Shaping the Future with AI, Data, and Innovation in Digital Design.

We invited Vincent, Design Director, and Co-Owner at Design Well, to delve into "The evolving landscape of UX and product design and share his insights on the integration of AI".


Vincent Koopmans

Who did we interview?

Vincent Koopmans, the Design Director and Co-Owner of Design Well, boasts over 25 years in Digital Design. With roots in Graphic Design, he quickly transitioned to digital platforms post-graduation. Renowned for his comprehensive expertise in Product Design, Vincent now leads and mentors design teams develops innovative Design Systems, and collaborates with his talented partners at Design Well, consistently pushing the boundaries of digital creativity.

Let us quickly get to our expert's point of view.

  • Ques 1 : The first secret of great design is…? How can we implement Design Thinking in an organisation?

    Ans : Keep asking questions, until you find the actual problems you need to solve, “Dig deep” would be my “secret” to great Design.

    As for the second question, as with many things, the proof is in the pudding. To convince people who aren’t familiar with Design Thinking methodologies to adopt them, would probably mean you have to prove they work. So, do the workshops, educate, and show prior successful projects where you applied them. Make them feel they’re missing out 🙂

  • Ques 2 : Please elaborate on the nature of the relationship between Data and Design.

    Ans : Data is the thing that proves or debunks your design decisions and validates your hypothesis. It’s essential to use relevant data at any stage in the Design process.
    The integration of data in the design process promotes objectivity and minimises reliance on subjective assumptions.
    In essence, data and design form a symbiotic relationship, where data-driven approaches strengthen the quality of design outcomes, enhancing the overall user experience and increasing the likelihood of successful design solutions.
    Never leave home without it 😉

  • Ques 3 : What do you see as the future of design in your field? What's going to come up?

    Ans : This might be a no-brainer but with Apple entering the XR Arena with their Vision Pro, AR/VR Design could be taking off, which means a lot of us Designers have new patterns to learn, restrictions, and most of all possibilities to investigate. Exciting to say the least.
    Design tools will start to integrate AI to help you or even automate parts of your daily design work (Figma bought Diagram for instance). And I expect that in the near future, even the coding part will become partially automated from within your Design tools. Design = Code.

  • Ques 4 : How AI and Machine Learning are Changing the way we Design? And How will it affect UX professionals?

    Ans : We can already see the influence AI has in our daily work. For instance, using ChatGPT for writing your component documentation, generates Design Token structures by using a couple of prompts instead of doing everything manually. That will only evolve into prompting to create designs or complete flows in Figma when it hooks into your Component Library. And that’s just a start!

    I believe it helps us to create even better solutions since it takes away most of the manual work. Which frees up time to spend more time thinking about the problems you are trying to solve. Let the machine handle the boring stuff.

  • Ques 5 : In the design world, throwing your individuality into a project is heresy. Please tell us about your journey through the design strategy and life experiences that have shaped you into the person you are today.

    Ans : I am not sure if I agree with the first statement to be honest (or if I am misinterpreting it). Yes UX / Product Design is a team effort, but as an individual, your expertise and experience are invaluable for that team. We all bring our superpowers to the table in a project!

    My journey to becoming the person and professional I am today started like most of us. Around 25 years ago, at the bottom of the ladder as a Junior Designer at a Design agency, like a sponge soaking everything up to become better at my job. I remember feeling so good when I was trusted with more responsibilities in projects and was promoted to senior at “ The Valley”.

    You learn so much from having to be the one who has to talk to clients and present and defend design decisions. That’s what being a medior / senior is about, learning to cope with responsibility and overseeing the quality of the work, coaching members of your project team. I liked that phase of my career, still being a hands-on Designer as well as sharing and passing on knowledge and experience to others.

    And even now where my title says Design Director, I still love doing actual design work and running projects. But it means having to balance it even more with being a Design Leader towards clients as well as leading my team. Which results in having to let go of responsibilities to my junior and senior designers who love to soak up knowledge. Which brings it full circle I guess. As it should be, a Design Leader should give back to the community, so others may grow into future Design Leaders.

  • Ques 6 : AI vs. UX Designers. The Battle for Creative Jobs? Your Thoughts?

    Ans : I don’t see it as one versus the other to be honest. I see it as AI taking the profession of UX Design forward. In the end, our job is not so much about drawing rectangles and buttons or components and patterns.
    In the end, it’s about solving problems a user has when interacting with a particular product. And to get to the right answers you have to interact on a human level with your users and stakeholders, ask the right questions, test hypotheses etcetera. Something AI will not be capable of for some time.

  • Ques 7 : How do you balance imagination and intellect in your work?

    Ans : Great question! Imagination and creativity are what bring you fascinating ideas, insights, and concepts right?! That crazy idea you want to Design or build for your client. But Intellect is what realises it. So you need both. Start with the creativity part, aim for Mars! And then face reality…. See what obstructions you have to remove or deal with to realise your ideas. Then you might end up on the moon first. Which is still great!

  • Ques 8 : What advice do you have for the design community?

    Ans : If there’s any advice I can give to the community it would be to always stay curious and try to do better than your previous project every single time. And don’t get too bummed out if the result of a project wasn't what you hoped for, for whatever reason. There will be other projects that rock your socks off! Learn from the ‘failures’ but move on quickly.

    I have been working in Digital Design for over 25 years and the main reason why I still enjoy it is that there’s always something new to learn in our line of work. So have that open attitude, and approach every project like it’s your first. I promise you will have a blast!

Aman Maan

Senior Consultant

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