:: Powerpoint Boy ::

Last week, my boss walked past my seat and he smiggled.

“Why are you ‘laughing’?” I asked.

“I am not laughing. I know you hate our powerpoint slides.”

“I never said that….. I just wanted to make it more concise, and reduce the load for the audience”

“You don’t have to say, I can see that. HAHA!”

I went back to fixing the deck of slides for a business proposition. I was supposed to include part of the information related to a multivariate testing that I planned to do for my project. But the other parts of the slides were so bad that I ended up re-working everything. 2 hours later, my boss called me into the office to review the slides.

“I am very impressed! I like the slides. My expectation of you gets higher every single day. I want to see more.”

Second time. A month ago, he told me that I will be doing all his presentation slides in future after he saw my first business proposal.

I never thought my work could have such a response. So I went back to my desk, and ran through the few presentations I have done. I tried to note down the changes that I did that received positive feedback, and what were those that were not so good.

Here are some of the stuffs that I did:

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I changed the agenda from the usual bulleted list to this.

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I changed a timeline that my colleague did to this. (I removed the sensitive info)

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one of my mini projects

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something like A/B testing. Not showing the real content. merely some cosmetic slides

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part of a presentation that I did for my boss, on a service product feature.
“We helped businesses grow in these areas”

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Was preparing my ‘brown bag’ presentation (a lunchtime presentation) on Digital User Experience Design.

Silly, but I do enjoy designing my powerpoint slides. =)

I told my friend about it, and he called me the “Powerpoint Boy”

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:: Big Shots ::

Last Sunday, I made a very bold attempt to take pictures for my churchmates in the church. Showing some sneak preview first! Thankfully we took some good shots to keep as memories!

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:: Old Sketches ::

Today I was showing my churchmates a series of sketches I did back in 2010 as a wedding gift for a friend. Back then, my friends and I were supposed to compile a book of written well-wishes for the couple, and I ended up doing a series of drawings instead.

I still remember I sketched this series while at MOS Burger. It took me about an hour or so to conceptualize and to do a very rough sketch. No room for error because I was only given a few pieces of paper.

床头吵架,床尾和

床头吵架,床尾和

早生贵子

早生贵子

Even if you are far apart, the heart still links

Even if you are far apart, the hearts still beat as one.

Feed Him Well.... So that he gets FAT, and no girls will look at him

Feed Him Well…. So that he gets FAT, and no girls will look at him

Spend more time together and less money

Spend more time together and less money

Doing things together

Doing things together

白头到老

白头到老

Sometimes I look back at my drawings, I will be like “What? I drew this?” But drawing is fun, cos it always starts from a blank piece of paper, and you fill it in. Anything you want, you can think of. A message, an emotion, a piece of memory. It’s an outlet, it’s an expression.

 

 

 

 

:: Art Jam ::

It has been such a long time since I last painted. I was talking to Lipei about it a few weeks ago, and then we decided to go for an Art Jam together at Arteastiq! A place I have always wanted to go, but never had a chance to. The experience was not too bad, and we really did enjoy the 3-hour session! (though Lipei did exceeded by 20 minutes, and we are the last two to leave the place).

Painting with acrylic was an entirely different thing compared to Oil Painting. I personally prefer Oil Painting. Acrylic dries up faster, and therefore if you make a mistake, you can easily cover it by painting over it again. Oil Painting dries slower, so there needs to be some sort of a plan before you start painting, and we do toning before we start. Today, painting with acrylic was a new experience, though certain techniques of oil painting are still applicable.

Squeezing out the colours on my palette, I can’t help but feel so happy.  The joyful scene of creation!

All in all, not too bad an experience at Arteastiq. After discount with NTUC card, each person pays about $40, and comes with a drink. A little expensive, but well, if you make use of the time to do some serious painting, it’s worth the $$$! The space there is a little tight though, and you share the A-frame with someone else. The lady opposite me was painting quite ferociously that my A-frame was shaking uncontrollably. I had to re-draw the lines several times. I was really puzzled what she was painting, that she had to apply so much pressure. Maybe a picture of a person she really hated =p

So I took a walk around, and saw her painting an owl. I went back to my seat, and stared at my container of water. It reminded me of Jurassic Park.

I decided to stand up and hold my canvas against the frame tight when I draw fine lines, and thankfully, managed to draw somewhat neatly. Could have been better.

3 hours just whizzed past like that! I managed to complete my work in 3 hours 5 minutes. Lipei took another 15 minutes more. By the time, there were several passer-by who stood by the window watching both our paintings. Hehe. And a lady walked to our side, and she talked to me “Just walking around and taking a look. It’s really nice!”

*Grin*

Lipei penning off her painting!

Lipei penning off her painting!

Me and my painting.

Me and my painting.

My painting

My painting

The completed works, side by side

The completed works, side by side

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:: The Little Blue Riding Hood ::

Finally collected the hoodie yesterday!

It was a very rushed job, from the designing of the logo to sourcing of supplier, and making sure the quality and price is right! The logo design was pretty simple and fast, the tough part is getting it done before my church’s mission trip. Thank God, we managed to find one that is able to do so!

The original logo colour on White.

The original logo colour on White.

But after discussing through, we decided that Navy Blue hoodie is best for the trip, and navy blue looks good on Asian skintone!

FInal Color Combination

FInal Color Combination

It took us a few rounds to confirm with the supplier the colour code, the type of hoodies, and we had to confirm the sizes of the hoodies. And when I saw the end product, I was like “Phew”, in time!

Design Proposal by Supplier

Design Proposal by Supplier

Final Product!

Final Product!

And then there is also the design for the name tags, which we are supposed to pin on our hoodie!

Name Labels.

Name Labels.

The final button pin badges!

The final button pin badges!

By God’s grace, we are all ready! Though we do have a few jacket defects, like pockets with a hole, or fraying strings etc, which we have to go back to supplier to re-do them. Keeping our fingers crossed!

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:: Sketch Me ::

Why is he staring at me?

I took a quick look at my pants and my shirt. Nothing was undone. Is it something on my face?

He is still staring at me.

I swept my fringe away and checked myself again. I changed the handle bar I was clinging on to so that I could avoid seeing him, and I took a quick peep at him. And that’s when I saw some movement. His hands. He had a pencil and a book.

He was sketching me.

I looked again at his sketch. Okie, it didn’t quite look like me. A little amateurish, but I see that he is enjoying the sketch, with full concentration. I switched back the handle bar, so that this elderly folk can have a full view of me. I took another look at his sketch. Ok, he is not going to finish it. I am getting off after two more stations.

“Commonwealth”

I turned and walked towards the door, and I can sense his vision following me. I hoped he finished his sketch.

P/S: He inspired me, I am going to start sketching again.

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:: Getty Images ::

I was clearing my mailbox, deleting all the junk mails, and I almost trashed away a mail from Flickr.

I took a second look, the title says “[Flickr] An Invitation from Getty Images”. Wow!

An Invitation from Getty Images to be a contributor

An Invitation from Getty Images to be a contributor

I looked through the 36 images that they have selected, most of which were taken years back.  Gosh, I haven’t been taking pictures for a long while. Maybe it’s a sign, a timely reminder, for me to hit the streets with my lens again.

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:: The Google Experience ::

Last Friday I’ve got an urgent email requesting for my attendance in an innovation workshop with Google Singapore. It was an opportunity not to be missed! I mean, after all, how often do we get such a chance?

Google Reception

Google Reception

The host brought us around for a quick tour, and true enough, the Google office is Amazing, and like A Maze. You walk from room to room with different designs and layout. We saw how Fun was integrated with Work. The pool table, gym, arcade, pantries, meeting corners, massage room etc etc, at every corner, you’ll see something that doesn’t remind you of work! They have lots of physical breakout rooms, or private corners. I saw a lot of room for collaboration, I saw lot of space for innovation and creation.

An e.g of a fun space

An e.g of a fun space

A creativity wall

A creativity wall

Of course, we were mostly impressed with the canteen (and their free breakfast and lunch). We were joking that if we ever come to Google for an interview (in our wildest dreams), and we were asked why do we want to join Google, we are going to say “Oh, because of the canteen!”

The canteen that resembles a coffeeshop in the 60s. I was told that not every Google office has a canteen, only those with more than 200 employees have.

The canteen that resembles a coffeeshop in the 60s. I was told that not every Google office has a canteen, only those with more than 200 employees have.

Happened to see the Halloween Decor the next day

Happened to see the Halloween Decor the next day

Ok, enough of the craze and childish infatuation. Back to the workshop.

It turned out that this workshop was covering Design Thinking. It was part of Google’s efforts to train their employees in Design Thinking, and this time round, the case in point used for the workshop involved Singapore Airlines, henceforth this learning collaboration. I was very excited. Having read up about Design Thinking since more than a year ago, I finally get to hear, learn and practise the concepts and methodology behind Design Thinking.

The trainer was an ex-IDEO employee, and she shared so much valuable insights, tips and guides on how to approach Design Thinking. You can actually get the materials online from Stanford D School (http://dschool.stanford.edu/). She stepped us through the process of Collecting Stories through interviews, Downloading the Data and making sense of it, Creating a Point of View, Ideation Process, Prototyping and Testing. These are very interesting steps. The key thing is to get a really good story first (don’t care about the hard statistics first!).

Having tried out this methodology, it certainly opens up the way I see things, frame my questions etc. And I am beginning to make sense out of the things I have read, gathered and heard so far.

Great workshop!

The ideation process

The ideation process

 

 

 

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:: Luggage Tags ::

The idea of designing a luggage tag for my church’s year end mission trip came about when I was talking to my friend in Shanghai. We were discussing about an event gift, and we threw up ideas like luggage tags, passport holders etc. And it was about the same period, where I had to confirm my attendance for the mission trip. But I can’t, due to family constraints. So I decided to make something for my churchmates, as an encouragement and a symbol of my presence if I am unable to join them.

I wanted something simple.  No extravaganzas. Because that is what my church is like.

I remember my churchmate Yafen once told me (at that time I was deciding between joining the English or Chinese congregation) that the Mandarin service is a very stripped down one, and that is good, because you can focus more on God. This can never be more true. So I decided on a very stripped down design as well. But to pump up a little funkiness, I played with colours.

Luggage Tags Design

Luggage Tags Design

A few days ago, my friend in Shanghai told me that my luggage tags are ready for collection! He sent me images of the finished products. Looks good!

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:: A Pen Designed for Left-Handers ::

When my church mate Yafen told me that she wanted to pass me a pen specially designed for left-handers , I was like “What?”

Rarely have I heard of something designed for left-handers. For my entire life, I have been conforming to a world that is not so friendly to left-handers. Simple things like scissors, trousers zips, cheque book stubs, ATM Machines (right card slot), train barriers (ez link tap on the right), most doors (especially those that swing out), to even something as basic as a writing pen. I live in a world largely designed for right-handers. But well, since they are the majority, I have nothing to complain about. So whenever I hear about something specially designed for left-handers, I get excited.

I always use a ball point pen for writing, and not the gel type or roller ball type, simply because my little pinkie is going to smudge the ink across the entire page before it dries up. And I’ll end up with a blue-ish black last finger by the end of the school day. So no ink pen for me! Now, this special pen by Stabilo, is a gel type of pen. When I wrote the first letter, I was like “What? Gel Ink?”, but as I continued, I realised the ink wasn’t smudged! The ergonomics of it, prevented my pinkie from running over the ink.

Interesting.

Stabilo Easy Gel

Stabilo Easy Gel

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