Keep it crispy.

Making things pop at the National Skills Commission.

Approach

While there can never be a fixed process or set of tools and methodologies that just work for every problem, I find it useful to have an approach that can be adapted and evolved as per the needs.

My overall approach is a blend of the tried and tested design thinking process of ‘Empathise > Define > Ideate > Prototype > Test’ and the double diamond methodology. More often than not, I find no difference between the two. In fact, using tools and methodologies is not what makes someone a designer, it is the ability to adapt them, and more importantly the mindset.

Understand and Define

Using a balance of quantitative and qualitative methods, I use the research triangulation approach to understand the problem. I like to start with desktop research to understand the bigger picture and get some context. The learnings feed in to a survey for quantitative data – which I highly value as an analyst. This helps me think about the value and impact of the work coming up and also validate certain assumptions. At the same time, I like interviews as they provide rich qualitative data. Analysis using tools such an affinity diagram, helps me uncover underlying problems and the users' latent needs.

Ideate, Build and Critique

Creating user profiles, personas and storyboards help me kickstart the ideation process. At this stage it is all about seeking feedback and iterating quickly. This is essentially the second diamond. I allow myself to go “crazy” with the initial ideas. A decision matrix is great tool to shortlist ideas based on their assessment on various criteria. Pursuing the shortlisted ideas using sketches and storyboarding allows me to gather quick feedback from users. I also tend to co-design with the users before finalising the designs that are worth prototyping.

Test and Iterate

This pretty much the third diamond. It may differ in a different context and might equate to ‘deliver and improve’. Irrespective of the terminology, it is really important to test your design. I like to build and iterate fast, which means I start off with wireframes and low fidelity prototypes. In fact, most valuable feedback comes from these low-fidelity prototypes as it is focussed on the usability of the design, free from all the frills. The testing and evaluation helps me tweak and iterate the final design.

Design is messy. It is complex. There is seldom an obvious solution. But as a designer, I am optimistic and I pay attention to connecting design with business – which is crucial to the success of any project and there is no one way to do it. It is a matter of being mindful of the organisation’s strategic goals and ensuring that the outcomes are aligned. So as long as I focus on people and the business, and iterate, I know the outcome is going to be magical.

I hope this has provided some insight into my approach. As always, if you have any feedback or want to catch up for a coffee, hit me up.

Experience

UX/UI Designer

National Skills Commission
2021 – current

Experience Designer (Strategy Portfolio)

The University of Sydney
2020 – 2021

Analyst (Institutional Analytics & Planning)

The University of Sydney
2017 – 2021

Founder & Director

The Cullt
2017 – 2020

Systems Support Officer

The University of Sydney
2015 – 2017

Design Engineering Intern

PodPlants
2014

Education

Master of Design (Strategic Design)

The University of Sydney
2020 – current

Master of Professional Engineering (Mechanical)

The University of Sydney
2013 – 2014

Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical)

Visvesvaraya Technological University
2008 – 2012