What factors make some digital products feel soulless and desolate, while others feel vibrant, captivating and… alive? It’s something I’ve long been greatly fascinated with. In a time where every category of digital product faces immense competition, differentiation is a must for survival and growth. And a product brimming with soul and aliveness most certainly helps separate it from the pack.

ProductTank, the world’s largest product community spanning over 175 cities, graciously invited me to present as their Ho Chi Minh City chapter’s 10th event speaker. It was the perfect opportunity to share my insights on the topic of bringing life to digital products to an audience with obvious passion for making great products.

The event took place on August 7th 2019 in the impressive surroundings of Grab’s Vietnam headquarters to what was an amazing turn out of people genuinely intrigued by the topic.

The talk, titled Bringing Life to Digital Products, dissected what cues and factors play into a digital product’s aliveness. The presentation started by drawing on examples from the real world and how we gauge products, venues, events and so forth as being alive. We then went on an in-depth exploration into the many design, functional and behavioural factors that influence how a digital product is perceived and felt by users. Along the way, clear and actionable suggestions on how to design “life” into products were provided, followed in the end by action items attendees could use for getting aliveness part of their design process.

A very special thanks goes to the wonderful dedicated team of organisers Đinh Thanh Trúc, Phan An, Chanh Nguyen and Arturo Locsin. Thanks also to Grab for the generous use of their idyllic event space and the beautiful spread of food and refreshments. And of course, thank you to ProductTank for the great opportunity to speak at the event.

Presentation Video

Presentation Materials

Download Slide Deck (PDF 32.2MB): Bringing Life to Digital Products