HSIN EU — UX in the Jungle: Software Design Gamification

Image Sourcce: Hsin Eu

HSIN EU serves as the UX Director of TREND MICRO, INC. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Factors & Ergonomics and got her first job as a usability engineer at a financial firm in Jersey City, USA. After designing the software, phone, and web interfaces of trading transactions for about 4 years, she came back in Taiwan and joined Trend Micro.

During TalkUX 2017, she would like to share her team’s experience with designing a board game. Let’s get to know her now through an interview.


Q:Please talk about your work.
Trend Micro provides information security services, such as endpoint & server protection, gateway solutions, network defenses, and cloud security for large and small organizations all over the world. The company prides itself on giving the staff the freedom to demonstrate their talents. Trend Micro offers big challenges to everyone, and we always have something new to learn.

At first, I worked as a senior designer and coached more junior members. Later, I got promoted to manage the consumer product team, which later merged with our enterprise and SMB teams. The team has now grown to 77 members.

Q:How does UX apply to your office or your industry?
The timing for introducing UX to the office is crucial. You always have to deliver to the right people with the right interest at the right time. Gamification plays a big role in applying UX processes. The UX in the Jungle game inspires people to play different roles and experience simulated product design processes. Since we can provide common and persuasive design cases and scenarios, players seem more open to new ideas and solutions.

Q:What is the most valuable insight or most difficult part about implementing UX in your industry?
A long time ago, the UX team consisted of less-experienced coding engineers, and that really frustrated people. We had to make an effort to prove our value to the organization and the industry at large. For example, we had to spend time validating the market and user requirements to identify the target users’ true needs to help make sure that products would succeed. When people find UX solutions really helpful, they seem more likely to buy into the idea. Of course it really takes time to demonstrate this value, so it’s not as easy as it looks.

I also find it challenging to foresee problems and risks in any given project. As a manager, you have to watch out for potential issues and avoid the wrong assumptions. If you cannot fix problems early on, the final results may not match your original design, but other project stakeholders might still blame the design team for the mistake.

Image Source: UX in the Jungle Facebook

Q:What topic will you share at TalkUX this year?
 
UX in the Jungle: Software Design Gamification.
 
The idea of UX in the Jungle originated from a plan to design and deliver a more interactive workshop at 2016 UXSG (in Singapore).

We first ran multiple rounds of UX in the Jungle internally to get feedback and improve the game experience. We never expected did that it would later become so popular among our colleagues and in other companies. After introducing the game to many other people through trial training rounds, we found that more and more people (and corporations!) wanted to purchase the game to learn about software design. Due to the huge demand from many different audiences, the idea of commoditization came up.

With the great support of the Trend Education Foundation, the team started an internal crowd-funding project for UX in the Jungle. Originally we only expected to hit a conservative target of pre-selling 178 sets for the first round of production. We felt very surprised when we reached our goal within the first 10 days of our internal funding window. That encouraged the team to improve the game even more.


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