Why the name tag?

Having started as a Graphic Designer, designing your own website and logo is probably the hardest thing to do. But if I were to keep things simple, this site is meant to be an introduction of not only my work, but my persona as well. It’s intended to demonstrate how I think and to initiate discussion. And how many conversations have started with a simple name tag? They are an open invitation to let people know you’re willing to share your story. And while your story may change over the years, saying “Hello” is always a great start.

Note: you can always say “Hello” by using the Contact button in the main nav. Or directly emailing me at uhadme@hellodavidson.com. And yes, the conventional spelling works too – youhadme@hellodavidson.com.

What’s a “Digital Explorer”?

Throughout my career, I’ve had a few titles – Creative Director, Experience Director, Marketing Director. As a result, the tasks and objectives have changed slightly each time. But at the core was always this passion for seeing how technology could improve experiences – whether it’s getting to know a product or actually using it. By describing myself as a Digital Explorer, the focus is not confined to what you produce, but the approach you take. It’s more about mindset and outlook. So no matter what department you work for, it’s about constantly looking at the digital world and seeing where it can take you next.

Exploring is about the adventure. It’s about bringing back that childhood sense of wonder and curiosity. It’s about pushing the boundaries of how we look at things. And within the creative world, “design” is often limited to how things look. But as the industry evolves, design is starting to expand its definition and involve more than just “look and feel”. From digital strategy, experience design, to brand storytelling – it’s my goal to take design beyond the visuals.

So what’s your story?

If you’ve ever watched the show “Friends”, as far as my professional story – I’m Chandler. He’s the guy who works for a large IT company that no one ever understands what he does. Having started my career at a traditional consulting firm, I was usually referenced as “the creative guy”. And while I took it as a compliment, it was hardly a role I could put on my credentials.

So back then, I usually reverted to Graphic Designer – even though I felt what I actually did involved more than what’s usually considered “design”. For example, while not a full-fledged developer, I would code prototypes to bring the “art of the possible” to life. And while not a full-fledged consultant, I understood the business strategy and methodology (It didn’t hurt that half of my degree was in Business). So I became a “bridge” that didn’t necessarily fit in a particular box.

I eventually found my way to the User Experience group. And as UX became more of a recognized field, it was at least a term I could use (even though most people still didn’t know what it was). But it wasn’t long before I started seeing companies looking for ways of integrating their UX and Marketing teams. And it made sense – while one focuses on user experience, the other focuses on buyer experience (not always necessarily the same). So I moved to Marketing (which ironically was the other half of my degree) with the hopes of leveraging my experience from both.

Of course, having distinct departments and common titles establish a quick understanding of everyone’s role. But I’ve come to the conclusion that what I strive to do hasn’t been fully defined yet. So until then, I look forward to seeing how the digital landscape evolves as a self-proclaimed Digital Explorer.

Where do you see yourself in X years?

Whether in a business interview or even a friendly conversation – that dreaded question always seems to come up. And for me, it’s not about going after a perfect scenario, but looking at how you get there. As Maya Angelou once put it…

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive;
and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

As a Digital Explorer, what drives me is being open to the possibilities, and not just the solution. It’s about looking at new ways of doing things, and not just what already works. In fact, it’s my own personal belief…

To be a thought leader, you must lead…
Not just confirm and repeat.

By going beyond the expected, I hope to discover new opportunities and help pioneer the digital landscape through design and innovation.