September 8, 2017 Cendhika’s Early Journey As An IxD at GE – Part 2
Be sure to read Part 1 here.
I am one of many people who changed their title from graphic designer to UI / UX Designer. The reason is simple, because this field has a wider opportunity to be looking for and I have often done the job of designing the application UI. I have never preceded by studying UX development with certain methods that include workshops or something else. Because there is no need and possibilities for me to do it. At BitCreative and almost all my past companies and clients, I was a remote application UI designer for companies and clients out there who are paid based on the number of working hours we spent. Who were able to transform client’s idea presented in the briefing which is usually short into the application UI Design, even completed prototype, sliced and ready to be developed. The final result talked loud enough and most of the clients impressed with our results.
In this Topcoder interview some time ago, I had said that my weakness as a UI Designer is that I am not the kind of designer who contributes a lot about design trends. I prefer to explore myself and look for specific styles that are personalized and optimized for the needs of clients who are mostly industrial. And for showoffs on showcase sites like dribbble and behance usually was dominated by eye-candy designs for consumer application. My environment and my social media circle is mostly designer, I automatically go to design trend’s feed from friends who share it. For my own software mastery, I am self-taught. I used to think the main thing why I am grateful to choose the field of design over programing is because the mastery of design software does not take long. Little time for mastery tools but plenty of time to be creative. Unlike the field of programming that takes a relatively long time to learn the various commands and libraries that continue to grow.
Currently all the steps in the development of applications require validation. Every process in a job requires an existing standard procedure operation. All members of my team are heavy learners. It’s not just reading books about UX and reading the latest technology updates, but the main thing is learning from clients. Because UX people are facilitators, who listen to the user’s needs above their believe and their personal assumptions. To be a good facilitator requires the ability to understand customer’s problems and lead to find the desired solution. So, it takes a broad insight. Not only in UX field but also in the customer world. Being open minded and passionate to learn new things must be understood. In this team, I have learned a lot about the design thinking process and constantly feed myself with industrial design trends.
Take the time to learn new things every day.
Working overtime at the Innovation Lab office. 7 o’clock and it still feels like a daytime because the sun sets at 9.
Critical and Proactive
Graphics designers are often identified and stereotyped as a nerd in front of the computer and work without office hour. And indeed, my reality for the last 5 years, despite working with the team and have an office, everyday I still sit quietly in front of the computer from morning to evening and even to then night. Because of the team communication preferences is through chat in the group, whereas in the current team, all things should be discussed.
The UX team is a group of thinkers whose main strengths are in the process of research and discussion. The work itself is dominated by research rather than production. So an interaction designer is required to not only create a display that works well, but also able to provide arguments and a strong reason for each element that they designed. With the strong reasoning and reference that support the ideas than the personal assumption.
I, myself, have not been able to participate actively in customer and internal research & workshop due to difficult conditions with the different locations and time difference constraints. Everytime I look at my team members doing internal workshops, I see the design thinking process is quite exciting. Each team member writes an idea and later on they clustering their previous ideas. All participate actively and have equal rights to give ideas. Directors, managers and staff all have equal rights. The result of the workshop is the conclusion of the idea and the discussion’s result, not the dominance of one of the team members.
As the discussion progresses, I, myself, can not actively participate as I focus more on video production. Here I see a designer in a team not only required to master the production but also able to play an active role in the design thinking process. For designers from non native English countries, mastering the language is absolutely necessary. I, myself, began to get used to intensively train English skills in various ways in the most simple way such as practicing watching movies without using subtitles and listening to podcasts.
Less Clicks, Think More
Power of Dream
Back then, when I was a freshman in college, I was very fond of self-motivation. Including writing targets and dreams in my life. Starting from going to Baitullah (Mecca) until the dream car series. Alongside with the increase of busyness in business and daily activities now, my life are much different, no more looking at the life target poster when wake up and when I go a to sleep routine. Moreover, the upgrades of the dream car series made my ten years ago dream cars series seems less interesting and outdated.
Usually, after work, I deliberately go to a place where people can see the landscape and view of high rise buildings from a distance neatly lined up for refreshing as well as photographing the city landscape. Makes me remember with one of the dreams I wrote so clearly at that time. “Working in Multi National Company”.
The dreams right under the dream to go to Baitullah (Mecca) with high office building picture pieces I get from the internet. The dream of college freshman who come from a small village to take an education on a small college in Yogyakarta in the hope of working on a high rise building office. Who do not know what is a freelancer, odesk, 99designs, topcoder etc yet and finally thanks to friends and environment , I finally plunged myself into the world of freelance design for years.
Unexpectedly that when many of my friends who resign from employees status and decided to work at home, God It leads me to a dream that had been forgotten. Looking for an experience I’ve never had. Trying to get into the same world but with much different challenges. Work with teams from other countries for the real problem of the complex transport system out there. Something I never imagined but I actually wrote it down. Who unintentionally recalled to be realized of the power of writing a dream.
Alhamdulillah (Thank God), that dream brought to so many new things and experiences to me. The world is so vast with a very diverse civilization. Working in a company like General Electric becomes its own milestone for a career as a UI / UX designer as well as a belief in the power of dream writing. The Topcoder TCO16 was my life changing experience.
Do not ever hesitate to write down your life purpose and be careful with your dreams. Because God is all-heard from what we have ever prayed and written even though it had been forgotten.
Although it has only felt a bit of experience working directly and working life in one of the developed countries like America, but enough to give its own spirit to achieve things that may not be expected. Because I believe also God understands better what is needed and best for his servant is more than just what is wanted.
Do not hesitate to make dreams and do not be lazy to write down on the paper. It may be that you were already there when you just remembered your dreams of the past.