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Agoda Design Team: Building Better Design Portfolios

By Dynin Khem - Published on Aug 08. 2019

Agoda Design team with Mahidol students, Dynin Khem far right

Every year, the Agoda Design team hosts a group of students from Thai universities for a “Design Practicum,” a 10-week program where the students get mentorship from our designers to create an end-to-end app experience and visual identity concept.

This year, 30 students from the communication program at Mahidol University International College joined us. The students were presented with a challenge to design a visual identity and mobile app experience for a new travel credit card. They then practiced a fuller design process which included user research, competitive benchmarking, concept exploration, interactive prototypes, and high-fidelity mockups. Some of student’s projects last year included digital wallet, maps and looking at improving transportation access for tourist.

When I joined Agoda in 2015, the team had around five designers. Since then, I’ve helped the team scale to 50 designers today. In that period of hyper-growth, the most difficult challenges were finding and hiring these amazing designers.

The designers at Agoda are talented executioners, strategic thinkers, and very humble. We try to understand our diverse customers through research, design solutions with a data-centric mindset, and make sure our efforts help achieve a positive influence on business outcomes.

One of our most important hiring strategies is to invest and help young designers in school prepare for design careers within technology companies. I have interviewed hundreds of students in the region, and most of the portfolio work I’ve seen has a heavy focus on brand and marketing design. Digital product design is not well represented.

My goal is to bring more clarity to how design can fit within fast-moving technology companies. And how designers can apply their craft to help build digital products that are increasingly a big part of everyone’s lives. A broader understanding will help expose students to a wider spectrum of design and open up more career opportunities and exploration. By working with universities like Mahidol, we hope to develop this in the future generation of designers.

It is always an incredibly rewarding experience and a reminder of how we can have an impact on bridging the gap between academic understanding and practical professional experience.

Special thanks to:
Agoda Design Mentors: Deven Grover, Javier Lo, HaeJi An, Natchalee Toruen
Agoda Design Speakers: Sabrina Li, Phornpavee Saiyavath

If you are interested in learning more about Design at Agoda visit: https://agodadesign.com

Also, if you are a student or young designer looking for an internship, or career advice, please feel free to reach out to: [email protected]

Dynin Khem is the Director of Design at Agoda. When he’s not designing digital products, he can be found building custom mechanical keyboards or traveling with his family.


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