UX, design agency

Edenspiekermann Singapore 2017

In late 2017, I moved to sunny Singapore to be a UX Design intern at Edenspiekermann, affectionately known as ESPI. It was the first time I worked at a design agency (I was thrown into a mix of interesting projects), as well as a time for personal reflection and cultural discovery. These are some projects I had the pleasure of working on.

Cogo

Cogo, a smart content library for consulting firms, was well on its way when I joined the team. A workshop had already been conducted to determine priorities and the brand wheel. With the main UX designer Jasmine Lee, and the brand designer Kelvin Chow, I helped formulate website structure, component creation, and helped code up a responsive site template for the client.

Together, we did a lot of user mapping, wire framing, and sketching to reorder content, created multiple page template iterations, and sat together to formulate a sensical sitemap. When it came to implementation, I assisted with coding and troubleshooting, especially for more compound and complicated sections.

A struggle we faced, however, was working on the site when the visual identity was not finalised (unavoidable due to timeline conflicts)—doable, but not advisable.

  • Wireframing and arranging content.
  • Competitive analysis of leading competitors, including parsing through keywords, customer testimonials, and pros/cons.
  • Mockups and an exploration of the enterprise page (an example of the visual flavour Cogo was going for).

Bytepushers

Bytepushers was another concept that had been developed before my arrival--pushing information (in the form of interviews, photos, and podcasts) about the budding design & tech scene in Singapore. I took into account multiple technical and conceptual constraints and turned them into an open-source platform for sharing content.

I started with minimal briefing and explored various mobile layouts, only to be told that I was missing a huge chunk of context. Jasmine sat down with me to brainstorm a lot of features and functionalities, as well as to understand the actual scope of the project and the parties involved. Thus, the project and my understanding of it evolved through the multiple iterations, prototypes (click here to see the final one), and rounds of feedback that I received.

The actual content and web development was not in my hands, but I took ownership of the design, information hierarchy, and user flow of the final deliverable. As of my departure, platform development was still in progress.

Robb Report (Southeast Asia)

Robb Report is a luxury magazine, and the online version for Southeast Asia was due for a revamp. I worked with a team of 2 other designers (Nadia and Jasmine, who worked extensively on the new visual language of the site), to bring in new features and rehaul information hierarchy and structure, define user flows and clickthrough pathways, and highlight specific elements and code snippets to enhance user experience.

I also compiled and coded a customized animation gallery for Robb Report's developer.

  • Visual identity done by Nadia Arioui and UX was refined and determined by Jasmine Lee and I.

Yerun

My final project at Edenspiekermann, which I was unable to see to completion, was the design and development of the Yerun (a startup coaching and mentoring firm) brand and website. I worked alongside Jasmine and the brand designer, FT, who finalized the brand and assets, and assisted with rudimentary copywriting, content placement, feature refinement, and multiple visual iterations of concepts and mockups.

Before my departure, I created a custom animation and feature gallery, researched and tested platform and hosting options, as well as assisted with any web development where possible.

  • Three main directions were chosen: "outside-in" (using an obvious, gridlike structure), overlapping and oddly cut-out elements, and using hexagonal shapes as the main motif.

Design consulting

Along with my design (mostly UX, UI, and copywriting) and development duties, I had the opportunity to do design consulting. My manager ran a chart-making startup, Chartlr, and I sifted through user responses and spreadsheets of data to determine and forecast trends, narrow down the target audience, and present potential areas for market growth.

I also prepared presentations on GitHub pages and GV Design Sprints for my team.

Reflection

My team at Edenspiekermann was small but cozy; I worked with 4 other bright and curious folks on an international team over in Singapore. Till then, my design experience had mostly been ad hoc and in-house, so conducting many shallow dives for the diverse range of projects as well as the heavy design-centric atmosphere was a very welcome change to my environment.

While the experience itself was great, the team was unfortunately a bit too small to undertake more vigorous UX and design-thinking projects. During my time there, I also attempted to implement a more agile (in particular, Scrum) environment and spearhead stronger documentation processes. However, this initiative fell short given the small and highly dynamic structure of the team. Given more time and resources, I would have liked to see this through.

© Tara Tsang 2017