The role of UX in the gamification of Finance.

A screen from Robinhood, showing a graph of when GameStop was rising
A screen from Robinhood, showing a graph of when GameStop was rising
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

The history of UX has long been intertwined with finance — one of the first screens that Industrial Designers in the ‘90s created UX Design for are ATMs. Since then, this new specialty of Design became its own practice, created its own principles, movements, and trends. Now, FinTech start-ups take the principles of User Experience to democratize an old industry. The ones aiming to push boundaries, take it a little bit further by incorporating gamification in their brand strategy.

A revolution in finance is inevitable, and Design is going to play a big role in it.


How should companies respond in these scenarios?

Photo by Crawford Jolly on Unsplash

As an Asian American, I have a lot to process and this news about Alexi McCammond isn’t the most important but it is the easiest to write and share with the world. Of course, I’m appalled by the comments she made back in 2011 but if I were a decision-maker in Teen Vogue, I think I would respect her decision to resign but I’m not sure I would simply accept it.

Intuitively, here is a list of my gut reactions.

  • Her words are something I can forgive easily had I read them in 2011.
  • If she’s truly doubling her efforts…

I did 51 of 365 days for my Acts of Action

Photo from one of my first protests in Seattle when Trump created a travel ban.

I really wanted to be a more effective activist. I wanted to use my voice in contributing to meaningful changes in the world. So, I set out to post an “Act of Action” every day for all of 2021, after 52 days I gave up.

In the beginning, these Instagram stories were getting a lot of engagement, and I was feeling proud of myself but as the days go on, not only was I running out of content but I also felt like what I had to say was not as important or meaningful as I thought it was. I…


Embrace talking to yourself

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

I have never been consistent with keeping a journal, but I’ve always wanted to be. When I was younger, the purpose of my journal was to keep a record of my days. In grade school, I remember writing about the cute boys in school, or petty arguments with frenemies. I would write about being envious of silly things from my classmates. I would write about the teachers I didn’t like. Needless to say, I kinda wasted paper. I never wrote about serious heartbreaks, like what I felt when I was separated from my mom and brothers when I was younger…


The Honest System We Have Overlooked.

Photo by Rainier Ridao on Unsplash

The One Honest System In the Philippines Everyone Overlooks

I saw an article about how one bus line now uses the “honesty box” as a way to pay for bus fare. This system only takes cash and you can’t get change. I didn’t think that there was anything new or novel with the idea, because we see this in other parts of the world, but what was surprising to me was how a lot of the commenters thought this system will fail in the Philippines because Filipinos are not honest.

I was a bit awestruck because jeepneys, a transportation mode used by most Filipinos run by the honest system…


Help us name and claim cultural artifacts of the Philippines by writing about them.

Photo by Austin Nicomedez on Unsplash

Our mission is simple, we want to name, claim, analyze, and collect cultural artifacts from the Philippines, and its diasporas. We welcome articles by anyone who identifies as Filipino. Topics could include physical objects and artifacts, as well as intangible artifacts such as — food, oral history, systems, and ways of life.

We’re looking beyond just what these objects and artifacts are, but want an analysis of how these objects and practices contribute positively to our experiences as Filipinos. …


And I think this is ok.

This is an attempt to clear my head on the last day of the year.

Photo by Leon Contreras on Unsplash

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is currently in a reflective mode, trying to process, unpack, and understand all that was last year. I am sure that I am a better, stronger person now than I was 365 days ago, but I’m still at a loss for words about all the wonderful and horrible things that happened in my personal life and as a member of society.

I see a lot of headlines, intended to encourage everyone who has self-doubts about their accomplishments for the year. I’m appreciative and even in need to read those words as well…


did you know you’re powerful?

Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

This is for anyone who is feeling powerless.

Don’t let the world fool you, you are in fact powerful. Simply being alive means that your presence has an impact on something, somewhere in the world. The choices we make will always affect something.

We often think about power as the synonym of being strong, of being big, of being wealthy — it’s more than those adjectives. These words have always tried to make the invisibility of power into something we can see or measure. But we’ve never actually measured someone’s impact on somebody else’s life because this is inherently unquantifiable.

I was listening to Esther Perel recently and…


We have our first hire! And it’s not a position you might expect from a Creative Agency.

lowercase now has its first intern, but we’ll just call her our Researcher for Gender Development. Intern sounds a bit minimizing considering the product of her job will help shape an initiative we hope to start as soon as quarantine measurements and travel restrictions are lifted in the Philippines.

Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

How we came about this decision.

One of the first projects that lowercase has been wanting to do is a furniture and housewares line. This is an important brand we want to put out from the very beginning considering my background as an Industrial Designer and because one of my big life goals is to help define…


for the sake of transparency

As we were developing a digital product to address some COVID19 issues in the Philippines, we found multiple development teams — our team included — who did not know where to get their data. We know that this is a recurring issue in the Philippines and data could also be very expensive.

Naturally, this just means we should create an open data lake that we can share to other developers, researchers, talents and whoever else that wants datasets and information. Lanao Open Data Lake then came to fruition.

The Culture That Lanao Designed to Create

Branding Design to celebrate the Filipino Culture

We sourced inspiration from the streetscape and landscape of the Philippines, in…

Ana Mengote Baluca

Design and Strategy living in between Manila, Seattle and New York. Writing about design things and things in Design. And sometimes random things.

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