Behind the scenes with Dimitar, Head of Design at Despark

Dimitar Chikakchiev
Dimitar Chikakchiev
Published: 12.06.2022

Making human connections is part of the brand DNA; the soul of our brand being our tech partners. We are very proud to have Despark as part of our community, whose unique individuals inspire and empower the rest of our teams.

Time to meet the Head of Design at Despark, Dimitar!

Why did you join Despark, and what has kept you here?

When I first heard about Despark, I was really impressed with the projects that they were working on. I was doing freelance work, when a friend of mine told me they were looking for a designer to join their team. Although I really enjoyed the freedom of working on my own terms, Despark had that vibe and internal community that I was missing. And this is what kept me in the company for over 11 years - the fact that each and every one of us deeply cares about making a difference with our work and that we care about each other as a team. The people I meet and the challenges I face everyday make me a better person, both professionally and personally.

A LinkedIn type of photo

What are your primary responsibilities and what does your day-to-day look like?

As head of the design team, I oversee all projects that we are currently working on and set the strategic direction for the development of our design expertise in Despark. I've always enjoyed the actual design work, so I still take a lot of projects to work on, be it for UX/UI, illustrations, brand identity, and sometimes even motion graphics. I also spend some time working with our Sales & Marketing team to ensure that everything that goes out publicly from the company is in sync with our brand and visual outlook.

My day-to-day is quite busy. As a designer, I am very critical of my own work and of the work of others, so sometimes it's a challenge to stay within the predefined timeframe, because I always strive to be perfect in what I do.

A big chunk of my time also goes in meetings with prospective clients or current clients, especially when we need to discuss the initial visual direction of a project. When I am not working on a specific project, I try to use the time I have to help my teammates.

What has been your favorite project at Despark?

I can't really pinpoint one to call my favorite because I enjoy all of the projects that we work on. But there's two that definitely stand out for me.

A few years ago, back in 2018, we worked on the brand identity and UX/UI design for - it's a Bulgarian e-learning platform with video lessons for children. The project was quite challenging, because the brand identity had to appeal to students from very different ages - from 6 to 18 year-olds. So from a design perspective, we spent quite a lot of time thinking about how to present the brand as exciting, fun, but not too childish at the same time. Me and the team came up with the idea of a modern logo with vibrant colors and a logo mascot character that brought extra life to the brand and made it much more memorable.

Right now, is one of the most successful edTech companies in Bulgaria and has reached over 1 million users. I am sure my son will also use the platform when he starts school and it bring me immense fulfillment to know what I do is bring children one step closer to a more interesting and engaging learning process.

Altrix is another favorite project of mine. Altrix is a technology-led nurse staffing agency, based in the UK. Nurses can apply for shifts fast and easy from the Altrix app, and hospitals have an easier time employing and managing nurses. Our biggest challenge, and eventually contribution, was that we managed to simplify a very complex process of nurses verification, which was taking a lot of time that they could devote to patients. The client was also quite open to our ideas and we had had a lot of creative freedom during the design.

Initially, the whole team was putting in a lot of work and going the extra mile, because we really wanted to see the project turn into a reality and we pushed extra hard. With time, our hard work started to pay off and as the user base expanded, the work for our team also grew with new and exciting features.

Right now, Altrix is one of our most successful projects to date and the most widely used nurse-staffing application in the UK and I am really happy I got to be a part of that.

When are you the happiest?

I am the happiest when I see that the people around me are inspired and happy. When the people that I care for and love are doing well and having a good time, I instantly get into a better mood.

Of course, I am the happiest when I am spending time with my family. Even if we do simple things, like watching a movie together, or going on a nice walk in the sun and eating ice cream. It's the little things that count.

Having a good time at the beach

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Again, a very hard question to pick just one. But I would have to go with pasta. There's so many options to choose from - with cheese, with meat, with seafood or with vegetables, you name it. Spaghetti Bolognese is something I can't live without.

What's your favorite quote, or motto?

"Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans" by John Lennon. We overthing so much, we focus so much on what happened in the past, and might happen in the future, that we forget to enjoy the moments that we have now. It's a quote I often have to remind myself, too.

Get to know Dimitar and the rest of the Despark team!

We’re delighted that Dimitar decided to join Despark – it’s been great having them on board! If you have any questions or want to get to know Dimitar or one of their colleagues from the Despark team, we can put you in touch. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

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