Interview

Plans for 2021

8 designers share their plans and goals for this year

February 16, 2021
Interview
February 16, 2021

Plans for 2021

8 designers share their plans and goals for this year

The internet can't stop screaming at 2020 for everything that happened during the year. Let's not dwell too much on this roller coaster that we've all experienced and, instead, let’s move on to 2021, which has already shown its uniqueness.

Respect the People Around You

Mary Allysa Misola, a Product Designer at Publicis Sapient

Allysa is a Product Designer based in Ontario, Canada, who is passionate about human-oriented design

In 2021 I plan ...

to give back to my community for all the guidance they have given me throughout my academic and professional journey, helping me become the person I am now.

My Goals for 2021 are ...

to participate in further user research projects to learn more about us as people, as ultimate ‘users’ of products and services who have different needs and abilities. I want to challenge my design thinking process by designing with constraints and limitations. Even though we are making progress, I feel that design for accessibility and inclusivity-related projects is still underrepresented. This is why I want to learn more about our society, how we react to and interact with things, and what disruptive technologies we can integrate to help against the lack of accessible or inclusive designs.

I want people to remember ...

that it’s never too late to give back to those who have helped you throughout your journey, whatever that may be. There’s never a perfect time to show your gratitude to one another; just show it!

Appreciate the People You Love

Chengsu Chen, a Product Designer on the Special Cohorts Team at Facebook

She designs experiences for selected countries like India

In 2021 I plan ...

to spend more time with family and friends and find a new hobby or a side gig.

I have two big goals for 2021 ...

The first is to read more books in general, specifically on finance. I'd love to learn more about investing and potentially start a side gig.

The second goal is closer to my heart, and it is to spend more time with family and friends. I can't wait until I'm able to visit my mom in Seattle again. Since the beginning of the quarantine, I haven't seen her and was bummed that I couldn't spend the holidays with her in 2020. After all, 2020 taught me to slow down and appreciate the people you love.

I want people to look towards ...

2021 with more empathy, hope, and kindness towards one another. 2020 taught me a lot about who we are as a society, and how unity should be the key theme for 2021 — so I hope others will feel the same. And, lastly, it’s okay to take some time to recharge our batteries, and to spend time with the people we love, and not take things for granted.

Embrace Uncertainty

Step 1: Stop Planning

Elizabeth Zhu, a Product Designer at Shopify

Elizabeth is a Product Designer at Shopify and alumni of York University/Sheridan College Design (YSDN) who is working on new products that help small to medium businesses get started with e-commerce.

Ironically, I intend to make fewer plans in 2021, and, instead, be more open to whatever life gives me. If there is anything I learned from 2020, it’s that nothing in life is certain; but what you can control is your resilience and adaptability to change.

Professionally, I want to take on more of a mentorship role in 2021. I started my career as an intern and know what it's like to be one. Now that I have more experience, I would love to bring it full circle and help other aspiring designers get where they want to be.

I'm also intrigued by the use of motion design in UX to create moments of delight. I've already downloaded Principle and started playing around with animated prototypes. Another topic that I'm interested in that’s been gaining more awareness recently is accessibility. I want to learn more about the principles of accessible design and how to apply them.

I want people to remember that ...

times of discomfort and change are also when we grow the most. What I hope for 2021 is that we turn this adversity into a new era of opportunity. If we look back at history, change is often a catalyst for human innovation. So, if you have an idea of how to make 2021 a little better than 2020, pursue it! There is no better time than now.

Step 2:  Focus on Long-Term Goals

Mitali Bhasin, a Product Designer at Converge

Mitali Bhasin designs experiences for IoT and data analysis

In 2021, I want to ...

embrace uncertainty and learn to thrive in it.

I want to focus on ...

long-term career goals in 2021. I intend to become a great design leader in the future. While the process is long and slow, I think the journey can be broken into parts and phases. I'd like to begin by understanding DesignOps when it comes to product delivery and its possibilities at the individual and organizational levels. In fact, I'd like to seek mentorship to approach my learning in the right way. 

I will spend my spare time in 2021 ...

trying to learn and apply the best practices of accessible design in my work. The world going remote, the internet is where humans live, and it needs to become a place that makes no one feel excluded. My understanding of accessibility needs a lot more depth.

I want people to remember ...

to take long breaks, to pause and think. It's odd how simple it sounds and yet how few people carve out time to do it. It's vital that everyone, regardless of occupation, should dedicate some time to reflect upon the more significant questions about the world and its purpose. Purpose can unlock thoughtful and bold moves. One needs to learn to take breaks, finishing mundane tasks to free up some time to sit still and meditate.

Step 3: Live Life to the Fullest

Elijah Kingson, a Product Designer at Revolut

Elijah is a Product Designer who deeply cares about crafting products that empower people and businesses to succeed. He is currently working on growth-related projects at Revolut.

In 2021, I want to ...

‘live life to the fullest’ by consciously seeking out new experiences and connecting with people.

Professionally, I’d like to write and share more about my process and approach to design – especially around product thinking and designing for growth. Finally, I’ve recently become fascinated by drone photography and I’d like to give that a shot *wink*. 

I want people to understand that ...

2021 isn't going to make everything that happened in 2020 magically disappear. On the bright side, though, we can take some of the lessons we learned in 2020 and brace ourselves for whatever the new year has in store.

FlowMapp Design Team

We couldn’t miss the chance to highlight our own design team and asked them the same questions about 2021. Here’s what they had to say.

Be Your Own Researcher

Lidiya Drozdova, a Designer at FlowMapp

Product designer and 3D illustration artist applying creative skills in a variety of graphic design fields

In 2021, I want to ...

dig deeper into product design (UX / UI) and 3D illustration.

Professionally, I plan to put more work into digital products and 3D visual elements. I also want to improve my UX skills and learn how to create expressive characters.

On a more personal note, I believe that design is a highly intellectual activity. If you want to be a cool designer, you need your brain to work at full capacity. So I chose fitness and dancing as my main hobbies, along with aerial gymnastics classes.

I want people to realize that ...

life is your most important personal project. Test hypotheses, do research, come up with new ideas along the way. That's all you need to know to be happy and successful.


Bring the Value or Stop What You’re Doing

Denis Bolshakov, a Design Lead at FlowMapp

Denis is an experienced designer here in FlowMapp who is also passionate about composing music and mindfulness

In 2021, I plan to ...

make FlowMapp more convenient for its users. I see that each day more and more people and businesses realize the benefits of meaningful design and successfully implement it. I want to support this trend and help FlowMapp get 2 000 000 users.

Personally, I want to work on my written English and release an EP on Detriti Records and aufnahme + wiedergabe.

I want designers to think ...

more about the value of user experience (UX) and build new exciting and useful products. From our side, we will release an intuitively simple and convenient environment for them to speed up this process as much as possible.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Mila Lelyuk, a UI/UX Designer at FlowMapp

An experienced designer here in FlowMapp trying her hand in product design. Like Kawai, adheres to a minimalistic approach in design and in life

I have many plans for 2021, so I'd say that my motto is 'Work hard, learn fast, and eat right. Oh, and train hard too!'

I want to be ...

bolder and more creative in my work. I do many promo-related tasks that I want to take to the next level of quality and creativity in 2021. I'd also like to learn every shortcut in Figma and read several books about design and psychology. I also want to be able to safely visit new places in my region, and create three custom fashion designs with my tailor. 

To be honest, I hope one of my biggest dreams will come true this year! I'll reveal it after it happens, I promise.

I want people to realize that ...

the younger generation is not as bad as some people think. They will figure it out. Right now, we all need to find good things in life. We all need good design. Good design is a healthy thing. Do not skimp on beautiful and convenient things and products.

Written by Serafima Aleksandrova

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