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Driving Growth By Design

In this article

With the digitalisation of modern products and services as technology advances, user experience (UX) plays an essential role in ensuring that users are able to use these platforms successfully. Companies must be able to make use of user research and design thinking in order to adapt to changes in the industry and continually innovate.

It has been shown that 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience and mobile users are 5 times more likely to abandon a task if the website isn’t optimized for mobile. This is telling that UX design for businesses plays an important role in achieving their overall objectives such as conversions and retention. So how exactly can a company use customer experience and design to stay ahead of the competition and scale-up?

Jin Shaun, principal user researcher at Carousell talks about how to drive growth by design through his experience at Carousell. This article adapts pointers from our webinar session with Jin Shuan, in order to provide a better insight into the organisational value of UX. Carousell is one of the biggest community marketplace platforms in Singapore, with recent expansion overseas to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Jin Shaun himself has a Master of Design from the Institute of Design, Chicago. He is an experienced design planner, researcher, and strategist who has worked in government, consulting, banking, education, and tech in the USA and Singapore.

Jin Shaun Ang
Principal User Researcher at Carousell

“The fundamental thing is, you need to understand why. You need to understand what the user problems are and what the user opportunities are.”

The Questions

The following are some questions discussed during the webinar session, for the full discussion, do check out the video here. *Do note that some answers are summarised for the article.

1. What is your job scope in Carousell?

As Carousell is a tech company, product management is a big part of what we do. Product management is basically building features into the app to make sure the user experience is amazing and drives growth for the company. Besides working with the product team, I also work with the growth strategy, branding, and marketing team. This includes working closely with the creatives and UX designers. At the end of the day, my main goal is to answer the question of “How might we do things better?”

I enjoy this connection with human-centered design as it leads to connecting with the people in my team that does user research, working together on user observations, user interviews, and bouncing ideas off each other.

Business illustrations by Storyset

2. How can we promote design thinking and also persuade stakeholders to adopt such a mindset in an organisation?

Through user research and behaviours, we discovered that in the food category of Carousell, there are many home cooks and bakers as compared to when you search on Google. We realised that many people used our platform as a way to start and try out small projects and businesses first. This is an example of why our company values user research so much, as we feel that our users are what makes the company. In Carousell, user research is not just a side job that an engineer or UX designer does, rather it plays a key role in our planning process to identify the user’s problems and opportunities.

3. Now that Carousell has expanded significantly, how does the organisation continue to stay user-centric across different teams?

With size comes a certain degree of complexity, and to tackle that complexity, you need a certain level of discipline and structure. Growth in tech companies is based around the key principles of acquisition, engagement, and retention. It is like an engine where you have to look at many different areas and tweak them to ensure that the overall company works properly. The fundamental aspect is knowing the “why”, what the user’s problems and opportunities are.

People illustrations by Storyset

4. How does Carousell’s research function decide on which projects to work on?

We work very closely with the product leadership and strategy team to highlight projects that they are interested in embarking on. We try to have a portfolio of research projects that solves both discovery-oriented and validation-oriented questions. This helps us to answer bigger questions while also answering necessary questions such as if a product is broken or how we can improve on the experience.

5. Carousell is currently acquiring other P2P platforms across the region, how do you ensure a consistent experience for users across these different markets?

Many of our research and solutions can be applied across regions as these are human-oriented problems, similarly faced by people around the world. For example, if you use user research to improve a feature in Singapore, chances are that it will also affect users similarly in the Philippines. Every country has a different manager and we trust them to be the best person to understand the local culture and local needs, where they would then provide feedback back to us. It does not mean that the experiences in the different countries must be identical to each other. Certain features launched in a particular country might not always be available elsewhere. It is about localisation to the market.


We hope that this article has provided you with a better understanding of the importance of UX design towards an organisation’s growth. User experience and design thinking have been widely used across leading brands and top UX companies worldwide such as Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Thank you to Jin Shaun for being a great guest.

For more insights about user experience and its industry, do check out our other resources available on our websites, such as our articles, weekly webinars, and podcasts.

CuriousCore offers both UX courses for individuals as well as training for organisation via our masterclasses. Our customisable masterclasses enable organisations to cater to specific training goals such as design thinking alignment or UX fundamentals. Click on the buttons below to find out more!