Together Apart

A taxi driver once told me, time doesn’t fly, time is speeding. This pandemic truly makes me understand the essence of the phrase. Little did we know that a virus so small could bring our studio to a standstill and shut everything down in just a few months.

In case you are wondering, yes, we’ve stopped operating because there was just not enough work to sustain the team. However, this saying holds true “One door closes opens up another one with opportunities”.

We’ve moved on, we’ve started exploring the “emergent strategy” thats presenting in our paths now. Giang is retiring early at Danang, Kate is pursuing her dreams and being tai tai, Yvonne getting into a new role in Enterprise Product Design, Angeline working hard to help the Catholic church with Mass resumptions and I myself, joined a global consultancy firm which I never thought I would actually work for somebody.

Despite all that separation, what’s gratifying is that while we are no longer together physically, we are together at hearts. As we are all individually working on our own endeavours, we came together last week to share our learnings over the different work that we’re doing, rekindling those days we spend our Fridays doing team meetings and sync ups rituals.

It actually felt like we were “escaping” back to the past and parting was bitter sweet. While we didn’t became monetary rich in this journey, I am rich with learnings and extremely happy for the team to embark on a new journey to make meaningful impact.

Take care!

Setting up Multi-language on Webflow using Weglot

With the popularity of low-code and no-code movement, Webflow has become one of the most popular website builders among designers who want to build responsive websites but not wanting to deal with the nitty-gritty in CSS. It’s also a popular choice for entrepreneurs who wants to create a website fast to test its product offering without having to pay tons of money to build a website.

We recently built one our client’s website entirely on Webflow and because the product aims at users across multiple geographical regions, we needed a multi-language solution. Webflow by itself doesn’t come with a multi-language feature so we had to explore various options to achieve it.

Continue reading Setting up Multi-language on Webflow using Weglot

Looking for Noise Cancelling Headphones with Microphone? Why not make any microphone noise cancelling?

With everyone #WFH during this COVID-19 period, the number of online meetings we attend every day is ridiculous. Zoom calls, MS Teams call, Google Meet calls, you name it.

I’ve been eyeing the Logitech Zone Wireless Headset and Jabra Evolve 75 ever since I’d to WFH for their superior microphone noise cancellation capabilities but I just couldn’t bear to shell out more than half of the $600 that the Singapore Government gave to Singaporeans to tide us over this period.

Continue reading Looking for Noise Cancelling Headphones with Microphone? Why not make any microphone noise cancelling?

Rapid design ideation with Balsamiq Wireframes

We’ve been a huge fan of Balsamiq Wireframes and have used it in tons of scenarios from explaining ideas to clients during meetings to low fidelity ideations to quickly visualise what’s on our minds.

You might be wondering, Balsa.. what?!

Yes, you’ve heard it right. Balsamiq Wireframes.

Continue reading Rapid design ideation with Balsamiq Wireframes

Concept testing using paper prototypes

We’ve recently completed an interesting concept testing for a client in the travel industry. The entire test was made up of printed wireframes which we’ve designed and cut into small components. 

The test setup with a make-shift microphone holder + IPEVO document camera hacked together with GoPro mounts.

During the test, participants were asked to go through a series of tasks to help us understand their mental models when thinking about a travel destination and to piece up pages based on their travel needs. 

Top view of what was captured during the card sorting exercise.

Overall, we had fun and learned a lot from the experience of introducing analog components into our (otherwise, digital prototype) testing process. 

Do you travel for leisure? Get S$50 when you join our travel research study

We are recruiting English-speaking travelers to participate in a research study taking place next week.

Selected participants will take part in a 30 – 45 minutes, in-person research study of a mobile travel app. The study will be held at a central location near City Hall MRT station.

Participants will be rewarded SGD 50 cash at the end of the session.

This study is conducted on behalf of a travel company that aims to improve the travel planning experience.

To participate, please fill in this questionnaire and we will contact you if you are shortlisted. 

IxDA Singapore presents World Interaction Design Day 2019

On 24 Sep 2019, the community at IxDA Singapore celebrated the World Interaction Design Day at Visa Innovation Centre. The event was attended by over 150 attendees and our speakers shared their unique perspectives on this year’s theme “Trust & Responsibility.

See all photos

Big thanks to:
Visa Innovation Centre for being such a great host to the venue,
Adobe and IxDA global for sponsoring and coming up with the theme,
Speakers Preethi Mariappan (Visa), Liu Zenan (StashAway), Wei Kong (Researcher/Designer) and Mario Van der Meulen (Foolproof) for all their thoughtful sharing.

This event wouldn’t been possible without the help of our lovely team mates: Angeline Chng, Michelle Koo, Kate Lim, Dominic Ong, Giang Hoang and Yvonne Chia.

See you next year!

Sharing my product design journey with the IxDA Taiwan community

Earlier in Jan 2019, I made a trip to Taipei to visit the IxDA Taiwan local group which was one of the oldest IxDA local group in Asia, established in 2010. Next year, they’ll be celebrating their 10th year anniversary and it’s awesome to see how they’ve grown over the years.

I did a sharing of my design journey over the last 15 years and gave some insights to the UX landscape here in Singapore. It was heartening to see such a group of passionate and engaging audience that evening asking many thought provoking questions around Startups in Asia, working in Singapore, advice for those who wish to work here etc.

Lovely folks from IxDA Taipei and thoughtful space for the event 👏🏻

They wrote a Medium article about what I shared and you can view it right here. Heads up, it’s in Traditional Chinese 😬.

Will the Rode Wireless Go become the perfect field user testing microphone?

If you’ve ever tried recording audio out in a noisy environment, you know it’s pretty challenging to record what the participant is saying.

We recently conducted a user testing with car insurance buyers over at Vicom, a vehicle inspection centre where car owners bring their cars for inspection in order to renew their road tax. We chose the location as majority of our test participants who fit the criteria are going to be there.

Michelle happily posing like a sales representative

Without a proper space for testing and noisy background, participants were given an ear piece with mic that’s plugged into our laptop so we can record what they say.

Here comes the challenge:

  • Participants were uncomfortable in using / sharing an earphone
  • When the earphone is put on, they can’t hear our prompts clearly and have to take out one side of the ear piece fo hear what we’re saying
  • Length of the earphone also restricts the participant from moving freely.

Introducing the Rode Wireless Go

Extract from Rode’s website: “The Wireless GO is the world’s smallest, most versatile wireless microphone system. The transmitter works as both a clip-on mic or as the world’s smallest beltpack for a RØDE lavalier, sending crystal clear broadcast-grade audio via 2.4GHz digital transmission to the ultra-compact on-camera receiver.”

The idea seems feasible:

  • Participant wears the transmitter on their shirt or clip on near the top half of their body
  • Receiver connects to either a laptop or phone
  • Fire up the voice recording app and record away!

But reality is far from simple. The Rode Wireless Go typically works well with a camera with a microphone port but our laptops (Macbook Pro) and phones don’t have a dedicated port. What we have is a port that connects 3.5mm TRRS pins.

For the Wireless Go to work, we need to get an additional adaptor call SC4 to convert TRS pin from Wireless Go to TRSS for our phones/laptops. Of course, we would also need our Apple lightning to 3.5mm jack adaptor.

After a whole bunch of cabling and plugging around, we finally have a working setup that connects to our laptop.

Rode Wireless Go on Laptop

The red and green splitter cable can be bought from Lazada for S$4.90 or even Amazon.sg for $8.99 and it’s actually a TRRS splitter itself so that saves us the SC4 cable.

With this setup, we can record what our test participants say super clearly and they are not bounded by any cables or discomfort using someone’s earphones. The only downside is we aren’t able to monitor the sound of the recording until we complete the test so we had to do some test record to make sure all audio is being captured before passing it to the participant.

What do you think? Do you have a field testing setup that you swear by? Leave us a comment!

Get your Rode Wireless Go at a discount from Lazada!