I recently joined the QA team of my current company. Within a week of joining, I found out that what was expected of me as a QA Test Analyst was to test software when it’s ready to be tested. And that’s all about it.

Having had varied QA experiences, I found the process of my current QA team too passive. Surely, as QA people we’d have more things to do to ensure the quality of software, don’t we? I wanted to find out more whether that simplistic process was enough or needed some improvement. …


I needed to design an app for the Coursera Interaction Design course. And as a believer of choosing something that’s close to one’s heart, I decided that my app would have something to do with either smart spending or food waste.

The Originally Perceived Problem

I interviewed four people of different backgrounds regarding their grocery shopping habits. From the interviews, I formulated the user problem as:

People​ ​should​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​enjoy​ ​physical​ ​grocery​ ​shopping​ ​within​ ​the​ ​limits of​ ​what​ ​they​ ​need​ ​or​ ​what​ ​they​ ​can​ ​completely​ ​consume.

The Two Solutions

Knowing the different pain points of the interviewees, I came up with two possible apps:

  1. one…

I am anti-wasting, especially when it comes to food. This is due to what my elders inculcated in me at a young age: wasting food is wasting hard-earned money and wasting food is taking for granted our good fortune in life when other people in the world are going hungry. As an adult, I’d also become aware of the negative impact of food waste to our environment.

The Coursera Interaction Design Capstone Project course led me to explore my passion against food wasting. It led me to design an app (and a planned suite of apps) that facilitates behavioral change…


I recently won the first Innovation Award given by the Innovation Department in the company that I work for that aimed to garner innovative and creative ideas from its employees.

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The design ideas I submitted were on transport and on advanced cash withdrawal. The former was based on a needfinding and research exercise I did for a Coursera course (see link below to the interview I did) while the latter was an AHA moment of ideation, which can further widen the payments’ industry’s accessibility to its users. …


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All intense at Academy Xi’s UX bootcamp.

Hello there! I’m Ymmannuelle. You can also call me Emms. :)

My academic and career background is in Computer Science and IT; however, I’ve had an interest in psychology due to my principle that “everyone has a unique story”.

When I stumbled upon the growing discipline of User Experience Design, I had a eureka moment. UXD marries my IT background with my life principle!

Because of that, I have started to steer my career towards UXD while bringing with me a slew of skills from my diverse experience in software development, QA and testing, project management, and audit and compliance.

My Experiences and UXD

Where Am I Now?


In iTech Labs, my role was a combination of project management, testing, and audit and compliance.

I had to audit and certify online games and gambling websites that were heavy with graphics and functionalities. While the purpose of the audit is to check the games and websites according to government jurisdictional standards, I strove to enforce regulations for the players benefit; that they are not misled into wrong betting and addictive gambling through using the generality of standards and regulations.

While some standards can be very specific, some are quite general which would allow me to exercise more freedom to…


Project management is all about coordination and collaboration while driving projects to stay within time, budget, constraints, and scope.

My stints as project leader and test leader in TPVision and iTechLabs, respectively, exposed me to the most collaborative work experience I had. To deliver and drive projects to successful completion, I worked with stakeholders:

  • those whom I report to and those who report to me
  • those who are internal in the company and those who are external
  • suppliers and clients

and oftentimes, they can be outside my timezone.

UXD, in my belief, is a highly collaborative work involving different people, at the center of which are the users, whom I’d like to provide with products that they would like to use. It also needs bridging the gap between the users and the business where expectation-management and negotiation skills are required.


My stint in software quality assurance and testing is perhaps the closest I got to experiencing how users would feel when using the products that I tested.

While trying to stay true and within the boundaries of a test analyst’s mandate of testing, that is to test according to specifications and requirements, there had been occasions when I raised issues on usability and user friendliness. For example:

  • The error messages in an EFTPOS device are technical that even a support person would have to refer to a user manual or to a developer.
  • Lacking information on a web portal due…

I started my career as a software design engineer developing Windows and UNIX applications using C and C++. The software design engineering discipline that I was accustomed to was done in waterfall and V-model methodologies where analysis and design were precursors to implementation.

During analysis and design:

  • requirements are gathered
  • researches done through resources such as books, the internet, and experts
  • use cases defined outlining user interaction to the software
  • and other user-system or system-system interaction expressed through different Unified Modeling Language diagrams

Below were a few of my projects:

  • An in-house library system developed in Visual FoxPro. I was…

Ymmannuelle Villaceran

A new navigator in the world of User Experience Design. When I’m not thinking about how to steer my career towards UXD, I’m likely to be watching GoT.

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