Consolidating blogs

I've been using Micro.blog for a while and really enjoying it. In fact, I imported my Tumblr to it ever since they were acquired (again). Two things have been fresh on my mind:

  • Hosting your own content
  • How social media has kind of split personas of people on the internet

In the golden age of the web (IMO) your web presence was simply you. With this I made the decision to host my micro.blog on davidhoang.com as well. I've separated them in different rooms but it's the same home.


Designers Constantly Learning

A great excerpt from the book "Designing for Emerging Technologies" and the need for designers to tinker and learn.

Designers will need to understand the implications of science and technology for people. To do this effectively, we must be able to immerse ourselves in new technical domains and learn them quickly. Just as our understanding of and empathy for people allows us to successfully design with a user’s viewpoint in mind, understanding our materials, whether they be pixels or proteins, sensors or servos, enables us to bring a design into the world. To achieve this, designers need to be early adopters of technology, learning constantly. —Designing for Emerging Technologies


Storytelling for Healthcare

Xin Xin, one of the Senior Product Designers on my team at One Medical wrote a piece about the importance of Storytelling for Healthcare. I highly recommend this read. If you've ever got through a health issue or experienced a loved one going through it, it's very simple to see healthcare as part of our life, and our life is our story.


Planning 2018 Conference Speaking

2017 is wrapping up and I am planning out my speaking engagements for next year. This year I am hoping to find a few more local conferences in the United States to speak at, though I am definitely planning a few international ones.

I typically speak at UX and Cocoa/iOS conferences but would love to expand to Health Care and Leadership conferences. Topics I often speak about include:

- Design leadership and stories about growing into one
- How designers can use code as a powerful method to explore and prototype
- Design processes

You can see an examples talks I gave at Swift Conf and UX Cambridge 2017. I appreciate you sharing with anyone who might be interested.


Thank you, UX Cambridge!

Thank you so much for having me, UX Cambridge!

Links:

You can connect with me on:

Also check out my talk last year, There and Back Again: The Journey of Product Discovery


Thank you, Swift Conf!

Thank you so much SwiftConf and 7Principles for having me! Slides can be found here.

I also have a GitHub project that I'm going to update. Please feel free to submit content via PR or Issues. https://github.com/davidhoang/design-engineering-with-swift

If you have feedback on how the talk could be improved, I would love it if you would submit a GitHub Issue.


Unknown Mentors

Like most Saturday nights, I was sitting at home and contemplating if I should watch The Abyss. I decided not to (again) and opted to watch a documentary about the making of it while re-factoring and cleaning some files up on my iMac. One of the rituals is going through my Photos app to organize it. This time I decided to start from the beginning. One of the photos that came up was a photo of an old local newspaper where I grew up. It was an article about a mural I painted during my senior year in high school. The theme of it was "Pathways to the Future". It triggered not just the memory of painting the mural, but what I call an unknown mentor.

I created a lot in high school. I admired the work of such people like Boris Vallejo and Brom. My goal in high school was to become an illustrator and make great work like them. I ended up studying visual arts in college, but my career definitely went a different direction in product design. I still draw a lot. However, it was one interaction that I will never forget in my life, and that is an artist by the name of Maria William. You may not be familiar with her as you might with Vallejo and Brom, but I admired her work so much. However, I must confess I cannot remember how I found her. This was a very long time ago...when you still had to call the internet. Whatever happened, I stumbled upon her website and was so inspired by her. When it was time for me to paint the mural, I remember a painting that I loved so much called "Who We Are". I sent her an email (I tried to find the original message but it's probably an old Hotmail (or Excite!) email. I asked her for permission to use the piece as an inspiration for mine (I hope she remembers).

http://www.mariawilliam.net/who.html
http://www.mariawilliam.net/who.html

Now, I must confess to you that I was not the most motivated person in high school. This was the first time I felt a drive and motivation to try to do something great. A lot of it was because I was doing something that I hoped to honor someone I really respected. I didn't want to let William down, but for the first time, didn't want to let myself down.

The mural is long gone now, but that one interaction was such an important part of my life. The internet felt so much smaller then than it does now. In the world of social media, cyberbullying, and trolling, I will always remember an act of kindness from a person who didn't even know me. I don't know if she knew at the time, responding to some random kid on the internet, but her response really sparked a drive in my life.

My passion and focus in digital product design is now still often focused on product vision and following the north star...finding the pathway to the future. I never stayed in touch with Maria, but if I met her, I would say "Thank you for your kindness and sparking something in my life so many years ago."

"Between the worlds of men and make believe I can be found." —Dan Fogelberg

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