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I’m currently working for a 40 person fintech start-up in Singapore. It is the smallest company that I’ve ever worked at, and the first I’ve worked at without a PM.

The product that I’m working on is a cash withdrawal app where users can withdraw cash from shops/cashpoints instead of ATMs. It also includes a range of features from foreign currency exchange to vouchers distribution and a loyalty program. We are also expanding to other markets in Southeast Asia by the end of the year.

We don’t have a product manager.

The 40 person team breaks down into, roughly: developers, product designers, marketing, sales, and customer service. All the developers are based in Bangalore, India. …


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There are a few companies that make a product for South East Asia market and started their business in Thailand. I personally think Thailand is a super interesting market for tech companies because of how fresh it is. Tech is still very new here and people are starting to be more open to it, so there’s a lot of opportunity to grow. However, It can be quite intimidating to launch a product in Thailand especially if you don’t really know it well.

Here’s a few things to know if you are planning to launch a product in Thailand!

Thailand or Bangkok?

It is very important to note that if a product works in Bangkok, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the same product will work anywhere else outside of Bangkok. …


#thestruggleisreal

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During my career, I’ve worked as a product designer at companies of various sizes, ranging from 200,000+ employees to 15 employees. The larger companies have a dedicated team of user researchers but at the smaller ones, I had to initiate and conduct user research sessions on my own as a designer.

Seeing and understanding a small group of individuals interacting with the product before we get to the launch eliminates all the pressure of building a product that might not even work for our target users. Don’t get me wrong, using quantitative data and analytics is a great way to understand a bigger picture of how the product and the business is doing, but getting quantitative data about how users interact with a product takes significant investment because you need to actually build it. …


For the past year, I’ve been working at a Southeast Asian (SEA) e-commerce company as a UX designer and I thought I would share some things I’ve learned about design in this market.

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Think Locally

I came here already knowing that there was going to be a lot of design localization, but I wasn’t aware of the extent of it and how much it would affects my day-to-day workflow. The products I work on operate in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore. Designing a single product that can cater to all of them can be quite a challenge.

  1. The Languages

I’m currently based at our regional HQ in Singapore and we create all standard mock ups in English. The finalized design then gets translated by each local team into different languages. One of the common problems that we found was Bahasa and Vietnamese are almost always 2 or 3 times longer than the others languages. It wasn’t always a problem but often times we needed to redesign the whole module just so it’s more flexible for these languages. …


If I had to name an effective, cheap, and not very time consuming method to evaluate design usability, it would probably be Heuristic Evaluation.

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Heuristic Evaluation is 10 well-known principles that a lot of UX professionals use to assess their design for usability errors prevention. Comparing my design against the Heuristic Evaluation principles makes me more confident about my work because it gives me a criteria to ensure a standard of usability for my work. …


Yay! I’m finally trendy and doing one of these redesign case studies. This one is going to be a redesign of a used-item marketplace app, Carousell.

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My ultimate goal for this redesign:

to help sellers accept the ‘best’ offer.

Back when I was living in Boston, I had to sell all of my furniture when I was moving. It was not fun, especially when I knew my lease was ending super soon. I tried using used-item marketplace apps like Letgo, for instance. Although I got a few people interested in buying one of the shelves I posted, I found the experience kind of awkward. …


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As a UX designer, my job is to make sure our product is easy for everyone to use. I need to build a strong product foundation before passing it on to the rest of the product team (the UI designers and eventually the developers).

When I first started my career as a UX designer, I used to be super worried about what my colleagues might think of my design since they will have to work off of it. Obviously, I was also worried about the users' opinions too. What if I conduct a usability test on my design and none of the users understand it. Will that prove that I suck? How would I tell other people that my design didn’t work? …


I have a lot of people in my life who don’t understand what I do as a UX designer. The question I get asked a lot is if all I do at work is to make assumptions about what people might want from the product. Wrong!

To be fair, that is partially true. But not all assumptions are created equally!

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I do make a lot of assumptions at work especially when it comes to designing new features or new products. Pure assumptions alone, though, will never be enough to design a good product. Assumptions always need to be backed up by facts. …


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In the past couple months, I’ve been taking charge on product analytics at work as we were launching an on-boarding product for the first time. I was very excited since it was the first time we ever implemented analytics tools into our product (and it’s always fun to be data-driven!). Here are the tools I used and what I’ve learned about them so far…

Mixpanel

Mixpanel was probably the tool I used the most. It was great with product data tracking since it allowed for customization on what exactly I wanted to track. It was also very flexible since Mixpanel tracks data by ‘events’. …


I have a bachelor’s degree in architecture design and a master’s in Digital communication in Dynamic Media. I know these studies are not directly related to what I’m doing now, but I didn’t come to this field with nothing! Here is how I apply what I learned in school to my current job..

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Space

Of course, being an architecture student, I was forced to be attentive of my surroundings. I was assigned to be critical of my surrounded spatial content. The composition of things, if anything is out of order, how things are made, what are things made of, etc. …

About

Pat Davivongsa

Product designer, www.patlapa.com

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