12 week Marathon. Do or Die!

Once upon a time… Well not so long ago, honestly speaking, I was present at a designer speech. He spoke about interesting experience of 12 week marathon. I immediately felt that I need to repeat this feat :) Besides, I needed to improve my mobile UI skills and add more content to my portfolio. But, in my opinion, the most interesting part of the challenge was to hold on up to 12 weeks, every day, including weekend. No exceptions, no excuses.

Main rule was to create one shot for mobile UI every day including weekend for 12 weeks.

One of the optional conditions was to spend no more that one hour for creating UI and post a shot approximately at 10 am. In general, those conditions were fulfilled. There were days, when I spent about 25 min for one shot. I even didn’t know that I can work so fast :D My record was 10 minutes for a shot… I was really in a hurry. Several times I was desperate because my strugglings to do something consumed nearly 2 hours but with no result. The hardest thing was to convince myself to not give up and that the next day would be easier.

The Beginning.

It took me a long time to convince myself to start the challenge. Later I’ve realized that the hardest thing was to start. It took me 2 weeks to create the list of shots. And then, instead of starting the challenge I started worrying. I was afraid to give up, afraid to get tired, afraid that I just wouldn’t be able to do it and so on. But ( how it often happens with me :-P ) one morning I woke up and told myself: “ No more fear, it’s time to create! “. Why did it happen on Sunday I don’t know. Maybe I just slept well. Sleep is really important whatever you do.

Process.

First, as Ron ( https://medium.com/@RonEvgeniy ) advised I made a plan to make my everyday tasks easier and not do waste time thinking what I would create today. I added some new points to the list, crossed out a few during the challenge. But the plan was really helpful, I was thinking about a shot on the eve and in the morning I already had something on my mind

Wanted to say special thanks for useful UX-comments to my loved ones, friends and all people who posted comments to shots. Small details are important, and when you concentrate on a global task — those small things just escape me.

How to present shots.

Decorating of shots is really important. Not only UI itself matters, but colors, colors around the shots, the concept entirely.

Based on amount of likes shots received I made several conclusions:

  1. People like bright, rich, pastel colors;
  2. The simpler, the better. Not boring but original;
  3. The most popular shots are those with pizza;
  4. People love Pikachu ^_^ *

* At this point some explanations could be of help. The shot with Pikachu was a really slapdash job. I liked his yellow color and how yellow contrasted with black. I thought it would get two or maybe three likes. But, wow, this shot was as popular as an animated shot, where I have experimented with curves anchors by timeline. I spent about four hours on this animation, this shot was my longest creation. Whereas Pikachu was created for about 15 min. I could believe my eyes.

Ending.

After finishing the challenge I was squeezed out like a lime in a mojito. Moreover, I think that the last shot wasn’t connected with any UI or UX things at all. I was just happy that I was be able to finish. After finishing the challenge, I couldn’t post anything for a while

Сonfession.

One day, at the very end of the marathon, I almost cheated. I had to go to a deep backwoods, and most likely I would not be able to make a shot. So, the next day I made two shots — one for a current day of the challenge and the second for tomorrow. I posted the second shot the next morning so all conditions of the challenge were fulfilled. But I felt so badly as if I had tricked an innocent child and gobbled up all his candies :D

Conclusion.

In my opinion, the hardest part was to challenge myself. It’s about how to defeat your laziness and fear. This is more important than to draw 84 shots.

P.S. It’s quite strange, but after finishing this article I felt that I needed to do it again. New task, new challenge, new emotions. And useful new skills. Now I just need to decide what it will be.