Question: Why was it important that you received a scholarship?
Answer: "Winning the Shopify scholarship and attending the RGD DesignThinkers 2020 Conference was insightful on many levels. Being on Shopify as both an Entrepreneur — and a Partner through Hustl Works — allows me to empower other aspiring entrepreneurs to build their own Canadian e-commerce business. And having the opportunity to connect with Designers from across the world — during a time where we cannot even connect with others in our own cities due to the #COVID-19 🦠 pandemic — is mind-blowing when you put it into words."
Question: What are your biggest takeaways from DesignThinkers 2020?
Answer: I would say the biggest takeaway from DesignThinkers 2020 came to me through the word "IMPACT". You may be wondering what I mean by that... as a Graphic Designer by trade, what a sight it is to see how design can revolutionize the way science is communicated around the world. We saw how Medical Designers all around the world rose to the occasion to conceptualize a consistent image and story surrounding #COVID-19 🦠 for the everyday person.
Here are some of the amazing sessions I had the opportunity to attend...
Week 1: Virtual DesignThinkers Conference from November 9 – 13, 2020
KEYNOTE: DESIGN EMERGENCY (Alice Rawsthorn) — Design has been one of our most powerful tools in the Covid-19 crisis. We need more Designers at the table, Medical Designers.
INTERACTIONS: USING STRATEGIC DESIGN TO MAXIMIZE IMPACT (Cassandra Cetlin) — This workshop I learned to better understand the end-to-end journey of who you're designing for before jumping to create solutions.
STRATEGY: YOUR WORK AND YOU, A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP (Pavi Logeswaran) — Why attaching ourselves to work is something we do, but it's often not discussed. We enjoy work immensely when it is going well and hate it when it isn't. It's a never-ending roller-coaster.
KEYNOTE: BRAVE CONVERSATIONS (Sara Wachter-Boettcher) — How to face challenging conversations with honesty, kindness, and accountability. Work relationships aren’t always easy. People disagree, priorities come into conflict, and sometimes feelings get hurt.
ROUNDTABLE: CREATING ACCESSIBLE PDF's USING INDESIGN AND ACROBAT (Denis Leclerc) — Roundtable discussing AODA accessibility.
WHY DIVERSITY MAKES DOLLARS AND SENSE (Twitter's Chief Design Office, Dantley Davis) — Twitter is working to become the most diverse and inclusive company in the world. Dantley Davis explains what it means to serve the public conversation and how inclusion affects the bottom line.
STRATEGY: LEARNING THROUGH THE UPS AND DOWNS IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS (Paloma Rincón) — Paloma shared her experiences of the emotional rollercoaster the creative process can be.
INSPIRATIONS: DESIGNING TYPE (Oded Ezer, Eleni Beveratou Wael Morcos, and Wael Morcos) — This session was extremely interesting because we have been able to witness typographic trends that are often connected to trends in fashion, architecture, and other disciplines of the visual arts. Also, it was cool to see how translating typographic concepts from one writing system to another comes with a set of its own challenges.
- INTERACTIONS: BRAND STRATEGY FOR DESIGNERS (Douglas Davis) — In this workshop, Creative Strategist Douglas Davis showcased how to bridge the gap between what a brand says externally and what that means internally.
ROUNDTABLE: DESIGNING AS A BLACK PERSON, INDIGENOUS PERSON OR PERSON OF COLOUR (Amanda DeVries) — What a session about inclusion as a BIPOC person in the design community.
- ROUNDTABLE: DESIGNING ACCESSIBLE EXPERIENCES (Denis Leclerc) — Design as an accessible experience that incapsulates inclusion for all people with experience.
ROUNDTABLE: DESIGNING BRANDS (Norm Lourenco) — Insightful session and opinions from the global community of Graphic Designers, and their thoughts—ranging from classic symbolism to natural elements to analog branding trends.
- ROUNDTABLE: UX DESIGN METHODS (Ian Chalmers) — User Experience Design and modern-day methods for better end-user interactions.
Week 2: Virtual DesignThinkers Conference from November 16 – 20, 2020
KEYNOTE: CREATING CONNECTION: THE POWER OF DESIGN TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER (Grace Hwang) — Grace shares her experience designing for the health & wellness space, giving insight into the possibilities for design to grow our sense of togetherness.
- INSPIRATIONS: DESIGN & MUSIC (Braulio Amado, Lawrence Azerrad, and Cey Adams) — Music has always united us. It documents our experiences, strengthens our connections, and amplifies our feelings.
- KEYNOTE: “I NEVER KNEW BLACK PEOPLE COULD DESIGN” (Angela Bains) — This presentation gets deep and goes right into the design journey when encapsulating being a BIPOC individual in the design space.
When we get caught up in the whirlwind of creativity and eCommerce, we can easily fall in love with our ideas. This happens even when they don’t actually serve the consumer or user in the best possible ways, then we just continue designing without tangible numbers and research. At Hustl Works, we use our 3 step #Learn #Build #Grow methodology to guide aspiring entrepreneurs to immerse themselves in the realities of the consumer to better serve them (embody your audience). I received a lot of excellent takeaway from the RGD DesignThinkers 2020 Sound On Conference and looking forward to next year's conference...Anyways, later days, and let’s keep getting sh*t done, together!