Our designs help to catch visitor’s attention much longer leaving a pleasant after taste, just like after a great wine.
I am Viktor Shkurba, 31 years old founder and creative director of ISD Group - independent agency of 30 employees, the most creative digital advertising one in Ukraine already for 5 years.
I created my first web site in 2000. Four years later my friends and I opened ISD Group agency that consisted of four employees. Today I am very proud that our small team has managed to grow into an ace of aces agency that works on international projects with the top brands.
What do you do for inspiration?
Inspiration comes while working on what you like. That means that you just have to start and it will fly up to you automatically.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Assembling the strongest team in Ukraine for much more than just one or two years.
How many hours do you work each week?
About 60 hours.
How do you relax or unwind?
Playing war games with my son and if I have more time we are going on a trip.
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
I would be a football player or a robotics specialist ( I had been studying at the Department of Technical Cybernetics, Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering for 6 years)
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
My favorite part of the job is to observe the behavior of new users at the newly launched website. I can do that without any food or sleep. It draws me in. The hardest one is to fight with the dullness and indifference both within the team and among clients.
What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?
56 hours without any sleep is my personal record. It was more than 6 years ago. For a moment it seemed like I would never need to sleep any more.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Our designs help to catch visitor’s attention much longer leaving a pleasant aftertaste, just like after a great wine.
Who is your target audience?
Depends on client’s target
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
Yes. Of course. On a personal level firstly. It gave us confidence that we are moving in a right way.
When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?
We have a very strong research department for this purpose. We almost always know what is important for the customer and what is not.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
www.always.kiev.ua Our first promo for P&G was made in 2005. It’s funny, but even now there is nothing to be ashamed of about it.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
Yes. I wanted to find what it would be about right now, but I have not come up with the final idea. I suppose, it has not been fully inseminated yet.
Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?
Yes. I talk a lot to my wife and son
Have you been a part of a campaign that was rooted in digital and THEN reached over into other consumer touchpoints? Did this happen organically or was it a part of the plan from the beginning?
Yes, of course. We got our first FWA for a project exactly like that. For Singing In The Shower Community, together with a director Phil Lee we made 4 music videos which were decided to be broadcasted then on musical TV channels.
Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?
Do you think websites will still exist?
Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?
Social Karaoke for Singing in the shower Community www.vdushe.com
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
Yes it is still available at: palettexxl.com.ua/intro 5 years ago, we planned to make a real hairdresser for teenagers with flash. By that time the flash was not ready to work with large numerical arrays. The project had been being developed for 7 or 8 months. We were breaking both our brains and code. We have made it. We are still proud of it.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
More yes than no. But I may be mistaken.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
The history says it’s not really needed to get a specific education to be an expert in specific field, but for sure a certain education make you ahead at the beginning of the career. However, only the one who does not stop reaches the final hights.
If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Investigate the works of FWA winners in terms of the smallest details. And compare to those works, which didn’t move outside the public shortlist. Everything starts with details!
How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?
I think that it is difficult to find a professional in any industry and in any country. What can be said about Ukraine in this case? There are no professional design and advertising institutions in our country and that makes it even harder to find a qualified professional.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
To be honest, to always try to be the best and give more than they are expecting from you.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
Yes. Deal only with what you love and what you like. If you have started doing something without love you will have to fall in love with it :)
What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?
If it is about innovation in creating websites than it’s Sweden
There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?
I’ve always dreamed about creating something very simple and veeeery useful. I’m working on it.
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
Something grandiose, but we do not know what exactly so far.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
Bulletproof vest. Well, you know that Ukraine is fighting against corrupted government.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Every day try to demand from yourself more than you actually can do.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Thank you too, Rob!