Ivan Vasilev

Digital Product Designer and Data Science enthusiast

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Currently I live and work in New York.

In 2012-18 I was the Head of Design at Alfa-Bank (12+ mln retail customers in Russia). I’ve built a design department from scratch to a sound team of 30+ UI and front-end engineers and built an open-sourced Design System.

In 2018 I’ve joined a startup life for a couple of years, built a fragrance recommender for Scentbird, and moved on to launch a couple of products of my own — research, data analysis, tech talent recruitment.

I am also known as a creator of an Intensive Course on Digital Product Design at British Higher School of Design, and an author of a book on branding.

Besides my deep love for typography and fonts, I am also a Python and Data Science enthusiast (Flask, pandas, Numpy, scikit-learn, Jupyter, PostgreSQL, you get the idea) with a couple of certificates from NYC Data Science Academy. I practice Python almost daily since 2018.

Check out my formal resume for more details.


Fragrance recommendations

Scentbird (YC'15)

People problem How do I pick a fragrance online? Scentbird subscribers range from fragrance newbies that just want to start somewhere to connoisseurs that want something new, different, fresh.

Design solution People expect automatic recommendations like Netflix, based on their preferences or experience. After 30+ user interviews and three ab-tests, we developed new UI and applied machine learning algorithms to provide better recommendations. Read more ➝

December 2019

Recruitment research and MVP

Mintblaster App

People problem In recent years I had to recruit over fifty designers for a large tech company and found out that hundreds of candidates are suffering from a lack of feedback after they apply.

Design solution I’ve built a prototype where candidates can improve their cover letters based on anonymous feedback from hiring managers and other candidates. It is a peer to peer reviews and a rating system. You apply, provide feedback, get your chances of being employed in return.

Outcome In just three weeks since a prototype launch, we got more than 300 applications. Nine hiring managers from top tech companies received 37 applications that had the best ratings, and seven applicants got job offers.

February 2020

Open-sourced Design System


12+ mln. retail customers

Back in 2012 users faced products with completely different interfaces, which was super inconvenient. I joined the bank, created the design department and by the end of the second year, our banking interfaces started to align.

As we progressed, 30+ product teams adopted our design approach and UI codebase in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. We open-sourced our UI so that more teams (internal and outsourced) could create better UI with fewer frictions.


Book on branding

Dozens of notes and articles from my consulting projects turned into a 16-chapters book. It covers subjects ranging from assembling the creative team and naming to domain names and trademark registration. It was very useful and practical back in a day.

Published in 2013.

I made it available for free as a website in 2015.

Fonts and typography

Typography and fonts, in particular, was my passion for a long while back in 2005-2007. Only a handful of my fonts survived, mainly because they were ready enough to be published at Myfonts.com ➝

2005-07, 2018

Contact me