“The day you stop learning is the day you stop being useful.”
Over a decade ago a professor dropped that line in class and it has stuck with me every day since. It motivated me. It drove me. And it continues to drive me to never stop learning and refining myself and my skills.
As an Experience Designer, my job is to focus on the design of products, processes, environments, and services to improve the user experience for our clients and projects. Experience Design draws on many different disciplines to bring a fuller, and more contextual understanding of the user experience journey and design.
Without empathy as the cornerstone of what I do, I feel all my work is meaningless. Empathy drives design to see through the eyes and lives of those you are designing for. It puts you in their shoes. Empathy challenges your biases and presuppositions. Empathy causes me to ask more questions, listen more, and understand what the root issues are when working with others. No matter how shiny something is that can be designed, if it doesn't have the understanding of who you are designing for, or what their true problems are you are assisting in solving, it is an exercise in futility.
My ego is, at many times a day, my worst enemy. It gets in the way of doing great work for a client and asserts itself in an, ``I know better,`` attitude. Ego needs to be kept in check to make the best decisions for the work and not my pride. By working on erasing my ego daily my priorities have changed to focus on shipping the best product/design/video and making it's impact be the best it can be.
Never stop learning. Never. Stop. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know, and that drives me to keep learning. The acceleration of information has brought so much to improve ourselves and our community around us. The value that self-education brings far outweighs the missed opportunities. Don't stop learning. Create opportunities. Connect the dots.