Ultralinx Founder, web designer
Oliur is a self taught designer and entrepreneur based in England. Specializing in web and mobile design, he’s built various products and websites that have grown to reach millions. With a large and loyal following across his social media channels, Oliur’s work and continued contribution to design conversations have certainly granted him a heavy influence in the design space. I reached out for a quick chat about his decision to leave college, his sources of inspiration, and his personal favorite work tools.
You’re a wearer of many hats. I’d love to know where and how your career path began. I think I’ve known I wanted to be an entrepreneur from a young age, but never really thought it was possible without lots of money and experience. My first venture was theultralinx.com, a blog I started when I started college. I worked on it for two years whilst at college and made the decision to make it my full time job instead of going to university. From there I learned to design and code where I now focus more of my efforts.
Tell me about the light-bulb moment you realized you wanted to pursue code and design full time, if there was one. Why did this kind of work outweigh the option of attending university? There wasn’t ever a real light-bulb moment to be honest, I just slowly went into it as I wanted to learn more and more. Well I was making pretty good money from theultralinx.com through advertising, so if I did go to university I knew I wouldn’t be able to grow it as quickly. Very quickly in the first 12 months, I started making more than most graduates out of university so it was a no brainer to stick with it instead of going to uni.
How have you found it best to juggle so many client projects, alongside various personal companies? Is there a form of structure you’ve built for yourself to manage your time? Well as I’ve come up with new projects and accepted more clients, I’ve hired people too. I have two friends who work for me and with me who help me manage everything. I don’t even manage the blog anymore, I have someone else do that for me. I’ve never really stuck to a structure, I do things as they come. I believe much more in being disciplined in getting stuff done rather than just being motivated.
“I believe much more in being disciplined in getting stuff done rather than just being motivated.
As a designer, have you ever found yourself in a disagreement with a client? Personally, how do you reason with a client whose design taste far aligns with your own? Disagreements with clients happens all the time, nature of the business. I remember there was one client where I told them I didn’t want to work on their project anymore, in the kindest way I possibly could. He ended up coming back to me a day later and offering me £100/hour for my time, I couldn’t say no.
When it comes to design taste, 70% of my clients usually hire me because they want the style I put out already. With the other 30% it’s usually a mix and mash.
Aside from your approach to design, minimalism also seems to play a major role in your lifestyle. Tell us more about your fascination with it. It’s funny you mention minimalism. I never intentionally got into minimalism. I kind of fell into it. My parents grew up hoarding stuff constantly and I lived in a messy house. It wasn’t dirty, just messy. I didn’t like mess and always liked things being organised and clean. I’ve been obsessed with good organisation since a young age and always like to have things in order. It just makes life more efficient. It especially makes finding things easier!
Photo by Oliur. Bag from UltraLinx Store.
Photo by Oliur. Watch and card holder from UltraLinx Store.
I think it’s safe to say having an optimal work environment is important to you. Besides the organization of your workspace, do you have any tools or apps that help you get the most out of your work? I have an array of tools and apps that help me do my work everyday. As you’ve probably seen from my setup on Instagram, I like to have a vertical monitor, this helps with coding a lot. Apps I use everyday include Sketch, Sublime Text, CodeKit, MAMP and 1Password.
Oliur’s recent workspace setup.
Oliur’s recent workspace setup.
Are there regular sources – whether they be people, blogs, or companies – where you find design inspiration? Dribbble.com is probably my main source of design inspiration. MKBHD, TLD and Ash Tailor from YouTube are my main sources of video inspiration. Instagram is my main source of photography inspiration.
You have a very impressive and seemingly loyal following throughout your social media platforms. Do you feel it’s important to be a part of a creative community? If so, why? Social media does play a huge role in my life because it’s such a great way to follow people who I find interesting, but will most likely never meet. Many view social media as a bad habit but it’s the opposite for me. I see it as something that adds to my life and benefits me – especially my business. I love sharing what I do, what I use, and my life in general.