👋 Oi, mga repapips, Brian Dys here! I love music, photography, and creative stuff like UX design and art. This is a place where I collect my thoughts and works. Apart all these, I’m Jaycelle’s better half and Bryce’s dad. 🥰
ADPList is instrumental in my growth as a designer, particularly in sharing my knowledge and experience in this industry. With that, I am thankful for the founders and team of this amazing organization.
I first encountered ADPList through The Inclusion & Diversity Compendium for Designers compiled by Marissa Louie in Designers Guild on Facebook. It was just a few months since the pandemic hit the world and it was only a small contribution for me to help fellow designers during these times — that’s why I decided to offer my time for free to mentor those who need it.
Here’s to more fruitful discussions with both co-mentors and mentees!
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
Avaloq’s response to the pandemic gives me confidence that despite being in this challenging times, we are in a stable and growing organization.
8. We are Avaloq, we lead Avaloq
With a level of autonomy, we take ownership of our work. We are empowered to contribute and influence the direction of projects.
7. We are empowered to be heard
We have tools and processes in place that create a safe environment for us to listen and to be heard. We have an engaging feedback platform and my managers are open to listening and coaching.
6. The support system is strong
When I joined Avaloq, the team were there to help me onboard quickly. Until now, whenever I would need help from them, they are engaged and supportive.
5. Make the most out of meetings
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.
2. Have something or someone to be thankful for
A little help from my teammate, my manager who’s coaching me. Acknowledgement of these things helps me pay it forward to others as well.
And for the most important thing…
1. Have fun at work and enjoy the thing that you do
That’s what my manager actually said during my 1st week at Avaloq.
Especially during these challenging times, looking at the brighter side of things surely helps.
Thank you everyone! Stay safe and healthy.
The presentation was only 5 minutes long and I had fun sharing it from this side of the world. If any, it was a message of inspiration to make good sense of different situations that we maybe in.
In 2 months, I’ll be celebrating my first year with Avaloq and it’s a new chapter for me. I’ll find out what’s next!
- Slide number 10 by Taha Mazandarani
- Slide number 9 by Dev Benjamin
- Slide number 8 by Tobias Mrzyk
- Slide number 7 by Matheus Bertelli
- Slide number 6 by krakenimages
- Music: Shake by Anno Domini Beats
This year is brighter at Avaloq as we’re growing within UX design team and others as well.
See if there is a good fit?
Last month, I’ve wrapped-up with the 4th part of a talk that I’ve shared with the UX design team: Documenting your work as a designer. This topic tackles the other side of design work (and any work, in general), which is documenting your experiences and learnings from projects.
- Part 1: The whys and hows – anchor the documentation activity on a purpose
- Part 2: The process – making sense of the documentations and keeping them meaningful
- Part 3: The case of the briefcase & showcase – curations
- Part 4: The work – getting your hands dirty
The talk goes from abstract concepts towards concrete steps in starting a portfolio curation. What each of us actually produced were our top 3 highlights of last year.
A couple of weeks since lockdown (nearing April), Jaycelle and I made this major decision — for the lack of better words — to level up. It was scary, indeed, because the pandemic surprised us all. Most companies halted their hirings yet there I was with an offer on the table.
Fast forward to six months — this was an eventful week as I have passed the probationary period at Avaloq. The team’s trust and support has been tremendous. It is challenging — this role of a manager and individual contributor — nevertheless, everyone’s willingness in collaboration and their dedication to the craft made the ride rather smooth.
Here’s an excerpt from my third month evaluation, which I feel like will always ring true in my career.
What are your initial impressions of working with Avaloq? Have your expectations been fulfilled?
3 months could very well feel like a year of working in Avaloq — probably because almost every thing was done online. It will even be more challenging if there were physical interactions with people — getting to know their ways of working, finding the right balance between personalities, all in achieving a common goal of championing UX and elevating the knowledge and skills of the Avaloq UX design team.
Each step of the way, I would discover different kinds of terrain in Avaloq — mostly rugged hills and mountains. How to navigate it? Surely, you have to go around them or climb them. Stumbling blocks? You have to clear them for people following your lead. Some blocks can be arranged into stepping stones for us to reach higher levels.
What excites me is the big room for improvement that I am contributing to in filling. Accomplishments, they’re a bonus. There’s always what’s next.
I’m in the right place, at the right time
When I wished to transition to the next level in my career — Avaloq is the next level. It is global — I find myself collaborating with people who have widely different perspectives and knowledge which I learn from. The UX design team in Manila is solid and open for growth. It is a perfect combination of a conducive environment wherein I can grow and support others’ growth, as well.
One of the items in the reading list is about copying and how it is inherent to design (and child development, actually). As designers, we pride ourselves of our originality — personally, to the point of stubbornness. I recall a period in my career when I avoided looking at other people’s works as inspiration — out of fear of being unoriginal. It was pride, as I retrospect.
Collaboration is key to almost anything one wants to accomplish efficiently. All of us rely on each other even indirectly. Copying is inevitable in a world where no person is an island. Legalities and what your conscience says, that’s a different story.
Sharing for free
“Really, you’re giving it away for free?” A mentee uttered in surprise (pertaining to a solicited advice). Perhaps our session provided her with some nuggets of wisdom (as it should be). I could imagine lightbulbs flashing in her mind as we discussed about her career.
“This is also how I got them through the years,” I said, “for free”.
To all the generous folks out there sharing their thoughts, resources, and anything that helps anyone, I’m also paying it forward.
In the spirit of copying
I liked the style of the copying article so I replicated it in the “Libre Sakay!” graphic design. If you would like to spin it out yourself, feel free!