Bear Newsletter #1 Start Small, And Start Now!
Hey << Test First Name >>,
One of my favourite books, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, tells a great story about the hidden treasure. The shepherd looked for treasure from thousands of miles away but didn’t realise that the treasure usually was something just next to where he lived.
I have a similar story recently. I was thinking to write more stuff on my blog and sharing my thoughts and learnings with you via newsletter. But I keep running away from doing it – it just feels overwhelming! How could I write a newsletter in my second language? What if I can’t keep doing it? Why do people want to read stuff from me? Those questions came to my mind every time I thought about it, and then I just put them aside. But, then, it’s 2022, and I haven’t started.
Or am I?
Actually, I started it, but in a different way. I began sharing short LinkedIn posts to capture my thoughts about design, career and learning, and I keep making YouTube videos around those topics. I started doing that last year, and the outcomes are excellent. I didn’t think of those questions above anymore, and I can see that sharing DID help some people. Those are the blogs I wanted to write, and I’m doing it even without realising it. They are the treasure I’m looking for, just here.
So, I’m sending this post as my first and one of the many newsletters in 2022. All I need to do is collect the posts and videos I make this month, curate those that might be helpful for you, and send them! So, I’m doing a goal I have wanted to accomplish for around two years.
Do you have anything you are looking forward to doing, but it’s too big even to start? You could probably take a step back and seesee if there’s any chance it’s not that scary, just like the hidden treasure near the shepherd.
Thanks for reading! See you in a couple of weeks :D
Career Tips 2022 (As A Designer)! 10 Things You Can Do!
We all know that uncertainties are inevitable in these years, and 2022 will not differ. Any career tips for 2022 for designers? I wrote a tips list for myself as a reminder for my career in 2022, and I think it might be helpful for many people here.
Just Enough Research – A Must-Read Book For All Designers!
Finally read Just Enough Research by Erika Hall, which has been on my reading list for a while. Wow! I feel inadequate after reading this book: why didn’t I read it when I started my UX design career!? I would avoid so many pitfalls and have better outcomes if I followed some research suggestions from this book! I made a book review video and a visual note about this book.
Review progress with your students together – My mentor tips
As a design mentor, one thing that I immensely enjoy doing is reviewing the study progress with my students.
Learning a UX course is a journey that involves months, and there’re ups and downs. So we might focus on the details and not see the actual progress. Also, don’t get me started on the self-doubting part. That’s why we need to review it from a holistic point of view.
The whole course can be measured by progress percentage; when a student completes a unit, the rate will be marked as completed. I usually check the student’s progress diagram with them once a few weeks, and we talk about it. We analyse the data, list out the positive things we can learn and duplicate, and check the harmful kinds of stuff we want to avoid. It’s a data analysis practice for real and for themselves!
For example, by checking the flat parts and spikes from the diagram and reviewing the related units, students without a science background might find the user flow units challenging to complete. Similarly, students with no graphic design exercises find user interface units challenging.
My job as a design mentor is to help them see those things from their data and plan a better way for their future study. So every time I see their "aha!" faces when we have some insights, that makes my day.
That’s how I find data is robust when you can see things behind it.
Make a product fun, simple and solid
I’m excited when I see a housefly at home 🪰
No, I’m not crazy (not that much); just because I got a new toy, Bug-a-salt, a product that turns a miserable fly-killing experience into a funny pest-hunting game.
Speaking of gamification, this is a perfect example.
A few things I think making this product work:
Make it fun, or connect a boring/tedious behaviour with a fun experience.
Make it simple. This gun doesn’t need a battery or special bullets; it needs table salt.
Make it solid. The product itself feels heavy and tangible.
I think these three things also make sense for designing digital products.
Now I’ll go hunting some flies.
First Homeowner from 2021
One of the achievements that my wife and I made in 2021 is becoming a first-time homeowner in New Zealand – a country we arrived in 6 years ago. It was such a journey! I learned many lessons during the process, and many people helped us. I want to share a few things I’ve learned from being a homeowner, and hopefully, it might be helpful for people who are on a similar journey:
It’s hard but not impossible. Hardworking people will always be rewarded.
It takes time, but it will happen if you do the first thing(hardworking).
You will need some strategy, which means you will need to work hard and smart.
Trust the process, as you can’t see the instant result.
Work as a team – with your family.
Finally, and might be the most important thing: I don’t own it as a homeowner yet. The bank owns it now and trusts me to pay for its investment. We hardworking earned that trust, and I need to stay sharp (from a professional perspective) to keep it.
There are always opportunities on the market, whether you are looking for a new job or a house.