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How we're raising our game in Singapore

In the right hands they are powerful tools but misapplied by the inexperienced they can be little more than buzzwords: User experience design, design thinking, gamification.  

And in Singapore, as with many other worldwide markets, there is growing demand for these services. 

When the Republic Polytechnic in Singapore recently decided to expand its suite of adult education services into design thinking, gamification and experience design they didn’t have to work too hard to decide who they needed to partner with. 

ThinkPlace has strong capability and global profile across all three areas. We also have a thriving Singapore Design Studio and a strong track record of working with government and non-government organisations in the city-state. 

That’s why ThinkPlace and Republic Polytechnic are excited to be signing a memorandum of understanding to make this new partnership official. The MOU coincides with the opening of Republic Polytechnic’s new Experience Design and Gamification Centre. 

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Debbie Ng's profile'
Debbie Ng
Bill Bannear from ThinkPlace signs an MOU
The memorandum is a major partnership between ThinkPlace and the Polytechnic and cements our role as a global leader in education around design thinking, user experience and gamification.

What’s that, then? 

The XGD centre will focus on promoting awareness, and developing capabilities and expertise in UX and Gamification via projects, consultancies and training.   

It will help businesses to develop and adopt UX and Gamification solutions that foster innovation and enhance productivity and competitiveness.  

The centre brings together a powerful alliance of industry, private and public sector. This will open up spaces for consultancy work as well as advanced training in methods that ThinkPlace is a world leader in.  

There is a growing demand for user experience design services in Singapore and this partnership will allow the building of new capability that allows the Polytechnic to provide the technical support Singaporean businesses are increasingly demanding.  

What does gamification offer to government and non-government clients? 
Gamification is more than just leader boards, badges and rewards. Designed well, it engages and motivates people across all activities and organisations.

Gamification has immense potential in engaging customers, improving loyalty and shifting behaviours. It has the power to spur motivation of people and influence behaviours. Customers are not the only group of people that organisations need to motivate and engage. In fact, employees can significantly benefit from these programmes to retain, recognise and spur engagement of staff beyond compensation.

ThinkPlace has long been a leader in this emerging space and a gamification company - Pentaquest - is a part of the ThinkPlace global network.  

What will we achieve together?  

Through both the new XGD Centre, and the broader ThinkPlace-RP relationship, we will be engaging with organisations on User Research, UX, Design Thinking, Service Design, Serious Games and Gamification through:  

  • Projects - An opportunity for ThinkPlace and Polytechnic staff to collaborate on projects for clients where differing skillsets make this desirable and to share access to labs and facilities.  

  • Consultancy – A joint effort to establish gamification in Singapore, and realise its benefits for both private and public sector 

  • Industry collaboration - Driving Singapore's industry transformation roadmaps, working with employers and employees alike, to achieve change at scale across sectors 

  • Training – A new platform to provide continuing adult design training for adult learners as part of our collaboration 

About ThinkPlace Singapore 

ThinkPlace is a global network of strategic design studios, founded in 2005. Our Singapore Studio opened in 2014 and is led by General Manager Bill Bannear

Building on ThinkPlace's global reputation as a provider of education and training we have established strong credentials in providing design thinking training and education to public organisations over the past four years. Increasingly, we are seeing interest from the private sector looking for partners that could help them develop and embed design capability in an effort to unlock  strategic competitiveness and innovation.  

Continuing education is a critical part of building human capital in Singapore and aligns closely with the Government’s plans for workforce transformation. The Singaporean Prime Minister also talks about how design thinking will be instrumental in the nation’s continued development.  

“There is plenty of ongoing interest in these methods right now,” says Singapore Studio General Manager Bill Bannear.  

“We see this as an opportunity to extend our footprint and to collaborate with the polytechnic to offer a design thinking training programme. Beyond that, we want to introduce new programmes through the centre such as design thinking for specific industries and gamification design. 

“These are areas where we have clear expertise and we can help, not only Singaporean businesses and organisations to flourish but help to build the capacity for innovation across the nation.”  

About Republic Polytechnic 

Republic Polytechnic is the youngest polytechnic in Singapore, offering diploma courses in Engineering, ICT, hospitality, management and communications to interested tertiary students.  

ThinkPlace has previously worked with the Polytechnic to embed design capabilities with their staff and lecturers. We have also accommodated students from the Polytechnic’s Diploma in Design for user experience as interns, while maintaining a close relationship to support them in their design growth. The new centre and the memorandum of understanding that create sit are a logical next step in this partnership.