Melati Diran


1. What routines do you follow on a daily basis? 

I really love a good morning routine. There are two essential things that I have to do in the morning that will make my day – meditation and a skincare routine. 

I’m really trying to meditate more. Either sitting down in my living room or walking by myself in the morning for thirty minutes going to a coffee shop that’s too many blocks away from my apartment. Skincare is kind of the same thing. It’s kind of a nice ritual that allows me to enjoy the process of glowing myself up. Inner and outer glow, I guess!

2. What’s your favorite thing about living in New York?

The spontaneity! You can walk from one neighborhood to the next and experience living in different storylines. Everyone is so different from you and you have so much to learn from these different experiences – NYC really said choose your own adventure. 


3. Why did you choose to live in New York?

I moved to New York almost ten years ago for university. I went to art school here and didn’t know much about the city besides the fantasies that the media have told me about it. I choose to stay here (for now) because I’m always figuring out something new about myself. I mentioned before that you can choose who you surround yourself with, and if they’re different people they can introduce you to new lessons and experiences. It’s a fun place to live in but to be honest New York City really humbles me! 


4. What has been your most significant project or achievement as a product designer?

I’m proud of a lot of the projects that I’ve done but I think what I’m most proud of is learning about the power of empathy in design. As a product designer my role is to empathize with users to create the best experience possible for them. It feels good to know that your role is to advocate for people and designing a platform for them. 


5.  How would you define success in your field of work?

It has changed over the past few years. I used to really narrow in on what it means to be a successful product designer, be it attempting to create experiences that humanizes the digital landscape or building the tools to help others explore their own story. But I think the overarching theme of success is balance in any field of work. There is always a level of stress and tension when it comes to work. I can build extraordinary experiences but what does success mean if you can’t enjoy the process? If I can focus on enjoying the process and not overwork, I can leave room for myself to learn something new and build better experiences based on that. I don’t think there is an ultimate definition for success in any field – sometimes you need to allow yourself to find success in the little steps. 


6.  Have you ever struggled to come up with creative ideas during this pandemic? If so, how do you handle it?

The definition of creativity gets tricky in this context! For a long time I was obsessed with trying to find a creative passion project for the sake of doing it, without really asking myself why or even if I want to do it. Creativity for a while then becomes something that I avoid, because I start comparing myself with others. I realize now that I’ve looked at it from a competitive mindset and now I try to be more conscious now about what feels good and if I enjoy doing it. It takes the pressure off the meaning of ‘creating’ when you realize that you’re doing it for yourself.  


7.  Have you ever been homesick? If so, what do you miss most about living in Indonesia?

Always homesick! I miss my friends, family and the food. There are a lot of things that I miss back in Indonesia but I also found home here, even though the feeling is slightly different. The pandemic has been so stressful and karmic for the world, but the one thing that I appreciate coming out of it is the flexibility to work remotely. I want to be able to move between my two homes with ease.