My name is Irene (pronounced ee-rEEN-ee) and I am a maker of human-centered, useful and beautiful digital things. Originally born in Cyprus,I now live and work in Boston.
My journey is a little different than most. I began teaching myself design and coding at the age of 12 when I created my first website. After acquiring a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and a Master’s in Digital Media Arts, I started my career as a software engineer and designer – kind of like a unicorn one may say. After realizing that I was spending more time thinking about the design and the way a user interacts and experiences the product, it was clear to me that my passion has always been in design, coding was just the way to bring my ideas to life. Fast forward a few years later, I am now a designer, thinker, maker and problem solver.
I had the honor to develop products and services in a wide range of categories for companies such as Samsung, Philips, Johnnie Walker, Audi, Bank of Cyprus, to name a few.
For the past four years, I have been working as a Design Team Lead at KAYAK, leading design for the biggest and most popular vertical, Flights. I have played a crucial role helping KAYAK through a big redesign as the company doubled in size, by assisting in the creation of the design guidelines and system. I have also worked on establishing KAYAK’s first color and design accessibility guidelines for inclusive design, and implementing them across all platforms.
You might have read my interview with KAYAK on minimalism or watched my speech with LTUX on Inclusive Design and Accessibility.
I believe in simplicity.
Simplicity is not easy. You see, easy just happens, but simple is planned, carefully curated and well executed.
I believe in the power of great ideas followed by good design. I am driven by the desire to incite action, to challenge people enough to sit up, take notice and react. I push myself to see things for what they can — and should — be. I encourage myself to think differently about the things I’ve always done, encouraging me to move past my comfort zone.
I solemnly swear to…
1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
2. Start no more new books.
3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
5. When you can’t create you can work.
6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.