Chapter 6: Empathy in Design and Helping the Wife Follow Her Dreams

INTRO

Day number 6 and we’re truckin’ along. Welcome back. Today was a pretty solid day, I can’t say anything out of the ordinary took place. I awoke, made my green tea, I did skip breakfast…BUT…I ended up combining breakfast with my pre-made lunch to create a pretty awesome brunch! It was basically a breakfast burger (eggs, sausage, and ground beef) with a side of roasted potatoes. It was absolutely delicious. I also still tracked my macros and once again hit my daily goals afforded me courtesy of the MyFitnessPal app. I must say, this app rocks! Those were be major successes. I also got some quality coding time in. I’ve decided to refocus my efforts by utilizing the education offered up on the MDN website. It really is pretty solid and I think that it’s helping me to operate at a steady enough pace that aides me in memory retention. The program forces you to work through sets of problems and doesn’t offer you the ability to just click to see the answer once you get stumped. I find myself searching the interwebs to piece certain things together or recall what method and properties to use in certain situations…almost like…a REAL PROGRAMMER!!! I’m excited!

EMPATHY IN DESIGN, AND REALIZING I’M NOT ALONE

Today was another work day, but it wasn’t an ordinary work day. We had a department conference of sorts. There was no work being done, but we were treated to talks by some powerful speakers in the field of design.

The first speaker was David Dylan Thomas. His focus was on Designing for Cognitive Bias. Please look him up on YouTube, his talk was incredible. It was centrally focused on the idea that when we design we often approach it with these inherent biases that we’re not even aware of. That even when we try to avoid them we find ourselves still relying on them as they are ingrained in us. He asserted the idea that we should strive to frame our problem statement in such a way that it seeks to remove bias from the answer. That’s a real low-level recap, but please…look him up, he’s awesome.

The second speaker touched my spirit though. Her name was Sekai Farai, and everything she said regarding empathy in design spoke to my current feelings about the role I play within my company. She asserted the idea that most empathy in design is BS because it’s not genuine. She was provocative in her stance that most times we like to believe we’re approaching research and problem solving from some righteous place and completely unaware that the output is usually self-serving. It might start from a good place but ultimately the process becomes diluted by weighing the needs of the company over the needs of the consumer. Once again, a low-level recap, but she posed the question that if we become aware that this is what we are doing at a company then we must ask ourselves, why are you working here and should you be working here. Oh man, it was powerful. It really validated a lot within me because when I signed up to do this kind of work my intention was to help people. I find myself arguing for what I feel is right for the consumer way too often with business partners and it becomes disheartening. I just need to continue to look to the future for my exit plan, but today was refreshing to say the least. There was no work, just some really inspirational words from some really powerful speakers.

HELPING THE WIFE FIND HER DREAMS

Once the work festivities ended it was time to jump into my next job, which is video editing for the wife. I’ve not mentioned this, but just as I find myself on this new journey my wife also is in a season of transformation. My wife LOVES sweets, and more importantly, she loves to bake! She’s really taken to it and has been practicing each week. We started up a YouTube channel for her and she’s been very diligent in her approach with it. She also started up an Instagram and is growing on both platforms slowly, but, organically. She’s committed to the process and I often help her take pictures of her baked good while also filming and editing her videos. It’s a lot of work while I’m also trying to discover some things about myself, but her persistence and pursuit of her dreams is actually rather inspiring to me. I tell her all the time that watching her is helping me to push for more as well in the realm of my dreams and passions.

I must admit…editing these videos can be draining, but I promised to help and sometimes I’m a little slow to get things done…but to my credit, I go to work for 8 hours out of the day, help her, and still try to make time for the family as a whole. My time is stretched very thin…but perhaps one day I’ll find some extra time in my day.

CLOSING REMARKS

Welp, it’s back to editing my wife’s latest video. My encouragement to you today would be to keep making strides towards your goals and dreams if you’re currently on your own journey. Push through the tiredness and long work hours and also open your mind to some new ideas and inspirations. This could be in the form of powerful speakers or professionals in your area of interest, or in the form of books, podcast, etc.

Anywho, I hope everyone continues to stay safe and remember as always…be blessed! Until next time.

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