Blog

Nelly Kam is passionate about learning, collaboration, and empowering people.

👋 opened for collabs

Experience

I am working at Alan AI. We build infrastructure of voice&visual interfaces for enterprises. I am in charge of various design tasks: research, prototyping, mobile apps, websites, web apps, print, sales animations and decks.

Previously (All projects)

I was in charge of Tinkoff Bank’s UX and writing. It is the largest online bank in Russia.

I was working with editors, development and test teams on products, promo pages, design system, errors texts.Wrote, edited, deveopled and |or prototyped.

Bank for small businesses — and it's saved version.

Card's descriptions , Exchange Curency, Invest, Mortage, Insurance, Cash flow loan, Careers, Started making design system, Phoenix.

Created websites, web apps and social networks with remote development team RSPK ❤️

We crafted medical services, social networks and web apps like Pediatric Craniofacial Disorders, TargetMed, Getdoctor, Lenta.

Worked for international startup Foodpanda.

Was in charge of design for Russian, Ukrain and Kazahstan departments.

Collaborated with advertising and design agencies.

Intuition, Primaxdigital, BuroBuro, Wersigns, Podkasta and others.

Digged in 🚀 space, ✈️ aviation and travel industries.

GeoSpace, Aeroflot, Sirena, Native Travel Group, Online Travel Consulting, Osdy.

Education

Math at Moscow Aviation Institute. Creative design at Moscow Design College №21. UI/UX/Product design at Gorbunov’s design school and dozens of workshops. 3D animation and illustration at CGTartian. Data visualization at Datalaboratory. Studied fontface building at Type school.

All Courses

I am Learner

I am always hungry for knowledge, so look through the lectures of the professional field, educational courses, maintain contact with representatives of the digital environment. I especially highlight the company Art Gorbunov, with which I collaborated in a completely new format for itself. This experience allowed me to expand my understanding of the internal processes of organizations and what problems some industry experts face in their daily workflow.

Timeline

I was born in a tatar-islamic & russian-polish-orthodox family, in Moscow. My parents are from 3 old areas: Mongolia, Novgorod and North Russia. Half of my family are engineers, another half are teachers. Among them are: an aircraft pilot, an engine developer and a school director. The ancientest parent we know lived in 10th century and the best known was the king of Novgorod state in 14th century. Family tree research (ru)

2005 – 2012  Aviation University. Worked as Data engineer & Data Specialist in Aeroflot. Afterwards as mathematic's assistant in Geo-Fizika Space. I did a degree in math engineering. Had a Livejournal blog, that I've shutdown.

2012 – 2014 Moscow Design College. Worked at startups, Digital Agencies & freelancing mostly as Graphic and UI designer. Started a blog and had to shut it down too.

Finished User Interface course after what I got the UX experience, met "About Face" by Cooper, started conducting user interviews along with other research I did for every project.

Co-created a course with Microsoft "Love 2 code": learning to code for women by women

2015 Gorbunov's Design School, completed 2 stages. This was the hardest design course I've ever had: 2 books, deadline of 2 project every week, lot's of harsh feedback. There were various of courses for a full product design role: project management, typography, UI design, copywriting. Other that study, I was working full time at travel startup & freelancing.

2015 – 2016 I was invited to work in the biggest online russian bank by the core Editor, where I was working 3 days per week in office. Other 4 days I was working in a remote team where we built medical digital products. Started various Coursera classes.

2016 Started working at Synqq, then in 2018 it became Alan AI

2017 Besides my main job, I created several pet projects, renovated 2 apartments. These renovations gave me lot's of experience in project management. Also worked at early-morning public school as a math teacher for some weeks, helping with my relative's project.

2018 Gave my first talk in UX conference, studied at Typography school for a year.

2019 5 public talks about Voice, UX and mental health.

Finished School of Antwerp university, several typography and calligraphy classes.

Created several pet projects in various small teams.

Spent several days in a camp of osteogenesis fund, mentoring children around their projects.

2008 – 2019 Travelled so much, that stopped counting countries and miles. In 2019 had a 10 years anniversary with my husband, software developer.

Most of my design projects are described here.

Areas of focus in 2020

Quantitative research

Finish & Launch at least 5 of my 30 pet projects

Fill in new blog with my old and new posts

Rase my 3 mentees

Continue calligraphy, art & Sunday art classes, move to a workshop

Take a Cinema 4d course + continue working on posters to become better in visual design

Help launching ProfsoUX event in Feb.

Finish the cartoon Amanda's Doors that we are creating with my friend

Strengths

Working with prototypes AND people; thinking from a qualitative perspective. Since I have a broad set of skills, I tend to enjoy projects that enable me to exercise multiple areas.

I am easy going with results: if I came up with and an idea, worked around it, it is fine for me to through it away if there is a better one.

Weaknesses

Even though I enjoy writing, I struggle to write. I am not organized, at least from a conventional perspective. I get excited by so many things, that sometimes I struggle to reign it in and focus on a single task. Similarly, I can struggle with decisiveness through overthinking things.

Bringing projects to the very end. Because I don't pick one-time-tasks. Usually I work in projects that are developed, supported for a very long period of time and I am used to that this is almost-never ending journey.

I am very slow in responding at emails.

I do my best work when

The goal is clear, but I have the autonomy to figure out how to get there. Similarly, when I have the ability to determine when, where and how I work. When I am presenting result: I need to be sure that the environment is safe. Brainstorming/Strategy: When strategizing, I really enjoy collaborating with team members, if the team members are respectful and honest. When executing, I enjoy having significant parts to work on my own, to get things done.

You know I’m stressed when...

I start making mistakes, marks. Start shaking, making everything very fast and loud.

The best way to give me feedback

Be constructive. I love receiving feedback so that I can constantly improve the product or myself. Tell me why something is important. I can’t just be told “you should do X”. Instead, I need to understand the rationalization behind why that particular thing is important. Provide all info & ideas you might have on this topic.

Favorite Books

About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design

The Elements of Typographic Style

Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy

Fun Facts

I might start hiccuping just in the middle of the meeting. With no reason

Can't stop teaching people: hopefully I have math students and all my teaching-thirst quenches by them.

I started studying math because theorem's proofing was much more complicated than any other discipline AND had some magical symbols .

Soft I use

Use Sketch, Figma, Invision, Zeplin, Principle app. Able to use terminal, git, html/css with some support from developers.

Public Speaking

SPB Frontend

ProfsoUX + Board member

More

Teaching & mentoring

Math tutoring experience (in russian) https://www.notion.so/nellykam/Math-Tutor-e7e04d204c2e4f9789c11b7c8b70a5da

Mentored 4 students around their final design project, diploms at my college.

Mentored a group of kids in a Camp (Charity Fund Hrupkie Luydi)

Design student: Alisa, after doing design tasks from me, jumped from nowhere to Middle UI designer in IT company in 2 months

Currently mentoring 2 girls, email me if you want mentorship.

Communities I am in

Women in voice

Women talk design

UX-spb

Park

Art

Paintings

Portfolio

Posters

Instagram

Calligraphy

Personality

Temperament is 45% sanguine, 23% choleric, 19% melancholic and 13% phlegmatic. This indicates impulsiveness, energy, activity, talkativeness, a high level of interpersonal contacts and their large number, complexity with monotonous work, vivid emotional experiences, mobility, a thirst for new impressions, and complexity with perseverance, rationality, and bringing matters to the end. Introversion is about shyness, immersion in one’s inner world, isolation.

There are no pronounced accentuations. The highest rates for hyperthymic and excitable type, but it is also within the normal range. This is about impulsiveness, instinctiveness, strong power of physiological drives, as well as high sociability, leadership type of behavior. The psyche copes, objectively perceives reality and does not distort it, nor itself. The most pronounced defense is denial. According to other tests I am QUESTIONER

Product designer at Alan AI based in Sunnyvale, CA designing digital product, voice use cases and user-centered experiences. ~7 years of experience working with startups & corporates in fintech, travel and medical industries.

As a freelancer I worked with small and medium-sized businesses, design teams and agencies, building fast, responsive and inclusive projects, with strong focus on research, responsive design and performance.

I solve business & users problems, use business analytics, system & strategy thinking as a part of design. I understand, that none of dribble-tasty shadows can fix user interface if it is broken. Only multy-years experience, fails, research and not-giving up thinking.

Combining integrated approach, sufficient level of involvement and creative thinking help me understand WHAT I do, for WHOM and WHY, what real tasks need to be solved with the help of a digital product / service / software / marketplace or any other digital tool.

Key: Product & User Experience Design

Professional skills

Business. Create service's formula, process map, CJMs. Collect insights and ideas for improvement, translate customer problems into high-level solutions.

Research. Industry, business, competitive, usability and user research. Organize testing for real users, prepare reports on test results. State clear problems based on research and data. Brainstorm, explore concepts and narrow to the best solution. Conduct user's behaviour audit. Create user’s journey, user's story, personas.

Prototype. Make an interactive prototype, apply a ready-made style to it. Iterate on prototype any amount of times implementing feedback from team and users. Prototyping information architecture. Design workflows, detailed interactions. Ability to create detailed prototypes using any tool like Framer, Principle,  etc.

UI design. Make good tables and layouts, simplify current processes.  The ability to design systems, not just interface elements or pages. The ability to create beautiful high-fidelity mockups using Figma or Sketch. Make the UI as clear as possible according to Tufte's principles.

UI animations. Able to create animations of UI for a complicated features or to show interactions for developer.

Layout & Typography. Use proximity theory, composition, create posters. Started learning how to create typefaces.

Copywriting. Write interface text in russian. Regarding english, I may suggest some improvement but it should be proof-read by native speaker.

Management. Review of design layouts and prototypes. Lead a multidisciplinary team. Teach Junior Designers.

Development. Work closely with engineers as they build and ship solutions. Able to build simple HTML/CSS/bootstrap/ pages. I used to work with C#, but haven't practiced for 10 years.

Testing. Identifying bugs in a product, carefully fixing and describing problems, monitoring design implementation in code, monitoring hygiene and order in design layouts.

Skills

Key actions when I work

Make as much research as possible

Ask related silly questions

Distilling insights from users, ideas from interviews. Then that drives all following decisions

Create dozens of ideas with a user in mind

Set hypothesises

Build only one that is really needed to move forward

Create & test first wrong prototype asap

Create trash flow, fail, rebuild, create refined, test, fail. Get feedback. Iterate until something meaningful appears

Test on anybody, but better on user

Refine, list exceptional flows

Provide guides for developer

Use real data in prototype. If possible, updated data from sheet.

Rebuild it with design system

List all logical flows, flows for errors

Talk to developer

Provide not pixel perfect to developer as soon as possible

Fix pixels on stage environment during call with dev

Test and fix flows with managers

Think how this will be integrated in all other areas: support, marketing, smm, ect.

General Concept in mind to understand if created asset is aligned to it.

Principles of Lean UX

Cross-functional problem-focused team, less then 10 ppl.  With shared understanding, without gurus-rockstars

Outcomes (achieved goals), not outputs (features)

Small batch-size & removing what is not needed for the goal

Continuous discovery: product is never finished

Test on users as early as possible

Making over discussing

Permission and and support to fail

Assumption that we are wrong, experiment

Resounding to change over following the plan

Soft skills

I am humble. I believe in products that I am designing. I am able to listen to the users and convert their needs into a product features.

I am a learner. I am able to quickly catch up on the topics that matter the most.

I am nice and sensitive. I try to be surrounded by very nice & productive people. I sense unethical or unhealthy behaviour in a team and suggest how to improve team's environment.

I am medium-organized. I am able to organize different work streams within different teams and task forces. I have my own framework for time management

Teaching & Public speaking

Team leading & Teamwork

Flexibility & Adaptability

Strategical & Analytical & Creative thinking

FIY: Definition of Senior Product designer ****includes the mastery of these 5 areas of expertise

Customer: You know the importance of user research and customer intelligence, you know how to conduct interviews and get insights out of them.

UX: You are experienced in user interaction on web and mobile. You know the Human Interface and Material Design style guides by heart and know exactly when it makes sense to go against them.

Beauty: Pattern consistency, visual hierarchy, using the right typography. You embrace pixel perfection and don't accept compromises when it comes to visual communication.

Prototype: You strongly believe in the power of the fast prototyping to understand if we are going in the right direction. You know what tools to use for each case (and how to use them!).

Tech: You know how software development works, you are familiar with strengths and limitations of Web, you have experience with mobile apps and their challenges.

Dream Team

Trust above all. To have my own area of ​​responsibility and, as I wrote above, involvement in the task.

A healthy, supportive and friendly atmosphere. Obviously, in a team where every one is for himself it is impossible to “work as a single mechanism”, which affects the result of the work itself. Of course, professional disputes are possible and should be, but it is important to bring, understand and accept arguments. I demand the same from myself.

It should be psychologically safe to make mistakes, to be open and to fail.

Dream Company:

Is remote

Forces Work-life balance

Is data & design driven

Supports member's education and keynoting on a conferences.

I am not expert

In sales, marketing strategy, smm, documentation. Creativity, branding development & logo design. Picky-candy-UI.

Contact — ellicht@gmail.com

I live in GMT+3, best time to have a call with me — in your evening, from 8pm.

Online chat room https://whereby.com/nellykam

Social

Linkedin

Dev.to

Instagram — personal

Twitter

Youtube

Product Hunt

Behance

Medium

Dribbble

Pinterest

Product hero images channel

Github

Testimonials & feedback