Changes – 2021 ➔ 2022

Over the first couple of days of 2022, I read a lot of year-in-review posts, like Michelle’s, Dave’s, Hidde’s, and Jeremy’s, to name a few. What a pleasure to read about such a great variety of different perspectives and realities! Thank you, everyone.

In my case, last year was in many respects different than most of the years before, not only because of the ongoing pandemic. For my family and me, 2021 was a year full of changes. The most breaking of all: We spent the last weeks of the year in our new home – our biggest project to date and as indefinitely rewarding as exhausting. Our children now go to a different school and kindergarten, and although we stayed in the greater area of Stuttgart, Germany, we still moved quite a few kilometers away from close friends and family. With such change always comes uncertainty: How will our life turn out with all the new things to digest and the new paths to take? It takes time to get used to new, unfamiliar surroundings. Not only inside the house but also outside. It takes time to identify what works and what doesn’t, now that the familiar world that seemed controllable and predictable is gone. It takes time until a new home really becomes your home.

Now that 2022 is a few weeks old and I've had some time to process this milestone, it finally feels like things are getting back to a new – but exciting – normal. So I figured I’d start this new chapter with my more than over-due year-in-review post that somewhat draws a line under the last year. But instead of listing all projects, workshops, and other accomplishments like in previous years, I want to look ahead.

I will continue to give remote design workshops in 2022 for and with the Adobe XD team in even more formats as part of a growing international team of designers. (If you are interested in a workshop for your team, let me know. 😉) I will continue to teach interface prototyping at the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Kiel. I might read a couple of books (just like last year, most of them in audio form) and write about them here. And I certainly won’t stop working as an independent user experience designer and design engineer for design agencies as well as my own clients. Last year, all of this was heavily disrupted by the final weeks of construction of our home where I stopped writing on my personal site altogether to focus on the remaining client projects as much as possible. Something which, although I had expected to be much more busy than usual, still took me by surprise.

I have a lot more planned for this year now that things have calmed down a bit. Above all, I’m looking forward to getting back to writing on this site. But at the same time, I am very excited to be in my new home office now. It is the first time in years that I have a dedicated little office space at home with a real desk. A real desk! And a door I can close! So I spent quite some time setting everything up so that it is a comfortable place that works just as well for teaching and running remote workshops as for uninterrupted periods of client work or writing. The first month of 2022 already felt like a very good start. It feels like I’m finally back on track.

There still is a lot to do in and around the house. We still don’t have baseboards in most of the rooms. We still don’t have a dishwasher (thank you, global chip shortage). We still don’t have a garden. So 2022 will certainly include a few more interesting tinkering projects away from the computer for me. But I also can’t wait to create, build, and share for and on the Web again this year. There are so many amazing things happening in web design and development which I am so excited to dive into now that I will have more time for it again. And, I’m eagerly looking forward to everything all of you will create and share on your personal sites, in your podcasts, talks, and everywhere else.

Here’s to everything we change in 2022. I couldn’t be more curious!


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Changes – 2021 ➔; 2022 · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer:… by @m_ott