A day in the life of a Human Interface Designer: Georgi Chorbov on why company culture is important when choosing your employer

What is it like to work in the IT industry in Bulgaria? This is a question many people interested in a career in the sector ask themselves. So, we, at Bica, gathered some of the people that we helped find the right job to share their stories. With this series of interviews, we are aiming to show people how the everyday life of a person working in the IT sector goes. We hope to break some cliches about the professionals employed in the industry and inspire more individuals to consider a career in IT.

Today, we share with you the story of Georgi Chorbov, a designer by choice who is fascinated by new technologies and highly values an ambitious and supportive company culture. In the past few months, he has been part of Bang & Olufsen’s team, currently taking the position of a Human Interface Designer. In this material, we’ll discover more about this interesting position, Georgi’s previous experience as a team leader and why his motto in life is “good at everything, master of none”.

Georgi, can you share a bit more about yourself?

My name is Georgi and I’m just a regular guy who works at Bang & Olufsen as a Human Interface Designer. Since my teenage years, I’ve been interested in design and how things work, and had the opportunity to try different aspects of this field – creative design, graphic design, web design, etc. My biggest passion is designing software products and that’s the reason why most of my career is dedicated to UX Design.

In my personal life, I’m an adventurous person who likes to try new and different things – life is full of so many wonderful experiences and I want to discover as many as I can. My motto is “good at everything, master of none” and my list of hobbies is getting quite long – reading a fascinating book, freeride skiing, mountain biking and sailing to name a few. Music is one, if not the most important thing that keeps me alive and recently I started playing guitar, which opened the door to a whole new audio world for me.

Can you share what a Human Interface Designer is? What are your responsibilities? Does an HID differ from UX Designer?

A human interface designer and a UX designer have a lot of similarities, but also some differences. Both share the same core design principles that everything used by the user should guarantee a great and frictionless experience.

At Bang & Olufsen, the need for a human interface designer is related to the products we develop. They can be physical products such as wireless speakers and headphones, but also digital products such as a mobile app. The job of a human interface designer involves creating design solutions that can be used in the physical and digital worlds. For example, any button pressed on headphones or speakers should create a chain reaction that takes an action with the device and also makes it clear to the user that the button has been pressed.

In the HID department there is profiling and some designers specialize in hardware design, others in the software. Coming from the software development industry, I currently work on digital products.

In your opinion, what are the principles of building a functional and appealing software product?

I wouldn’t say there’s a one-fits-all stereotype of building a software product. The best software is the right mix of multiple variables – it should follow logic, be ergonomic and intuitive, be fast and easy to use, and trigger positive feelings and emotions in the user. We often forget that software is used by humans and that we humans are emotional creatures. That’s why this aspect is so important, especially for software solutions that are used every day.

Performance and usability, properly mixed with aesthetics and emotions, are the main things to consider in software design, and the emphasis should be on the primary purpose the product serves.

How does a day in your life go – usual routine (waking up, coping with tasks; activities in the spare time)?

I didn’t follow a super strict daily routine. My days are usually divided into two parts – one dedicated to collaboration – meetings with the rest of the design team or other colleagues, and the other to individual-focused work and designing great software solutions. The product development team I’m also part of right now, uses an agile model to structure and manage our processes, so traditional Scrum elements are present in my daily life.

Although similar in structure, my days are often very different and colorful. Bang & Olufsen is a very dynamic company that grows and adds new activities, new people join our teams and continuous changes and improvements happen all the time.

What is the biggest challenge you previously faced when looking for a job?

I can highlight a few challenges I face in the process of discovering a new job opportunity and determining if it is a good fit for me.

First comes the culture. I would describe myself as a fastidious and pedantic employee with very well-defined values, so I want to connect with the culture and vision of the company and associate myself with the employer’s values, not just work for a salary.

The second challenge is the sugar-coating from employers about their job openings and the way the company is presented to applicants. What I like are companies that are open, candid and willing to share behind-the-scenes information about their true nature – how they are structured and operate, what are the areas for improvement and how the company strives to be better.

The third challenge I faced when evaluating potential job offerings is finding a company that offers opportunities for learning and development and career growth. The world moves so fast nowadays that you have to run just to keep up. This means constant self-improvement, learning new skills, researching new tools and techniques. After all, every new day you will be a better version of yourself, able to produce more value in a more efficient way, and the company should recognize and reward you for that.

How did Bica help you in the process of finding the right job?

One of the biggest advantages of working with Bica is the personal approach and attitude of their team throughout the whole recruitment process. The Bica professionals were always available for a chat and very understanding of what I look for in an employer.

As Bang & Olufsen isn’t heavily represented as an employer in the Bulgarian market, it wasn’t an easy task to find out more details about their company culture and employer brand. The Bica team was very transparent about the company, its future plans and there were no communication issues between me and B&O.

The third aspect I’d highlight in working with Bica was the collaboration with Slavka, my dedicated recruiter. She was always there to answer questions or give me advice. I felt like I had a trusted partner who is going through the process hand by hand with me.

We heard from the Bica team that you got invited to Denmark for one of the interviews. How important was this personal approach in the interviewing process? Can you share more about it?

It was a great gesture of Bang & Olufsen to invite me to their design studio in Copenhagen for the final part of the hiring process. This gave me the opportunity not only to get to know the company and its culture in more detail and to meet people from different teams, departments and hierarchical levels, but also to present myself and the highlights of my portfolio in a more exciting and impactful way. In-person communication and collaboration is much richer and more fulfilling than online video calls.

This visit to Denmark only confirmed my expectations and knowledge of the company, the culture and the position built during the recruitment process, so without hesitation I accepted the offer to join the amazing team at B&O.

What made Bang & Olufsen stand out to you? What was the main factor to switch from a Design Team Lead to a Human Interface Designer?

After working for 5 years in my previous company, I needed a change in my life and in my career. I needed to get out of my comfort zone, I needed a restart. Management is something that really excites me and for sure I want to develop my skills in it in the future. But I also love being a designer and will always carry the passion for design in my heart. 

Company culture, new technologies, exquisite but clean design style, incredible audio innovations, pursuit of the highest possible quality and attention to really small details are the main factors that helped me choose Bang & Olufsen, where I have the opportunity to work with incredibly creative, smart and competent people and learn from their experiences. In addition, my new role allows me to be close to and develop my skills in different areas – for example in industrial design and user experience with physical products.

In your previous company, you were leading the UX Design Team. Can you share what was the most important lesson you learned about leadership during this time? What are your principles when you’re in charge?

The most important thing I learned in my time as a people manager was that every person on a team is different and unique. As a leader, I have to find an individual approach to make everyone in the team feel good and safe, maximize their own results, be an integral part of the team’s and company’s success, and be proud of themselves and their work. Important thing, especially in the field of design, is to give your colleagues enough freedom and opportunity to be creative and show their personality through the work they do.

Another insight I realized is that there are many paths that will lead you to your goal. Based on the people you have on your team and their unique superpowers, you need to figure out the best path and how to navigate and help your colleagues through it.

As a team leader, you don’t just have a title – you are responsible for the performance of the team and people in it, for individual and team goals, learning and development, meeting deadlines, removing obstacles, finding resources, etc.

Every word you say in this role will be taken very seriously and literally by your team, so you need to be extra careful and be a true role model.

What do you want to achieve in the future?

“I want to be happy” is how I usually describe my plans for the future.

Moving beyond the cliché, I would like to dive deeper into the Bang & Olufsen world and see how deep the rabbit hole goes. I want to find the best way I can contribute to the success of this amazing, almost century-old company and help our users have a perfectly designed experience that is inline with our new vision: “Luxury Timeless Technology”.

Another goal I am aiming for is to share my experience and knowledge with the next generations who are at the beginning of their design career. I would like to help young designers avoid the countless mistakes that I have made in my professional (and personal) life. They say learning from your own mistakes is the best way forward,  but I think learning from the mistakes of others is equally if not more valuable.

If you want to find the right position for you to thrive and grow, check out our career page and take the next step in your career.


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