Introduction

“How does a person feel at each point of his journey while using banking services? When does he get confused? What contributes to his frustration? Can we deliver service that is more pleasant and easier to understand for people? What would make an experience a delight instead of a dread?”

These are some questions investigated by students that go through the ‘User Experience’ platform course.

This course specialisation equips innovators to understand people’s real experiences and improve the service processes, environments and tools within the service context. This covers scenarios in retail, healthcare, government services and policy, and institutions, and encompasses both online and offline touchpoints.

Students in this platform have worked on multiple collaboration projects with the Ministry of Manpower, Philips Healthcare, OCBC Bank, L'Oréal, and Guerlain, delivering solutions that elevate user experiences in the real world.

Curriculum

Curriculum Overview Components

Development of a sensitivity to factors that influence user behaviour and psychology in a service environment

Creative problem-solving through user research and systematic lateral thinking

Leveraging new technology and design to create new experiences with services

Key Learning Areas in terms of Thinking / Knowledge

How to observe and uncover user insights and problem areas

How to make sense of research information to frame new design opportunities

How to create cutting edge and user-friendly solutions

Key Skillset,Tool or Method Equipping Areas

User research methods and empathic thinking for understanding user experiences

Stakeholder mapping and system thinking for understanding service contexts

Tools for prototyping and testing service ideas

Projects

A

L’Oréal COSMETIC STAND 2015

The objective of this third platform will be to design the exhibition stand of L'Oréal for the DFS fair at the Marina Bay Sands in May 2015. This stand will present 18 brands of the L’Oréal’s group. It will be congregate for the various clients of Asia. For this project, students are encouraged to explore state-of the-art technologies and experiment with recycled materials to propose cutting-edge designs.

L'Oréal MODULAR

The modular structure offers autonomy to each brand and allows equal identification from outside. There are 18 structures, each representing a different brand. Harmony is achieved by strategically positioning these structures in rows to create a journey of three galleries. Other than being cost-effective, this system is also extremely flexible. The structures can be arranged in different configurations, depending on space constraints and the number of brands.

Hong Ling Yang, He Yi Hong, Lee Xu Ying

B

FUTURE BANKING SERVICES

This platform was done in collaboration with OCBC bank to design for future banking solutions for young working adults. The banking needs of young adults are diversified and dynamic. They are more familiar with the emergence of digital platforms than conventional service channels. What would then be the perfect banking solutions for them? What kind of services can help them build a better future?

OCBC BLUEPRINT

OCBC Blueprint is an online platform service designed to help people visualize their future financial needs and wants,at the same time allowing them to plan the steps they can take to achieve those goals. It was developed with the aim to equip young working adults with the technical know-how and vital knowledge in future financial planning.

Kelly Yap, Adarrel Ho, Alvina Yeo

C

BMW GROUP DESIGNWORKS USA

This project was part of a larger world wide university collaboration, initiated by BMW Group Design in Germany with schools in Germany, Austria, USA and Singapore. It serves as inspiration for designers to understand and experience different aspects of emotional addressing. The final goal is to create a room environment experience, allowing the person sitting inside the object to specific emotions, because of shape of the interior space and the material effects employed. Chris Bangle, the previous Chief Designer of BMW, conducted the final critique session of the project.

D

OCBC FRIDOR

FRIDOR app aims to provide personal attachment and guidance to sustain healthy financial habits. In conjunction with OCBC bank and FRANK by OCBC, FRIDOR aims to meet future banking services with relevance to GEN-Y’s increasing demand of keeping track of their expenses with ease of convenience. By combining technical aspects and emotional touch, users are able to effectively track their expenses, customize and analyze their spending, and celebrate their precious moments to the fullest.

Hillary Hoe, Ku Ga Eun

Alumni

Jane Hia Pei-Yi

Jane Hia Pei-Yi graduated in 2007 and is the Founder of Kith Café
Q
Could you apply whatever you learnt in ID in this business?

For sure! Because you learn some design, you have design background, so you have a better idea. Like at least when the designers talk to you, you know what they are talking about and you know what you want, it’s easier.

Exchange was great. Very thankful for the opportunity! Oh, we had a BMW project! We had to use forms to create an emotion. So that was quite a lot of hard work. But it was very interesting.

Chua Wunfong

Chua Wunfong graduated in 2007 and is the Centre Director at Chengdu for International Enterprise (IE) Singapore
Q
Would you say that design plays an important role in your work? How well does design serve you in this complex business environment?

Design helps me understand the market in a deeper context. A simple example could be the difference in food packaging between China and the ASEAN market in which certain colours or graphics resonate better with the Chinese. These skills help me explain to Singapore companies the differences in operating in the China market.

Yeo Jun Xian, Darren

Yeo Jun Xian Darren graduated in 2012 and is the Experiment Lead for Innovation Management at DBS Bank
Q
How has design thinking and innovation helped you today?

Design thinking opened a door for me to appreciate its methods to get other professionals into the world of design. While design on its own is very exclusive, companies like IDEO have been able to bring other professionals into the mix so as to create something new.

Chin Yit Sheng, Eugene

Chin Yit Sheng, Eugene graduated in 2006 and is a Principal Manager at the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA)
Q
Is what you are doing now very different from the DID course?

What I learnt in DID was actually quite significant and relevant to what I’m doing now. DID created the foundation for my appreciation on how design can impact what we do in our everyday lives. My prior work experience in a design consultancy also helped me better understand the value of design in helping businesses and how it can impact people.

So with this in mind, it was a lot easier to put myself in others’ shoes to think about how I could design programmes that better address companies’ manpower needs; to help creative professionals stay competitive through relevant training interventions.

Tan Sijie, Nicolette

Tan Sijie Nicolette graduated in 2013 and is an Executive from the Office of Innovation, Eastern Health Alliance (EHA)
Q
Coming from a polytechnic, how different was the design education in Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) compared to in DID?

In DID, we were equipped and challenged. We were given the platform to be independent learners to explore and try. I found myself constantly looking at other industry practices, reading journal articles, which I previously didn’t do much of when I was studying in NYP. I learnt in DID to not just take things at surface level, but to ponder, dig deeper, and learn through that.

Ling Yih Shun, Daniel

Ling Yih Shun, Daniel graduated in 2008 and is the Assistant Vice President for Innovation and Change Management in DBS Bank Ltd
Q
What is your role in DBS and what is a “designer in a business suit”?

I lead innovation and experience design within the customer experience team, which is pretty much the same as what I did in OCBC.

"Designer in a business suit" is a phrase I coined— Having been working in the financial industry for five years, I am in an environment where I have to speak the language of a business person or banker. So I speak the language of business yet have the mindset of a designer. We are in an industry where we are shifting from being specialist designers to design thinkers, where designers are able to mix with others - It can be working in a restaurant but applying design thinking in the processes.

Course
Platform

As part of our strategy to evolve constantly, a major component of the course is the Course Platforms.
It allows students to tailor their individual course of learning by selecting and participating in 2 concurrent design studios from a variety of 7 to 10 different design projects offered every semester —ranging from

  • Experiments & Exploitation of Materials
  • Future Trends Forecasting & Disruptive Innovation
  • Entrepreneur Product Creation for Crowdfunding & Startups
  • Invention of Tools, Mechanisms, Materials & Structures
  • Innovation & Invention in Healthcare & Medicine
  • Mastery of Product Aesthetics, Usability & Desire Creation
  • Crafting User Experiences in Retail & Government Services
  • 3D Printing & Digital Fabrication Mastership
  • Specialist in Creativity & Problem-solving Methods
  • Interaction for Mobile Apps & the Internet of Things

The range of different topics reflect the ever-expanding role of an innovator and industrial designer; not only are students able to receive exposure to different areas of innovation, they also get the opportunity to learn different approaches to designing from the individual studio leaders and industry collaborators.

In addition, the vertical format of the design platforms encourages cross-learning of ideas, skills and methods while junior students work alongside and / or compete with senior students.

Students in a lower year will take up the role of a junior designer, whilst senior students will have the opportunity to assume the role of a senior innovator. This arrangement reflects the prevalent importance of group dynamics in industry practice, where design teams often comprise of junior designers, innovators and sometimes a creative director.

The platform program features real life innovation projects in collaboration with the following industry partner:

The
Bachelor's
Programme

B.A.(ID)

The Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design, B.A.(ID), is an undergraduate honours programme consisting of coursework driven by a synergistic three-pronged approach:

Design Thinking: Out-of-the-box innovation strategies and investigative methods to discover new ideas and unmet needs.

Multi-Disciplinary Aptitudes: Behavioural science, social economics, business strategy and engineering and technology knowledge help out graduates develop entrepreneurial strategic thinking and holistic problem-solving capabilities.

Artistic Sensibility: Training of imagination, taste, and crafts, to provide appropriate aesthetics and emotions to ideas so that solutions are both functional and desirable. The combined approaches equips our graduates with high-level strategic thinking, and enables them to translate problems and ideas to tangible, desirable solutions etc.

EXCHANGE
PROGRAMMES

To broaden the students’ exposure, around two-thirds of each cohort goes for a one-semester overseas exchange programme during their 3rd year to distinguished design schools.

Our partner schools include:

University of New South Wales, Australia
University of Alberta, Canada
Duoc UC, Chile
Tsinghua University, China
Zhejiang University, China
Tongji University, China
Aalto University, Finland
ENSCI, France
ENSAD, France
International School of Design or ISD, France
Institut supérieur de design, France
Folkwang University of the Arts, Germany
Politechnico di Milano, Italy
Kyushu University, Japan
KIT, Japan
Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico
TU Delft, The Netherlands
TU Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Hangyang University, South Korea
Seoul National University, South Korea
KAIST, South Korea
ECAL, Switzerland
National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
University of Leeds, United Kingdom
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Arizona State University, USA

About
DID

Crafting User Experiences in Retail & Government Services is a specialization platform electable by students of the Division of Industrial Design (DID).

DID was founded in 1999 as Singapore’s first university-level course in Industrial Design. DID offers a highly selective degree course in Industrial Design. We teach a potent combination of design thinking and innovation methods, with a clever mix of artistic, humanistic, technological and business disciplines.

Our vision is to make life better through design; to equip students with trans-disciplinary skills and thinking processes required to find unmet needs, to solve complex problems involved in creating viable new products, experiences, interfaces and environments. Our graduates are enabled to take up highly valuable and versatile roles as creative designers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders of change.

Originally as part of the Department of Architecture, our programme has built a stellar track record and gained independence in just 11 years. We are ranked among the world’s top 30 University for the subject of Art and Design by QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016, and also ranked as the top university in Asia.

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