Sign in

Siyana Ivanova

Storytelling is an incredibly powerful tool. It doesn’t matter how complicated a concept, a well-crafted story will transform it into something digestible and often something that one can carry with them throughout life. Good stories stick.

From Trash to Magic header image
From Trash to Magic header image

A few days ago, I wrote my first article on emotion in design, explained for non-designers. That article is based on a talk I love giving at conferences and workshops. When I stand in front of an audience, I like to start things on a personal note. It always builds a good relationship between me and a bunch of people who see me for…

Why are we all surrounded by very bad design that hasn’t changed much since its birth?

We all know that there are two kinds of UI’s, the ones meant for end-consumers, a.k.a. B2C interfaces, and the ones meant for other businesses, a.k.a B2B interfaces. But there actually is a third kind, which is not only overseen most of the time, but it’s majorly underrated as well.

It’s the B2E sort. Business to Employees. It’s the interface that people need to use for their job. Those are the UIs to use if you’re a cashier in a grocery store, if you’re…

In the last decennia, a lot of things have changed with the speed of… the Internet. And although terms like brand and branding are relatively new in human history, they have a mystical aura around them. What exactly is a brand? What is branding? Is it a color, a logo, or a proposition? Is it the package, the product, the story, or the feeling?

So before I even start to talk about the two types of brands, let’s look at how some weathered professionals in the field describe them. Just to get a bit more clarity on the subject.


A short story

Once upon a time, there was a society. A society that took great pride in being modern and progressive. It was so savvy and contemporary, that it often forgot all together where it came from. Or where it needed to go.

The society loved surrounding itself with objects made by it. It built houses and locked itself in them, it invented cars, and airplanes, and televisions, and complicated calculators made out of metal and plastic. Those inventions, even though built by the society itself, were called modern-day miracles. The more it invented, the more it progressed. …

Brands have become a ubiquitous entity in our lives. A study in 2007 stated that we are exposed to around 5.000 ads per day. That’s fourteen years ago. Guesses about the number of ads we see in recent days rest between 15.000 and 20.000. In this overly competitive overload on information, and with the attention span of people shrinking, how are brands fighting for survival? In evolution, we say survival of the fittest, but with so many brands, so many options, so little time, and finite resources on this planet, what makes a brand fit for the future?

Marketing is…

What can the history of human diseases teach us about their future? And are there lessons to be learned from new fields of psychology and century-old eastern philosophy in how to handle the growing numbers of chronic and mental illnesses?

Header illustration containing the title and a giant pill
Header illustration containing the title and a giant pill

So many questions, so few answers. I want to kick it off with a very important statement — I’m not a doctor, nor a psychologist, nor someone who has dedicated her career to curing people of either physical or mental illnesses. But seeing how both cancer and depression are seen as incurable modern-days diseases, some speculations can’t harm, right?


Looking back at the last couple of years, with more of a birdview on how things went and are going, I have to say… we, the digital folks, have been digging our own graves for quite some time now. Shall we ditch the graves till the hole is still shallow enough for us to exit it?

The Birth of Designer A.Is and the Death of Designers as We Know Them — Illustrated cover with a computer brain of connection
The Birth of Designer A.Is and the Death of Designers as We Know Them — Illustrated cover with a computer brain of connection

The Verdict

See… in recent years design has transformed businesses never imagined before. Art is death, so is poetry, and so is religion. But frameworks and Powerpoint presentations, tech, analytical & data stuff, social media, Medium articles on how to earn 10K a month doing nothing…

Ask 20 people what design means and you will get 30 answers. Ask them what branding means, and you will get 40. For some time now, design hasn’t been neither about simplicity, nor problem-solving, nor aesthetics. It used to occupy the sweet spot between science and art, taking enough philosophy from both worlds, but now we’re drowning in overly complicated frameworks and processes.

Why Are We Overcomplicating the Branding Process? — Header Image of a maze
Why Are We Overcomplicating the Branding Process? — Header Image of a maze

It’s not only branding we’re overcomplicating

Whereas art and science are hard, designing a webpage exactly like every other one or telling companies that they need to do what Airbnb or Uber is doing, is pretty easy. The aftermath? We ended up having…

There are three kinds of brands really. The ones with a mission to bring positive change to the world (the good), the ones that have no idea what they’re doing (the bad), and the ones that feed on what’s going on in society like a parasite feeds on its host’s resources (the ugly). So I’ve gathered a bunch of examples of a few per category.

The good ones I want to personally thank for existing, the bad ones, well… maybe someday they will make the shift to good. The ugly ones, it’s too late for those, they are either ugly…

The US Navy has been lowkey confirming the existence of what they call unidentified aerial phenomenon. In a typical governmental way, they picked the worse moment possible — mid pandemic lockdown, when everyone was worrying about toilet paper — to do this. So a lot of people might have missed this glorious moment.

The Big Reveal

See… extraterrestrial life has always fascinated me. My whole life I was pretty sure that life on this planet was not the only life in this Universe. But somehow I always thought that when the moment arrives that a government would announce the existence of ET, it…

Siyana Ivanova

Commentating on life & design. Also freelancing at both—

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store