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1% Better

By June 3, 2020June 9th, 2020No Comments

In his bestselling book Atomic Habits, James Clear argues for the power of minor changes. He refers to these habits as “the compound interest of self-improvement.” Inspired by his habit-forming concept, I’ve resurrected my blog.

The purpose of this blog is to:

  • encourage me to learn more
  • keep track of what I learn
  • self-explain

Most of all, I want to keep my learnings and musings in one place. Right now it’s everywhere: Evernote, my iPhone’s notes, physical notebooks, Kindle notes, little bookmarks on book pages. This blog will serve as a catch-all.

Some WIP content:

  • book summaries and take-aways
  • design methodologies
  • introductory insights on fields related to experience design: marketing, branding, project management, data analysis, etc
  • Biographies about people who have affected the field of design or human-centered design

Jane of all trades, master of knowledge

Coronavirus has eliminated my daily commute. Instead, I’ve familiarized myself with non-design fields.

Studies have shown that the best ideas can emerge from insights gathered from many fields. An expert-level knowledge is hard to obtain in all my interests and related job fields. It’s far easier to dip my toes and learn a little (1% to be exact) about different teams and departments. Development, marketing, data analytics, even search optimization. I want to learn a little about a lot.

I will write takeaways to better retain the information. Practicing self-explaining in the process.

We can learn a lot when an instructor explains something to us, but we learn more when we explain it ourselves.

Adam Grant

WTH is “self-explain”?

Self-explanation is a learning method. A student explains what they’ve learned back to themselves, usually in a written format. Imagine reading a chapter of a book, then putting it down, and writing down a summary of what you’ve read. That ensures the information has a higher chance of retaining. What’s the point of reading books or attending workshops if I can’t recall a darn thing?

“According to a new meta-analysis of the findings from 64 prior studies involving nearly 6000 participants that compared learning outcomes from prompted self-explanation compared to instructor explanation, or compared to time spent using other study techniques such as taking notes, summarising, thinking out loud (without the reflection and elaboration involved in self-explanation), or solving more problems.” (Source: Research Digest)

1% Better ideas

I have updated this blog off and on for years. Many posts did not the light of day as they were never publicly shared. I’ve recently made some tweaks and content updates to my site—the pain point of all designers. Now, I believe, is the best time to start.

I will regularly update this blog with various findings and musings. The content will vary, but regardless of topics, this will ensure I remain an effective learner. One atomic habit at a time.