Nikolaj Rýfr Mokrý
born 1980, Prague, Czech Republic
Observing, designing, guiding & helping to grow.
Since childhood I’ve always loved to do something:
- Gave mom “Sketchbook of most important inventions” 7 years old.
- Programmed my first text adventure game when I was 9.
- Started to self teach Chinese at the age of 10.
- Hacked together a HW siren with variable loudness at 11 .
- Designed logo for my father’s company at 12.
- Co-SysOped FIDOnet BBS 2:420/63 at 13.
- Created first 3D CGI in PovRay at 14.
I’ve studied linguistics, anthropology, medias. Then rearranged my brain to be 3D oriented coder. And then again. I’ve translated books and movies. I have led coding teams in agile environment as a senior developer and also worked as a freelance creative designer for many years. Experimented with 3D VR, AR and scan/print. I am a co founder of Adobe Dev Professionals User Group. Founded analogue photo startup. Worked alone, in small startups, at media agencies and also with big corporations. Photographing on various sizes of films and chips I have exhibited my work. I perform with guitar, singing my own poetry & I have co-founded porcelain studio. Most of all I am a proud father of 4 years old Vincent.
… so, who am I?
People call me a nature born team player. I inspire, lead, show new perspectives. Make them long for the sea… Working solo is fine, sometimes it’s the only way to focus, but cooperation is a vital part of my work. Company culture and values are very important to me. Well aligned, respected and kind people can do miracles.
… what tools do I use?
In any project the tri-helix “Product-CX-Tech” is the core. HCD is the book.
- Not to be the monk on the parachute, I facilitate workshops inside project teams and whole companies, use double-diamond approach, create personas, journeys, emotion maps and diagrams – oh, I love drawing toasts. It’s all about Lean UX, innit?
- Vox populi is loud in the streets – try guerrilla tactics, do IDIs, set KPIs and OKRs, watch data when needed, and send cute typeforms with funny pictures.
- When prototyping, pen and paper + Balsamiq make people focus less on details and more on the experinces. Adobe is dinosaurs. Axure is nerdylicious. Invision can do basic stuff really efficiently. Sketch and Zeplin are great buddies, but have you seen latest Framer development – iiimpressive. These be just a few of my favourite things.
- But wait. Someone needs to talk to devs, check with the product and marketing, keep an eye on Mixpanel, Fabric or GAnalytics and then test it again. Bake donuts for colleagues. Print custom street art stickers… so much more to take care of! And when it’s too much you need to delegate, balance, give responsibility and freedom at the same time.
… any examples of that?
See my LinkedIn if you’re looking for a quick summary or read about these three UX oriented use cases:
With BudgetBakers we’ve worked for two years on amazing fintech project called Wallet. This was, is and will be really huge. Android, iOS and Web apps. Lots of diagrams and sketches. Rapid growth. Different devices, philosophies, use cases and stories. Global audience. My roles in this project varied a lot as is symptomatic for any early-mid stage startup. Wire-framing, funnels, flows and real screens. Journeys and abstract ideas boiled down to interfaces and pixels. Top secret NDA projects with banks. Venture Capital preparations. Financial personas. PSD2 tidal wave… Money are the most challenging thing for all of us. Do we have enough? Do we even care? And what about out future us? Will they? :)
People from Democracy 2.1 have contacted me when the project was just a baby. I’ve helped them to find the best ways possible to save the world. Lead in-house, guerrilla and IDI research to find out what would be the best ingredients and recipes to their formula. Traveled to Stanford to discuss possible implementations into US voting system. Lead a team of bright minds at the Trees Hackathon. Wire-framed in Balsamiq and Axure different iterations of interface. And I’ve left the project fully boosted and growing – their game of Czech throne is fun indeed, go check it out.
And now for something completely different. In 2009 we’ve organised small festival of independent Czech design, fashion and art – CODE:MODE. Just three of us. In four years it has grown to be the biggest indie festival with tens of thousands visitors during single weekend. Lots of now established designers had their first small stand there. My role was strategic guidance, all the designing of materials, community management and basically lots and lots of supporting various team members. Projects like this give you perspective – make you step out of your bubble, teach you to foster and help. And that at the end of the day the only things you have are – integrity, sincerity and, of course, love.
… cool, what are you looking for?
- Is your project really solving someone’s problem? Or do you want me to help you finding that out? Field research, stories, HLP, Wizard of Oz, Smoke and Mirrors, voodoo dolls… got them all.
- Do you feel like you need someone to introduce UX principles to your company. Is that so? Let’s discuss that, Mr. CEO!
- Are you looking for external specialist to consult UX needs of your various clients, from time to time. Someone with vast expertise, blink blink?
- You have graphic designer, but you also need someone to guide the user’s flow through the app. To prepare the prototypes, be ready to get dirty with Sketch although this is not the primary task. I’ve handled UIs for years – call me!
- Something I forgot to mention? Nice offer you have? Well … waste no time! :)
… I need to talk to you!