There is a popular belief that 30 is the age limit for those who do creative work: People can only come up with great ideas when they are young. Once the 30s kick in, this ability gradually decreases, and they cannot generate ideas anymore. Even Albert Einstein said:
“A person who has not made his great contribution to science before the age of 30 will never do so.”
I used to be haunted by this belief.
I started studying Design two years later than same-age friends, seeing no outstanding talents, and knowing the 30-year-old limit made me feel confused about everything and doubt my career choices from time to time. This was especially true at the beginning of my career when work was stagnant, there were tons of unfinished projects, and ideas just did not seem to come when I needed them. …
With more than nine years of experience in Product Design, I separate my career into 3 phases:
I used to think of opening a Product Design course because many people requested, and I thought teaching was easy until I dug deep about it. Now I find that sharing experience and teaching are two very different things.
Whereas sharing experience involves recalling the past, teaching requires much more. In particular, knowledge must be accurate and tested through practices with many different contexts. …
I believe this is always a hard question for us — Designers. In most instances, design output is affected by the feeling of the reviewer. That’s why it’s harder to define a design that is good enough to send than cook a dish or sew an outfit.
Summary of experience after a few years working in the industry, I built a list of questions called:
and use it as a checklist to review designs before sending or presenting them to clients. These questions sorted by descending priority:
Design is all about storytelling in pictures. And just like every story needs a mood and tone, so should your design output. “What is the story you want to tell?” and “What the mood you want to set?” Ask yourself these questions to make sure the design output conveys that at first sight. …
A few years ago, I had an opportunity to work with an exciting startup in Vietnam. Since I like the idea and the people on the team so bad, when I knew my design rate was too high for them, I suggested I would design their entire products in exchange for 2% of the shares company (not diluted).
But they rejected my offer!
At that time, I thought that my offer was a suitable solution to build a cooperative relationship. So I felt a bit down when that startup team rejected, but I never asked them why they made such a decision. …
Years ago, in a Design workshop I joined as a speaker, an audience asked me: “Do you use stimulants while working on getting more ideas easily? I’m curious because I remember that you posted a photo of weeds on your Facebook story.” Suddenly, I realized two things after that question:
I have not shared everything on Facebook, but I have never mentioned using stimulants at work. Until last night, a friend sent me an article about a designer who was arrested while using weed, and then he explained that it helped him be more creative. …
What is creativity? It’s a hard question for those who are working in our creative industry. If you Google this question, you’ll find tons of answers such as:
I personally prefer the definition below:
“Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing.”
It means if you have a bold idea but do not have the capacity to implement it, what a pity for the idea itself. …