Discover what creates the magic in our work.

Jun 27, 2013

Reaching Out to Pulau Ketam with TFM

Jun 27, 2013 6:23 PM Posted by XiMnet Malaysia , , , ,
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”
~ Nelson Mandela


Do you remember your first day at school?

Do you remember waking up that fateful morning wearing your slightly stiff white and blue school uniform after a cold shower? Do you remember that sense of anticipation tempered with anxiety?


Do you remember the noise and the chatters greeting you as you arrive at school; the smell of the new place, the faces of all those little kids. Do you still recall the look of that one adult who was surrounded by all your little classmates, sitting in front of the class?

I’ll always remember my first trip to the school on my father’s bicycle, the same he uses to get to work every day as a rubber tapper. It was in the month of January 1971, and I remember holding on to his hand as he lead me into the school. I remember thinking to myself, how big the school compound was.

I remember a tree shedding red blossoms in the breeze as they swirled downwards and scattered across the pavement outside the building where people wearing a serious look walk in and out of. And oh, I’ve never seen so many little kids like me all in lines, in white and blue, watched over by bigger ones in ties.

 Primary School Class Photo (1971)

Looking back, I now know how my life would be forever changed for the better from that day onwards. And I am thankful for the education I was given. I am grateful to my father who truly believed in educating his children.

I am still inspired by all my teachers who lit my curiosity and gave me fuel to continue my quest for knowledge through the years. I am what I am today because their love for teaching still burn within me.


Education is a great liberator. A good education can open up a child’s mind and lift her out of the limitations of her surroundings. A good education sets a child on the path of life with affirming choices and opportunities. A well-educated child changes not only her life but the lives of her family ultimately.

For that very reason, I’ve been a fervent supporter of TEACH FOR MALAYSIA (TFM). There’s nothing more inspiring for me than watching bright young graduates side-stepping their career goals for 2 years to dedicate their lives to make a difference to school children in far-flung places.

Left: Ken Ming & Priscilla (TFM Fellows) and Wiley. Right: XiMnet Representatives for Career Week.

It has been 2 years now for me as a fellow for TFM. Together with my team members at XIMNET, we are humbled and we feel privileged to have the opportunity to share our life stories and contribute in our little ways to inspire young schoolchildren at the Pulau Ketam Secondary School to reach out further than their little fishing village for the lives they hope to live.

If I can only alter the trajectory of ONE CHILD’s life from suffocating mediocrity to a life of self-actualization and fulfillment, all our time and effort that my team and I have put into this will be deemed well-spent.

So go ahead, feed a child’s curiosity today with love and watch her blossom.

 Pulau Ketam Secondary School Career Week.

Support Teach For Malaysia (http://www.teachformalaysia.org/Get_Involved-@-Get_Involved.aspx) in whatever ways you can, so we can all reach out to all those beautiful children of Malaysia and make a difference to their lives. And ours too.

“He who opens a school door, closes a prison.”
~ Victor Hugo


 Trip to XiMnet Office organized by Teach For Malaysia.
http://teachformalaysia.org/

Jun 24, 2013

Brain on Slow Website

Do you know that your website speed and performance impacts your user's perception on your brand and effectiveness? Here's something we would like to share with you.

All in all, if we may summarize, it is advisable to keep your website optimized for regular internet speed. Do not assume all users have access to 4G broadband. Light and speedy websites keep users happy.


Jun 19, 2013

A Chat With The Creative Alchemist

Jun 19, 2013 2:21 PM Posted by XiMnet Malaysia , ,
Today we have the great pleasure to interview one of our inspiring and creative team member, Deborah Sze, Art Director of XiMnet Malaysia. Deb has been with the company for 8 years now and counting. Let’s check out the interview!




When did you got interested about art and design?

Starting from a very young age I spent most of my time drawing on anything I can find at home while my parents are busy at work. Art was also one of my favorite subject in school because I find it easier for me to focus and enjoy doing compared to the rest.

As I grew older I came to realize that the world around us is made more beautiful and interesting because of art and design. Imagine everyone driving the same car model and color today, don’t you think it will be very dull?
What influences your creativity? Is there any artist or designer you like particularly?

Creativity comes in many forms. For me, anything that you are able to create with your own hands or has originality is creativity. I find interest in looking at all sorts of things from photography, handmade craft, painting and etc which inspires and influences me.

Every artist and designer is unique on their own. I have an endless list of names to mention but the key is always to be able appreciate what others have expressed through their piece of work in regardless of what form they are in.



Inspiration: Shintaro Ohata is an artist who depicts little things in everyday life like scenes of a movie and captures all sorts of light in his work with a unique touch.


How would you describe your daily workflow?

I usually start the day off by checking emails to make sure that all schedules and work are in place. Then I will read up some news and browse http://www.thisiscolossal.com/ and http://www.fastcodesign.com/ to keep the creative juice flowing.

The rest of the day are spent in brainstorming session for concept and planning or meetings for production work and also getting down to the hands on work.

In the midst of all these hectic runabouts, I will try to find some time to doodle onto my notebook from random things such as my mug or some out of this world characters.
Out of all projects which you’re involved, which project was the most interesting for you?

I would say it is a Telecommunication project done with our client in Maldives. There are thousands of islands in Maldives and in order for the people to subscribe to a phone line or pay bills, they will have to travel more than 10 hours via boat to get to the capital.

With our products and services offered, they are now able to get most things done online. This is really a life changing project and I enjoyed every moment spent in Maldives being able to see a different culture and lifestyle which is very much an eye opener to me.
What do you like most about your job? And what is the most challenging about it?

I would say what I like most is the ability to create. Creation involves a lot of thinking process, practices, failure and even struggles with one self. I like the idea of being able to challenge myself despite facing with all kinds of stumbling blocks.

The most challenging thing is to be able to find your own voice in the work you do. Many designers especially the young ones go through a period of copying the works of others but unable to represent or express their own conviction and thoughts through their piece of work.

With that said, experience and a lot of practice is needed and you will be comfortable enough to find a style or direction that is truly yours.
Please share with us 3 characteristics necessary for a designer, particularly a web designer.

HUMBLE
It is very important to understand that you are not born gifted. A lot of hard work and perseverance is needed in order for you to find that voice within yourself and express it onto the work you do. Never stop learning.

PASSIONATE
A designer’s job can be very life draining because every day you will have to face up to challenges that connects you emotionally. Only passion is able to fire you up throughout the winded road especially if you are young and not discipline.

VISION
You’ve got to be a visionary to excel as a designer. Take the risk, be daring to dream about the impossible in order to bring out the best in you.

Always keep a watch out on the latest web and mobile trends especially how technology advances to get the best out of it when you produce your work.


Jun 14, 2013

Niice, A Search Engine With Taste

Jun 14, 2013 6:49 PM Posted by XiMnet Malaysia , , , , , ,
If you are one of those people who actively seek for beautiful things to see, we would like to share with you this brand new seach engine, Niice.

Powered by Behance, Dribbble and Designspiration, Niice pulls in visual content from these sites and displays them in a simple and expandable grid.

Try it yourself @ http://niice.co/




Jun 10, 2013

5 Minutes with The Markup Engineer

Does the designation sounds rather unusual? We manage to have a quick chat with Melvin, to understand more what he does and other interesting facts about this team member of ours. We hope his story will inspire you too!


How was it like for you the beginning of your career as a Markup Engineer?

Markup Engineer is a very exciting and challenging job as you are taking a design and making it into a functional website. At the same time you are also adding in motion, sound, and other elements to enrich the user experience when visiting a website.

The word Markup Engineer originated from HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). It is not limited to writing HTML codes, it also includes CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), JavaScript, and also creating CMS (Content Management System) Templates. On top of that, as a Markup Engineer, have to be keen on Usability, Accessibility and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of the site.

Tell us how your daily routine is like at work.

The Creative Department will normally design the website, and the Programmers will create the applications. My role will be taking the design and making it to a workable website and making the applications to have the same design as suggested by the Creative Department.

On top of that (here comes the fun part), I animate the website. By using CSS and jQuery, I have banner fade in and out changing to other images. Making cool menu drop down, information boxes appear when user clicks on a button, and improving user experience for users when they visit the website.

What do you like to spend time doing besides HTML 5, CCS 3 and jQuery?

Reading Manga, Watching Anime, and Playing Ingress (Resistance – Agent ID: wolfflow)
Tell us 5 key lessons you have encountered in your life and who it impacts you.

Dare to dream – dare to challenge daily routines in making thing better.

A dream without actions stays a dream – after having a dream, without extra effort you will still be normal.

Friend and family are important – friends and family can support you in your darkest time, always have them close by.

There’s always a way – there always a solution to everything.

Ask the right question – if you can’t find a solution to the solution, try rephrasing the question.

Never give up – if your solution can’t fix the problem, then you succeeded in finding a way that could not work, you only fail when you stop trying.
Do you have any heroes? Why them?


Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy. Source: www.listofimages.com
My hero will be Cloud Strife (From Final Fantasy VII). He has been fighting his own battle/ problem alone without involving his friends as he does not want to burden anyone. But he soon realizes that, he should learn how to trust his friends and their capabilities so that he could focus on his main problem/battle without distraction.

I think that a person might be great alone, but with great friends, a person can overcome the anything, and share the joy together. Learn to TRUST.


Jun 5, 2013

Creating A Creative Workplace

Your work environment directly influences your mood and ability to generate creative ideas and feasible solutions. Creative workplaces usually have interesting and visually stimulating things throughout the work space. But it's not just that, here are some ideas how to keep your (and your team members) creativity flowing.

1. Allow Play Time!
Play time, outings and fun activities bring the brain into a relaxed phase that is conducive to creative idea generation. Research has shown that positive moods stimulate creativity. It is important to cultivate a fun and positive working environment that supports the flow of creative juices.

What we play in our office? We've got XBOX Kinect, Taboo and nevertheless UNO!




2. Provide Creative Outlets
Providing freedom for creative expression in the workplace is crucial. For instance, let employees decorate their personal work area the way they like it to be. Develop channels for employees to voice their ideas by using an internal blog-sphere or suggestion box. This will encourage employees to share freely their ideas and thoughts.



3. Keep A Criticism-Free Environment
Criticism or cynical attitudes kills creativity. Responses like – “This is ridiculous” or “This has never been done before!” and other similar comments emanate from closed and rigid minds. Resistance can destroy ideas and stifle creative culture, and should be avoided.