Two years ago today on March 26, 2016, I published my first post. 112 blog posts later, I’m happy that I haven’t lost my passion for writing and kept up the momentum. I’m still flowing with ideas and there are many topics I’d like to explore. Last year, to celebrate my first blog anniversary, I shared things that I learned throughout the process of blogging. This year is a roundup of my favorite posts and why they’re meaningful. 

1. TCS New York City Marathon 2017 [Published: November 26, 2017]
It’s unbelievable how I actually managed to document the entire process, starting from running my first race and everything leading up to my dream of completing the TCS New York City Marathon. I’m proud of myself for getting back into shape and challenging every obstacle that has come in the way. Finishing the marathon for the first time was definitely a major highlight and is an experience I will treasure for life but I’m definitely not done. Here’s to many more marathons!

2. My thoughts on “Design Disruptors” [Published: October 3, 2016]
After watching this incredible documentary, I understood exactly why I chose to pursue a career transition into UX. In the beginning, I thought UX was “cool” but this film put into perspective the importance of solving meaningful problems and using obstacles as opportunities. It helped me understand what design really is and how relevant it is to businesses. Also, as a fun fact: I tweeted out this article and got a direct response from Clark himself!

3. How I designed the UX of my life [Published: June 26, 2016]
UX principles and design thinking can be applied to many things outside of digital products. This article was about showcasing how I do so in life. Designing UX is a problem-solving framework so I love how I tackled my life’s major friction points with this process. I’m convinced that I’ve been a UX designer much longer than I knew it as so. This piece was about showcasing my approach to aspects of my life and how the design framework helped me overcome various challenges.

4. Empathy Jam [Published: August 24, 2016]
The Empathy Jam, a user research driven hackathon event, has a very special place in my heart. It was the first design competition that I participated in. I was happy to test my interest in UX and apply my skills to a project. In addition, I met many great friends that led me to where I am today. This also led me to publish an article about design hackathons in UX Booth and I co-produced the second one! Spoiler alert: we’re working on the third one, which will surely be the best one yet!

5. How running helps me be a better UX designer [Published: August 11, 2017]
Similar to #3, I wrote this to showcase how I utilize my experience of running and designing to become better. I surprised myself with how many overlaps there are between running and designing for UX and they really complement one another well. I also realized that by pursuing both, they’ve allowed me to develop a unique perspective on each activity. Running and designing UX simultaneously allows me to become to best version of myself, therefore expanding my capacity to serve others better.

6. 12 guidelines on being pretentious [Published: April 18, 2016]
I love using writing as a way to practice humility and reflect on life. But once in a while, I love to write with my sassy voice and this article was exactly that. This piece was supposed to be funny and lighthearted and it was definitely well-received by many friends who commented that my voice here sounds the most “me.” I love practicing and exploring different voices through writing and hope to publish more like this.

7. My writing process from start to finish [Published: November 19, 2016]
People often misunderstand how writing “works.” When I’m asked to put together blog posts or edit content, many assume that it’s a straightforward process when in fact, it’s anything but. People also think that writing concisely is just a matter of editing and taking out things when, again, it’s anything but. But I put this piece together for those who ask about the writing process because they want to start blogging. Turns out, this piece benefited me the most because I understood my process better.

8. Reflecting on my running milestones [Published: June 8, 2017]
This piece is important to me because it’s a reminder of what hard work, persistence, and grit could do. In the short span of a year, I was able to accomplish so much more than I could have ever imagined. And because of that, I’m able to set terrifying goals and actually hit them. I never thought that a sub-2 half marathon would be possible, and yet I did it on my second one. Now, I have my sight set on a sub-4 NYC Marathon this year and eventually a BQ!

9. Introduction to User Research [Published: July 5, 2016]
Right as I started by UX career transition, this introductory workshop on UX research was offered and was taught by the wonderful Stacey Sarris. She helped me make sense of what user research is and gave me a lot of resources to further my knowledge. I loved this workshop because it was the first time I felt like I could actually do this as a job. I learned so much from Stacey and this workshop completely validated my passion for user research.

10. Highlights of 2017 [Published: December 30, 2017]
I write a lot to reflect. Keeping a consistent habit of writing allows me to look back on what I’ve done and, not to brag but, I did some amazing things last year! These constant reminders of how far I’ve come are important to me so that I could motivate myself to always live life to the fullest. I don’t ever want to turn back and think about what I could have done better. Instead, I want to keep setting bigger goals and push the envelope on the boundaries of my potential.

In the years to come, there are many topics in UX and running that I’d love to explore. I’d love to understand designing for accessibility and what that entails. I want to talk about my unique perspective as a designer from the humanities point of view, something I always tout. I want to become a better storyteller and improve the way I communicate through words. Thank you for being loyal readers!

Cheers,

Riri