Hey there! Brian Dys here — I’m a visual and visceral person at heart. Ever since my mom lent me her old film camera, I fell in love with photography. All of my creative musings were exemplified by my second brain, the computer. This journey is a topsy-turvy ride of creative pursuits — from electronic music to UX design.
I enjoy every dull and wild moments of it — yes, this life of mine that I share with a woman named Jaycelle and a boy named Bryce. Take a peek into my kaleidoscope!
Recently, we had an event in Avaloq called Open Mic Session. It was a small event for Avaloq Manila (Philippines) and Pune (India), along with the executive board. It had two topic categories which was voted for by employees. The first category was official company business and the second one were topics submitted by anyone who wished to share anything — a hobby, an advocacy, project accomplishments, or anything under the sun, really.
One of the three employee topics that was voted in was mine. It was all about my learnings and realizations in the ten months that I’ve been with Avaloq. It was timely to sit down and introspect how I’ve been in these past months — from being torn about transitioning into a different organization during the pandemic to being fulfilled that I’ve struck while the iron is hot. It was equally timely to share it with my colleagues, as well.
Here’s a transcript of my presentation:
Hello to my colleagues in Manila, Philippines (esp. to the UX design team), Pune, India, and Zurich Switzerland. And of course, to others who are in different locations. Thank you to all those who voted for my topic.
My name is Dys. I’m with Johann in the design team. I do UX design for web and mobile banking, as well as managing the design team here in Manila.
I joined Avaloq in May last year. So, I’m fairly new. In the 10 months that I’ve been here, there are many things that help me adapt in this new environment. Let me have the honor of sharing with you 10 things that I’ve learned & continuously realizing while working in Avaloq.
10. Avaloq delivers on my career expectations
Around March last year, I made a leap of faith when I accepted Avaloq’s offer. It was at the start of lockdowns and the pandemic, after all. Apart from being scared, I was excited because every aspect was a step up from my previous career. Fast forward to now, the level up experience is true — there are many new things that I face and these challenges keep me learning & growing.
9. Our company provides confidence in this uncertain times
Meetings, virtual or otherwise, are our opportunities to contribute to plans and our voices to be heard. And also bilas (or bilaterals) — it really helps in alignments and being on the same page with people.
4. In collaboration we thrive
Rarely that we, alone, got it all figured out. That’s why when we work together, we gain different perspectives of the same thing. And that makes solving problems faster.
3. Highs and lows, they’re part of it
Whatever happens, it’s our perspective that we have control of. As long as we learn from experiences, it’s all good.
You may find yourself in a dance between wanting financial security and creative independence and that can feel like a hard choice to make when your peers seem to be getting ahead and an uncertain future awaits you.
It isn’t a sufficiently strong purpose to make you form the habit of doing the things you don’t like to do for the very simple reason that it is easier to adjust ourselves to the hardships of a poor living than it is to adjust ourselves to the hardships of making a better one.
Previously, we have tackled the Text stage of RE:Creation wherein we came up with a textual content of the front panel of the packaging which is our basis for this stage.
Mark up the structure in HTML
Mark up the groups in HTML
Mark up the individual elements in HTML
Marking up means identifying elements, defining, and labeling them. It is just like in Text stage when we labeled elements and grouped them — but this time, we take it a step further by using HTML tags which has the capability to define where a markup starts and where it ends.
In HTML, we’ll use start and end tags to enclose elements. Once elements are enclosed by these tags, web browsers will be able to interpret and display them accordingly.
Speaking of HTML tags, they have a syntax for us to follow. Syntax is the arrangement of symbols and rules that constitute the correct form of a language just like HTML. As an example for the label “Header”, the HTML tag will be <header> and </header>; for “Main”, <main> and </main>; and for “Footer”, <footer> and </footer>.
It is one thing to make our content readable for web browsers (for them to properly interpret and display it) and another thing to make it readable for humans (us and other coders who will be reading or modifying our works).
The fact that we have marked up our content in HTML tags, that makes it readable for web browsers. Indentation, on the other hand, makes it readable for human readers. All content within structures can be indented; the same as content within groups. In this way, we could see how the content is nested by looking at it.
Step 1: Mark up the structure in HTML
Enclose the structure labels in “less than” (<) and “greater than” (>) signs
For their delimiters or boundaries, simply add a “slash” after the “less than” (<) sign
Convert the labels to the “small caps” (e.g., “Header” becomes “header”)
At this point in our activity, we can already view the result of our markup in a web browser. In our demo in CodePen, you can see on one side what the browser will display given our markup. It’s not apparent because the text elements are still placed side by side, but the result already shows the structure we made: the “Header”, starting with “Product name”, the “Main”, starting with “Product main description”, and “Footer”, starting with “(none)”.
Step 2: Mark up the groups in HTML
Similarly with step 1, mark up the groups by converting their labels into HTML start and end tags
For the syntax, aside from making everything in “small caps”, convert spaces to underscores (“_”)
Again, indent the nested elements within groups for readability
The result of our markup may not visually show much improvement but we’re already paving the path for a solid basis of HTML and CSS.
For our next activity, we will be going into the details of HTML tags. Since HTML is a language, it has a vocabulary — meaning, it already has a set of tags that is equivalent to what we created at this stage.
I admit, I am amazed by technology when it can bring photos to life. Decades ago, I scanned my paternal grandparents’ wedding portrait with the purpose of restoring it. It was scanned in four parts and the best restoration that I could do was stitch them together and remove some blemishes using Photoshop. I thought that I needed some painting skills if I wanted to restore the cracked part (which I didn’t).
Fast forward to 2021, my mind was blown to discover that technology could make animated portraits. Literally, it could make old stagnant photos come alive. If you want to see it for yourself, upload some pictures at MyHeritage Deep Nostalgia.
Here are they in their wedding day. Nanay, as we call our grandmother, survived her husband, Tatay. She’s now in her mid-80s, still as witty and beautiful as ever.
While I was at it, I also ran their portrait in MyHeritage In Color to somewhat colorize and enhance it. Amazing!
Update: 3 April 2021
When Nanay saw the moving portrait
Sabagay nung teenager ako, nanalo ako sa beauty contest. Kinukuha ako mag-artista ng tauhan ng Sampaguita Pictures, ayaw ng stepmother ko, baka raw mapariwara lang ang buhay ko. Sa Castillejos, Zambales yun, year 1949.
I said that if ever she took the offer, she would be alongside Susan Roces in Ang Probinsyano. She corrected me by saying that her colleagues would be Tita Duran, Pancho Magalona, Rogelio de la Rosa, and, Carmen Rosales. And that we won’t be born into the world. But she reassured me that all of us, my brothers and I, would be actors as well.