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May 31 / Rolaine Dang

Blessings in the Wilderness

It has been three weeks of seclusion in the corner office with a team comprised of a developer, UX, content strategist and me. There have been times when we all felt like we have been dropped in the wilderness, left to fend for ourselves and armed only with our instincts and unlimited amount of coffee. Let me assure you, this is a blessing not a curse.

I have come to realize that special projects like The Next have helped all of us — especially me — use other parts of our brains, allowing us to go beyond our individual job descriptions. As a designer, I have instinctive tendencies to err on a more artistic side, but working on projects that strictly push designs day in and day out doesn’t allow much room for instinct to kick in. I see now that working on different project that follows the same process is limiting and a trap for an auto-drive approach. Perhaps this is why people freak out on projects that are vague and have an open direction. I, along with others, have become comfortable being in the safe zone where we dont exercise our natural instincts to play and curiously explore as designers, developers, content strategists, or UX.

Being pulled aside to take part in The Next project is truly a blessing. It helped me see that I was a designer on life support. The little amount of play and exploration I had before Next was just enough to sustain my professional life but not enough for me to be alive and creatively active. Special projects open opportunities to exercise our instincts. They allow time for play through in-depth exploration, which helps development in any profession. So I issue a challenge to you: Change the industry-standard mindset, and take a conscientious break from the normal routine to venture out in the wilderness.


One Comment

  1. Michael / Jun 3 2013

    Great post, Rolaine. This applies to all of us.

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