2016 has been a busy year both professionally and personally with trials, failures, successes, a lot more travel and self-discovery. Here are some of last year's highlights:
2016 in 3 moments
UX Recipe iOS
Back in February 2016, together with Mihai (and with help from Corneliu), I've launched the UX Recipe iOS app. From that point things took an interesting turn. The app got a lot of exposure and I managed to create a small user base. This allowed me to interact with users and get valuable feedback, plan more updates, and learn from user research and behavior. It sure gets you out of the comfort zone to have your own app. I recommend you try it.
A considerable part of my life is my career. It's no shame in admitting that. I'm a workaholic both in and outside office hours. So imagine my smile when I've heard that Grapefruit's going to implement an Objective Key Results system for its employees. It was a perfect opportunity to blend what I do at the office with what I explore in my free time.
The OKRs motivated me to read more, enroll and graduate more courses, write articles for popular design blogs, develop new design tools and processes, help improve and lead the Design Team (our Design Team finished the Design Kit Course by Acumen & IDEO.org with a working prototype).
31.12.2016. The last day of 2016 was the day I visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. It's something you have to visit at least once in your life. It felt unreal—all the stories the guide described us and how everything went inside those camps. Unfortunately all of it is true. The whole experience made me realize how lucky we are and I, myself, feel grateful for everything that has been given to me. Edmund Burke is right: "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."
Why include my trip to Portugal? Well, It was the first time I went solo on a trip outside. Until now, it has all been with friends and acquaintances. I really wanted to go on my own and guess what—it was awesome! Meeting strangers (everyone has a story to tell) and exploring places on your own—it's a must do. Thanks Grapefruit for the birthday plane tickets. Ancuta, you rock!
What's in store for 2017
Dear January, I won't go to the gym, I won't be more relaxed, and certainly I won't go full on "New year, new me". Yet, one thing is certain: I'll continue to push myself forward and things are already in motion. I took some risks in the last 2 years that made me realize where I stand both as a professional and as a mature individual. Those risks are paved with accomplishments and failures and that's the beauty of it—you gain from both sides. 2017 will be an upgrade no matter the outcome.