Experiencing New Colors, New Designs, New Processes
I always get inspired by seeing new colors, designs, products, and processes that I typically wouldn’t be exposed to. Some of them are interesting, some of them look great but don’t work very well, and some are downright perplexing to the point where you wonder, “what were they thinking?”
Some examples – when I was in Portugal, in stores, restaurants, supermarkets – you buy oranges and take it to this machine to make juice out of them. It’s a normal thing, it’s everywhere, and it’s very inexpensive.
This concept, to me, is an example of how two things complement each other. You have oranges, and you have the machine. They’re together in one place, and it’s easy, fast, and logical to go there. I can take this general concept and apply it to the user experience, and it’s especially relevant in terms of IoT.
Japan is another place where design is everywhere you look. It’s so subtle but so incredibly relevant to people’s needs. In my opinion, that’s what design is all about! For instance, if you buy a pack of gum, it comes with this little notebook inside so you can throw the gum away when you’re finished. So simple, but so useful! Japan designs their products from the beginning to the very end.
Discovering New Technologies
Another exciting aspect of world travel is discovering new technologies. Every country in every part of the world has really fascinating takes on tech, and it’s all reflective of its people, their needs, and the local culture.
In London, they have smart benches where you can access Wi-Fi and charge your phone. London is a city where everybody walks, so having these benches along the way is such a great thing. Plus, if you’re traveling, you might not have a good wireless plan for overseas, so hopping onto some Wi-Fi helps you stay connected.
I like to check out what developers are doing in other countries as well. I use Tryme to check out apps that typically wouldn’t be available in other countries. It gets the creativity flowing and sparks my curiosity.
I take a lot of photos when I travel, too. It’s a way for me to stay creative, and I feel like it’s letting me see the world through a different set of eyes. You can check out some of these photos on my Instagram account.
My Top Tips for Traveling While You Work
In my travels, I have discovered a few non-negotiables. If you travel for work or if you work remotely, like me, you’re always looking for little hacks to make life easier. Most of the time, it’s a “live and learn” situation, but there are some common threads that are good to keep in mind.
Here are the tools and tips that, for me, are essential to a successful working vacation:
- You need reliable Wi-Fi. We tend to take Wi-Fi for granted, but it’s not always available. In some countries, especially if you’re not in a city center, Wi-Fi might not be as everyday as it is for us. If you need the internet to get your work done, you’ll want to make sure there is a reliable connection where you’re staying. Don’t take it for granted! There are some great options out there for travelers, like SkyRoam (but there are others), which gives you an unlimited portable hotspot connection.
- You need a reliable outlet/converter. You can buy wall converters anywhere, but they don’t always work well. If you use a USB connection for power (to charge your phone, for example), you are better off buying an outlet plug in your destination country.
- Bring tape. Okay, this sounds a little strange, but I’m an Apple user. The power supply is really big and bulky, so it often falls out of the converter, but it’s nothing tape won’t fix. I was in a coffee shop in Portugal where the power outlets were on the ceiling, and I saw people doing this.
- Convert to the local time zone. Keeping track of what time it is for your team is often a challenge. I suggest changing your phone to the local time zone right away – or if you use Slack, it tells you automatically what time zone your team members are in, so you are never late for a meeting.
P.S. Do you have any travel tips to share? Any fantastic products you’ve encountered in your travels? I’d love to hear about them!
If you are looking for an IoT product development team with global vision and boundless curiosity, reach out today. We would love to hear about your ideas and show you how we can bring them to life.