Discover a Dragon Series: UI Designer, Kim Tomasik
Kim’s journey to becoming a UI designer at Dragon Army is diverse, unique, and impressive. She was the sole woman at a startup warehouse equipment company where she held the marketing director role. She managed social media for a casino and even ran a small digital agency of her own. All of the jobs have been stepping stones to this role that allows her to bring together creativity, strategy, and analytical skills to produce excellent UI.
Share a project or partnership that gives us a snapshot into your work.
UI design usually comes in after our brilliant UX team’s work is complete. I’m responsible for the design and aesthetic of the screens that make up the digital user interface, including all the detailed elements on those screens.
Since joining Dragon Army in 2021, I’ve done work for a range of massive sites, products, and small environments. There’s a lot of work I could share, but the project I’m proudest to highlight is the Language, Please project for Vox Media, which launched in July 2022. It’s a living online resource that helps journalists make informed decisions about how they use language to frame their topics.
I assessed the UX to determine which design elements to keep and which to change to make the screens and experience delightful. They use a challenging lavender and yellow color palette, but it was great to think about how each of the colors would emerge as an element as people interacted with the screens.
What attracted you to Dragon Army or why have you built your career here?
When the pandemic hit, I realized how much I enjoyed working remotely. I also saw opportunities to work with companies, teams, and people across the country that I would never have met otherwise. Once I widened my net beyond my home in Buffalo, New York, I started seeking a company that shared my values and obviously cared about the well-being of all its employees.
I can only describe finding Dragon Army as “destiny.” Even though Dragon Army is in Atlanta, a couple of my contacts were aware of the company and encouraged me to check it out. The agency was hiring for the exact position that I was currently in, so I knew I could do the job. And after meeting Stanley, who is now my manager, I knew I wanted the job more than ever.
I have never worked for a company where it’s okay to close your computer at 5:00 and to have entire Fridays with no meetings, so I can just focus and work. And the leadership really wants to support you. They go above and beyond.
I’m a new mom and a professional with big goals. Knowing that I can do great work and have balance is great. And being able to advance because of what I produce and not how many overtime hours I put in makes me realize this is how a career should be.
UI design is so much more than making something look pretty. it’s about bringing together typography, color, buttons, animations, and imagery to make sure the interface of a product is as intuitive as possible. It’s very detailed and articulate work!
What Dragon Army core value resonates with you most and why?
Putting the Team First. It’s a popular one among our Dragons, and for a good reason. Especially as a competitive team runner and former coach, I know the power of teamwork. At an agency where things are moving fast and we’re all committed to excellence, it’s important to know your team has your back and wants to lift you up and help you succeed. People support each other here. I’m sometimes asked to hop in and carry something over the finish line, and I’m more than happy to do it because I know others will return the favor for me if needed. And it doesn’t matter if something is going well or not, we work together as a team.
Give a snapshot into your day to help us understand your area of expertise.
Before my workday begins, I try to get in a run with my local running club, and I spend time with my baby. Once my son goes to daycare, it’s important for me to work hard to get everything done so I can be truly free to spend time with my family in the evening.
I start the workday by taking a look at the project list that I keep on my computer. I have a ton of autonomy so what I do throughout the day depends on the phase of the project and how I can be most efficient. From my startup experience, I’m used to working at a fast pace and staying organized. Right now, for example, most of my projects are in the beginning phases, so I’m designing strategies and moodboards. Sometimes I’m working “in the weeds” on decisions that impact design. And other days, I’m documenting design decisions for our development team.
I try to take a midday break to go for a run or just step away because I come back to my computer refreshed and with a clear mind.