For our second profile in our series on the 2013 Interaction Awards Jury, we’ve interviewed Sydney-based juror and IxDA President Steve Baty. A Principal at Meld Studios, Steve has over 15 years experience as a design and strategy practitioner. He actively contributes to public discourse on these topics through the design community, articles and conferences. In addition to serving as IxDA President, Steve sits on the Good Design Council of Australia. He is the founder of UX Book Club; co- Chair of Australia’s UX Australia, Service Design, and Agile UX conferences; and served as Chair of Interaction’12 – the annual conference of the IxDA for 2012.
We asked Steve three questions, and here’s what he had to say:
1 – What is your favorite product, digital or otherwise, to use, and why?
I have a Parker Sonnet fountain pen, with a medium-width italic nib, which I just love to use when writing. It has a really nice balance to it in your hand, and the ink flows smoothly out onto the page. There’s a wonderful sense of solidity and tangibility to it that is mostly lost in our increasingly digital age.
2 – What excites you about being a designer & why do you keep doing it?
I approach Design as a way of solving problems and creating something new and better. Each project, each artefact, each audience has very specific attributes. I’m constantly learning; constantly being pushed; and since there is always room for improvement, I know I can use Design as an avenue for self-improvement throughout my life. And at the same time, I’m helping people every time I design something new and better.
3 – What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned, and who taught it to you?
You will never get it right the first time. And those people who make it look effortless? Neither did they. But they worked at it. They practiced. They reflected on their mistakes and sought ways to improve. And eventually they arrived at a point where it looks as easy for them as breathing. And some day, with the same dedication and perseverance, it will be for you.
On the other hand, if you never try; never take that first step, then I guarantee you won’t ever be perfect.
Life has taught me that.
You can learn more about Steve at meldstudios.com.au and follow him on twitter @docbaty.
The Interaction Awards are open until October 1st and will be celebrated at Interaction|13 in Toronto in January 2013. Find out more, read about our other jurors, and submit your work!