2010 in review and goals for 2011

Last year I wrote two posts about looking back over 2009 and planning ahead for 2010. Following on from Elliot’s review and goals post, I thought I’d better end a fantastic year with a small review and my goal-setting for 2011. 2010 has been one heck of a year with lots of conferences, traveling, working, designing and writing and of course the launch of DIBI in April of this year.

Goals Planned 12 Months Ago

  • ? Would like to buy a decent camera and learn how to use it. – I never did get around to this, it also frustrates me especially when I went to New York in August and didn’t have a great camera to take with me. The photos I did take were mediocre at best. I suppose this means I’ll just have to go back at some point with a better camera.
  • ? Take more pride in my blog and redesign it (finally). – No matter how many times I say this, I keep falling in to the trap of writing more for myself than I do design. We’ll see how things go in the first quarter of this year to see if I can find the time to enable me to design something I’ll finally be happy with.
  • ? Create better content for my readers. – I think I achieved this, from my stats it would show that readers are up a full 300% over the last year. Some notable articles written this year were How to Present Designs to the Client, Why Your Design will Never be Complete and Did you not see that big button? A User Test.
  • ? Read at least 3 fictional books throughout the year (I’m addicted to non-fiction). – I would have loved to read some more fictional books but I just didn’t get the time. I fell behind on reading books this year, never mind actually reading books. I do seem to have bought more books this year though.
  • ?Game less but play harder. – With everything going on this year I have certainly gamed less, I’ve not necessarily played harder, I’ve certainly worked harder.
  • ? Purchase a 27? iMac. – No 27″ iMac yet. I did pick up an iPad whilst in New York though.
  • ? Go to more conferences. – This certainly happened. Starting with DIBI in April I then went on to Thinking Digital in May, dConstruct in September and Build Conference in November.
  • ? Meet more people from the ‘online world’ in the ‘offline world’. – This happened, more so at Build than at the other places. With going over for that extra night there was ample opportunity to meet more people. Looking forward to meeting more people over the coming year.
  • ? Start weight training (again) and look after my body. – FINALLY joined our new local gym. It took over a year to build the new centre but in the opening week I went down and joined up. Shortly after the wedding in April I also decided it was about time I started looking at what my diet consisted of and changed it dramatically, within a few months I’d lost over a stone in weight (14 pounds) and have managed to keep the weight off ever since.
  • ? Write a book. – Just didn’t find the time. Something that will remain on my list of to-do’s.
  • ? Design more of anything rather than some things. – Over the year I have managed to find time to design something out of my normal comfort zone, this consisted of a set of Weather Icons.
  • ? Teach myself more about design, there is so much more to learn that what you know. – I’ve probably achieved this, more so in specific areas especially around structure, process and designing from content out rather than thinking about aesthetics first. You can never stop learning though.
  • ? Do more talks. – I managed to do a short design talk and a workshop but that was it. There will be more coming next year.
  • ? Do at least one design related talk. – I managed to do two. One about Creativity and one about the Principles of Web Design.
  • ? Get Married (3rd April) – Whilst I nearly didn’t make it as I became very ill with a chest infection, the day itself was as awesome as it should have been, and I’m now happily married to Jen.
  • ? Read all of my design related books. – As I said above I just didn’t find the time yet I’ve bought quite a few books including the new books from A Book Apart, Hardboiled Web Design and a few others.
  • ? Give more back to the design community. – Through the articles and the few icons I hope I’ve achieved this in some small part.
  • ? Do more for a specific charity that I know where the money goes. – I’ve decided to support Help for Heroes as my chosen charity. Any requests for sponsorship or charitable donations will be made to this charity only in future.
  • ? Write more for other blogs/magazines. – I’ve not specifically written for other blogs but have written a few column articles for the Tech Notes section in The Journal Newspaper.
  • ? Learn one new thing per day (no matter how small or trivial) – I’ve probably learned more to be quite honest, this has been an incredibly intense year.
  • ? Create a typeface from scratch. – Not yet, but this will remain on my to-do list.

Goals for 2011

  • Do a couple of speaking gigs. – One is already confirmed and I’ll be talking more about this shortly.
  • Have fun putting together DIBI 2011 (tickets go on sale 13th January 2011) – The line-up is looking great with Jeffrey Zeldman as Keynote speaking and lots of awesome speakers on both tracks of the conference. I can’t wait!
  • Go to more conferences – New Adventures Conf in January, Interlink and DIBI Conference in June, Build Conference in November are confirmed. I’ll be looking at my diary for the rest of the year.
  • Re-design gavinelliott.co.uk – It has to happen at some point, right?
  • READ those design-related books – I will.
  • Do some more work outside of normal work. Be picky with the work I do and choose the work depending on my strengths. – I’m finding my groove right now and realising that I enjoy designing system that people will use. If I enjoy it, I tend not to get bored and love working through iteration based on user-testing.
  • Launch a couple of personal projects. – A project I’d planned was put on hold due to a full diary this year, I’ll be looking at doing more work on this in the first quarter of 2011 with a possible launch date of Q2 or Q3. Preferably Q2.

You’re Awesome.

A huge thanks to Jen supporting me through a very busy and stressful year and many many thanks to everyone who traveled to DIBI 2010, who I met along the way at various conferences and for everyone stopping by here leaving comments and sending me a quick email. Thank you.

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Head of Interaction and Service Design at DigitalDWP.