Last weekend i was lucky enough to attend the very first UX Malaysia conference. It’s the first UX conference i’d ever attended; it honestly felt so good to be around some many like minded people. Hosted in the very impressive Microsoft office in the Petronas towers, the event was sold out. There were talks from Bram Pitoyo, Jonathan Hirsch, Benjamin Humphrey, Hao Dinh, Mike Lai and Yu-Hsiu.
With UX beginning to take off in countries like Malaysia and the Philippines, it was reassuring to hear the international speakers raise points and arguments that the audience could relate to. It seems the lone / rockstar UX guys in South East Asia, share similar frustrations in UX design, to the rest of the world. My overall take away from all of the thought provoking talks is:
UX is a not a step in the process; it is a culture that needs to be nurtured. UX needs great forward thinking designers, who solve problems over and over again.
In Manila we’ve been selling UX short, for far too long. This stems from UX being a support to creative concepts, and the term UX being an in fashion buzzword, being thrown around by far too many people.
It’s time for this to change.
UX being a step in the process is something that is very difficult to undo. When you plant a seed you can’t change your mind after a few days, months or years and rethink the fundamental way in which that seed will grow. In that sense, creating a UX culture needs to be from the ground up; you need to start as you mean to go on… and for most companies that means big changes need to take place.
This very insight, is a very large part of the reason Foolproof Labs was founded. Phil and I got tired of the status quo, we knew there was a better way to work and create projects that not only physically work, but also fill a need, a user need – not cash in the bank.
This is an exciting time for UX in South East Asia. I have so much respect for people like Izwan, who are pushing the industry forward, through educating people and creating amazing conferences and workshops. Keep up the good work buddy.