One thing you have to know about Ukrainians, is that we can achieve a lot with very little. This is my mindset. Always.
So it is with emphasis on simplicity and usability, that I help to design and grow digital and physical products for global audiences.
My ultimate purpose in life is to positively contribute to the society via any means possible, while leaving a long lasting mark in the process. That’s why I do what I do.
My work was studied by neuroscientists from Germany, featured in design books from Singapore, taught in Canadian universities, and is used by every major school, college and university around the globe. Hundreds of millions of people rely on my know-how on daily basis, which humbles me deeply.
Things that interest me the most at the moment are: technologies of the future, internet (IoT), real estate (architecture/design, construction, marketing, etc), space [exploration], manufacturing [3D printing, etc], automotive, marine and aeronautics industries, education, healthcare, stock market/fintech.
One of my places while living in San Francisco’s Civic Center, overlooking Twin Peaks, Market Street, Van Ness Avenue, and the City Hall. Fun fact: SF City Hall has 24k gold plated dome, thanks to Willie Brown (San Francisco’s mayor) and Jeffrey Heller (San Francisco’s architect) – cool story!
I love to create. Pretty much anything.
Growing up, I’ve been exposed to a variety of unrelated fields. From nuclear submarines and creation of largest airplanes in the world, to art, symphony, cooking, and everything in-between. The result is a very generalist, hands-on approach to problem solving – any kind of problem.
I was born in Kiev, Ukraine, where I spent my childhood.
My family worked at a local aviation factory – Antonov Design Bureau. My grandma knew Oleg Antonov personally (he would often give her rides home), and was one of the first female engineers working on all future Antonov aircraft, starting with An-2, and finishing with An-124 at the time of her retirement. She was responsibe for design of all fuel systems. Following in her mother’s footsteps, my mom also was an engineer, except she would design everything from airports, to wings of all the newer aircraft (structural elements, etc). My dad has always been a jack of all traits, which is where my love for 'making' comes from; he would build models for wind tunnel testing, marketing purposes, he also partook in things like the design of An-124 cockpit.
When I turned 15, we moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, which up until this day holds a very dear place in my heart.
Shortly after, our family migrated to Toronto, Canada.
After a year long stint in Toronto, we made a more permanent move to Edmonton, Alberta, where I spent majority of my life.
When the time came to “leave the nest” I made a move to Vancouver, British Columbia, which attributes to some of the most colorful memories of my adult life…
Bottom two photos: views from my apt overlooking the beautiful False Creek.
Being European at heart, I always had the urge to move back, so for a little while I moved to Wroclaw, Poland. One of my life’s highlights, as the fate had something completely different in-store for me…
…Coming back to celebrate Christmas and New Years at my parent’s place in Edmonton, I met my wife. And the rest, as they say, is history.
We started a family of our own, and in 2012 decided to move to San Francisco with our newborn (5-months-old) son.
Ever since then I’ve been living and breathing bay area [air], and am absolutely invigorated by this place – in every sense of the world. Let’s stay in touch!
Office #4, downtown Edmonton – my favorite place to ’get work done’.
Threefifty is my design studio and where I spent most of my professional career. Over the years, I’ve put together the most amazing team of professionals; together we’ve worked on hundreds of projects for worldwide firms of varying sizes (Century 21, RE/MAX, Prudential Real Estate, EPCOR, Gola USA, Bensimon USA, Oxford Properties Group, TransAsia Lawyers, Cohos Evamy, Lydon Lynch Architects, AECON, University of Alberta, Tiesto, JCPenney, VISA, etc.), and in the process created a few companies of our own.
Inception of this company is what helped to shape my entrepreneurial spirit, along with all of the exciting things that come with it!
While working on this project, Bluewolf moved offices from from across the Trans America Pyramid, to their new Market St. office, which is seen in the photo.
Helped to re-architect a major internal IBM service agency Bluewolf.com from the group up. Brought the usability up to today’s standards.
Connected experience to brand, voice, visual, technology, and marketing in general. Optimized via data and testing for higher conversion. Learn more.
Rick, founder of D2A Audio, and myself during a product photo shoot.
Helped to bring next-generation technological breakthroughs in the world of audio to consumers across the globe. Re-positioned the brand which resulted in greater reach, exposure, and sales.
Learn more about the project.
Some of the team members of the Sonoma project.
I love design. I love design that’s backed by data even more. I find myself constantly interacting with various analytics products, and over the years I’ve come to some firm beliefs and expectations, which many of the analytics products lack. This was a fantastic opportunity for me to put some of my thinking to use in a real life situation.
Pier 9, San Francisco, California. Shortly after I finished Modular Magnetic. Some of my testing/research work plastered all over the wall in the background.
I’ve been asked to grow the most used online 3D design and 3D printing app, Tinkercad (tinkercad.com). Ultimately, the app aims to redefine how future generations ‘think’, giving them a creator’s/designer’s view of the world. I’ve applied my generalist approach to growing and bettering the app, and most importantly its community, making it more approachable to consumers, more user-friendly, and more engaging.
Normally you wouldn’t associate Autodesk Inc. with term “consumer”, which is the reason why the ACG (Autodesk Consumer Group) initiative heavily focused on bridging the gap between prosumers and consumers. Working alongside some of the brightest minds at [the infamous] Pier 9, I’ve been helping Autodesk spearhead the 3D printing & MAKER movement. And even though I was brought on board for a specific role (on a specific project), I was able to contribute to other projects, while interacting with several departments at any given moment.
Joined the team as the first UX/UI/Visual/Product designer, where I’ve outlined the foundation for design and experience of several key products, along with the overall brand and voice. Some of the thinking and design still live on to this day.
I was brought in as a lead concept designer on a ’tight deadline’ project which involved usability and visual improvements of moviefone.com - AOL’s flagship movie resource website. Moviefone.com is one of the oldest online movie brands in America.
RPM was my first experience working with a startup. Their product offerings were focused on real estate industry, and enabled Realtors (and entire Realties) to set up “online offices”, which could in turn be used to market real estate to interested parties.
Due to the infancy of the company, I had to “wear many hats”, while keeping up with the fast-paced work environment. This is also where my love for real estate was born.
After being noticed for my proficiency and passion towards video (filming, editing, etc.) during my college years, I was presented with a unique opportunity to work for A-Channel – the top TV station in the city. Once there, I’ve collaborated with directors, producers, anchors, reporters and cameramen, to create many captivating top news and sports stories (6 o’clock news + late night sports overview).
The quality and style of my editing quickly caught on around the station, and eventually I was appointed as a lead editor to concept a new TV segment for newscasts. The first installment was a great success for the station, and has resulted in production of subsequent episodes.
Media-Masters Creative Communications Inc. was my first experience working in a digital shop environment, straight out of school, and an inspiration for the future to start my own studio. The company was small enough for me to be able to freely move between roles on daily basis: from designer, to marketer, to account manager, and so on...
This position not only grew me as a designer, it also taught me many important lessons on client relations and on how to be a good manager.
In case you’re the "review" type, here are a few comments I ve compiled over the years from some of the clients/co-workers who are now my friends…
"Yuriy Sklyar fit so many ideas into one lunch it left my head spinning."
Founder vs. Goliath
Founder, speaker konversionsKRAFT
“Best visual designer we have!”
Director, Autodesk Spark Platform and Products
“Yuriy is a stellar UX pro with a strategic mindset. His work embodies beautiful aesthetics that drive key conversion objectives. Not only has he pioneered A/B testing, he has acted as a mentor and champion of the testing program once ACG obtained enterprise access to a standardized tool. He goes beyond the call of duty to troubleshoot problems, install marketing systems, and ideate on ways to optimize experiences as well as workflows for big results - then does a great job of telling the business story after. He’s a pleasure to work with, and recognition for his contributions is highly deserved.”
Prod. Mktg. Mgr., RCE-Autodesk Consumer Products
“Each time I posed a creative idea, Yuriy came back with an excellent result. When I asked for technical illustrations for a new product manual, he created one of most straightforward and well-drawn manuals in the solid-state lighting industry.”
Head of Marketing, illumivision inc.
“Thank you for always going above and beyond with your technical support.”
Operations Manager, Gola USA
“Yuriy is a total rockstar. He has made HUGE strides to help us develop the Project Ignite site and really gone above and beyond to deliver on team objectives. He’s a true asset to Autodesk and RCE. He always goes the extra mile and does it with a smile!”
Field Marketing Manager, RCE-Autodesk Consumer Products
“Yura does some excellent work and everyone that I have referred seems to agree.”
President, Aqomi, ShoeGuru, T&Y Company
“Yuriy has gone over and above the call of duty in working on 123dapp.com, Tinkercad and Ignite. He has actively sought out areas where his talent and expertise can improve the site and its performance. An incomplete list of the areas where he has led to major improvement: app landing pages, content formatting, SEO, A/B testing.”
Prod./Prod. Line Mgr., RCE-Autodesk Consumer Products
“Yuriy is a rockstar designer and a pleasure to work with.”
Art Director, RCE-Autodesk Brand Creative
“Our experience with Yura and his team as customers since 2004 has been nothing short of incredible.”
President, Edulis Imports
“Yuriy is the easiest product team member I have worked with. When we have minor suggestions for 123Dapp.com, he drops everything and does it right then (if it makes sense). He always has a good attitude and is doing more than what his job entails. I can’t think of a more deserving person for the job.”
Marketing Operations Analyst, RCE-Autodesk Consumer Products
“...[Website you’ve created] has been the major vehicle for the success of my book and the first thing I get asked about in interviews across the globe!”
Author, Questory of Root Karbunkulus
“Yuriy has gone above-and-beyond in the past year. He initiated projects that were “outside his job description” and that have significantly contributed to business. More importantly, his positive, up-for-anything attitude has had a hugely important and reassuring effect on the teams he works with, particularly in the midst of high-stress situations and pressing deadlines. Without complaint, he has worked evenings and weekends, all the while managing to make contributions on a large number of fronts. Personally, I have never worked with a designer who is more open to hearing suggestions”
UX Architect, RCE-Autodesk Consumer Products
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