There are currently a multitude of factors that continue to make 2023 a challenge for musicians, gear makers and software developers. From chip shortages to inflation and in the case of our UI design team : A war. Meet Voger Design, our UI developers from Ukraine. They have been designing user interfaces for many years and are the collaborative brains behind many of your favorite products. They have also been instrumental in Wave Arts achieving the look and feel we wanted for Panorama 7. Voger Design has been working tirelessly through difficult wartime conditions. And while they remain “safe” we wanted to shed some light on their circumstances. We spoke to Serhii Sukhodolsky who is the art director at Voger Design.
Please tell me about yourself and your role in Voger.
Hello, I'm Serhii Sukhodolsky and I am 33 years old, married, and have two wonderful sons. I live in Ukraine in the city of Vinnytsia.I have been working at Voger Design for about 10 years, almost since it was founded. Currently, I work as an art director. With my team, we work on creating UI in the field of sound design. During this time, I’ve been working on more than a hundred different projects.
What projects are you currently working on?
This month, I work on two big projects - a large high-end amp emulation and a redesign of a modern mixer, and I also mentor the projects of my colleagues.
How does your team communicate and work together?
Over 10 years as a remote team, we have tried a lot of different platforms for managing projects and communications (Trello, Asana, Slack, and many others). These days, we use Google services for planning and communications. Project management and time tracking are in Active Collab.
How has the invasion changed your daily routine with your teammates?
The most difficult thing was to return to the "normal" rhythm of work in the first month of the war when there was uncertainty about tomorrow.
In autumn came new uncertainty due to blackouts. This is when there is no electricity due to the aggressor's missiles. Therefore, we learned to cope with the help of battery generators and despite everything, we did so that the customers did not notice any changes.
Moreover, we encourage each other with the words: "It is not difficult for us, it is truly difficult for those who are on the front lines protecting us." And here is why the phrase made with bravery in Ukraine is not empty words for us:
At the beginning of the war, our PM Olga who lived in the frontline zone had to stay for weeks in the basement and hid from tank fire while still holding team meetings and managing all Voger projects! My personal hero.
What other work are you doing now since the invasion? (war effort)
To battle stress, my wife decided to make home food for the military. She and her friends were baking and cooking 24/7. I joined them in the preparation of products and the delivery of pastries. The entire territorial community was also engaged in weaving camouflage nets when they were urgently needed. I constantly donate part of my earnings to various volunteer funds that help the army. And I also make donations to my friends on the front line who are constantly short on protective equipment, drones, thermal imaging devices, etc.
Currently, my wife and I are thinking about the production of trench candles that warm soldiers in sub-zero temperatures.
How has the invasion impacted you directly?
Vinnytsia is far from the front line. Approximately like New York from Philadelphia, LA from Las Vegas, Paris from Brussels, or Berlin from Amsterdam.Yet, on July 14 a couple of missiles made their way. I, my son, and my wife, who was pregnant at the time, came under shelling. The place of arrival of the two cruise missiles was 150 meters from the maternity hospital from which my wife was returning after the examination. She passed by the place of arrival 5 minutes before it and met me and my son and together we went to the nearest store for shopping. And then two explosions... Broken windows... Panic all around... We spent 2 hours in the basement of the store. She had to lie on her stomach on the glass floor for 10 minutes. My son still reacts to various noises with panic that something will fly into our house. Fortunately, everything went well with the wife and future baby.We were lucky, the other 26 (3 children) residents of Vinnytsia, unfortunately, were not. And such shelling occurs in our country almost every week in cities close to the frontline.
Please tell me something that we may not know or understand about working in these current conditions.
Our average life has changed due to challenges. We had a lack of gasoline at gas stations (at some a period, a lack of electricity, inflation, the constant sirens of air raids, and the fear of another full-scale invasion. But we hold on to our morale. Our work has got to another level of meaning, besides making the lives of our clients easier by doing beautiful and well-designed UIs, on top of that every project we made supports our economy and saves someone’s life because of our taxes and donations we do on a regular basis.We support each other in the team and believe in our victory.
To us, it is not a surprise that we delivered every project we started. And we are grateful to those companies who proved to be real friends and offered donations to our charitable funds and worked with us since the war started.