Rania Svoronou – MA Interaction Design Communication
Rania Svoronou is an interaction designer with experience working with companies including Nestlé, Unilever and IBM who graduated from MA Interactive Media (now MA Interaction Design Communication) at London College of Communication in 2014.
We caught up with her to find out about what she's inspired by, her future ambitions and her time at LCC...
Where are you from in the world?
I am from sunny Athens, Greece.
What are your fondest memories of your time at LCC?
LCC is truly a unique place with exceptionally talented people who I had the opportunity to interact with every day. I have many good memories from LCC, but I believe the fondest ones were with my tutors, colleagues and teams.
The curiosity and interest we shared over our projects, the trip to Belgrade for Resonate (a festival of technology, visual arts and tech culture) and the drinks next door where we discussed our ideas and future plans, played a vital role to my academic and professional development.
LCC is a place where you can dream and believe that those dreams can come true if you work hard for them.
What are some of the past projects you’ve worked on or clients you’ve worked with that you’re most proud of?
All the projects and clients that I have worked for are different and all have a part of me.
Looking back to 2010, Nestlé was my first big client as a graphic designer, which was also my first official presentation to the executive board alongside the general manager of the company I worked for at the time. I had to introduce a logo I created and discuss the importance of design to an audience that was not exposed to design at all. It was challenging but very fulfilling in the end.
In addition, my first digital work, an interactive Men’s Fashion Magazine for iPad that was featured in Apple Store’s ‘Men’s Interest’ top 10 within its first week of release. Making the transition from print to digital might be challenging at the beginning but I believe the fundamentals of good design remain the same.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am also in the financial sector, working for a major UK banking group on their digital transformation, which aims to enhance the customer experience across multiple divisions of the bank (including retail, commercial, mortgages etc).
We also strive to create customisable interactions that involve customers and colleagues with the aim of reducing processing time and providing a better overall experience.
What are some of your favourite uses of interaction design that you look up to or are influenced by?
There are many places, online and offline where I can get inspired which are not necessarily from a technology field or screen-based interactions. For example, I was highly influenced by Kenya Hara’s book ‘Designing Design’ and his philosophy on how senses can be strongly stimulated by haptic design.
Name three things you couldn't be creative without:
My Mac, coffee and gazing at the sea.
Can you explain the kind of mood, feel or style of your designs?
Having worked in a range of settings, I have not yet developed a specific style of design. I like clear and simple user interfaces, and I believe a good user interface designer should be able to adapt to each brief/project.
I will use a different design feel if I am designing for an educational interface and different style or mood if I am designing for a fashion application. However, the fundamentals of good design remain the same, and it’s up to each designer to decide how far they will go to experiment and innovate. Good design is not about the trends.
Tell us about your future plans and ambitions:
Coming from a traditional graphic design background blended with interaction design, I believe there are limitless opportunities today and design is on the forefront as never before; therefore I am looking forward to what the future holds for me.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or get out of your comfort zone. Experiment with new projects and designs and don’t give up.
Nowadays, design is not only decoration but also part of the innovation. Design is now more dynamic and more critical. It is about pushing ideas further and it is not only problem-solving but also problem framing.
Questions such as “What could the world be like?” is also upon the designers to explain and explore. I aim to learn more about interaction design and promote its importance in our everyday lives by applying my knowledge into practice. I do believe that good designers can change the world and we are here to do exactly that.
What drives you to succeed?
I was taught from an early age to chase my dreams and never stop working towards them. I had the opportunity to study in some of the best design schools and get inspired to move on, work hard and never settle. I have been told that there will be many failures, disappointments and challenges, but stamina is maybe one of the best things you can have to work towards your goals.
I am not certain as to what the future holds within the next 5 years, but I know for sure that I want to be a better designer, meet new interesting people and travel to new places.
What three words would you use to best describe LCC?
Inspiration, Freedom, Diversity.
What advice would you give to new students?
I would give a piece of advice that I have also received as a student; don’t be afraid to make mistakes or get out of your comfort zone. Experiment with new projects and designs and don’t give up.
We, as designers, tend to be perfectionists. However, now is the time to not be perfect, because we often forget that we are going to a design school to learn, to experiment and take risks.
Don’t settle until you find your calling and what gets you out of bed in the morning.
Where in London do you go when you need a little inspiration?
I love London’s Southbank riverside and the Royal Parks and usually when I need to clear my mind I will end up walking in Hyde Park. If I need inspiration I will most likely visit the V&A museum, as I find it absolutely fantastic.