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!
It was May last year when I virtually onboarded Avaloq. It was a time when most of us, office-goers, were adjusting to this “forced” setup of working from home. Consequently, everything needs to be done online. You had to double down on clear and proactive communication because the computer gets in the way of telepathy — kidding aside, the computer is all we have to communicate with other people.
Avaloq was a different environment compared to my previous experience at PayMaya. From serving local businesses via PayMaya Negosyo, the world opened up in front of my eyes because the fintech products that I am now working on cater to the global market. Of course, with that comes the fact that the workforce is also distributed globally. So in one way, my incumbent colleagues are already used to fully-online communication. And I was in a hangover of missing in-person interactions.
In a span of a year, Avaloq supported a continuous growth in my knowledge and skills. When I say “Avaloq” I mean the people that I work with, directly and indirectly. The HR, for example, is supportive in helping me know the ins and outs of recruitment and onboarding. The same way for the design team itself, because we are expanding to support the growing needs of the business, it pushes me to step-up and help other team members grow in their roles, as well. Indeed, scalability is a frontier that I am excited exploring.
I find myself being constantly challenged to learn how to do my job better — whether it is about navigating a process, finding the best way to communicate with someone, or learning new skills. Working with people coming from different cultural backgrounds and varying professional experiences will always be challenging but with its benefits, too — first, I am reminded that there’s a wealth of knowledge from everyone if I keep my understanding open, and second, I feel like having a Swiss Army knife of communication approaches depending on who I collaborate with. Being always on the edge of my seat is a great thing for growth.
What makes me thrive in Avaloq?
It boils down to trust. With leaders trusting their teams in being responsible professionals, autonomy ensues. This is why even in a remote setup we are thriving. The collaborative environment empowers us to hone our design craft. My approach to design comes from my own perspective and it benefits the project to uncover many different angles via design reviews — this is where my colleagues’ level of support really helps.
Since May of last year, we’ve onboarded 5 designers in Manila, 2 in Zürich, and established a team of 5 in Berlin. Also from that month, Avaloq marked its first Philippine partnership with BPI and I’m proud to be part of its project team. From taking care of its employees during this pandemic to the acquisition by NEC, it was one heck of a ride. I’m grateful for being part of Avaloq’s continuous growth.
The deal with BPI, the first client for Avaloq in the Philippines, crowns a record year for new business wins and growth in the Asia Pacific region for the Swiss fintech.
Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit.
Those were the three devices that kicked off the scientific revolution in the 17th century. It was the MTC stack. The microscope, telescope, clock stack. What every cultured full-stack gentle-scientist had to master in 1687.
When you are the smartest person in the room, you inevitably become a teacher. Everyone else fills out a skill hierarchy where they are either teacher or student depending on who they interact with in the same room.
Specifically, modern AI is better understood as AT — “Artificial Time” that can be prosthetically attached to human minds. And highly capable computing systems are best understood as existing in superhistory rather than embodying superintelligence.
When you’re blessed with intelligence you’re cursed with the ability to use it to concoct intricate stories about why things happened – especially stories justifying why you made a mistake or why you’ll eventually be right in an area you’re wrong.
The goal of coaching isn’t to make someone feel good. The goal is to break through a person’s guise of knowing. Human beings are master rationalizers in an effort to protect themselves from feeling challenged and embarrassed.
We played his favourite classical music (one for a future episode of Troika), read the news or books, and generally waffling in an attempt to provide some comfort. Mostly he slept, and we listened to his breathing, trying to discern any changes.
Will business and engineering programs continue to expand their curriculum to include 4D design thinking? If so, the activities in which UX teams engage today may come to be shared by folks in other parts of the organization—a trend we’re already beginning to see.
Amy Edmondson defines psychological safety as “a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking”. What kind of risks? Expressing ideas, concerns, feedback, etc, without fear of any kind of repercussions. The idea is that when everyone’s perspective is shared, the team can learn from all these perspectives and perform at its best.
When the two groups were given a variety of puzzles, children in the second group were more likely to choose a harder puzzle. Dweck also found that praising the process made them more likely to feel confident in a task even if they made a mistake.
Describing the whole from so many different angles illuminates the complex. By chronicling microinteractions, such as those between areas of hot and cold water or high and low pressure, we can see how changes in one aspect produce cascading change.
But why follow the Mongol horde deep down the rabbit hole? Why not research Willard’s sooty boubou, or any of the other theoretically interesting subjects Wikipedia’s “random article” button tosses my way? Why does curiosity beckon us this way, and not that?
But is there a better term that would describe a non-specialist person whose chief skill is curiosity, generalist knowledge and an ability to integrate various disciplines and their specialists to solve a problem? As it happens, there is – and it comes to us from a science fiction novel from 1950.
Feature factories are deeply unsatisfying for craft obsessed designers as it turns them into “short order chefs”. It feels like we’re somehow skipping the parts where we feel we can add the most value to both the companies we work and the users we serve.
They have to feed you every six hours. So if I can stack six hours on six hours on six hours, and just focus on getting to the next meal, it doesn’t make matter how much I’m in pain, doesn’t matter how cold I am.
But Tversky’s point is that if your job is to be creative and think through a tough problem, then time spent wandering around a park or aimlessly lounging on a couch might be your most valuable hours. A little inefficiency is wonderful.
I’ve always been a dreamer. My mum taught me to never give up and to reach for the stars. On July 11th, it’s time to turn that dream into a reality aboard the next Virgin Galactic spaceflight, in the company of this brilliant crew of mission specialists.
Consistent effort over time is more sustainable than pushing your limits to work as fast as possible. To do our best work, we need mental downtime, space for self-reflection, and a realistic schedule we can actually keep up with.
All of this does not imply that you can choose your own reality. Firstly, you can choose what questions you ask, but the answers are given by the world. And even in a relational world, when two observers communicate, their realities are entangled. In this way a shared reality can emerge.