Kocha at his deskDesign sprint at Uno home loans with Vincent and ChrisWith Diego at Freelancer.comSome memories from Freelancer.comAt Kocha StudioDesign workshop for his client

About me

In 2002, I began my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a passion for coding and technology. While studying programming languages like Turbo Pascal, C++, and JavaScript, one of my minor subjects was web design. That was the first time I discovered design and realised that I was on the wrong side of the table.

I then switched my major to design and multimedia. I explored different design software and had my first experience with a Macintosh computer (Power Mac G5) and its operating system. It was love at first sight, and I felt very connected to the product. I then realised that my true calling is designing software that seamlessly combines form and function.

I continue to deepen my knowledge of design principles and pursue a master's degree in design and creative thinking. Since then, design has become my only one career and a way of life.

LinkedIn

My user manual

1.

How I view success

  • Be healthy, have good relationships, and stay wealthy.
  • Be able to continuous improvement.
  • Be able to smile and laugh with other people.

2.

What I value

  • Aesthetics—aesthetics is a craft, and craft creates care.
  • Business—business is a perspective, and perspective creates sustainability.
  • Creativity—creativity is differentiation, and differentiation creates meaningful purpose.

3.

How I communicate

  • 1-on-1 work best for me.
  • I am more clear in writing.
  • Visuals > Words.

4.

My best hours

  • Before 10 am: Self development.
  • 10 – 12 am: Creative and deep-work, privately.
  • 2 – 4 pm: Good for meetings and collaboration.

5.

How I collaborate

  • If you are a Product Manager or Engineer, I work best when we collaborate in the problem-space, such as customer problems, business needs, technical constraints, and so on.
  • If you are a Designer, I work best when we collaborate in the solution-space, such as hypotheses, design processes, frameworks, principles, and so forth.
  • If you are not a dedicated product team member, I am keen to learn more from you, and I hope you don’t mind me asking too many questions.

6.

Environment I work best

  • Quiet—most of my ideas come to me in moments of stillness and contemplation.
  • Inclusivity—most of my meaningful collaborations arise from maintaining respected and appropriate boundaries.
  • Playful—a safe space to think creatively always gets the most out of me.

7.

Things I may annoy you

  • I think visually, and in a non-linear order. I may jump between unrelated ideas during our conversations.
  • I often come to the point and avoid small talk.
  • I enjoy exploring options and often change my mind.

8.

My strengths

  • Discipline—I commit to improving myself every day.
  • Initiative—I am comfortable with ambiguity.
  • Resilience—I always try again.

9.

My growth areas

  • I quickly get bored and tend to avoid standards.
  • I am a private person.
  • I require a significant amount of alone time.

10.

My career goals

  • Doing interesting work with interesting people.
  • Publishing a book.
  • Running a design agency.

FAQs

1.

Why did you choose design?

I have always had a desire to drive change by creating something from nothing.

FYI: I’m on a mission to create one million designs that positively impact people’s lives.

2.

How do you approach the design process?

My typical process begins by identifying the best possible outcomes for people whose lives will be impacted by my design.

Next, I research unspoken user needs and business goals, validate hypotheses, and lead the product teams in launching the product and learning from the results.

Personally, I have a bias toward action. If a process takes more than a few days to produce results, I believe something is wrong either with the team or the process itself.

3.

How do you work with cross-functional teams?

I ensure that all stakeholders are informed throughout the design process and aligned on the desired customer outcomes, as well as the key success metrics.

4.

How do you stay up-to-date with design trends?

I am not interested in design trends.

Instead, I pay attention to the fundamental human problems that have never changed (e.g., improved health, wealth, or relationships).

I constantly seek new ways to leverage emerging designs and technologies to solve those problems.

5.

How do you balance the needs of the user with the needs of the business?

I have found that when everyone aligns with the key success metrics and desires customer outcomes, everything else will take care of itself.

6.

How do you handle conflicting feedback from stakeholders?

From my experience, conflicting feedback occurs when there is no clear goal.

To address this, I will first ensure that all stakeholders align on the same key success metrics.

Then, I will prioritise feedback based on what is best for both the user and the business as a whole.

7.

In the past five years, what is the mindset change that has improved your life?

It’s easy to iterate when you’ve made a mistake in design, but the same principle does not apply when it comes to people. Avoid making mistakes in relationships at all costs. There’s no point in being the best designer that no one wants to work with.

8.

How do you approach user research?

My approach to user research is lean and simple. I observe the subject, formulate measurable hypotheses, test them, and then communicate the result.

9.

How do you measure the success of a product design?

I use a combination of metrics, including user engagement, customer satisfaction, and business impact, as well as my own intuition.

10.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Stay healthy, be able to turn to someone to hug, laugh, or cry, and be able to help more people.

LinkedIn Recommendations

Kocha is a super talented designer and conceptual thinker. He not only has a meticulous eye for details, also can think holistically

Lin Mei, Senior Product Designer at Freelancer.com

Kocha’s work is of a consistently high standard and he is always trying to learn new techniques to improve his all round knowledge

Adam Flinter, Digital Director at The Ate Group

Kocha approaches every feature with a fresh UX perspective and an unbiased lens

Andrew McKay, Head of Design at Insight Timer

Kocha was easy to work with, very prompt and produced great design work that encapsulated our brand

Lauren Hertel, Director at Disburse It

Kocha intuitively mixes user research insights with product ideas, then shapes it into an elegant user experience

Timothy Yeo, Head of Design at Finder.com

Kocha wowed us with high quality work but we were so impressed by his professionalism and thoughtful process

Anh Nguyen, Product Strategy at Headstart Lab