Journal de bord

Nicolas C. Solerieu, Designer

January 4th, 2019

After a few days of wandering in an almost empty office I started to write my typical yearly personal review and a few ideas for 2019 (as a designer of course). I was not going to be productive on january 2nd anyway.../

Here we go.

No big improvement on my soft skills. Educating folks about design is still a big part of the hustle. I envision this to take more time in the future as learning the technical part is getting easier through online course, simpler and more accessible tools. Hope to be wrong on that one but a bunch of smart designer I encounter seem to agree on this.

I’ve read 4 times more last year than ever before (for professional purposes). Not sure how I feel about this. My daily dose of designer news, usepanda, Typewolf, Mindsparkle mag, medium… just does not help me think clearer about design. I feel the information overload. Even the most thoughtful pieces create more frustration, pushing me to extract nuggets instead of digesting the full content. I’m definitely not on the boat that claims that ‘reading makes you more successful’. I’m also so tired of all the hustle-porn out there.

I’ve also spent a ton of time looking at other people’s work — aka inspo time. More than the year before. But for the first time I felt some real benefit from it. I used to scroll dribbble endlessly to look for that shot that would catch my eye and solve my current situation. I’m now better at identifying patterns and extracting valuable insights from composition. Even thought design creation relies on a process of breakthroughs, I feel like I’m reaching a healthy stage.

I tried a bunch of things like Figma, took a stab a system thinking, react and a bunch of other trendy designer-y-thingies. Great tools but I’m still not sure of the value it adds to my creativity. The mental burden of feeling that I have to learn something new still offsets the ease the tool brings once learnt. Plus the fact that everything comes and go faster every year.

I’m started to consider how my life outside of work influenced my actual work. I’ve finally let go of the concept of career. I have also fully accepted the daily compromise as part of the job and I’m expecting a lot of sacrifice for small incremental gains. Le long, hard, stupid way can be fun if you don’t care too much.

What I am doing in 2019:

Write more —I want to write more. Everyone says that. I’ll be starting from the very bottom. I’m not a native english speaker and even in french (my native language) it’s never be my thing.

Add more salt — As I gather experience and builds my confidence and style I will take the time be more critical of my peers. I’m going to add more “grains of salt” like they say.

Let it go — I’m talking about my hatred for meetings.

Push for aesthetic — There’s so many people who cares about UX, strategy and all that good stuff. I’m not ashamed to care for style and feeling in this world of tech product I’m live in.

Whitespace — Since it’s an endangered species, and I deeply care about it.

No portfolio update — I gotta stop updating my portfolio, it’s been a obsession I have to let go of (and I’m not alone here).

More tea and naps — at work of course. Still experimenting to fin the right dose but me more short breaks I take the more efficient and clear I am.

More analog side projects — and off screen stuff in general.

I’m not a intern anymore, I still complain, and there’s a bunch of new cool people around me. If you have other ideas (and hopefully better ones) feel free to comment here while I have the new-year energy.

Still no flying cars or apocalypse, have a good 2019.