Singapore – Singapore’s National Heritage Board (NHB) has unveiled a revitalized brand and digital experience for its platform Roots, and independent creative agency The Secret Little Agency or TSLA is the creative brains behind the fresh highly aesthetic visual identity.
NHB is Singapore’s dedicated organization for the preservation of its cultural heritage and in 2016, it launched Roots.gov.sg to provide added avenue and to digitize its heritage to make easier and closer the access for nationals on cultural assets.
The brand and user experience (UX) revamp was done in celebration of Roots’ 5th anniversary. TSLA pored over the site’s original web pages, conducting multiple focus groups across different user profiles to organize over 120,000 pieces of content into intuitive categories with the objective to improve delivery of content and facilitate a better user journey on the portal.
According to Norfaiz Noeryamin, manager for NHB’s Strategic Communications & Digital division, the revamped Roots.gov.sg is designed to be a one-stop digital concierge that brings together content from across its line of heritage programs – its ‘National Collection’, ‘Heritage Trails’ and ‘National Monuments’ and other intangible cultural heritage from its inventory. The portal will also be integrating resources from other platforms like the National Library Board’s Infopedia and the Esplanade’s Offstage websites to facilitate information gathering.
“With these enhancements, it is now easier than ever for everyone to discover the depth and breadth of Singapore’s heritage,” said Noeryamin.
Aside from the general UX and UI (user interface), TSLA also improved the platform’s ontology functions where the remit also extended to integrated marketing.
“You’re going through every artifact, article, photograph, and piece of content thinking there is so much here, and yet, Singapore is still in its infancy compared to older civilizations. To be able to build our Roots right and redesign how all generations access this treasure trove of heritage was an incredible experience for us,” said a spokesperson from TSLA Design.
Singapore – The Singapore arm of digital experience agency Bray Leino Splash has announced four new hires for its country operations, including a new user experience (UX) director.
Jaffry Jalal takes the helm as Bray Leino Splash SG’s UX Director, who has previously worked with TBWA\Singapore and Havas as its UX design lead, and most recently a lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic. He has previously worked with brands such as Singapore Airlines, MasterCard, and Michelin to help them create digital products and immersive experiences.
“I’m excited BLS continues to invest in experience design capability and I’m thrilled to be at an agency who has the technical chops to bring good design to life,” Jalal stated.
Other hires include Kein Wai E, who joins as the agency’s technical project director and is from technology company Deltatre; Stephanie Holzhuber, who is the agency’s new senior account director and is from advertising agency Cheil Worldwide; and Jamie Phua as the new account director and is from ad agencies Y&R, TBWA, and Digitas.
Speaking about their appointments, Kien Wai stated, “Joining BLS Singapore is like a homecoming of sorts as the marrying of creativity with technology is definitely something close to my heart and that I’ve missed in recent years.”
Meanwhile, Holzhuber commented, “BLS is an agency who are able to deliver truly seamless customer experiences for their clients by bringing data, technology, and creativity together. I look forward to our exciting future ahead.”
Lastly, Phua stated, “In the last few years, It’s become apparent to me that the pillars of UX and technology are critical if agencies are to really help brands create relevant solutions for present-day consumers, so being able to leverage these capabilities at BLS is what excites me the most.”
These new hires are welcomed by BLS Singapore’s managing director Joshua Lee.
“Each of these hires has ‘runs on the board’ when it comes to connecting technology, creativity, and business results for their respective clients. I couldn’t be happier welcoming such wonderful talent to the team. Not only are they at the top of what they do, but they are passionate and hardworking to boot,” Lee stated.
Singapore – Insider, a growth management platform, has announced the launch of a new design system that aims to deliver a consistent experience for enterprise marketers building cross-channel experiences.
Through the new user experience (UX), marketers can now find and use products based on use cases and goals such as product discovery, as well as easily understand all their cross-channel marketing efforts and monitor ROI metrics closely in a single dashboard.
Furthermore, the new UX can help create streamlined campaigns and delivery across channels like website, email, and push notifications to speed up execution, as well as easy tagging and filtering to organize campaigns, streamlined reports for faster insight discovery, and time-saving features to boost marketers’ productivity.
According to Muharrem Derinkok, co-founder and VP of product at Insider, the new UX responds to the major concern of marketers mulling whether they should invest in upgrading their UX, specifically for an enterprise setting. Insider hopes to break the impression among marketers that enterprise UX is “clunky, slow-to-load platforms that require significant training.”
“The underwhelming experience is precisely the ceiling we wanted to shatter with our fresh and thoughtful approach to designing our new platform. With over 25% of our 2020 roadmap invested in our design system – we’re thrilled to bring a breakthrough experience to enterprise marketers,” Derinkok said.
Another feature in the new UX is creating cross-channel journeys easier with another Insider product, Architect. Architect is an Insider product that helps marketers develop individual online channel journeys for consumers online to get them to buy a product by means of various online advertising platforms such as email marketing and Facebook ads.
“The new experience is further enabling brands to accelerate their time to market, leading to bigger, better, and faster results. Our clients have always looked up to us for taking bold steps in solving some of the most pressing problems of experience disruptors who are behind the growth of top global brands,” said Hande Cilingir, co-founder and CEO at Insider.
Clinger added, “We have helped our customers to deliver hyper-personalized and delightful experiences to their customers. It’s now their turn to experience the same intuitive experience in their daily workflows as we redefine what’s possible for enterprise marketing technology.”
Manila, Philippines – “Designing the overall digital experience while creating magic in the details.”
The phrase, defining interaction design as a separate entity of user experience design, is a perfect summary of how new experiences can be developed out of ambiguity, as explained in one of UXPH Conference 2020’s lightning talks titled “Designers as Enablers of Change”.
Presented by Daisuke Yukita, one of global design firm IDEO Tokyo’s interaction designers, the talk centers on the importance of creating meaningful designs that speak to customer experience and accessibility. Furthermore, Yukita stresses the importance of bringing the stakeholders on board to further understand the design process and achieve change.
“We should try as much as possible the stakeholders along the design process, and it’s not just the furnished parts, it’s also the messy parts. We need to learn to embrace that effort and time that it may take because it does lead to a bigger impact,” Yukita stated.
During the talk, he also narrates various instances that interaction design has led to a ‘golden age’ of small yet meaningful designs, from micro-features like Recycle Bin and right click, to more meaningful and interactive projects from ‘Remote High Five’ to creating a school from the ground-up.
While often met with ambiguous questions from clients on solving business problems, Yukita notes that most of them change from “I wish it was…” to “How it can be changed…”, all thanks to a diversity of effort.
“There are designers like interaction designers, communication designers, mechanical engineers, and business designers. It’s not just that, there are people from all sorts of backgrounds and careers, like physicians or musicians or food scientists. With these amazing people, we practice design thinking.”
Another key takeaway from the talk is that the design process is, and should be focused on the lens of the people.
“Always think in the lens of the people. When you create something new, you need to think of it from a business sense, which would be the viability; the technology lens, the feasibility, and the people lens, the desirability. You all make the key decisions with the people in the center of the design process.”
Daisuke Yukita, Interaction Designer at IDEO Tokyo
Yukita concludes his talk by adding that aside from taking stakeholders on board, designers must also provide rationale for future processes and create outputs that are distributive
Manila, Philippines – User Experience Philippines (UXPH), a local-based non-profit organization that provides connections and resources to the local design community, has recently concluded its annual conference held online on November 14 and 15.
The event was attended primarily by attendees from various sectors, ranging from UX/UI designers by profession, students, SME founders, and media practitioners.
Opened up formally by Aldrich Tan, UXPH’s managing director and CEO/co-founder of digital banking suite NextPay, Tan stated that the prime focus of the convention is to stress on the importance of collaboration and community in the design community.
“Our mission is to grow and nurture the Filipino creative community through sharing and collaboration, and raise the design standards and practices within our country; to help uplift the lives of our society. We envision an empowered culture where products and services are built mindfully and sustainably,” Tan noted.
The event was also graced with a short message from Design Center of the Philippines’ executive director Maria Rita Matute, in which she stressed the importance of designers as leaders of change.
“We as designers are called to lead the change for the better. It is time we show how we can use design and design thinking to pave the way forward, not simply towards a new normal but a better normal, a better forward, but we cannot do it as individuals [for] we are stronger together,” Matute stated.
Designers towards change and transformation
One of the prime topics being focused on in this conference is the importance of user interface and design towards change, breaking the norm, and moving towards the 21st century.
“Designers have the responsibility to share the skill that we have—this gift that we have to more people because ultimately what we, our skill as designers it’s not just to create change, it is to enable change,” Daisuke Yukita, senior interaction designer at IDEO Tokyo, a global design firm.
Yukita stressed in his talk titled “Designers as Enablers of Change”, that there are four points to note that design creates change:
compelling content that creates emotional impact
tangible prototypes that generates momentum
authentic voices from users that propels decision making
unlock the creative potential of the people that we work with
On the other hand, Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, SVP for digital transformation and corporate services at JG Summit, stressed the importance of digital transformation amongst businesses, whether a small-medium enterprise (SME) or a traditional conglomerate company.
“[Digital] transformation is not an end state, it’s a journey. We keep iterating our operational model as we learn. In a few months, we probably will learn a few more things, or realize that some of these [are] wrong. The point is to keep pivoting,” Cheng stated in her talk titled “Lessons in Digital Transformation in a Corporate Setting.”
Accessibility and democratization: the future of UX/UI
While UX/UI have strived over the years providing accessible interfaces to many products and services both in the physical and the digital world, there is still room for improvement of such prototypes that describes both practicality and futurism.
Julian Charles Serrano, an accessibility consultant at Catalyst International, discussed keystones of web accessibility which includes usage of accessibility guidelines, accessibility training, and testing or auditing.
“When you make your content accessible, you’re going to show everybody that you took your time to understand the needs of people with disabilities, and provide them with content that they need,” Serrano stated, stressing that blind and deaf people often rely with tools such as magnifying tools and text-to-speech reader to understand online content.
On another realm, Phil Balagtas, experience design director at McKinsey Design notes that the future fares better for the UX/UI world as digital transformation strategies have helped device new services such as AI-oriented vending machines or prototypes of modern-design PPEs and face masks.
“There is no one future: there are multiple futures and multiple possibilities that could arrive. Once we are able to map out those possibilities, we could prepare for different types of scenarios. We could use these to plan out our next agenda for today.”
Other speakers of the convention came from companies like Dropbox, Tokopedia, Eskwelabs, Shopify, IBM, and scores of others.
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