Our team traveled across the world to attend the UXSEA Summit 2019 conference in Singapore, and what an incredible two days we had learning from the speakers and exploring the spectacular, modern architectural beauty of the city. As first-timers to both the summit, we were excited to tune in on some of Asia’s keynote speakers and learn more about the UX culture in Asia. Here is a recap of some of the presentations and key takeaways from the conference.
Maturing User Research in a Unicorn: Methods and Mindset - Sakti Nuzan
Sakti Nuzan talks through his challenges as a researcher at a rapidly growing company. He shares insight on how to scale research within the company.
We should organize research and share our findings amongst each other.
Sakti talks about building bridges and how UX research plays a big role in design, business, and product decisions. Research touches all team and aspect of the business.
His team ended up building a research repository that is shared amongst the company so anyone can reference and search a particular research at any given time.
To see full deck, click here.
Tools of Destruction - Efrim Bartosik
Efrim Bartosik gives a breakdown of how design matures and evolves within companies.
Every company will view and treat design differently, whether it is more important or less, it is up to designers to implement the proper structures, and ensure they are in place. The stages are explained in this link here.
Design systems are ever-changing. Designs will change, and we should do a “spring cleaning” consistently to implement new design components into design systems.
To create a great user experience it’s important to stitch people, practices, and platforms together.
The Art of Doing Things Wrong - Ben Kim
It was interesting how Ben Kim had the audience interact with him through snapping your fingers if you agree or disagree to the topic he was addressing. It was a clever experience that kept the audience engaged with him off stage.
Ben talks about how we all have an “ideal” way of doing things, and we are all trying to figure out the right way, but in reality, there’s no real “right” way, and everyone is facing the same problems. That’s totally OK.
Ben gives key mistakes that UX designers make, and explains how to grow within your career. One mistake he discussed that stood out to me was “titles should not matter.” In fact, your title is a mistake and it has zero quality on your work. You should be doing the work anyway, and your title should never get in the way of you doing good work or being confident in your work.
Panel Discussion - The Future of UX Leadership
The panel discussion revolved around being leaders within your role. What is the difference between being a UX Manager vs UX leader? UX managers tend to turn chaos into orders whereas UX leaders practices the art of facilitating. Leaders focus on outcome of goals which then leads into a vision.
A question was raised about how the market will be saturated with designers within the next few years, and if there will still be jobs for designers in the future. The answer is yes. This is because there will always be problems to solve. Sometimes your problems will create more problems, which then leads to never-ending problems. However, Cindy Wei said something that was strongly inspiring about these problems we are trying to solve. As we grow in our careers within the next 20-50 years, what makes it matter more to us are the problems we are passionately trying to solve. Whatever tools you decide to use to design your work does not matter (Figma, Sketch, XD, Invision, etc…). What matters is identifying companies and organizations that are solving those kinds of problems that you’re interested in and bring your UX expertise there.
There will always be a problem to solve.
Designing for User-Centered Privacy - Venetia Tay
Venetia Tay gives a great presentation on how privacy is an important issue we need to carefully design for.
It is not up to the users to protect their own privacy and who make those decisions. It’s actually up to us.
What’s most important is respecting users privacy because respecting your users will give them a better experience at the end of the day.
Singapore is the third most surveilled country in the world.
View full deck here.
Slowing down to Scale Design - Samantha Yuen
Samantha Yuen gave so much authenticity to her presentation. She gave some context about her life, and explained how she grew within her career. - Don’t a a Lone Ranger. It’s important to work as a team and build team relationships.
- Have balance in your life because sometimes people don’t realize how much time they are spending towards one thing vs. the other.
Ask yourself this:
Are you aware of what you do everyday that turns into a habit?
Think about the above, and how it can reshape your life and views.
View full deck here.
Counterintuitivity - Making Meaningful UX - Mario Van Der Meulen
Mario Van Der Meulen's presentation was inspiring. He spoke about how we can create meaning UX by interacting with each other.
Do more of what is not necessary. Sometimes unpredictability creates a lot more meaning.
Creative leadership is creating small moments of affinity. Lack of connection within the team can cost you a user, an employee, or even a client. How a person feels at work creates an everyday experience that is good or bad. Having a sense of awareness around this is important.
- By being authentic, you're inviting others to be authentic too.
Today's design solution is tomorrow's design problem.
Outside In: Better Design by Looking Outwards - Hong Khai Seng
Hong Khai Seng gives a story that resonates with how our design impacts the future. He talks about what happened to the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Wolves were being killed which then led to more elk bison that led to all the vegetation being eaten. This caused beavers to move away which then changed the formation and path of the rivers. The moral of the story is killing the wolves led to the change in the river paths. Reflecting this back to design, how we design will tell the story and will lead to a certain outcome. It’s important to think through our work and how it may affect others and the future.
• It is important to become fully aware of what is being put forth. You are the tool that carries itself. You create the story.
• It is better to be scared by stimulation vs. being blindsided by reality.
View full deck here.
A big shout out to all the speakers that presented because they put a lot of time and effort into sharing their knowledge on stage.
We weren’t able to capture all of the speaker’s key takeaways, but you can find all the presentation notes written by Weiman Kow’s here.