— Ivan W. Lam (@IvanWLam) December 12, 2014
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel.
I was cleaning out old boxes at home and saw my notes from when I just graduated from college and began preparing for my job search. Seeing them reminded me of how I went through countless iterations of résumé layout designs. Since many of my school assignments were to redesign logos, websites, and other works, I naturally thought I needed to do the same with résumés. I know now that it was excessive; of all the places I should exhibit my design sensibilities and talent, the résumé was hardly the first.
With the portfolio, however, I had more freedom to express myself, though that may be a challenge as well. Ever since I was young, I learned to code web pages from scratch. Using the same approach, I tried to build my web site and portfolio by hand-coding everything so I could also display my skills outside of visual design. I created many custom one-off functions and scripts even though there were better versions out there. In the end, I realized that the necessary code was more complex than I could handle, so I had to leverage the existing web-building platforms out there to take care of the back-end and allow myself to focus on the visual portion of the site.
Now with a few years into my career, I’ve learned that the best solutions to tasks like these should have a balance between being effective and being efficient. As a UX designer in a gaming company, I always try to approach problems by critically looking at the fundamental issue and work my way up to a low-cost, high-reward solution. Sometimes, that may be seem excessive for the more minor problems, where the best solution may just be the obvious one. But this approach more accurately determines whether I need to come up with an innovative solution, or if I could use existing, proven work and save time from reinventing the wheel.
11, 18, 25.