2019 Year in Review

Ismail El Azizi
January 11th, 2020 · 7 min read

2019 was a big year, I celebrated 1k followers on Instagram and Dribbble, I became a Figma ambassador, I wrote 2 articles, and The most important thing is that I got the chance to contribute in the Moroccan design community with 10 design talks/workshops all over the country.

This post is a summary of all the talks/workshops, interesting news and lessons I learned throughout 2019. I will be sharing all the presentations and resources I used in each talk/workshop, make sure to check them.

What I learned from 2019

One of the great lessons I learned this year is Start Before You’re Ready by Matthew Encina from his TED talk, the same as Zig Ziglar who said You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. I can’t describe how much I achieved implementing this concept, whenever I feel I am not ready for new adventures this quote pops up in my mind reminding me to take action even when I am not ready. Because simply, I will never be ready!

I learned also a great lesson from my best teacher Chris Do who said the best way to learn is to teach, the quote was the spark of all the workshops/talks I succeeded to do because I always learn too many things from teaching and guiding people.

let’s start from the beginning

This year was my second year as a part-time UX/UI designer at Obytes and a student during the rest of the time (big data and cloud computing student), to be honest, I was not giving too much time and energy toward studies, that’s why my marks were not good enough in the first semester (wait for the second one 😱). After finishing the first semester on 5th January I went to my hometown Errachidia to see my big family and spend a great time with them, that was easy for me because I work remotely 😍, I was working that time on Barmej project helping engineers create the Arabic online platform that offers beginner to advanced courses in programming.
After starting the second semester and within our studies program we had to do a project. As a group of 4 people we chose to do two workshops to help students in our school to learn how to design, the idea was great, we set a date we make a poster and here we go.

⏰ 13 February 📍Mohammedia 🎯 “Introduction to design”

📚 Slides 👉 https://bit.ly/2JlaJEu

Sharing design’s knowledge was the main title of this day, I made a presentation about design principles and how to use them to create good design, then a practice session in which we asked the students to design a poster for a book’s day, we gave them the assets and guide them through the process answering their questions.

As someone who is a huge fan of Figma, I could not miss the chance without mentioning it and how to use it. I saw how easy it was for the students to use it and achieve great results and I was surprised by the quality of work they got at the end.

The day is over, I was so happy, I shared the recap, the presentation, and the Attendees designs on Facebook, thereafter, I got a message from my friend Maroua Ezouhri telling me how much she is proud of what I did, and because she was a Figma ambassador she asked me if I can be as well, I accepted for sure, she didn’t stop here, she told me that she had an upcoming talk at Forloop Morocco event and she would like to get me half of her talk’s time to prepare something.

Hi Maroua, Thank you for the great support!

⏰ 23 Mars📍Marrakech 🎯 “bridging the gap between designers and developers”

📚 Slides 👉 https://bit.ly/2UNTNbO

At Forloop Morocco event, I had the pleasure to share the stage with amazing developers and designers sharing great insights, and since most of the attendees were developers, my talk was about bridging the gap between designers and developers with some web design principles and hacks for developers to bridge the gap.

after sharing the post on Facebook I got a message from a friend and head of an IT club in Errachidia (my hometown) asking me about a workshop in the city, I was in Casablanca at that time, I told him I will have the pleasure to do that as soon as I am there.

⏰ 10 April📍Errachidia 🎯 “Introduction to design in Figma”

📚 Slides 👉 https://bit.ly/2JlaJEu

Back to Errachidia during a school vacation, I had the honor to share design knowledge in my hometown under Figma’s umbrella. The Workshop was the first event of this type in the city, it was about design basics using Figma, I am proud of its success and I am very grateful to the attendees that accepted the invitation and made the event very interactive.

⏰ 27 April 📍Mohammedia 🎯 “Design System in Figma”

📚 Slides 👉 https://bit.ly/2GTCXDU

Back to Mohammedia, some friends of mine are organizing a digital days event in my school, they reached me out for a workshop, since I was very interested about design system at that time, I couldn’t miss the chance without talking about it (That’s how I do it, whenever I feel interested in something and I want to make a progress on it, I make a workshop about it. The best way for learning is teaching)

During the workshop we started first by digging deep into Figma, Then we jumped to what is a design system? why we use it? and how to build one using Figma. In the end, we had a practice session in which we discussed a use case (A live watching/chatting films app), we went through the whole design process from having the idea to testing the design.

⏰ 25 May📍Rabat 🎯 “UX/UI Design 101”

📚 Slides 👉 https://bit.ly/2YVxCCf

As DevC Casablanca members we believe in sharing knowledge, my friend Soufian Foukahi asked me why not doing something within DevC, I was very happy about that, but what topic should I talk about? inspired by Mohammed Aboullaite tour about Docker 101, I chose to have a UX/UI Design 101.

During Ramadan, and after finishing the second semester which was a whole mess, we set a date for the workshop in Rabat. and from there we start the UX/UI Design 101 tour.

During the workshop, I tried to give the essentials of UX/UI, definition, fundamentals, process, and how to get the maximum from Figma during this process, at the end I did a quick simulation in which I went through all the UX/UI design phases.

I really like the open conversation and great questions we had in this workshop, it is my preferable way of presenting, I get to know how people think to understand what they need, every question was a spark of a new topic that I was amused to open.

⏰ 17 July 📍Casablanca 🎯 “UX/UI Design 101”

📚 Slides 👉 https://bit.ly/2YVxCCf

After Rabat, UX/UI 101 was in Casablanca, I was surprised by the number of attendees, it was another occasion to talk about UX/UI with different people from different background.

During the conversation, I saw how Moroccan companies are more interested in UX/UI design than before and ready to hire more designers because they started to appreciate the value of design and how implementing it the right way improves the business.

⏰ 04 September 🎙️Podcast 🎯 “UI/UX Design”

I had the honor to get invited to the Pentim podcast hosted by the amazing Jeffery & Abderrahim to talk about UI/UX design, we had a great conversation covered pretty much everything about the topic. Please Make sure to check the episode here 👉 UI/UX with Ismail El Azizi 👈 as well as other great tech episodes.

⏰ 19 October 📍Marrakech 🎯 “Design sprint: build better products faster”

📚 Slides 👉 https://bit.ly/2J6J5cG

Back to Marrakech, My friend Mohamed Benhida reached me out for a talk in his upcoming event, I couldn’t say no, it was a great occasion to meet friends and get prepared to Devoxx Morocco after my talk got accepted.

My talk was about Design sprint, a process of solving big problems and testing new ideas in just five days. the same talk I submitted in Devoxx Morocco,

If you are interested to learn more about design sprint you can check my article here 👉 The Link 👈

⏰ 12 November📍Agadir 🎯“Design sprint: build better products faster”

📚 Slides 👉 https://bit.ly/2J6J5cG

Back to 2018, I was an attendee at Devoxx Morocco in Marrakech, I lived 3 days full of fun and learning, I had no idea that I will be a speaker in the event next year. During The Call for Papers (CFP), I got the idea that I am not ready and just let wait for the next year, again never wait until you’re ready, my friend Soufian Foukahi told me just fill the form and send it, never mind if they accept you or not, I did, And they did accept me! I was very happy to have the chance to be among great speakers coming from all over the world.

I spent 6 days in Agadir, 3 days with Obytes team Chilling and having fun after a long time of hard-work, and 3 days as a speaker and attendee at Devoxx Morocco.

The experience of Devoxx was pretty good, I met amazing people from the community and attend great sessions all-around Tech, I had also celebrated a Moroccan party full of joy and fun on the second day which was my birthday 🎉🎉 WHAT a coincidence!

Back to my talk, it was on the first day, a quickie format of 15 minutes in which I talked about design sprint and how it is a superpower that can let you go fast-forward into the future to see your finished product and customer reactions before making any expensive commitments.

⏰ 27 November 📍Mohammedia 🎯 “UX/UI Design 101”

📚 Slides 👉 https://bit.ly/2YVxCCf

After Rabat and Casablanca, I had the opportunity to do the UX/UI design 101 in Mohammedia as a part of N7Geeks: the IT club in my school. I really admire the fact that students are interested in design, and came from other schools and universities to learn about UX/UI design.

I got many questions from people ready to shift to UX/UI design and don’t know HOW. Likely, I have an article that I wrote recently in which I shared a guide on how to get started. You can check it here: 👉 The Link 👈

A dream

After doing UX/UI design 101 in three cities, my dream is to do it in every Moroccan city, I really enjoy being close to people, talking and learning from them. the good news is that we are a team this year, the dream is shared with the amazing Maroua Ezouhri and Oussama Hyad who have already started.

Stay tuned, the best is yet to come!

Final word

I want to thank all the amazing people I got to know in 2019, people from all the communities, people ready to share without expecting anything in return, people who believe that community matters.


Thanks for reading! If you think this article was helpful to you then it will definitely be helpful to many others, please go ahead and share it because sharing is caring!

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