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How Web Designer Marius Ciuchete Păun Turned from Struggling-Reader to Audible-Devourer

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I got to meet Marius Ciuchete Păun thanks to Robert Katai, who put us in touch. Robert has been working with Marius and introduced him to me saying something along the lines of: “one of the only designers who are able to think not just in a matter of colors and elements, but also gets involved into project’s DNA, juices what’s more beautiful out of it, and translates it into an award-worthy interface.”

How’s that for an introduction? 🙂 Marius is an award-winning product designer, co-founder and creative director of DEUX, an interaction design studio based in Vancouver, Canada.

With more than a decade of of experience in designing digital content, his work lies at the intersection of UX, interaction design and branding. He won a Webby Award – a leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet.

Marius worked with all range of companies, from startups and NGos to financial institutions, Fortune 500 brands, always seeking way to help them have a meaningful impact using design. He got to work with WordPress, Microsoft, FedEx, 5by (video discovery service), Wall Street Survivor (world’s largest online stock market simulator). He was also an integral part of the team that launched the new TechCrunch.

We talked to Marius about what he learned from his favorite books, how he increased his attention span, the books he’d recommend to future designers, and more.

Le temps de lecture estimé pour cet entretien est de 7 minutes. Si vous préférez l'écouter, vous pouvez le faire sur iTunes, jeu de Google ou Brodeuse.

Quel est votre livre préféré et pourquoi ? Entreprises et non-entreprises, si possible.

When it comes to a specific business related book, I recommend “ReWork” by Jason Fried.

The book strips the concepts of entrepreneurship, management, and leadership down to the basics, leaving you with just the refreshing essentials for how to do everything right.

On the other hand, I would also like to recommend Ryan Holiday’s “Ego is the enemy“.

The lessons in this book are ageless and universally applicable to everyone. The lesson it teaches us is that the ego is part of us and we have to manage it. Life is full of ups and downs and our ego is always sitting in the dark, waiting to strike us down.


Y a-t-il eu un moment, précisément, où quelque chose que vous avez lu dans un livre vous a aidé ? Pouvez-vous m'en parler?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I struggled for years with my reading process. I had so many issues focusing, understanding what the author is trying to say, and remembering what the page I just finished was all about.

It was mission impossible for me to read a chapter in a week, because my process was “read a page, read another page, come back to the first page, remember what that it was all about”.

There was too much background noise in my mind at that time and I was having a hard time leaving my work and personal thoughts behind me and focus on the text in front of me.

Therefore, I started getting my books through Audible. I noticed my hearing sense was stronger than my visual sense. All I had to do is focus on the voice of the author.

But even so, I needed to listen 2-3 times to a book before I can remember the meaning of certain phrases. It was then, and it still is, a strong battle, which I have yet to conquer.

Back to your question: Yes there was. In fact, I can remember two separate sentences from two different books:

The first one comes from “The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman. It says: “great design will help people figure out what actions are possible without the need for labels or instructions”

The second one comes from “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug. It gives the following advice: “Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left.”

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Quels livres vous ont le plus marqué ? (peut-être changé votre façon de voir les choses, radicalement changé votre cheminement de carrière)

Brand Sense” by Martin Lindstrom. I read it back in 2005 while I was on the plane to Miami (I didn’t have issues reading a whole book during a 7 hours flight, back then!).

It made me understand how powerful brands build their audiences using the 5 senses.


Quels livres conseilleriez-vous aux jeunes intéressés par votre parcours professionnel ? Pourquoi? (pas de limite de nombre ici)

These titles should be a good start, I think.


J'aimerais en savoir plus sur vos habitudes de lecture. À quelle fréquence lisez-vous ? Sous quel format ?

I read every 2 or 3 days. It’s only for a few hours, though. It is not the most constructive pattern, but it helps me getting back into reading for once in a while.

What do I prefer? Well, I prefer audio books. A hardcover books comes in second.


Comment gagner du temps pour lire ?

I feel lucky being able to use Audible. I can walk on the street and listen to a new book. But that’s not happening very often though. The only time I get to fully enjoy a book is at night, before going to sleep. The rest of the day is divided between work and family time.


Prenez-vous des notes ou avez-vous une autre technique pour conquérir le torrent d'informations ?

I use Notes. That’s where I write all the important stuff I want to remember after I read a book. It makes it easy for me to scan through all that information, later.


Comment choisissez-vous les livres à lire ensuite ?

Recommendations from friends or colleagues in the industry.


Priorisez-vous les livres recommandés par certaines personnes ? Y a-t-il quelqu'un que vous considérez comme un gourou des recommandations de livres ?

A. Not really. Before I order the book, I am trying to read as many reviews I can. I prioritize them based on the importance of the subject.

B. A book recommendations guru? Well, no. There is no such a guy. However, I follow Tobias van Schneider’s recommendations from time to time.


Dernière question : quel livre lisez-vous actuellement et qu'espérez-vous en retirer ?

I am now reading “Hooked” by Nir Eyal. I expect it to give me more and better insights on how to build the next level products.



Links where you can follow Marius Ciuchete Paun or find out more about his projects:



All books mentioned by Marius Ciuchete Paun in this interview:

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