to jump at the opportunity to have Kirill on my team for any position because he would be an asset in whatever position or business objective you are seeking.”
“Kirill is a very intelligent and hard working individual. He is one of those rare talents who excels at many positions.”
“Kirill is very detail oriented, adept, and reliable and customer focused (both external and internal). He has a very positive ‘can do’ attitude. I never have to follow up with any tasks that Kirill has been assigned to as he keeps me informed regularly. He has a great sense of humor and is well liked by his peers.”
“I consider Kirill a very efficient and motivated individual, a team player yet always putting quality and professionalism first.”
“Kirill always has the end-user in mind and strives to make sure products are both functional and easy to use. He is an asset to any company and will continue to grow in his leadership and knowledge of mobile software.”
“Though I only worked with him a short time, Kirill has demonstrated that he is a team-player. Shining in his area of expertise and always willing to lend a helping hand and contribute to improving the mechanics of the team, Kirill is a strong worker and someone I look forward to working with in the near future.”