The UXPH National Roadshow: the Philippines’ premier conference on User Experience and design
By Ysa Lauta
If you're looking to learn more about User Experience Design practices or network with other passionate individuals, the UXPH Roadshow (October 26, 2019) is for you. TechShake talked to conference organizer Aldrich Tan on the state of UX in the Philippines and how UXPH is pushing it forward.
Growing a non-profit organization
Founded by Elymar Apao and a few other passionate designers back in 2012, UXPH (User Experience Philippines) is a nonprofit shaping the User Experience community locally. The organization’s goal is to develop the country’s knowledge and expertise on design practices. They achieve this through engaging their community by sharing knowledge and information on UX and design practices through free monthly talks and meetups, and their annual design conference.
Their annual conference started only in Manila, but this year they decided to have a roadshow covering the whole country from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Aldrich explained that there are several design groups from different parts of the country, and UXPH’s goal this year is to unite these groups and collaborate with them. Their initial plan was to host small to medium sized meetups in eight different cities, but due to popular demand, the organization decided to focus on hosting a conference in three major cities instead; Cebu, Davao, and Manila.
The three-month long national roadshow started last August 31st in Cebu, followed by the second leg last September 28th in Davao, and will end this coming October 26th in BGC. The events follow a program that features keynote speakers for their morning sessions and workshops for their afternoon session. Aldrich said, “We’re listening to what the community wants to learn more about, so [the sessions] it’s tailored to the needs of the audience and local community.”
UXPH Roadshow in Cebu last August 31st, 2019. Photo from https://roadshow.uxph.org/blogs/recap-cebu-2019/ (Learn more about their Cebu leg here)
UXPH Roadshow in Davao last September 28th, 2019. Photo from (https://roadshow.uxph.org/blogs/recap-davao-2019/ (Learn more about their Davao leg here)
Developing the community
Aldrich explained that the Philippines is still in its developing stages when it comes to adopting a more design-centered approach to problems. “There’s only a handful of companies really emphasizing on incorporating proper design methodologies while others are curious and are still catching up,” Aldrich said. He also added that in the academic sphere, “Most universities are exploring UX slowly through their computer science programs, but there’s no dedicated design program yet. So, there’s a lot of students who are still at the very tip of the iceberg of this whole design world.”
So, the goal of this event is for building and bringing together the design community, whether it may be professionals, students, or literally anyone who is interested in UX, to gain more knowledge and interact with like-minded people. Aldrich added, “Part of the mission is to help companies and employers learn more about design so that they can push their companies forward. This will benefit the ecosystem of the Philippines, especially the startup industry, and of course even corporate and agency sectors, [because] the more design people know then the better their products and services could be.”
Aldrich revealed that there was a lot of challenges in creating this event like: coordinating with the local groups, marketing, and timing. However, Aldrich emphasized that these challenges were nothing compared to the success of this event. He added, “It’s fulfilling --- the amount of positive feedback we’re getting from people saying, “Thank you for coming out to our city” or “I learned so much!”. People were very excited and are looking forward to the next year and more UXPH branded events, which is inspiring.”
UXPH Roadshow in Davao: UX 101 with Raine Liao, UX Designer of Home Credit. Photo from https://roadshow.uxph.org/blogs/recap-davao-2019/
After the last leg of the roadshow in Manila, UXPH aims to target more cities for their events in the following years and be recognized as the biggest community of designers in the Philippines. They are also pushing towards providing more resources to Filipinos to shape the mentality of the community towards design. In addition, they want to expand their partnerships with companies, government agencies, and schools. Aldrich further shared, “One of the other things we’re planning, which is still very heavy on the works, is to get deeper into the academic space so we can start to work with students earlier [on] in their careers to help them explore design as a viable career path.”
Aldrich told TechShake, “I definitely think in five years we will be way more advanced compared to today; more and more companies are focusing on growing their design teams and learning about design. In the academic space, they’re looking more into this but that’s slightly a steeper uphill battle […] but it’s all getting there. In five years, who knows, but I’m very confident that the Philippines will catch up very soon.”
Follow UXPH online!
Manila Program Information: https://roadshow.uxph.org/manila/
Buy Tickets: https://uxphroadshowmanila.eventbrite.com