Q: What inspired you to embark on a career in design?
I was inspired by the book Change by Design written by Tim Brown in 2009. In the book, he laid out how companies leveraged design thinking to reinvent their products and strategies based on customer insights. I never knew this side of "design" existed! When I joined DBS Bank in 2015, I was lucky to have witnessed how the best bank in the world leveraged design thinking in practice.
Q: What do you think has changed since you started on your career in design?
I think the understanding of what design means has shifted quite significantly since I started my career close to a decade ago. In recent years, design research and business design have gained traction outside of the design community. As more employers and organisations become more receptive to design research and business design, new awardees of SFSA for Design will be able to identify new jobs, and opportunities from the market to utilise their skillsets.
Q: What do you think are some useful skills you’ve learnt that you think can be applied to jobs in other sectors?
The foundation of design thinking is rooted in an intimate understanding of its users, and we call it empathy. Learning to be empathetic can be useful in whatever you do regardless of your sector and position.
Q: What advice would you give to people considering a switch from a non-design job to one similar to yours?
It is never too late to make the switch! Your previous functional experiences will be a valuable asset in what you choose to do. I'll add that you might only discover what you're passionate about after several attempts. But that is all going to go into your portfolio to make you a truly unique designer.