English version of this post is coming soon… I hope.
Hi guys, this year is getting close to the end…thank you for all the fun time we had! How was 2016 for you? Looking at Social media (especially English posts), it seems there are lots of negative voices such as “2016 was a terrible year” “I want it finish now” or “2017 will get worse…” but I don’t know…for me it was “going up” year.
Sure, there was a lot of terrorism. But it was just because they happened in the “developed” countries hence the media reported a lot, there has been lots of terrible incidents worldwide in recent years. They say “we lost lots of celebrities”, but for me, 2012 ~ 2015 when we lost lots of famous Kabuki actors looked worse. Brexit? Trump? It hasn’t happened yet, he hasn’t become the president yet, we don’t know the outcome of them in long term…
…thinking in that way, I think 2016 was the year of “transition”. One flow ends, and we have to plant new seeds for the next change. How you view this “end” depends on the person I guess. However, I believe whether you see this situation as “hopeless” or “chance” will determine what kinds of flower you will see in the future…thinking about my flowers, I’m preparing for the next year.
Right, I will look back 2016 by talking about the products/service I used a lot.
As same as the last year, I flied a lot! The first half of the year, I went to Sweden monthly. This was phisically tough but the people there welcomed me warmly. Also I learnt a lot by experiencing the life and work in Sweden, this was amazing considering that living/working in London is already special as Japanese. By the way I was so in love with scandinavian design…when I get a new flat in Japan I will get inspiration from them!
Throughout this tough year, again it was the mindfulness which helped me a lot. Everyday is a bit difficult but I still continue Headspace. Another thing I begun this year is Five Minutes Journal. This is a simple journal which you can write every morning and night, but the key is to keep it short and simple like 5mins. Does that short journal mean anything? Definitely yes – they ask you very important questions so that simple answers do help. I tend to give up these rituals but now it’s my 143th day!
Also while moving between locations, Barlcays’s mobile app and Paypal were incredibly useful. I knew Barclays app good before, but Paypal was rather unexpected, I like its overall experience and service. Actually, I was hoping financial sector’s UX and transaction in Japan becoming better. Maybe I should write another post about comparison…
Another thing I strongly felt was that, I want to involve in designing UX around airline/flight experience! Comparing some apps, I thought BA was ok but overall experience still seems fragmented. At the moment it feels like the best UX to view travel schedule is Google’s inbox, so it would be great if we had more seamless experience including physical experience. Does anyone know someone in airline industry?
I love Japanese contents…
After July, I went to Japan several times. Since last year, I had even more chances to work with the designers in Japan which made me really happy. In my personal life, our family had two celebration; my counsin’s wedding in July and my brother’s in November, and I enjoyed staying in Japan by doing a lot such as… played PokeGo, listening/watching Arashi, watched TeamLab and Ghibli’s exhibition, went to Osaka, Nikko, enjoyed the PM being Mario, watched Shin-godzilla, Kimi-no-na-wa, Sanada-maru, Daradara and Kabuki! Wow, it was a really good year.
So. What would you enjoy a lot in Japan? …food! This is not anything new but I enjoyed usingTabelog a lot. My colleagues were using Foursquare but I’m afraid that’s useless in Japan…The experience of these two are quite different and I guess it also comes from cultural difference. Maybe I should write about it too…(setting a high hurdle for myself). By the way, another thing I used a lot in Europe while not in Jaa pan was Vivino. I love being able to view rates of wines easily by taking picture of a label, since I know nothing about wines!
Vivino | Price comparison, ratings and reviews for any wine Does anyone want to make Japanese sake version of this app?
Next year: Focus and share
Right, the next step of my life is to focus on Japan. At the moment I’m doing final “danshari” – it’s a concept of not to have attachment to things, to clean up unneccessary things, to keep the life simple and minimal – by using eBay and Mercari (Oh, the experience of these two services are different and interesting, hopefully I will write about it too..) In this year, too many things happened and I tended to get distracted, but next year I will have more focus. Hoping this will help, I bought this big journal (Ok, this is no 5mins anymore, and maybe too expensive as a journal…) so I will do my best on this as one commitnent. (Below is a discount link if you’re interested)
Right, I just commited to write three (!) blog post so I would like to try writing something about UX soon. I will. Try. Next year.
Right, happy new year everyone!
Since I often come across articles about introverts and extroverts recently, I also want to write a bit about my thoughts around it.
I don’t think it’s binary thing, but I think I’m closer to introvert. This word is often misused, but they say it’s not really about being shy or quiet. For example this article talks about what real introverts are, or this oneillustrates what’s going on in introvert’s head.
Personally those two below made sense the most to me.
People usually think introvert means shy, and that’s not the case. The truth is…
“We can’t underestimate the value of silence. We need to create ourselves, need to spend time alone…
So, introverted doesn’t mean shy or quiet. I don’t hate meeting people, or going for drinks when I’m invited. However, while extroverts gain energy by receiving stimulation from external world, introverts need quiet time, can charge energy by facing inner world. We need to have a rest by shutting out external interference.
Both good things and bad things start and come back inwards. I think that’s introvert’s trait. Communication consumes, so it needs to be selective, let’s avoid unnecessary ones…so don’t take it personally when I say no to invitations or ignore you on trains.
To be honest, I’ve been suffering about this for long time. I’ve been believing that being introverted was bad thing. “Am I not normal not being able to enjoy social?” or “Am I miserable person wanting to be alone at home?” And since everything tends to go towards inwards, self-hate level was quite high too! It was such a bad cycle of “wanting to be alone” > “blaming myself to be alone”. There was literally no rest inside me.
However, reading articles about introverts…I noticed. Perhaps, because of its traits, maybe “visible” things in this world tend to be extrovert’s standard. Extroverts have louder voices. And by receiving reaction, it gets louder. On the other hand, introverts tend to stay quiet…so we can’t see it, hear it. I guess there are lots of people like me, who believe the standard is “extroverts” and “introverted me” is broken and something I have to fix.
Reading the articles by other introverts, now I know at least it’s not just me feeling in this way. I don’t need to worry. I’m not broken. Interestingly by stopping pressure towards myself, I enjoy social situation a bit more. (although I still want to go home early.)
Now….if you understand this kind of things,you’re probably an introvert too 😉
Right, here is an article about how to charge happiness for you then…
“Solitude matters, and for some people, it’s the air they breathe.” ~Susan Cain…
Since August last year, I have been traveling often to Sweden. Business trips. People say “Good for you!” whenever I tell this, but actually, it’s physically tough. Maybe I’m too old to do this 😛
What’s difficult is…flights. I often take Norwegian air, but they were delayed more than half out of 12 times, the longest waiting time was 6hours…when they told passengers “We don’t have flight clue yet”, I thought it was almost the level of comedy…
Anyway, it’s stressful trip. However, I noticed recently…it seems I really love watching skies. No matter how long a flight was delayed, I felt completely fine after watching the sky for a while at a window seat. These are the pictures I took while business trips.
Also, I feel super happy whenever I’m looking at something flying, such as planes or birds. This might be because of my dad who is an aircraft engineer. As a kid, I preferred aircraft toys rather than dolls, and my most favourite Ghibli film was Laputa. I watched the scene that Pazu flied to rescue Sita again and again. I used to have a stone which looks like the one in the film and secretly wishing if I could fly with this. Good old days!
So…the thing which excited me the most recently was of course Star wars. I watched it twice at 2D and 3D IMAX. In fact, this was also my dad’s influence…I just love this series. You might think of lightsaber first when you hear “star wars”, but actually my most favourite is X-wing, for that reason my favourite episode is 4. I love X-wing opening their wings when they go to destroy the Death Star. By the way you can make it with Origami 😀 (If you want to try, check this out.)
Anyway. Episode7. Compared to the ep 1, 2, 3, which my highlight was just the scenes Yoda fights, I definitely loved this new saga! Some people critisize it as doing exactly the same as the classic episodes, but I think this episode was supposed to be “reboot” of the series, as you can see they say “Every generation has a story” its role was relaying to the new generation…I thought its paying-homage-approach was quite successful. I’m really looking forward to the next episode.
I thought the new casts were amazing. As you can imagine…my favourite scene was when X-wing appears to take a big part, I really liked the pilot: Poe. Also the new heroen Ray looked really cool, and Finn who was taking a bit of comical role with BB-8 entertained us with a new pattern of “ex-storm trooper”.
By the way it seems the new Darth vader, Kylo Ren is gaining a huge popularity, but for me only the image of him is this twin-looking cat lol. They look too similar 😀
Finally, you can’t forget BB-8 who inherited R2-D2’s position…Soooo cute! I want one! Actually I sent him to my dad as a Xmas gift. I tried it by myself, but it was really well done, I really didn’t want to let him go…but I will write about it next time.
Well…oh, what was I writing about…? Yeah, it’s just…I like skies…
Oops, it’s been a year again since the last post…oh well. Although I don’t feel like setting goals per year anymore, it’s a good timing as a self-reminder, so I’m gonna write a post about my currently on-going themesm.
1) Mindfulness = Live my life
This is my absolute top priority. Since I had a big life crisis around 2013, I have kept practicing meditation in order not to get caught by thoughts in my head, also been trying anything around “mindfulness”. For me, not to get stuck with thoughts means to live my life with a certain level of quality. This is my bad trait but I tend to get trapped by worries and thoughts for 24hours, also these thoughts tend to be negative ones, and end up consuming all my energy just for this. By not to be dragged by these stresses, I want to live my life experiencing happiness in front of me. My goal is 60% “now” 🙂 (It’s probably around 20% currently…)
Mind by HeadspaceHow It Works
Since I met mindfulness, I can spend more time for the things which make me happy. These are NOT something “I think I should like”, but rather, the things “I simply like it”…perhaps the things I have forced myself to forget or give up, while I grew up. Time for singing lessons, watching films, colouring books, drawing, knitting, etc etc…Thanks to all the revivals last year, I see my passion towards Star wars again, towards the Ghost in the shell, I feel like I became back to a child. I also stopped worrying too much about other people’s acceptance…it allows me to enjoy music genuinely. This year I will shift my energy to those areas rather than just work!
My favourite colouring bookEnchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Colouring Book
This article empowers meFitting In Is Overrated: Your Uniqueness Is the Key to Meaning
This is also related…but I said goodbye to myself constantly wearing social masks in order to seek acceptance from others. Also said goodbye to the people who approach me in order to make advantage of my weakness. I’m fed up with smiling on my face while crying in my mind. I commit to take care of myself and live strongly.
So, these are my commitment…not only for 2016, but for my life 🙂
I thought I should stop “looking back” post because it looks too ordinary, but well, I haven’t posted anything for long time, and I have time to write something, so why not! Here is a list of my keywords 2014 and favourite products. I’m going to write proper posts about some of the products later but anyway here we go![/lang_en] [lang_en]
1. Mindfulness[/lang_en] [lang_en]
My recent few years have been like being in the fog. I was stuck thinking repeatedly about what I want to do, stuck in concepts and thoughts, and not living real life. This year was very important for me, because I got out from the fog. I grew up mentally and feel more confidence, strength in me. And what helped me a lot was “mindfulness”. There are loads of tools I used for this, but my most favourite is this one.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
Headspace is service to let you meditate regularly, it helped me to have more clarity, forget trivial problems and focus on what the most important thing is. Does meditation sound too religious? Not really, Headspace tells how this makes sense scientifically too. I liked “Start with small (10mins)” approach as well.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
2. Sense of time[/lang_en] [lang_en]
One big thing mindfulness changed inside of me was the sense of time. In recent years, I used to say “OMG is it December already!?” but this year, I felt it was so long…but in a good way.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
I used to feel there was no time to do any of what I want. But meditation taught me, actually, if I’m aware of each moments, I have plenty of time to enjoy different activities. It was big learning, and since then I rarely feel I run out of time.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
Oh..and what is that to do with Interstellar? I mean, someone has told me that meditation is experience of “outside of the clock time”. It feels like that indeed, since I started meditation I noticed that time is not that concrete thing. And is there a world outside of clock? With all those experience and questions, this one easily became one of my favourite films 🙂[/lang_en] [lang_en]
3. Live Lean[/lang_en] [lang_en]
Yes I know, everything is lean now…business, UX, whatever…but this was the year I actually experienced Lean in a real project, which was a massive learning. And I realised it’s all about mindset, not about practice. I even found some similarity to zen and mindfulness! Next year, I want to explore a bit more and do a lot of workshops around this.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
4. Come back to singing[/lang_en] [lang_en]
For long time, I was avoiding this to challenge…learning to sing! I don’t know when I lost confidence, but I thought I was not good enough. However this year I tried it again. And result? I loved it! The more I do, the more I enjoy it. It doesn’t matter how “good” I am anymore, it’s more about how good I “feel” while singing. And this is the tool I use for practice.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
The UI is so bad but it’s really good app for practicing. You can find major songs (mostly Jazz) and karaoke with it! You know, it’s always more fun to sing with instruments.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
5. Fampany![/lang_en] [lang_en]
I’ll be honest here. Last year I felt stuck with my career and wanted to leave the studio. But this year, we had a big change and it totally improved. I learnt so much from the projects I worked on and I really appreciate how ustwo put effort to move forward.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
Also I can’t forget to mention about this![/lang_en] [lang_en]
So I would say it was a great year for the studio. I don’t know if it’s me changed or the studio, maybe it’s both but I think ustwo is a great place to work, I’m really looking forward to 2015 and want to contribute more.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
6. Better posture, be Happier[/lang_en] [lang_en]
The last year ended with massive pain, physically, mentally, I used to have constant stomachache. This year, I started chiropractic which improved loads of things about my body! Also because of mindfulness, I’m more aware of my body and minds. I was so surprised that how careless and harsh I used to be for myself. But hey, no more self-abuse![/lang_en] [lang_en]
Recently I use an app called Happier, made by this amazing woman.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
It’s a kind of gratitude app, but the guide is great and makes sense. It lets me be aware of appreciation, which I tend to ignore. It helped me to notice happiness is always around me. Amazing app![/lang_en] [lang_en]
7. Japan![/lang_en] [lang_en]
This year I went back to Japan for 3 times in 6months! It was crazy but I had really good time there. However, one big, sad incident was that we lost our grandfather in July. He was very very important person in the family, I could never imagine losing him. I stayed with my family closely, and thought a lot of things. This incident hit me a lot.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
It was definitely tough time…but meditation helped me to go through all the emotion and steps. It was sad but felt organic. Now somehow I feel like my grandad is there whenever I do meditation. He stays with me and supports me to be happy 🙂[/lang_en] [lang_en]
…And 2015?[/lang_en] [lang_en]
So it was a year of very rich experience. I cried, laughed, got anger and forgave. I’m looking forward to 2015, I’m sure there will be full of surprise again. Have a great new year’s eve everyone![/lang_en] [lang_en]
Oh, a bit off topic, but this film was surprisingly good… 😛[/lang_en] [lang_en]
1. マインドフルネス[/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
2. 時間の感覚[/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
3. Leanに生きる！[/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
4. 歌始めました。[/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
5. Fampany![/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
6. 姿勢良くして、幸せ〜[/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
7. ジャパ〜ン![/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
それにしても濃い一年でした。たくさん泣いて、笑って、怒ったり許したりしました。 2015年もサプライズがいっぱいの年になるといいなぁ。それではよいお年を！[/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
(Sorry this post is in Japanese only.)
Touchlabさん、「美しく神秘的なアプリ」ですって、素敵。Continue reading Media reports on Monument Valley
So…I’m writing a blog after 2 years. From now on, I’m gonna spend more time writing a proper blog entry rather than just quick-posting on social media.
I’m feeling like I’ve been too lazy to try communicating with my words properly. Social media gives me a quick option to share more…yes, it is more, but less experience. And I finally realised, doing less is actually living more.
Also I’m kind of fed up with “fake” me on social media. I tended to capture only the moment which looks nice. And those are the “wish-portrait” of me; the way I wanted to be perceived. “Look! Look how happy my life is! Please someone, tell me my life is amazing!”…Was I happy then? No. There are lots of gaps between them, those ideal me was no where near to real me, and ended up increasing my self-hate.
So I stopped. I decided to live my real life, rather than faking a happy life.
My first birthday is coming soon. A year ago, I was re-born and started a new journey. This blog will be the place to write about that too. Hope I can keep going…no, I will keep going!
This is my favourite Twitter Client recently…”Feel On!”. It’s a Japanese app but they say English version is coming soon. This client analyses tweets in timeline and attach illustration. Really well done actually.
Of course it can’t be that accurate and attaches some strange ones which makes tweets so funny, or attaches some perfect ones which makes tweets even more better!
I don’t use it as a main client as it doesn’t display that many tweets and it doesn’t show Facebook updates, but I like opening this app…Good emotional design I think.
I made an album on FB so check it out too.
Perfume is so cute…
Well, when they first became popular a few years ago, I just thought “Ahhhh again…just another typical Japanese girls group…” but finding them again recently, I was rather surprised how cute they are!
Search their video on the internet! Their dance is cute too, I think they’re much better than AKB48…? My favourite is “Take me Take me”, “Game”, “Edge” etc. The first bit of “Fake it” is too cool. By the way, this combination of SciFi-ish “digital music” and cute girls wearing cute clothes looks so Japanese anime/comic culture…haha.
Anyway, I will leave talking about how cute they’re to boys fans…as you might find it from my favourite list, I think I just like the music by Nakata Yasutaka, so I started listening to Capsule too. Yeah I think it’s cool. I like “Jumper”.
Although I really don’t understand “Kyarii Pamyu Pamyu” who is also produced by Nakata Yasutaka, I really wish Perfume keep doing well! By the way, my favourite member is Kashiyuka. I want to see them live…