09:52 | 22.10.15 | Interviews | exclusive 6344

Vitaly Friedman: IT knowledge level in Armenia is high

UX Yerevan master class was held in Yerevan on October 11 for the first time. The host was UX (User Experience) specialist, co-founder of Smashing Magazine journal Vitaly Friedman.

UX professionals function is to ensure the user's comfort.

UX Yerevan was attended by around 140 representatives of IT companies, designers, programmers, engineers, UX designers.

Below is Itel.am’s exclusive interview with Vitaly Friedman.

-What are your main impressions from Armenia and the representatives of the sphere?

-I have learnt a lot of new and interesting things about Armenian culture while being here. That information wasn’t known to me before. I also got the opportunity to talk to designers and representatives of IT sphere. I was mostly impressed by the level of knowledge here, which is very high. In other countries, even Germany, if you run a workshop you can see people with different levels.

There were 140 participants during the workshop. Despite the fact that it was Sunday and a holiday (Erebuni-Yerevan celebration- edit.) many people actually stayed until 19:00 pm, which was really very impressive. And yes I liked the food in Armenia. (laughs- edit.).

It was really interesting for me to come to Armenia and explore what’s going on in the field. It was very rich experience for me. I would love to see more things happening in this region because I am really curious to see what projects can emerge as a result. If you are working on an interesting project in Armenia, I would like to see what it is and what technologies are used. As all the news from the region is mainly in local languages or Russian, those living in Europe do not get the information on what is going on here.

- Despite the lack of information, what did you know about tech industry here before your visit?

-As for startups, I really haven’t met any here. I have heard a lot about outsourcing in Armenia. For example, I once talked to one German company and they mentioned Armenia and Belarus as outsourcing choices which they preferred to India, for instance, because the quality is higher. A lot of things can be done in India, but they are not that creative, they don’t know how to do things in a clever way. On the contrary, people here invest time to do it correctly.

-You haven’t met with startups here but in your opinion, what can make a startup into a successful business?

-A good business model can. I think you need to present the right idea at the right time. There is also a lot of luck involved. Think about the content first when starting a project. It’s important to get a good understanding on the content on which you will work later.

- The profession of UX designer is not that widely spread in Armenia. Do you think the role of UX designer can be replaced by designers or a team of specialists?

-When I started, everything was quite clear: we had designers who did the visual work, developers who did coding. Right now, everything is very complex. I don’t think that the front-end developer who knows just the development can necessarily do good interaction design work. If you find a person who can do the interaction design, front-end, back-end and UX design in a professional way, keep them and pay them as much as possible, in order for them not to leave you.

Finding that kind of good specialists is really difficult, I would say almost impossible.
If you look at job announcements in Europe, you can see that companies look for “UX researcher”, that is a person who does UX research every single day. If you are dealing with a complex system you will probably need 1-5 UX researchers.

Narine Daneghyan talked to Vitaly Friedman