2.3 Reflection & Awareness
The student can articulate his/her professional vision in terms of values, ethics and attitude.

2.3 Reflection & Awareness

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As a designer, I believe in the process of making, playing, and experimenting within my work. I think it is essential for designers to be able to follow their instincts and gain a feeling for what works. There is a certain magic in creating something, whether that be physical, digital or more art based. To not use this strength would diminish the value of the creative work entirely. I believe in working thoughtfully and caring about what I do. 

I have learnt that working hard for long hours is not enough to create great work,  it is more important to work effectively and efficiently. Helping those around you, continuously on the lookout for more knowledge not just in your own field and to be ready, willing and not afraid to make mistakes are, in my eyes, all worthy traits. I also believe in the connection between disciplines and how a designer can strengthen their own work by applying various techniques and skills upon their own work. Within my work, I try to keep an open mindset, go beyond the required expertise and to keep myself busy with learning. One of the main values I always follow and stand upon is not to be or remain bound by what the client initially asks for but to dig deeply into the problem and to find the roots and the core of the question. Because although we might often think that the answer to our questions and needs can be fulfilled through a specific decision/tool or solution, in reality, it can be sourced to something else and solved in a better, more effective way. 

One example is during the Biometric Feedback project we came to a disagreement with one of our clients who wanted us to limit our approach and concept and go in another direction. While I disagreed with her suggested solution, I agreed with the reasoning she gave and the issue she pointed out. Therefore, I decided to look at our concept differently and formulated a better concept that would better address the client’s feedback. 

Another very important value in my work is aesthetics, in other words, I believe in spending time on making something look and feel right and by right I mean being able to deliver the message that is needed. This for me is a professional must as I want my work to have a high quality and polish to it. An example of this is when I created custom icons and illustrations for the Living Roadmap project, when I could have downloaded a series of images and icon kits from the internet. However nice, they often fail to fit or portray the message that is needed, and they can easily destroy the flow of an experience - especially in a digital interface. I also use this as a way of processing my thoughts. It is something I enjoy doing so while doing it I can think of solutions and directions I want to take with a certain project. 

The aesthetic quality is not only important because of the way it looks but because it distils a thoughtfulness and can create a certain feeling of care and attention to details that can be felt by the user causing it to be more than just a lifeless experience.