Vlad Balan, Designer in Cluj-Napoca, Cluj County, Romania
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Vlad Balan

Verified Expert  in Design


Cluj-Napoca, Cluj County, Romania
Toptal Member Since
August 19, 2019

With several years of experience under his belt, Vlad is a seasoned product strategist specializing in UX/UI design. In the past year alone, he's worked with over 45 startups to bring their ideas to life and transform them into digital prototypes. Due to a passion for entrepreneurship, Vlad enjoys creating products that people love but even more importantly, that are products that solve a real problem.


Work Experience

Freelance Product Designer

2006 - PRESENT
  • Ran design sprints with a Brazilian B&B guest house to remodel their customer base.
  • Embarked on a UX-oriented path with a focus on mobile app design while working with 45 startups.
  • Established a few ongoing key client relationships (completed over 100 projects): Evoluxis, Yazamo, Ursus Breweries, Farmec, and so on.
  • Worked as a freelance web designer with clients from Romania and the US, specializing in eCommerce sites.
  • Developed user interfaces for small businesses in the US market through different contractors.
Technologies: Design Sprints, Business Model Canvas, Toggl, InVision, Sketch, Adobe Photoshop

Product Design | Team Lead

2016 - 2018
  • Onboarded the client and workshopped the initial idea in order to create a happy flow for the prototype.
  • Developing the UX wireframes while incorporating design patterns.
  • Created UI screens that followed established moodboard directions and finally prototyped the mobile app.
  • Made presentation calls with the founders and ironed out any uncertainties or questions that showed up during our process.
  • Worked as a team lead and built and nurtured a design team; also ensured the company’s objectives were fulfilled.
  • Created internal design processes to ensure unity and projects flow.
  • Attended weekly team lead meetings that allowed collaboration on internal projects within the departments of executive, marketing, sales, and operations.
Technologies: Slack, InVision, Sketch

Co-founder | UX/UI and Front-end Developer

2014 - 2015
  • Joined as a co-founder, MyLift which aimed to build the leading ride-sharing platform in Romania and Eastern Europe.
  • Wore many different hats such as newbie entrepreneur, product designer, project manager, and marketing strategist.
  • Built, in the span of a few months, a fully responsive website which we launched to actual customers.
  • Designed the UX and UI, developed the front end, implemented QA testing, and gathered feedback.
  • Closed down the startup in March 2015, after a strategic expansionist move by the leading worldwide car-sharing entity, BlaBlaCar.
Technologies: JavaScript, CSS3, HTML, InVision, Adobe Photoshop

UI Designer

2012 - 2013
  • Worked as an in-house designer, creating several Magento-based eCommerce web interfaces for US clients.
  • Developed a strong understanding of user psychology and UX guidelines in the eCommerce platforms, especially concerning the buying process.
  • Worked in cross-disciplinary team collaboration.
  • Was very involved in the workflow with developers and understood their needs from an implementation point of view.
  • Learned project management principles and how to work with Basecamp and Jira.
Technologies: Jira, Basecamp, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop
2004 - 2009

Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in Computers and Automation

Technical University of Cluj-Napoca - Cluj-Napoca, Romania

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