As the Earth completes one more revolution around the sun, it’s time to celebrate and reflect on another year of mortal existence. I’ve been writing yearly reviews for the past two years to share my learnings, achievements, failures, and resolutions with the internet public. While part of the reason for doing so is narcissistic, the more important aim is to have to an open critical review of myself as a professional and a social animal.
I’ll begin with a performance summary of last year resolutions. In 2018, I decided to:
1. Publish more articles
2. Start a design podcast
3. Become super fit and reduce that body fat percentage
4. Launch UX Assist 2.0
5. Read 30 books
I’m glad that barring first and fourth resolution, I’ve delivered well on the rest of them. Let’s deep-dive into my karma for 2018.
With almost a decade of experience in designing products across different companies and industries, I thought it was time for me to give back to the community. The first step was to understand the channels to work through this initiative. While social media and blogging are the most obvious ones, I felt the need to explore other mediums to be more vocal and personal with my thoughts and opinions. To align this objective with my resolution for 2018, I started a design podcast to express my thoughts on various topics ranging from prototyping to DesignOps and facilitation. It has been a good experience so far, and I hope to release many more episodes in the coming year.
In 2019, I’ll be focusing on inclusive design, the synergy between design, philosophy, and sociology especially concerning morals, ethics, and social responsibility. There will also be episodes on the evolving nature of design and technology with a focus on artificial intelligence, mixed reality and cutting-edge topics in HCI.
If you want me to speak on any design-related topic, feel free to drop me a mail at adit [AT] finepointlabs [DOT ] com.
There’s nothing more energizing and refreshing than meeting with fellow designers in the community. It brings in fresh perspectives and is a great way of sharing thoughts and opinions to grow and impart knowledge. I conducted two meet-ups this year, and we had some great conversations at both of them.
I was pleased to know that young designers think more deeply about design and are excited to know learn more about evolving technologies, inclusiveness and social responsibility. I’ve some exciting plans for more meet-ups in the coming year and will keep you posted on social media.
Google Developer Expert (GDE)
I think becoming a GDE was one of the highlights for me this year. For the uninitiated, GDEs are a global network of experienced product strategists, designers, developers and marketing professionals actively supporting developers, startups and companies changing the world through web and mobile applications. As somebody who loves speaking and writing about design, GDE gives a great platform to present your ideas at a global stage through GDG meet-ups, dev fest, Launchpad, and related events. It’s also an opportunity to interact with young startups and mentor them on product design and strategy.
I mentored some startups at a Google Launchpad event this year. It was a great experience interacting with ignited minds and helping them in their journey to create valuable products across different domains. I hope to participate in many more events in the coming year.
Masters in Philosophy
I read a lot of philosophy last year that completely changed my perspective towards the world and life in general. This year, I decided to pursue it more rigorously by enrolling in the master’s program. I have two reasons for getting into philosophy -
- To become a better thinker
- To critique the role of technological advancements in human life and society through a moral and ethical lens.
I hope to write and talk about this topic in detail next year. And if everything goes well, I would very much like to become a doctorate in philosophy! :)
I can’t have a complete review of the year without talking about my failures.
1. The screen time still remains high despite uninstalling Facebook and Instagram from mobile. While I’ve hardly spent any time on both of them, it has been compensated by browsing through Twitter and LinkedIn feeds. This does not help. :( I also wasted hours binge-watching half a dozen series on Netflix and Amazon. With so many new initiatives coming into play, I think it’s high time that I substantially reduce my screen time.
2. This was the year of impulsive buying. I purchased numerous devices and books without any firm intention of utilizing them. There’s no doubt that I’m suffering from a terrible case of Tsundoku. With more than 1000 books at my home, I’ve to cross the “impulse chasm” and get to reading more than my usual of 30–50 books per year.
3. Inconsistency was also the word of the year for me. I could have achieved much more in health, reading, and writing but faltered in the second half of the year. While the intent was there, the execution was poor or average at best. No, I’m not trying to be too hard on myself. If you already understand that consistency is the key for good life and success, then there’s no reason for not doing so. I really hope to mend this in the coming year.
Here’s the mind-map for the books that I’ve read this year.
You can also view this list on GoodReads. The rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Social Psychology were my best reads for this year. Some key highlights from all these books:
In guarding their fortune people are often tightfisted, yet, when it comes to the matter of wasting time, which is the one thing they should have the right to be miserly over, they show themselves most uncontrolled. — On the shortness of life — Seneca
And so there is no reason for you to think that any man has lived long because he has grey hairs or wrinkles; he has not lived long — he has existed long. — On the shortness of life — Seneca
In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. — Mastery
In our culture we tend to equate thinking and intellectual powers with success and achievement. In many ways, however, it is an emotional quality that separates those who master a field from the many who simply work at a job. — Mastery
Love for one’s country is imperative and necessary, but if this love becomes more important than constitutional values or democratic ideals, it is misplaced. — Indian Nationalism
Resolutions for 2019
Keeping up with the yearly trend, here’s my list of resolutions for 2019:
- Continue delivering on the new initiatives
- Eliminate the failures
- Transform from healthy to athletic body
- Publish 15 articles in design and philosophy
- Launch UX Assist 2.0
- Help as many people as you can
I hope to share many more experiences and insights with you in the coming year. Till then, enjoy the party on 31st and have a happy new year!! :)