In between

In between

UXVN2020 has finished. As I remember the moment I recognized this reality, I was feeling empty. I thought I could wake up the next day doing it all over again, even I was completely exhausted. That was truly a roller coaster ride, but it was a good experience, after all.

After one day of resting, I get back and start gathering thoughts from people who attended the event about their favorite sessions. What pops up in my mind is the conflict of the two talks that I intentionally scheduled next to each other.

The first one is by Randy Hunt: Design For/In/With, in which he shared his personal views on how design and designers should evolve in SEA; the second one is entitled "UX Selling, Internal and External Approach" with by the name itself you can tell that the talk will clearly be about Selling UX.

Both of them are awesome and insightful, both of the speakers are successful in their career. Both show two different aspects of design and UX: a Designer's dream and a Designer's business mindset. The question is, as a designer, how would you balance these?

A dreamer

Designers have always been considered dreamers, a stereotype of a creative person who designs unapproachable and impractical solutions. But on the other hand, this is where creativity appears. This type of designer has the ability to think abstract, conceptualize ideas, and create thoughtful approaches. That's why sometimes the solution is hard to implement or execute. Same with the topic "Design For/In/With," the original idea itself is abstract and not easy to make viable. However, it is inspiring, giving hope and direction to follow, but most importantly, it helps make your job as a designer meaningful.

More than that, it goes beyond individual development. It supports the community, and influences other designers. It creates an impact on the design community. After all, as a creative person, we always strive to be an impactful one. We want to create dreams and inspiring stories, don't we? That was exactly what Randy delivered to us on the event day. He wants us to think broader and aim for a higher goal than just doing daily design works.

A businessman

Then, all of a sudden, the audience had been pulled down to earth by Binh's talk. His talk is straightforward and practical. It's understandable that whatever dream goals we want to achieve, we would never get it if we don't know how to sell it.

We also need to make a living out of our job. There is nothing wrong with making more money. We sometimes went through the stage where we feel envious of others that seems to make more money than we do, especially when we follow our passion. It may seem that the choice to do what you love is wrong when you couldn't sell your design. We doubt ourselves. We wonder should we be more practical in our approach. In this modern society where peer pressure is easier to feel than ever, it won't be easy to focus on your dream goals. Binh's talk has shown us that selling our design is a good thing, if not the best. It helps us reach higher goals. That was a great topic that would resonate with many designers that day. It became a northern star to many as well.

But not remarkably for me

I love his talk, it was perfectly delivered, and it is truth be told. However, I won't lean toward Binh's idea completely. I would try to find the balance. For me personally, I love to have hopes and dreams. I can imagine myself as Randy. That is the inspiration for me. Maybe for others, it's not. My conclusion is to find what fits you most. Find what inspires you. There is no silver bullet for success, after all. When we look at those design leaders who stand there and give us inspiration, they all have their stories to tell. Our job is to pick up the right pieces for ourselves, then pursue them and balance the choices we made. Imagine the way to success is like walking on a thin line. If we want to walk that line, we need to find the balance. To find the balance, we need to trust ourselves, focus, and most importantly, just take the first step.

Good luck on the journey of being awesome.