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Why does Hong Kong need Dutch-quality designs?

Hong Kong, March 3rd, 2017

WECREATE was founded in 2007 in Amsterdam. The company doubled in size within a year, and within a few years the office had grown to a self-sufficient company with clients coming in from various industries and fields.

The Creative Director, who had a newfound love for Asia, decided to take a look at the Asian market where he discovered that there was a lot of room for improvement in the digital industry. Realising that the market needed a more international approach, he took a risk and opened a second office for WECREATE in Hong Kong.

Starting with a small office, WECREATE Hong Kong expanded within a year to become a fully-grown team of designers, project managers and developers. Because of the close connection between our offices, we’re able to bring Dutch-quality designs into Hong Kong, east meets west.

Kuipers studied communication and Multi Media design in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. “At the time I studied Multi Media design, it was a new career. It was completely focused on actual practice, new upcoming trends and appliance of creative communications in real life digital projects.”

Once he bagged his diploma, he moved to Amsterdam where he worked for a few big digital companies as web designer. Having a bit of experience under his belt, he decided that It was time to put my passion in creating projects where I could expand my creative horizon with 0 boundaries, says Kuipers.

Can you describe your agency in three words?

We dream digital.

In your opinion, what ingredients are key to create a successful digital campaign?

For a successful digital campaign you need a great creative concept, target-focused-design, a strong message and powerful positioning.

How do you work out your design, taking into account your target audience or users?

Research is key. Based on extensive research, competitor analysis, and target audience segmentation, we begin with the UX in the form of wireframes, based on personas and scenarios.

We prototype the wireframe and test on the targeted audiences, and closely monitor their issues and feedback.

After this we’ll go back to the drawing board to take the lessons learned into account. Once we have a strong understanding of the user’s native behavior, and we have taken this completely into account in our UX, we move forward to UI.

Which are the most important web tools that you use?

We are always open for new tools to improve our workflow, and therefore try and test a lot of tools out there.

Besides our own workflow we do also want to provide optimised solutions for our clients, so they can review, test and give feedback on our projects with as little effort for them as we can make possible.

We dream JIRA, for both internal project management as debugging and UAT (User Acceptance Testing) with clients.

The InVison app is our weapon of choice for prototyping, it helps us to bring our designs come to live and enables clients and test users to have a go at the flow.

For our administration we use Moneybird, a great and user friendly tool for quotations, invoices and bookkeeping.

Can you tell us about a project you worked on that was especially successful?

Recently we were asked to do a pitch for the creative concept for Tokyo.com, a high level domain name. The website provides all the information that anyone visiting Tokyo might need, from shopping to sightseeing or culture, from restaurants to its fashion. We had complete creative freedom in terms of UX and UI, and came up with a creative, user friendly approach to a city planner website.

We won the pitch and were able to roll out the complete website, including a build your trip functionality, according our vision.

How do you imagine the UX concept to work in the future?

Current UX concepts are based on each website/app design and the interactions needed to complete a certain task (whether it is to engage the user to subscribe or call-to-action), this is based on all current knowledge on what is needed or can be done.

We think that the UX concepts of the future will be based on this “anticipation” of what the user will need (we didn’t know we needed touchscreens until we had them) and we think this is part of the UX evolutionary process… to be able to detect what the user will need/want is the next step.

How do you organise your team and their tasks to guarantee quality assurance (QA)?

Our designers, developers and project managers work closely in Agile teams, so developers are in from the start and designers ensure the visual quality until the end, while our project managers ensure timelines are being made. The overall responsibility is with the Creative Director, who gives direction, steers and keeps the helicopter view.

Name a challenge your team is currently facing.

Finding the right people can sometimes be a challenge. With any company that is evolving and growing, we are always looking for passionate, qualified and skilled in-house designers and developers who love to push the boundaries of available technologies.

We hope to attract members that understand and believe our ideology and who are willing to work hard and play even harder.

What piece of advice would you give a recent grad looking to work in digital marketing?

Make sure you have an outstanding digital portfolio which showcases the projects that you are most proud of. Don’t forget to work on your personal branding, think of a strong positioning and work that out in an eye-catching design concept.

Do not overshare, no one needs to see your first logo made with Word art or Paint,
Agencies want to know the present you and your current skill set.

Are there online publications, professionals, industry leaders you follow?

Seth Godin
Interaction Design Foundation
www.smashingmagazine.com
www.the-webdesigner.co
www.visualhierarchy.co
Dribble
Behanced
www.siteinspire.com
Awwwards
www.theFWA.com

Which cities outside where you live interest you creatively?

Melbourne
Tokyo
Rio de Janeiro
Berlin
Buenos Aires
Bilbao
Cape Town

Please list a few of your favourite digital brands:

Dribble, Behanced, Youtube, Spotify, Vice, Netflix, Instagram, AirBnB

What do you like doing in your free time?

Driving around Hong Kong in my convertible, enjoying the sun on the beach with my family, escaping the city and go on a hike in the mountains and travel, travel, travel!

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