Exploring the depths of UX Design Thinking
Five highly experienced software UX designers participated in a panel discussion at the Seven Peaks Software Design Thinking Meetup. The panel included Jeremie Tisseau, CEO of Morphosis Apps Co.Ltd, Andy Watts, head of UX designing at Seven Peaks Software, Graham Newman, founder of Design School Asia, Craig Reville, principal product owner at True Virtual World, and Carl Heaton, Head of Design at True Digital as the moderator.
The panel discussion delved into their unique perspectives on design thinking and the various methodologies that surround it. With diverse backgrounds in in-house product design, design agency ownership, design education, and team leadership, each panelist brought a wealth of industry experience to the discussion.
What is design thinking?
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, you need to build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” - Buckminster Fuller
UX design, also known as user experience design, is a crucial thought process that forms the foundation of any successful product. By prioritizing branding, design, accessibility, and functionality in the user's experience, effective UX design can improve the overall performance of a product.
Graham highlights that implementing accessible and egalitarian UX design and design thinking can benefit business owners by saving vast amounts of money while also yielding substantial profits.
UX and UI design are often closely related, but UX design encompasses a broader range of product integration and acquisition considerations.
Design thinking, as described by Andy Watts, is a process and mindset that can help businesses identify real problems, ideate solutions, and validate them through testing.
Common misconceptions about design thinking
According to Reveille, clients often mistakenly assume that UX design only pertains to the visual elements, specifically user interfaces. However, UX design involves a deeper level of procedure and adaptation.
Newman highlights the advantages of design thinking, emphasizing its ability to arrive at a consensus on the best design approach. He stresses the importance of asking the right questions and collecting empirical qualitative data.
Andy Watts adds that design thinking is not a linear process and people should jump around instead of following a step-by-step approach. He suggests that testing and re-prototyping are necessary for achieving optimal results.
User first vs. company first
When we are doing design thinking do we think about the users first or the company/business first?
When it comes to Andy Watts, his focus is always on the business. His experience has taught him that problems often stem from the business itself. As a result, he prioritizes understanding the business and its users to address any issues that arise.
On the other hand, Craig Reveille has a different perspective. He believes that both users and businesses are equally important. In unique situations, we must consider the end consumers and not only the clients to determine revenue and the benefit to the company.
However, it is equally important to align with the business goals while also considering the potential limitations of the target market. While it may be challenging, it is necessary to weigh the options and determine if the project makes sense for the business.
The Advantages of UX Design and Design Thinking
Why Should We Care?
Tips From The Expert
— Andy Watts, the lead UX at Seven Peaks Software
He introduced the discrepancy between the two terms ‘Design Thinking’ and ‘Design Sprint.’ ‘Design Thinking’ serves as a cognitive methodology for users to follow, while ‘Design Sprint’ denotes the actual practices and procedures.
Pointing out the importance of UX designing, Watts said, “Design Thinking is a method of looking ahead.” Design Thinking is made as a form of directions to follow. He added, “Once I’ve done this step, what’s the next step to do?” Design Thinking allows the owner to predict and know the further steps.
— Jeremie Tisseau, CEO of Morphosis Apps Co.Ltd, a leader in UX design in Thailand
In order to effectively plan for Design Thinking, Jeremie Tisseau emphasizes the importance of determining and prioritizing the necessary steps. This includes first identifying the requirements and then moving onto the Design Sprint.
When it comes to UX design and Design Thinking, Jeremie suggests that the full requirements of the project are crucial. This allows for a clear understanding of the timeline, which can range from 4 months to 6 months, to a year of procedures.
The product design discovery is important at this point. After understanding the information about the client’s product, he persuaded that it would shorten the period used for validation, save money, and create ‘straight’ directions for the business.
“And try to get an understanding of what the user is and what they want? And what can be the connection between the two, then we can give them like some direction. And then it’s all a question about prioritising.” said Jeremie Tisseau.
— Craig Reville, the principal product owner at True Virtual World
Coming back to Reville, the design discovery workshop has been significant since the beginning. He suggested that the software UX designer needs to know the general information about the products and later find the compatible design to be paired. Therefore, in this part, the experience of the software UX designer plays a key role.
He later highlighted that the UX design and design thinking should be based on the product design discovery from the clients’ products. “And if you don’t spend that time asking these questions and understanding the product, then we’ll never be able to understand where we need to go, what tools we need to use to get there,” he highlighted.
— Graham Newman, the founder of Design School Asia
He emphasised that UX design and design thinking should be based on from the clients’ products. “And if you don’t spend that time asking these questions and understanding the product, then we’ll never be able to understand where we need to go, what tools we need to use to get there,” he highlighted.
The case study, reasoned by Newman, was the one regarding his design school foundation, discussing the future of the service UX design in Southeast Asia “I truly believe going with intuition and then post rationalising something afterwards is equally as good as incremental Design Thinking,” he insisted.
What is the future of Design Thinking in SEA?
According to Graham Newman, he mentioned that it is necessary to curate the principles and elements of Richard Cannon, who coined them in 1992, which is far from what we are doing now. The key takeaway is that we need to consider accessibility and inclusivity in the future of design thinking.
Jeremie Tisseau believes it should be incorporated into the product development process. In fact, he believes that it should be a part of everything, not just client projects but also the way the company operates and how employees perform their daily duties. Regardless, it takes time to change habits. Also, there are so many misconceptions about what design thinking is.
Craig Reville indicated that after arriving in Thailand 13 years ago, he merely saw the system-based corporations, where the developers only developed software. But in the last five years, we have seen an uptake of people willing to explore. Then it is hoped that Thai business owners will become much more aware of how their businesses work through this methodology.
The future of design thinking in SEA also looks optimistic for Andy. Every company is doing it or trying to hire people to set up their own teams and get everyone together.
UX design and design thinking methodologies are crucial for any organization to effectively achieve their goals. Implementing these methodologies can also lead to cost reductions and various other benefits for a business. The panel discussion not only raised awareness of how important the methodology is but also showed exclusive insights from the experts’ views.
Nowadays, many Thai entrepreneurs have already come to notice its significant potential. Hence, optimistically speaking, the future of design thinking in Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand, is anticipated to be more and more acknowledged and utilised.
One last tip from our expert, Carl Heaton, it is important to note that if you want to showcase your expertise in UX design thinking methodologies on your CV, make sure you have real experience to back it up.
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