Recently visited Japan on a holiday to experience a different culture, traditions and food.
Explored the country via the Japan Rail bullet train. We visited Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Nagano and Takayama.

It is amazing at the high speeds that the train can travel at.
It really changes the way you experience the country.
There seemed to be a few hours between cities and the train was very comfortable and seamless travel between areas made it easy to commute and see most of Japan.

A few things that surprised me about Japan:

  • Language was a barrier for us to connect with locals.
  • Orderly fashion that people move around in especially in the train stations.
  • Ordering food via a vending machine that would print out a receipt which would go to the kitchen immediately.
  • So many people, all of the time!

We tried out Airbnb Experiences using the mobile app and found that a great way to connect with a local and learn a few of the traditions and great places to see/ eat.

Had a great session with a photographer who took some photo’s of us in Tokyo, and also a Shodo Master (Japanese calligraphy). Learnt how to use brush technique that was traditional, calming and artistic. Definitely a unique experience that I would highly recommend.

I was also surprised by the level of service design around.
People actually stayed in lines that were placed on the ground.
Colour codes and arrows made it easy to help guide us in the right direction.

So many other events happened around the experience of the country, I would recommend a trip to experience the vibe. The people are friendly, and willing to assist a weary explorer (even if they don’t speak the language).

Contact me about our itinerary on our trip, happy to share.
I made a video using the OSMO mobile 2 Gimbal, it can be seen here:
https://bit.ly/2JqxZBp

If I were to sum up Japan in 3 words it would be, ‘Traditional, convenient & disciplined.’

To celebrate the release of Nike’s new Epic React shoe, Collingwood Arts Precinct turned into a giant interactive playground.

Dubbed the Nike House of Go, the heritage-listed building was littered with a labyrinth of rooms, tunnels and experiences. A ball pit, bounce room, slide, and large-scale art by artist Reko Rennie.

The theme was a celebration of the Nike React’s features – lightness, softness and bounce.
What a great concept to get a marketing a product.

Of course I posted about it here :)
A post shared by Sanjay (@heyitsmesanjay) on Mar 3, 2018 at 12:56pm PST

Being a lover of the experiential aspect of dealing with a brand, this was organised, and well thought out.
Bravo Nike!

The mindset to hire out a huge venue to put this on was inspiring.
Going to great lengths to make people smile and be a kid for a moment.

ID Collective (Events Agency) took 5 days to complete the task of placing the balls and balloons and paint the darn thing!

Curious to see if my next pair of shoes will be Nike.
Will I be subconsciously biased to get a pair? Stay tuned.

Working with CrownBet to deliver new Bet Features that were anticipated by Racing & Sports fans in Australia.

The features we delivered were named Auto Boost, Bet Boost and also Cash Back.
Users could activate these features by using their Reward Points.
Reward Points is exclusive to CrownBet and can be redeemed in order to utilise Bet Features, or experiences at Crown Casino (Parking, Food & Beverages… etc).

From building it with the teams to now researching the usability of the features.
In this fast pace environment sometimes having the opportunity to research before the product is released can be challenging.

Looking forward to if the results will pivot the product.

UX Australia at the Hilton in Sydney.

This was an amazing experience for me because it was my first official ‘work trip’, and to one of Australia’s largest User Experience conferences.

The conference lasted 3 days.
Many different speakers and also many different ways of looking at User Experience.

From Visual design, Service design, User Experience Design to Psychology and even the UX of mixed reality. A wide range of topics, and experts.

My favourite speaker was Hendrik Müller from Google Maps.
He gave a full day workshop on the importance of User Experience Research.

It was a hands-on approach learning practical tips for conducting usability studies, surveys and field interviews.

He shared how the Google Maps team he was managing, were seeking different ways to get to a destination… without using Google Maps!

The team were stuck with getting new ideas. The intent was to step out of the box and explore different possibilities of how users would get to a destination without their Google Maps app. This could perhaps spawn a creative solution or knowledge of how people might behave.

From being stuck with ideas, to having 1000+ post it notes of problems to solve, and ‘jobs to be done’.

Each participant was given a totally different restaurant to visit in Sydney.
Everyone had a different way to get to their destination.
Some purchasing bus/ train tickets, some asking people on the street, others downloading competitor apps.

The result after that 1 day was an influx of information gathered.

He mentioned the importance of getting out of the office sometimes and immersing yourself with the product or service.

I related to his style of approach because it it proactive and bold.
Had a chance to talk to him after the workshop and he mentioned that convincing the stakeholders is important to show the result after the fact is critical. Everyone learns from this, not just the participants – as long as it’s shared.

A decision to take the whole crew of 45 out to dinner and pay was worth the money spent to receive the information they got in return.

It built rapport with the team and energy within the project. Nice one!

I’ve been busy working on a few different projects, not to mention travels.
The decision has been made to post them all, so here it goes.

Recently went to Brazil, Argentina and Peru.
In Brazil they had the first Uber Lounge. A specified pick up from the airport in Rio de Janeiro.
We flew with Air New Zealand which had a great in flight services. Have your drink or nibbles delivered to you. If you liked the look of your neighbours movie you could see what they were watching, or watch it together simultaneously.

Trekking 48km in 4 days in Peru was challenging but reminded me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Machu Picchu was an amazing. To see how we experienced life in another time without computer technology was eye opening. A contrast of how we live today.

Many Customer Experiences along the way, including a full dental station in the toilet of a café. I appreciated that gesture and shifted my experience of that cafe overall. Fresh breath for all!

Also grateful for spending some time with Paulo Strauch learning fundamentals of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was amazing.

Brushing up on my Portuguese with the Duo Lingo app helped me navigate throughout Brazil. Not to mention my fiancé spoke broken Spanish that also assisted. Also with a little help fro Google Translate.
We use TripIt to store all of our travel itineraries which i highly recommend. It saved us searching through multiple emails for confirmation details.

Overall I would recommend a visit, and a eye opening experience to the way people live in contrast to Australia.

It was great to have the opportunity to work alongside a driven team to launch a product that was trending in the App Store and sits currently at 40th in Australias top Sporting apps.

Also had the opportunity to work with the marketing team on their biggest ever campaign “Beat the Star”.

Stars being AFL great Barry Hall, and NRL legend Wendell Sailor.

It was pretty cool to hear ads on TV, Radio and in Magazines all talking about Draftstars.

It felt great knowing that they will eventually be guided to use the app that I helped design.

One of the highlights was seeing a billboard ad that I had made on one of the busiest roads in Melbourne.

Can’t wait to see what’s next for this app, and my journey.

MENUS INSPIRED BY MOVIES thanks to Gourmet Cinemas.

I was invited to Gourmet Cinemas by a friend.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when my friend said “make sure you bring your own chair to sit on for the night”.

An outdoor epicurean cinema experience, bringing together food and film.

Set on the lush lawns of Caulfield Racecourse, with a restaurant line-up that boasts the who’s who of cool Melbourne eateries. I had the pleasure of watching Blade Runner in the open air.

A futuristic film that was shot in the 80's, viewed in 2017 – where you could order food from a smartphone and get it delivered on the lawn of where you were sitting. Similar experience to what was the ‘norm’ in the film.

There were four iconic restaurants serving up some of their menu favourites.
Branding was large simple and wasn’t fighting for your attention in a needy way.
It was present and proud.

The experience overall enhanced the fact that I was with amazing people and in a comfortable surrounding.

Bravo Gourmet Cinema!

So easy to be an expert at cooking a delicious meal these days.
User Experience is flowing into all things, even cooking.

I found this packet of Thai red Curry on sale so I thought I would try it out.
A step-by-step guide to what to place in next with large numbers on each packet to prompt you on the order of ingredients.

Not only that but they also had encouragement headers like, “Almost there!” “Time to cool down”. The packaging is essentially talking to you. It’s Marion, she’s guiding you through the process.

It makes you feel like you can’t fail. They thought through the barriers to cook such delicious food and broke through.

Perhaps I am impressed by the details, nonetheless it was a delicious Thai Red Curry and I made it myself.. thanks to ‘Marion’s Kitchen’.

New Zealand is nature at its finest! A place worth exploring. We had the pleasure driving around the South Island over 9 days and take in the best views and hikes that country had to offer.

An artists dream location to paint landscapes. Having travelled 3 hours by plane to a place where the scenery is truly breathtaking, was a nice break from the madness of the buzzing digital world.

Unplugging, being amongst nature definitely allowed my body mind and spirit to recharge. It has given me an appreciation of how powerful nature is, how we simply exists amongst it.

Technology assists us to navigate through our day and it is powerful. Being surrounded with life (blooming flowers) and death (road kill) reminded me of the powerful organic process of life. Not controlling the process but rather be guided by the process and most of all, enjoying the ride! Some of my images were printed.

Had the pleasure to work on a project with the TAC to encourage young students to come up with ideas to help drop the number of pedestrian deaths in Victoria.

This was a project that I was able to work on the designs for this new technology. I also assisted the concept and delivered the experience on the day.
A full circle from design to deliver.

Dealing with the end users and seeing their reactions and feedback of the application and design live was a great feeling of achievement.

Students place a Emotiv headset which can read brainwave patterns and detect levels of frequency the brain emits. I designed the interface that the user is reading, while on lookers view the larger screen of their results. This was carried out across 3 universities with success to the campaign.

A fun job that was part travel part design, and a great experience.

Business cards have arrived!
Looking forward to expanding my network, while building lasting business relationships.

When I travelled to Vietnam a few weeks back I met Binh on the streets of Hanoi.

He was carving amazing intricate stamps by hand.

Alas the masterpiece is complete and I’ve been branding everything since!

A great talk on User Experience and what it means in business and culture at Foxley HQ.

The theory that your product and workplace are in a constant orbit of each other is one of Zakk Goodsell’s mastermind strategies.

I like the train of thought that your environment reflects your product.
Building a startup involves experiences and these are factors to how people think, feel, and input into the business.

Being mindful of these experiences and respecting them is such a great take away from this meeting.

We split up into groups to test the theory – great fun, and a great bunch of people.
Looking forward to more insight from these guys in the future. Awesome office space too!

See more of their work here: http://www.foxley.com

A last minute twitter feed update from my idol Jessica Walsh from Sagmeister & Walsh in New York city brought me so much joy.

She was in my city for 2 days, I had to be a part of the experience.
I was blessed enough to hear her talk about the stresses and triumphs of modern day design.
Being playful and remembering the process of having fun with your craft.

Amazingly inspiring, I felt a shift within me. Her confidence and free spirit was contagious. To top it off she’s a down to earth chick.

Thank you Jessica for making my day.

See her work here: http://sagmeisterwalsh.com/

While working/ staying in a hostel in London I made these with the font representing their personality.
I asked my travel buddies to give me 10 words they thought about life, this was the result.

Uber changed their branding, but it wasn’t overnight. It apparently took 5 years to settle with the new design. It’s one of those things that will have to grow on me.

The intro sequence looks better, but it does take longer to load.
Overall I like when companies take a risk and make themselves vulnerable to criticism. The only way to grow is to learn.

Nice one Uber!

Read more here: https://newsroom.uber.com/celebrating-cities-a-new-look-and-feel-for-uber/