I have no clue…

So….

It turns out, that I still have no clue on what I am going to do career wise.

Because…

I am not a designer. And I am not sure IF I want to be, and that is OK. I guess I was just holding on to something as I don’t want to do my current job anymore. Hell, I have not wanting to be doing quality control/assurance for YEARS! And I do mean YEARS!

I had a good session with my mentor today and we went through a lot of things.
One of them, was my need to always have input and that input was me starting off with the phrase/statement, “I know…”.  To be honest, I didn’t know know, I just remember reading about it and I just wanted to… Actually I don’t know what I wanted to do. I guess that I have major FOMO or something. I have also been told by another friend in the past that I tend to interrupt while people are talking. I know why I do that, I tend to get excited and want to share 😛

So, today we went through a few things, including design thinking. And just because you have design thinking, does not meant that you are a designer. And that is OK.

She also when through this technique with me called Affinity Mapping. Its where you group these keywords or ideas in clusters just using post-it notes (I LOVE ME SOME POST-IT NOTES). But before she did that with me, she asked me a series of questions to find some things about me.
And this is what was made:

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Fox Affinity Map

She grouped the orange post-its under the yellow “headings” and then gave them to me to stick on my wall. She then gave me pink post-its to make additions.
So far, I have made one addition.

She also made the comment about, for now, I could always get my foot in the door by doing QA for IT and Software dev companies. The same skills are utilised. Just used in a different context.

So, lets see where I go from here shall we?

And so I can do a turn around on my negative sounding heading, I may have no clue, but as my friend sunshine told me, “that’s the beauty of it, you can do anything!” The world is vast and so is what can be done. And… as much as that does scare me, I do realise that I am still not OK with it, I am not OK with the unknown, but once I take the step to make that change, what ever that may be, I think that I will feel better…

 

Sign off:

Fox

Human Centered Design methodologies: Experience Design (part 2: because I think that I understand now?)

Today’s listening content

I am still a little unsure of Experience design.

I am now more in the dark again about HCD.

But, in regards to HCD I do know these things:

  • It’s collaborative:
    This.  I like it.
    mfup8myrf1smeI know that I know some things, I have experience and skills in certain areas, but I don’t know everything. I also have weaknesses and I cannot do everything on my own. This is where you collaborate with  others who have knowledge, experience and skills in areas where you do not and who complement your weaknesses.
    I understand there is not utopian collaborative group out there, but still creating something that is an improvement is a major accomplishment and I hope to achieve many.
  • It utilises  psychology
    I am so interested in psychology, I kind of wished that I did it at uni, but I opted for chemistry instead. (I guess that I wasn’t ready for it then, but I am not going back to uni)
    It looks at behaviours of people and how they react/feel about something and attempts to design it around the HUMAN
  • Problem Solving
    Another thing that I like very much. I am very keen on problem solving which results in continuous improvement.
    I did a lot of this in one of my previous jobs, where I was CAPA (Corrective Actions Preventative Actions) Coordinator. In this role, there were many manufacturing investigations of processes or machinery etc that would break down or just not function efficiently.  I would perform root cause analyses on the problems to pinpoint where the issue was and would set up solutions (otherwise known as corrective actions or preventative actions) to fix it.

So far, this is what I know what HCD can offer me in a role and so far I am liking it.

Back to Experiment Design….
I mentioned to my mentor (Design Yoda) that the concept of experiment design confused me and when I read about it, it felt similar to user experience, with some people mentioning things where it felt similar to service design.
There was also the fact that I cannot use that diagram anymore; from Franki Simonds’ post, to assist in explaining all of the methodologies to myself.

So Design Yoda did explain experimental design to me briefly.

Well… She said that, “Experience cannot be designed, but we can design for experience”
And to do that, she mentioned that, “You use behavioural research and data to design for latent needs”

Now… THAT made sense to me AAAANND, I really liked the sound of behavioural research.
Lets just say at uni, when I was doing my degree, I really loved instrumentation in analytical chemistry. The reason for that is that under certain conditions we know; because of research, that a particular compound, molecule or atom, would behave the same way each time, so you would design the parameters, to ensure that you would get that reaction that you would expect. So I guess that experience design is like that.
Though, I have made it sound like manipulation, but I don’t want to manipulate, well not for the greater evil/bad. I would like to improve on the world; on how things are done and how people treat each other.

On another note:
I was suggested to purchase two books for some light reading. These were:- The Design of Everyday Things. By Donald A. Norman
– Hello World: Where Design Meets Life. By Alice Rawsthorn

I have started reading the first one on the list, but I have not really made a dent in it.
So with that, I bid thee adieu.

 

Sign off: Fox

 

 

Just Show Up

Today’s listening content

Today, I am at work and yes I know that I should be actually doing my job, but right now…

Meh…

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I love RDJ

I was tagged in a post on Facebook and it said, “Love this. Just show up. Be present. Forget what others want you to do. Just be you”

And then I read the tag line by the page itself….

Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent.”

Have I read the article yet? … No.

But did I have a slight internal struggle? …  Yes.

You are probably asking “why?!”. The answer to that is actually quite simple. People have been saying it to me for years!

“Fox, you are too hard on yourself”

And its true, I don’t allow myself to be crap at something, I don’t allow it so much in fact, that if I am not good at something straight off the bat, I tend to get discouraged and not continue.

I guess that this post, nay this entire blog! Is an open letter to myself, to track my progress and my changes in thoughts and learnings. This is for me to be OK with me.

So here it goes; (and anyone can take this letter and apply it to them in some way)

To Fox,

I know that you have had many goals in life, that you wanted to achieve but couldn’t, for some reason or another and not all of them was because you gave up.

You tried so hard to apply, re-apply, re-apply re-apply… Time and time again, year after year for your job in Forensics. It never happened. You know now that things happen for a reason and its for the best even though there is still 5% of you that wishes that you could still do it. Don’t worry, that will soon go down to 0% and you will be happier than ever in the job you are meant to be doing. Not because of the job itself, but because what you will achieve. Good on You!

Now, talking of this job where you will achieve many great things; they wont happen straight away, you wont be good at it straight away. Like everything new, you will have to learn, you will have to fail and you will have to try again. And again and again and again… Till you finally get it… And you will. I know that you will.

It is more than OK, to be a beginner and start all over again.

I will repeat that. It is more than OK to start all over again.

It is OK to start all over again.

It is a process, a journey and its yours. So STOP comparing yourself to others. STOP comparing yourself to yourself in a different role.

Just be you and just show up. That is all you need to do. Because that is your first step, to your new beginning.

Fox, remember, I love you and appreciate you and there are many other people out there who do as well.

Thanks Fox for listening and being patient with me.

Sign off: Fox

 

Human Centered Design methodologies: Service Design

Today’s listening content

So yesterday, I was learning about HCD and how UX is a part or a process that is part of HCD and along with UX, there are other methodologies that form HCD.

These are:

  • User Experience (UX) Design
  • Experience Design (XD) or Interaction Design (IxD)
  • Service Design
  • User Interface (UI) Design
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Image showing how HCD encompasses the methodologies and that you cannot have one with out the other. Source

Thanks to Franki Simonds, I was introduced to the methodologies, however, she only defined the methodologies from a digital services perspective. And as much as it is the digital age and technology is  a HUGE aspect of our lives and will only get bigger, there is still the need for more social and physical improvements to our world, so I do not want to limit myself to an understanding from a digital services perspective.

Back to learning about the methodologies and why I didn’t continue yesterday. What stumped me with the methodologies was that I was trying to figure out practical examples of how each of them are applied. Because I know myself and I know that if I don’t understand the definition, I do not understand it at all. Because to me, a definition is just words.

So again, I will attempt to understand the differences between the methodologies.

Service Design

This methodology is concerned with improving the quality of the service provided (3) by making it meet the user’s and customer’s needs for that service (2). Some industries may call this customer experience (4), however customer experience is what the person perceives about the service, and service design is what goes on in the background to help achieve the experience that the customer has. (I hope that makes sense) (wait, no one reads this but me, so I will make it more sensical for me)

Service design includes concepts or steps or points to look at such as things called Touchpoints (4). These are defined as:

  • ‘any point of contact between a Customer and the Service Provider’. (5)
  • ‘the medium through which value exchanges happen, leading to the outcomes of a service.’ (4)

Now, there 5 types of touchpoints stated (4)

  1. People: This includes the customer or user themselves as well as the employees who provide the services and the people who designed and created the service itself.
  2. Place: This can be either physical, virtual or both, e.g. a bank; you can go into the branch and there are apps for that too. This is the medium in which the service is provided
  3. Props: These are the items used to produce the service
  4. Partners: This is other businesses that contribute to the service, by either being in the initial designing stage of the service (such as a consulting company like Accenture or Deloitte) or assisting you with delivering that service (such as UPS is for Amazon)
  5. Processes: This is about the workflows that are designed and used to produce the service. I wonder if it is the same as value stream mapping in lean management?

Now, service design is just one of the aspects of HCD. Just one of the methods or tools used to develop a whole rounded product. There is no point in having a flashy website that looks beautiful, if the service isn’t there.

I will give an example of something that I had years ago that looked absolutely amazing, but it was shit to work with. Anyone remember the LG chocolate?
Now this mobile phone, OH MY GOSH, so pretty, the GUI was so nice to look at, the whole thing was smooth, it was just great. But really, what is the point of it being a mobile phone, if you could hardly get any reception?

Thoughts about today’s learnings:

  • I just thought that I would be learning about service design, but customer experience popped up and is something similar, which sometimes I wonder why people just don’t use the same term and just broaden it. But then that would get more confusing, so I wonder, what is better? More terms? or Broader definitions?
  • Design is no longer just about aesthetics, such as graphic design, interior design, architecture.. Its more… its about the processes used during the use of a product be it tangible or not. Its about more than just how a customer perceives their experience when using a product. It starts off with the conception of an idea. The thought, all the way through to the end product and HOW the person FEELS about it all.
  • Also, there are way too many websites out there with content, some being the same, which is good, because it means that you don’t get confused as much, but some are different and for someone like me learning about design, I don’t have an opinion yet, because I am just learning, I am keeping an open mind. But the bad thing about that is, what if I learn the wrong thing? Also I am not saying that this blog is more content, its just something that I have to learn and to type thoughts out. If people want to comment and discuss I am more than happy to do so.

List of resources used:

1. Human Centred Design vs Design Thinking vs Service Design vs UX …. What do they all mean?

2. The Principles of Service Design Thinking – Building Better Services

3. Service Design Toolkit

4. Service Design 101 (This is a good website)

5. Defining the Touchpoint

 

More Homework: Design Thinking. What is it?

Sign off: Fox

Compliance

So I know I just uploaded a post, but I had more to say, that didn’t have anything to do with design lingo & jargon.

I try and be as compliant as FUCK!

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It has been embedded in me from… I don’t know when, childhood? And studying a science at university and then working in compliance in a heavily regulated industry just embedded it more?

So, from what I understand about the design industry, its about thinking outside the box to; as Mike Monteiro said in the This is the golden age of design! video:

“Lesson number one: if you don’t like how the world is designed…
Change it”

And all my compliant mind wants to know is, “yes, OK. Under which parameters against what specification?”

I think, that this will be a HUGE challenge for me as I have never really been able to think outside of the box. I have only been able to think between the flags. As long as it’s within the confinements of regulation, its doable.

I am excited… But I am also scared… or am I? Because I know that if I don’t get it straight away, I know that I will get impatient with myself and I think… most of all… THAT is what I am scared about. Because I am my own worst enemy….

So in the world of design, I must remember this:

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Signing off
~ Fox

First blog post

Hello peoples out there in the interwebs.

If you happened to come across my page, welcome. If not, all is good because this is just for me and if you happen to comment and share similar feelings bout experiences, all good as well.

I am not much of a writer… yet. But I do hope that when time goes on, that I will become a better writer, blogger. And story teller

So, this afternoon, after having a slight panic moment about my career path and what I would like to change it to, I asked for some advice from a person who is in the industry.
(For those who have no idea of what I am on about, I will explain better from the beginning, since I cannot find the “About Me” link so I can edit… yet)

Ok so from the beginning

Hi, I am Fox (name changed to protect certain parties)
I have completed a degree in Chemistry and I have been working in compliance for pharmaceutical and health care manufacturing. Which, is a career path I never wanted to walk, let alone run down. I have been doing this career for around 8 years now and well, I always knew that I disliked it. Heh… did I say disliked? More like hated with a passion.
At first, like most, I thought that I would stick with the job, as these were the so-called cards that I was dealt with, so I must play with them. But then I realised that I could change career. Like but of course there are those options. But alas, I did not want to go back to do another 3 years at university. So once again I felt stuck where I am.
Then I was told that, “All skills are transferable to any role in any industry”. And I knew that that, still do. Problem was, back then (I do not know the exact time frame of back then) So back then, I did not understand it or believe it.

And JUST knowing something, is very very different to believing and understanding something.

That took me a while to learn.

So, back to the story, so now, I believe that my skills are transferable and I know how they are and how they can be utilised in different industries. Problem was, I had no idea of what I wanted to do. So, Sunflower (again name has been changed) a friend who I met while I had a one year walk-about in London, said to me,

“That is the beauty of you not knowing what you want to do. You can do ANYTHING!”

This to some people, is liberating, it means that they can pick what ever they want, without any problem or issues or anything negative.
They are basically free to choose

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Yes Tatiana, choices indeed.
(Also, I know her “choices” is throwing shade, but I still love it)

But for someone like me, that was scary, I had way too much to choose from and  didn’t want to choose just anything. Especially since I did not and I still do not know what I have a passion for.

And what if I choose the wrong career path? Then I am stuck with that for how many years? And what if.. after what if… after what if…. And for an over thinker like me, that gets really exhausting really fast. Also, my myers briggs behavioural type tends to think ahead…. A LOT.

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So I reminded myself, that even if I do it for 5 years and I don’t like it, that its OK. And that I shouldn’t panic. (note: I have anxiety, and no amount of meditation can help with my overthinking or analysis paralysis)

So, one fateful day, I got to catch up with a friend of my sister, design Yoda (because she is dayum wise), who further embedded in me that my skills are transferable and that they even can be used in the industry that she works in.

design Yoda called me an information architect.

This, I very much liked the name of and the way it sounded and at the time, I had no idea of what it meant. “And now?” you ask, well I have a vague idea of what it is. And; I will discuss it further in another post.

This blog/journal/whatever, is going to be my training and transition progress tracker, it is also going to allow me to just vent about my feelings about anything compliance to UX design struggles.
In other words, this blog will be holding me accountable for my transition into a new career and everything that comes along with it.
(Talking about my feelings and such is such an extroverted feeling thing)

So basically, since there isn’t that much to talk about between then and now, I decided that I would like to change a career to UX Design (again I will talk about that in another post)

But a heads up, my posts will be a mixture of venting, referencing and a whole lot of gif-ing.

So, I bid thee adieu and ….

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What? You didn’t think that I wasn’t going to end it with another tati gif? 😛