Being curious and then what?— Jean-Marc Denis

Riccardo Giorato
Mar 22, 2017 · 4 min read

Jean: My name is Jean-Marc, I am a design manager for Messenger at Facebook. Before that, I worked for “Sparrow,” a French startup which got acquired by Google in 2012.

I joined the Gmail team where I worked on Inbox by Gmail from the ground up as UX Mobile Lead.

After launching, I felt the need to challenge myself and curiosity by starting fresh again. I had the opportunity to join the Google Daydream Virtual Reality team where I helped to design some of the experiences.

Jean: Not really, I think I should, but I don’t.

Jean: As lead/manager, my current role is a lot about the people I am working with. The only time I am working alone is when I come back home and design some 3D/AR/VR. I do not have any ritual or daily routine per-say.

Jean: I think it all comes down to being curious. That’s how and why I keep looking for new sources of inspiration every day. In all the things you do, some people spent most of their careers mastering their craft. Look for them and understand what make their work exceptional, make it your north star and work toward that goal.

Jean: I am going to sound like a broken record but “never settle, fuel your curiosity.” Learning new things can be intimidating but getting better at your craft is rewarding.

Helping people to grow and get there themselves is a significant part of my design journey.

Jean: If you want to work in the design industry, attend as much meetup as you can. You will learn a lot from other people background, stories and experiences. You will understand a bit more about the companies you might want to work on at some point on top of understanding the local design culture. On a more strategical level, it will help you build your network and open some opportunities.

Jean: Art, color theory, typography, photography.

Jean: That a question I get very often, I compiled a small list of book here.

Jean: Start to produce designs now. Create, dive in, dive deep, get into design communities, get feedbacks, learn from the best, read books, watch tutorials, keep a unique approach to all you do, be curious. Rinse and repeat, every day.

Jean: In my opinion, empathy is the start of any design process. You want to relate somehow with your audience. Understanding this first step is a key to unlock the rest of a healty design process.

Jean: I see any immersive reality (AR&VR) as a tool to enhance or enable things that wernt previously possible. Education wise it can be something with huge impact on how we teach, learn and create connections with the rest of the world. As a self-taught designer from a small city in France, I would have dreamed of sitting virtually next to the best designers and see how and why their craft is the best. That is actually the most passive way to use theses medium. How about that person interact with you in an immersive way and help you in every step of the way? What if you want to learn painting and Van Gogh teaches you his techniques, take your hand and help you to replicate the perfect stroke. What if a Van Gogh artificial inteligence help you critique your work so you are not a copy cat but this IA helps you develop your own style? Future is promising, the challenge of our times will be to avoid as much as possible the uncanny valley.

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