Recap: UXPH Roadshow 2019, Manila

October 26, 2019

UXPH (User Experience Philippines) went back to the home court in Metro Manila to hold the last leg of the first National Roadshow carried out across the Philippines. UXPH Roadshow Manila was held on October 26, 2019 at the Globe Tower, Bonifacio Global City.

The UXPH Roadshow is a one-day event with two parts: keynote speakers and lectures in the morning and various design-centered workshops in the afternoon. UXPH partnered with design organizations and companies in Metro Manila enabling them to share their craft with UX practitioners of different backgrounds.

The Morning Talks

Keynote 1: Driving and measuring “experience”

Angela Obias-Tuban, UX Strategy Lead at Metrobank

The day started with an insightful talk from Angela Obias-Tuban, UX Strategy Lead at Metrobank. Angela talked about Driving and Measuring “Experience”, where she shares how getting your team, and eventually your organization, to care about the people—especially the ones that use your products and services—is important to achieve real user-centered design.

She also talks about how values and beliefs drive the way people work. “It’s your statement to the world that your line of work is what you believe in, because this is what you choose to spend time on, rather than doing something else.”

Angela also reminds everyone that there are no small roles in an organization. An example she provided was Google’s Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), which is a way to measure one’s work in relation to the objectives of the company or organization. It provides people a different perspective of looking at their own work, and aims to consider the impact one can give to the company, no matter how menial of a task.

She also told everyone not to “inflict ‘UX’ on others, that you wouldn’t want inflicted on you”. Angela promotes thinking of users and shared, “Let’s not inflict interactions to others that we don’t want inflicted on us”. Similar to the golden rule, but in the context of UX.

Angela talked about the various ways one could measure UX—which she states is more of a measurement of the relationship between the users of products and services over time—done by companies and organizations, and shares what she says is her favorite measuring model: the Design Maturity model by the Artefact Group. This is her favorite model because it shows and differentiates among the following: mastery, impact, performance, empathy, and character. A lot more factors are considered than just simply doing the design work.

She also shared a habit that she found out not enough people do, which is to write the user goal and business goal—which are not always the same!—at the top of the page or canvass she’s working on when doing design work, like wireframing or creating flows. It’s a neat way to constantly remind us of the WHY: why are we doing this in the first place?

Angela wraps up her talk by asking the question: “What does it mean for us to do well?” She asked all participants (whether they be designers or just involved in the whole design process for a particular product or service) to take note and consider what may be good for us now, versus what may be good for the users over time. She reminds everyone to always remember the “why”, and build it into the “how”.

Lightning Talk 1: Defending the role of the design/er

Boggs Labayen, UX Lead at HomeCredit Philippines

For the first lightning talk of the day, Boggs Labayen, who works with UXPH co-presenter Home Credit Philippines, as a UX Lead. Boggs discussed about defending the role of the design/er, and provided examples on how they empower designers within their own company.

Boggs started with sharing a sentiment a lot of designers can relate to: “_Designers are still perceived as people responsible in making things visually or aesthetically appealing._” When in reality, the scope of work of a designer goes beyond just what looks nice on paper or on a screen.

He shared that UX designers should be advocates of customer-centric culture within their own companies, and provided examples on how their company, Home Credit, achieves this in their own teams. Boggs related their organization to a flock of bird murmuring, which is where the flock of birds consists of individual birds flying all about in a seemingly chaotic fashion, but when looked at as a group, they still move in unison.

His second point was that designers should instill the value of the design process, and have users always at the center of all the work done to the different products and services they are working on. From here, people can be influenced into thinking the same way, and make the job of designing for users easier for everyone in the company.

Boggs also emphasized the importance of being a good storyteller for his third point in his talk. He said designers are essentially laying out stories for users to consume. It’s now up to designers to tell a compelling story and get them delighted and keep coming back for more. He shares that one way to see how designs tell stories to users is to do user testing and analyze how people use products and services.

His fourth point was to believe in the goodness of people, and shared a framework that their company uses when working in teams: Fair, Innovative, Results-oriented, Entrepreneurial (FIRE). He tells everyone to “keep the fire burning” within teams to work better together.

To wrap up his talk, Boggs shared his last point:finding the right allies. He says that it’s important to find the right allies within companies and organizations so that designers are not alone when advocating for true good user-centered design.

Keynote 2: Understanding behavioral science to influence better design and team culture

Dae Lee, Culture Designer at Fourth Wall Global

Dae Lee, a Culture Designer at Fourth Wall Global, came back as a speaker in the UXPH National Roadshow, but this time, he shared his knowledge on understanding behavioral science to influence better design and team culture to UX enthusiasts and practitioners in Manila.

He started his talk by explaining company culture design, which is a practice of aligning everyone to understand why they are in the company, know what they are supposed to do, and is the practice of knowing how to get people to do what they need to do because they want to.

Dae emphasizes the importance of knowing where one stands in a company and people that they work with. No matter how much knowledge and tools attained in the world, it won’t have any effect if designers don’t know who the people around them are, as well as what they need to do in that company.

He tackled on UX in the context of behavior. He defined behavior as “a set of actions that has worked for us” and then talks about the perfect user experience, wherein he defines it as “a product or service (that) can be understood and used properly without questions or instructions”. Perfect UX is something that we don’t need to think about in order to do.

Dae also shared that UX should be based on experience, reference, and cognition. He emphasized the importance of context, and provided an example for the audience to see the effectiveness of context when trying to make someone do something.

He then continued to talk about culture, which is the environment people are in, and relates it to behavior, as he shared it’s something that people do even with the lack of instruction. He shared that it’s important to understand people instead of trying to change them, because it’s doubly harder to near impossible to ask someone to change simply because you told them to.

Dae then showed the Flow state graph, from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and explained that though this kind of thinking normally applies to employees when working, this graph or way of thinking can also be applied to customers. To help customers achieve the tasks needed in product or service, there has to be a balance between the difficulty of the challenge presented and the skill set needed to complete it.

He wrapped up his talk by sharing his experience as a LEGO Serious Play® Facilitator wherein he helps people communicate with others through playing, and shared that the playful environment that Lego creates helps people share more information about themselves than in a more serious setting, like a meeting.

He also reiterated his point before ending his talk: “Don’t try to change people. Understand them and create the environment where they choose to change.”

Lightning Talk 2: Empathizing through the Margins

Mark Lacsamana, Senior Product Designer at Kalibrr

For the second and also the last lightning talk, Mark Lacsamana, Senior Product Designer at Kalibrr, called everyone’s attention and talked about Empathizing through the Margins: Designing for Inclusivity.

Mark started his lightning talk by talking about privilege, which is ‘a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group’. He demonstrated this as he asked the audience to raise their hand if they belong to a certain group of people based on characteristics like skin color, ethnicity, sex, gender, and orientation.

He continued by talking about his own experiences of both privilege and marginalization, and explained that both these things can live on top of each other and exist in the same space. It’s not always one or the other only. He stated: “Privilege isn’t just about what’s in your wallet, and marginalization is not just poverty porn.”

Mark also explained that throughout the years of talking about empathy, people were oversold it to the point that oversimplified it. It’s important to raise this point because designers are in the business of empathy. They focused too much on finding similarities between people that they forgot about finding out what makes people different as well.

He then stated: “You can’t recognize fear, pain, or joy, if you’ve never experienced it before.” Then he asks the question, ‘how do we truly design for the marginalized?”

He answered this by sharing that designers can start by forming inclusive teams and design communities. This is where they can start to make an impact to help the marginalized. After all, including people who have actually experienced the struggles first-hand would contribute more helpful and true-to-life experiences than those who haven’t gone through or even have any idea of the hardships other marginalized communities face.

He ended his talk by reminding people to design with users in mind. Designers put design on a pedestal so much that they might also be forgetting what is really needed to be done: to stop designing FOR users, and start designing WITH users.

Keynote 3: Lean Cross-cultural research in practice

Li-WeiRicky” Yu, UX Researcher at Mozilla Taiwan

To end the morning sessions, keynote speaker Ricky Yu, a UX Researcher at Mozilla Taiwan, shared insights about lean cross-cultural research in practice. He shared his own personal experiences while going around various Southeast Asian countries—like the Philippines—and how he and his team conducted their lean cross-cultural research.

Ricky started his talk by sharing his first culture shock experience when he got to the Philippines: he rode a jeepney and had to figure out everything from paying to getting off the jeep.

He also shared that when he went to the grocery store, he thought that sachets were small in size because it was designed for travelers. To his surprise, he learned that it was made that way for people who live day by day and don’t have money to get the bigger sizes.

His last culture shock experience was for paying goods at a sari-sari store, where he saw that there was a wide variety of goods being sold and hung on the gated fronts of these stores. He was also confused at first where to pay, and was surprised when he saw the small opening where you place the cash payment to give to the storekeeper.

After this short story telling session, he then proceeded to talk about Mozilla Taiwan, the product innovation team for emerging markets and the team he works with, and shares how they currently do lean cross-cultural research around South East Asia.

His first point when doing lean cross-cultural research is to take note of empathy, and breaking one’s mental model. He stated, “Don’t use your own glasses to look at the world, especially if you want to understand the other person.” It’s important to have an open mind when doing research, especially with differing cultures, because designers wouldn’t know what will happen.

His next point is to always be humble, especially when interacting with different types of people, no matter the age, gender, social status, or occupation. When doing research, meeting with people from all walks of life, and being humble and open will lead to notice and learn more things about them, than trying to impose cultures on them.

Ricky’s next point was to always be curious, which is an essential skill in the field of research. Always be on the lookout for new things, and be eager to learn about them. He also shared another important factor when doing research in different countries: be culturally sensitive. A prime example of this is visiting a temple, and having to remove shoes before entering the vicinity as a sign of respect. As researchers, it’s important to note all these things even before visiting the place so as to respect the culture of the people and the place researched on.

He also encouraged sharing research findings to everyone in the team and company or organization, because this gives them an idea on how users actually do things, and helps them understand users better. He shared different kinds of methods that people can use to do lean cross-cultural research.

Ricky also shared another tried-and-tested method one can use when doing research in different countries: intercept people in the streets, because that’s where the users are, and are in their very candid selves.

He also talked about how visual tools are helpful when doing contextual interviews, since different people might understand the same thing differently, especially when there’s a cultural barrier. It’s important to get people on the same page to achieve the results needed to help understand their behavior better.

Ricky also reminded everyone to do field debriefing after every research session, to help remember all the important and essential aspects during the session, like during interviews.

Ricky shared a quote from Robert Capa: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” He ended his talk by challenging everyone with the question: “If you are not close to your user, how can you make the best products for them?”

The Workshop Tracks

The afternoon session had participants break into different workshops—two sessions of Figma 101, Analyzing Qualitative Usability Tests, a UX Research Workshop, Quantifying the User Experience, and Design Thinking: Double Diamond Process. OneRent also hosted their second Design Competition during the roadshow.

Workshops 1 and 2: Figma Software (Basic and Advanced)

The Figma workshop series comes to Manila! Anjo Cerdeña and Jelvin Base from Figma Philippines held separate workshops that taught workshop Figma to participants based on their skill level: Basic and Advanced. Figma is a cloud-based collaborative design tool where teams can achieve a shared understanding around design without worrying about syncing, exporting, or installing software. The participants learned all about the tool and created effective prototypes within the software.

Figma Software: Basic session with Anjo Cerdeña

Figma Software: Advanced session with Jelvin Base

Workshop 3: Analyzing Qualitative Usability Tests

Analyzing Qualitative Usability Tests Workshop with Christine Balatbat

Christine Balatbat, a UX Researcher from JG Summit Holdings, facilitated the workshop on Analyzing Qualitative Usability Tests. She taught participants how to select the best analysis framework and how to synthesize data.

Workshop 4: UX Research Workshop

UX Research Workshop with Matt Green

Matthew Green, a senior designer at Asian Development Bank, held a UX research workshop which taught participants how to start or build a research team and what to do with a lot of data. He facilitated a practical workshop with hands-on learning on how to plan UX research when solving problems. He gave an overview on specific qualitative methods and covered biases and assumptions.. Participants did in-depth exercises on conducting interviews, downloading data, and learned insights from Matt on practical uses of UX research in their work.

Workshop 5: Quantifying the User Experience

Quantifying the User Experience with Mica Diaz de Rivera

This workshop on Quantifying the User Experience was facilitated by Mica Diaz de Rivera, who was one of the keynote speakers back in UXPH Roadshow: Cebu. He facilitated a workshop on how to work backwards from the most common questions and problems one might encounter when conducting, analyzing, and reporting on user research projects.

Workshop 6: Design Thinking: Double Diamond Process

Design Thinking: Double Diamond Process with Antonet Kay Domingo

Antonet Kay Domingo, a UX Lead at ING Business Shared Services, facilitated a workshop that taught participants on how to use the double diamond process when doing design thinking exercises. Given the context of the design thinking methodology, participants learned about the two ways of thinking—divergent and convergent thinking—and how they can apply and use this methodology when figuring out the right problem to solve, as well as solving them properly.

Onerent Design Competition

Design competition with Onerent

UXPH co-presenter, Onerent, has joined the Manila Roadshow and held another design competition so participants have a way to showcase their design skills. They had another Huion tablet ready to give away to the winner of this challenge!

Photo during design competition with Onerent

Awarding the winner of the Huion tablet

Wrapping up the event, and the roadshow series

On top of a whole day full of learning, each conference attendee received a UXPH Roadshow T-Shirt, limited edition UXPH Roadshow stickers, prizes, and more giveaways and benefits from generous sponsors: UXArmy, Stylegenie, and the Interaction Design Foundation.

The UXPH Keynote Speakers and Facilitators receiving CollaboX Speaker Tokens

(From left to right; Jordan Deja, Dae Lee, Li-WeiRicky” Yu, Boggs Labayen, Mark Lacsamana, Angela Obias-Tuban, Aldrich Tan)

Winners of giveaways from Symph

Winner of giveaway from CollaboX

Winners of giveaway from Manulife

Batch 1 winners of giveaways from our Co-presenter, HomeCredit

Batch 2 winners of giveaways from our Co-presenter, HomeCredit

Winners of giveaway from ING

The Winner of the Grand Prize iPhone 11 giveaway from our second Co-presenter, Onerent

Ely Apao, one of the founders of UXPH, also made a behind-the-scenes video on what happened during the Manila roadshow. Watch it on YouTube.

We’ll have a full event video up soon! It’ll be posted in this section.

Using our 2020 vision

We’ve reached the end of the roadshow series for the year, but that doesn’t mean it’s over! UXPH will be coming back in 2020 to bring design to more parts of the Philippines—all for empowering and lifting the design communities emerging from different parts of the country.

Have suggestions on where to go next for UXPH Roadshow 2020? Got leads to help UXPH get connected with someone in the area? Want to be a part of the team? Send a message on the Facebook page or email! Let’s all help push for a more collaborative and mature design-driven Philippines!

Don’t forget to share your experiences online by posting about it with the hashtags #UXPHRoadshow and #UXPHRoadshowMNL and keep updated on upcoming UX meetups and events by following us on different social media platforms!

Thank you to our sponsors and partners

UXPH would like to thank all of the companies, communities, and groups who sponsored the 2019 UXPH National Roadshow, helping us turn it into a huge success. We’d also like to give special thanks to CebuXD and UXDVO during the Cebu and Davao legs, because without them, this National Roadshow series wouldn’t have been so successful!

If your company or organization is interested in supporting UXPH and our national effort of connecting the design communities across The Philippines for a more mature, design-driven country, please get in touch with us at

Our Co-presenter

Gold sponsors

CollaboX, Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), Globe Labs, ING, Manulife, and UXArmy

Silver sponsors

Canva and StyleGenie Asia

Bronze sponsors

Symph, Art n’ Nature, and Dash10

Our Community Partners

Developer Student Club Loyola, Interaction Design Foundation, Manila Design Week Philippines, Roots Podcast Design, TechShake, UXSEA Society, SkyLabs, User Experience Society - ADMU, User Experience Society - DLSU, User Experience Society - UST, and Philippine Web Designers Organization

Our Media Partners

ABS-CBN Corporation, ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), and Green Giant FM

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