Damjan Stanković, The LinkedIn UX Senior:

Endless Innovation: From Belgrade To Silicon Valley

Damjan Stanković is the mind behind five projects that have (to date) received the Red Dot Design Award. He is currently in charge of the Linked- In team responsible for the user experience, working on redefining ways for the more than 450 million users of the world's biggest social network for professionals to interact with the platform.

A need to create new concepts, rethink products and combine technology and art led him on an exciting adventure from playing with LEGO bricks in early childhood in Serbia, to working in Silicon Valley, the epicentre of world innovationSince my earliest childhood, I was interested in mechanics and design, being able to play with LEGO bricks for a whole day, creating new combinations. In primary school, I gradually started working on graphic design on computers and uploading my work to the internet.

It was at this point that more experienced professionals in the field noticed me and contacted me to cooperate – that’s how I became a freelancer as early as 8th grade.

I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and specialised in different fields, like interface design, interaction design, user experience etc. Working on various projects for more than 15 years, I had a chance to rethink and redesign vastly diverse concepts.

In 2009 I decided to focus on innovative solutions for everyday objects that had the potential to act in a subtle way to make a big difference in people’s lives. I took some time to work on my ideas and applied for one of the world’s most prestigious competitions for design concepts – the Red Dot Design Awards. In that one year, among thousands of other entries from many countries around the globe, my designs received four different awards.

The awarded concepts that I created were indeed innovative solutions for everyday objects that had the potential to act in a subtle way to make a big difference in people’s lives. For example, Eko – ecological traffic light, which causes less pollution and creates safer and more efficient traffic dynamics, or Letout Outlet – a concept for a unique pop-up, 5-in-1 electricity socket hidden inside the wall, which you can easily release and push back to act as a “normal” single outlet, depending on your needs.

My passion for innovation and design led me to Silicon Valley, one of the world’s most important centres of development and research, and home to thousands of high tech companies

After this, I continued working on innovative designs for mobile apps and solutions for different clients, collaborating with multidisciplinary teams to design and develop products and an online community for people passionate about different things.

Just a few years later, my own passion led me to turn to industry design once more…

Experimenting with different concepts and materials, building something from scratch with my own fingers, I made Rhei in collaboration with Marko Pavlović and many great people. It’s the world’s first and only clock that combines analogue and digital, creating an endless rhythmic flow, capturing the flow of time itself and never showing the same shape twice.

Rhei attracted international attention and was also awarded the Red Dot Design Award, my fifth. That might have been the spark that ignited my new success and took me to Silicon Valley, where I continued to follow my passion.

I worked on various projects in the Valley, finally settling at LinkedIn, the world’s leading network for professionals, as a Senior User Experience Designer. I work on reimagining how the network’s 450+ million users interact with the platform, having an impact on shaping their experience and connecting them to make them more productive.

Silicon Valley is a creative environment where I thrive, together with some of the world’s brightest minds, working in the area for many high tech companies – 39 of which are Fortune 100 companies.