Johny Vino may be a prolific presence on Dribbble but he’s had a rather unconventional journey into design. Johny was born in a small village India but currently lives in bustling New York, where he juggles an internship with Microsoft and a Master’s program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. In this interview, we set out to discover more about his journey and the impact Dribbble has had on his success.
Tell us a little bit about how you ended up in design.
I’ve had a deep passion for drawing ever since high school, though I didn’t think I’d be able to make a career out of it. So I studied electronic engineering instead and spent my free time designing magazines for college. Then, in my final year, I started interviewing for engineering roles and ended up getting rejected by 15 companies.
After yet another disheartening interview, I went back to the HR manager and showed him my magazine designs. That company, Zoho, hired me to design their app experience and eventually brought me on as a UX designer. I ended up learning everything I know on the job, and from several mentors within the company.
For a long time, I just felt incredibly lucky that someone wanted to pay me for what I considered a hobby.
Fast forward two years later and I began to feel stagnant, so I began to look for a new challenge. This was around the time that I was listening to Debbie Millman’s Design Matters podcast, and she kept mentioning the School of Visual Arts in New York. I ended up applying and getting accepted into their Master’s program, which is where I am today.
Tell us a little bit more about how you create your interactions, the kind of software you use and your typical workflow.
Well, most recently I worked on a digital wallet experience that allows you to easily make payments to friends and track your spending. I used Framer X to design the entire flow, from screen design to final prototype. I was surprised at how little time it took me, mostly because the tool has some really powerful layout design features and an in-app store where I was able to download and use some really cool interactive components. I had a very different impression of Framer prior to this, assuming it to be pretty code-based, but Framer X is a very intuitive product that allows you to actually design interactions on the canvas.
I usually start with a really quick wireframe of what I want to accomplish, and then I go right into setting up the screens and finish by adding interactions. But with this project, I noticed that I was able to add the interactions very naturally and much earlier in the process. For instance, I used Russ Campbell’s Nice Bars components from the Framer Store to design a graph that showcases spending habits.
I also downloaded Gavin Owens LottieAnimation component to design the QR Scan feature that allows you to scan someone’s code to make a payment in the app. Using the same component, I dragged in a loading animation. In general, I enjoy bringing my ideas to life quickly so I can validate them, and things like ready-to-use React components really help me focus on perfecting the flow.
You’re very active on Dribbble. What inspires you to keep going and why do you feel it is important to showcase work on the platform?
My personal ethic is to always expect more of myself than I do of others. I’ve pushed myself into a habit of designing at least one new interaction every day. So I’ve created a habit where I block off time between 10PM -12AM to do it, which is sometimes tough but always worth it.
As someone who posted work publicly from a very early stage in my career, I know what it feels like to receive negative feedback. But negative comments just help me see things from a different perspective. Those early experiences taught me to drop my ego and allow learning to be a part of my creative process, which is something that has helped shape me as a designer.
Don’t wait for the perfect time or perfect shot and instead focus on consistency and continually pushing yourself to learn something new.
In the end, I feel like I’ve been rewarded for that persistence — my work on Dribbble has helped me land an internship on the Microsoft Outlook mobile team which has in turn challenged and helped me to learn how to design inclusively, create design systems and how to collaborate within a remote team.