Updated: Dec 22, 2019
2019 was not bad for me. We’ve had ups and downs, and democracies around the world are still under a weird fever of denial and obscurantism — but overall, the year even ends with a refreshing turn in politics for Finland. I mean, how long until we show most revisionists that the Earth is actually not flat? There’s hope! There’s Trump’s impeachment happening as we speak (it’s a win even if the Democrats lose), and even in my home country, Brazil —where an authoritarian family clan has taken the Presidency and started burning the Amazon (literally) and history books (figuratively) — the consistent cracks in their own M.O. is starting to show. I see hope!
I’ve been working at Idean for five months now. it’s a global design house, part of the mega consultancy group CapGemini, from France. Idean is a part of the history of user experience design. They have done works for all imaginable giants, from Apple to Amazon (that’s just sticking to the letter A, so imagine that...). And yet, this heritage is put to use, adapting and evolving their own ways of working. I’ve been thrilled to realize that I was part of this movement. I suppose when you have your own truth — like I have with the integration of design and user data —, you’re either a part of the problem or the solution. 😂
My philosophy on “measurable design” sort of picked up this year. I say “philosophy” because that was the term someone used when approaching me to talk about the KPI Canvas. So, yes, I’ve got for the first time some fan mail! And a few requests for workshops, and quite many friendly people coming across the idea of measurable design, and asking for advice on how to use it. Among companies that spent a while browsing the canvas, there was Huawei Hong Kong, oil exploration companies from Qatar, German banks, BBDO New York, and the City of New York Administration. Win! However, I know, that’s just the volatile nature of the social internet. It does tell there’s something to this, a right track to follow, a right path to keep going. But it’s still scratching the surface, and building something that I believe can work as an adaptable principle, rather than a technology or a set of tools.
Thanks for everyone who somehow helped, benefited from, and rooted for me. ❤️
Updated: Jun 5
This month I’ve had a great chat with the crew of Aumenta a Logo (“Make the Logo Bigger”), a podcast targeted to young and aspiring designers. I talked mostly to talent located outside the big cities, because Brazil is huge! And that makes an enormous contingent of professionals in small and medium cities that, at times, could use a little encouragement. I say ‘a little’ because when egos are set aside, you can really see that everyone is talking the same language. We’re trying to find sharper ways to understand what customers want. We’re trying to create smoother, more seamless experiences. We are helping technologists and businesses to turn their idea into something great. And yet, not all designers feel really confident about being on the right track. We all heard the big, timeless advice.
So here, my career advice for young designers in 2020:
After a while, when you start to get good at something, you need to keep up with what is going on your industry. It’s the bread and butter; trends you need to keep up with and live up to. But there are things that you will not know anything about, and reason and gut will tell that you should know more about. These can be part of your special sauce. “Novelists must read poetry, painters must learn sculpture”. Exercise your mind with the knowledge that is adjacent, opposite or contrasting to your original field of work.
Pick carefully what you want to learn. There’s a tonne of new things we need to know, all the time. Evaluate carefully the ones you want to dig deeper. Once you’ve started, evaluate if you feel it’s not the right path to take. There’s very little use to keep onto something of little purpose just because you want to prove you can finish it. Like a Netflix movie, stop watching and try something else. It's usually free, and it always saves your most limited resource: time.
Lastly, learn "to learn", not to accumulate certificates. If you’re a beginner and already graduated the Uni (that is valuable), you will impress more with extra humble, but sharp skills, than with lots of abstract certifications.
The episode (in Portuguese)