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Karolina Szczur
Portrait of Karolina on a grey background. She's wearing a khaki green jacket on a white t-shirt with jeans. She's slightly smiling with her arms friendlily crossed across her body.
© Photo by Breanna Dunbar↗

Cześć! I’m Karolina (“k-aa-r-oh-l-ee-n-aa”), a Polish-Australian designer working remotely from Narrm. Over the last 15+ years, I’ve been a founder, product designer and front-end developer, focusing on building delightful and easy to use products.

I’m at my best combining leadership and hands-on design. I love creating processes, fostering collaboration and delivering feedback within cross-functional teams, with the best UX outcomes as the north star. As a designer, I focus on well-documented, easy to maintain design systems and comps. My practice always speaks to customer needs and has their positive experience at heart.

I effectively bridge the gap between design and implementation, coaching designers on how to make decisions for the web as a medium, and developers on how to bring visuals to life with, delightful micro interactions, accessibility, and performance in mind.

In 2017, I started working part-time on Calibre↗, a software as a service platform measuring and improving web performance. In 2020, I joined full time as a co-founder, leading design efforts. Over four years, I’ve created and maintained design systems, authored the company’s voice and tone, released numerous product features, and took charge of communication and support strategies. I’ve worn dozens of hats, all of which gave me invaluable experience in the end-to-end product process and underscored the importance of never being too far from your customers.

I studied Photography and Human-Computer Interaction, both of which show in my work through creativity, a keen eye for design, and always paying attention to the impact of technology on people’s lives and experiences.

I live by my values: integrity and equity. I focus on my impact, trying to leave the world a better place than I found it, minimising any footprint.

Outside of work, I’m a photographer, pilates enthusiast, lover of great coffee, books, and cats. I live on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people’s land, and try to spend as much time in nature as possible. So, you might find me in a forest, admiring varieties of eucalyptus and birds (how great is the black cockatoo?). When I can, I visit where I’m from—Kraków, Poland.

Speaking #

It’s been a privilege to present on global stages, covering subjects such as creativity, burnout, web performance, front-end development, inclusion, and the dangers of technology. My talks are thoroughly researched, and thought-provoking, aiming to leave the audience with new knowledge and perspectives. Nowadays, I primarily speak about people-first design, covering strategies, processes, and values that help, not exploit.

Karolina speaking at Nordic.js in Stokholm. She's on stage next to a lectern with a laptop. She's wearing all black and gesticulating with an open hand. In the backround, there's a fraction of the introductory slide to her talk.

➂ Nordic.js, Stockholm

Karolina speaking at DDD in Perth. She's on a large stage adjacent to a lectern with a laptop. There's a small screen with her slides, acting as speaker notes, and a large screen displaying the slides to the audience. She's wearing grey pants and black t-shirt and is mid-talking.

➁ DDD, Perth

Karolina speaking at Creative Mornings in Melbourne. She's standing behind a lectern with a laptop, holding a remote to switch slides. She's mid-speaking, but not in a bad way. She's wearing white t-shirt and black pants.

➀ Creative Mornings, Melbourne

Selected events #

You can find several of my past talks on Speakerdeck↗. I’m currently accepting limited speaking engagements. All events I participate in must have a documented commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion and cover costs for every speaker involved. Here are the requirements for conferences I participate in.

Year & Location Event
2018, Melbourne Creative Mornings
2018, Melbourne Web Directions Code Leaders
2018, Perth DDD
2018, Melbourne Tech Inclusion
2017, Stockholm Nordic.js
2017, Zürich Front-end Conference
2015, Dublin HybridConf
2014, Singapore CSSConf Asia
2014, Berlin CSSConf Europe
2012, Prague Future of Web Design
2012, Berlin JSConf Europe

If you’d like me to speak at your event, reach out.

Event organising #

I’ve always sought like-minded people, and took on an active role in the communities I was a part of. What started with organising meetups and workshops, quickly evolved into large-scale tech events, where I used my management, communication, design, and curation skills.

I’ve run over 15 industry-leading conferences, and be an advisor for dozens more. My goal as an event director was to curate spaces where everyone feels welcome and safe to show up as their authentic selves, which often is still difficult in tech spaces and beyond.

Selected events #

Year Event
2016–2018, Melbourne JSConf Australia
2016–2018, Melbourne CSSConf Australia
2015–2017, Berlin JSConf Europe
2014, Oakland CSSConf Oakland

Writing #

I love the clarity writing brings. Over the years, I’ve contributed to numerous publications, but lately I’ve been focusing on Calibre’s product release posts↗, its changelog↗ and sharing how we run a small company. Here are a few recent pieces:

Published on Calibre
The calm web
Published on Calibre
Why we run a people-first company
Published on Calibre
How we deliver great customer experience
Published on Calibre
Psychology of speed
Published on Help Scout
The technical debt myth

Find me elsewhere #

Want to talk?

I’m currently looking for a new lead designer role. If you’re hiring remotely or within Australia, I’m always up for a chat.

Email me