When global tech companies enter the Southeast Asian market, the metric they most often use to measure their success is growth… and ONLY growth! This is tracked by asking such superficial questions as: How many new users have we acquired? How many monthly active users must we maintain? How many inactive users must we resurrect?
Metrics that can lead to long term customer loyalty, a healthy and vibrant marketplace, and the overall prosperity of the people within that marketplace are often thrown by the wayside, or at best an afterthought. These include: the well-being of all the various stakeholders and users, the behavioral impacts of design choices on various user groups, and the long term effects of design decisions on society and how we interact with one another as humans. These are questions of ethical design.
The effect of this hyper focus on growth at the expense of ethical design often resembles the discovery of a valuable but limited resource:
We often hear about users’ privacy, accessibility, the excess of behavior change, and users’ security, but these important ethical aspects of product design seem to be luxuries often only available to Western European and North American users. For us in the SEA market, only our total population number – 674,351,868 – matters for the growth reports that drive business decisions in the region. It can often seem that — to some investors, venture capitalists, government officials, and company executives — users from the SEA market are mere numbers, devoid of all humanity.
In this talk, I will explore several cases that support this claim of “abuse” of the SEA market for the sake of growth, the effect this has on society and humanity at large, and what we can all do about it to rebalance the scales and create a better future for everyone, including the investors and company executives!
SVP of Product Design, tiket.com
Originally from Indonesia, Yoel Sumitro left for Seattle to get a degree in UX from the University of Washington. He has been globetrotting: first, he worked as a UX Designer in Apptio in Seattle, followed by Mobilewalla in Singapore, and then he was at Adidas Group in Germany. He also worked as a Senior UX researcher at Uber before finally, in 2018, he decided to go back to Indonesia and is working at Bukalapak, one of the 4 Indonesian Unicorns, as their VP of Product Design, leading 140+ strong design talents. Now he is helping tiket.com to design the most consumer-centric online travel agent by simplifying the way people travel the world.
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