What significant issue did you change your mind on, in the past year?
I find this a worthy question to focus reflection as the year ends.
I changed on quite a few things. Broadly I went from being more of a capitalist to being more of a humanist.
Here are some details:
I realized that diversity should be a priority for product teams and companies. And diversity in all forms. Not just of opinions but also of nationalities and genders. When people come from different countries they necessarily bring different opinions and experiences.
This makes me quite positive about countries and companies which open their doors to outsiders. Germany has attracted not just refugees, but also people from India, Indonesia, Brazil and the USA to its universities and companies. These people are willing to take risks and want to make things.
I have met these individuals, their energy and skills are multi-pronged. If a Chinese girl can work in a Dutch small town, and she has learned both English and Dutch and supply chain management, you can be quite sure that she will find a solution when your team lands in a pickle. She has already jumped through hoops to get there.
All other things being equal, I would bet on the more diverse team.
I was never against accessibility in design, but like most people, I never really gave a serious thought to it. This year I came to know how powerful the idea is. And how simple. Even changing the text color contrast on a site can improve the experience significantly for everyone who uses it.
I am learning more on this vast topic and well… becoming slightly judge-mental of popular products which obviously violate accessibility guidelines.
This is something I am still wrapping my head around, but for a long time I thought in terms of big goals and ambition. This year I spent quite a while thinking about, writing about and implementing strategies based on thinking small. I wrote quite a bit on the BJ Fogg model of behavior change and the idea of tiny habits.
And now I am quite convinced that this is a healthier way to get what you think you want.
Will explore these ideas further in the coming year and of course share what I learn.
I wish you a happy new year, filled with learning growth and love.