Winning by Design: The Power of a Systematic Approach - Sebastiaan Schillebeeckx, PandaPanda - Rocket Day Talk Summary

Design enthusiast and PandaPanda founder Sebastiaan Schillebeeckx took us on a journey on the power of design, and how you can create outstanding products by using a systematic approach. Sebastiaan has been in the design market for more than 10 years now. He first started Campr, an Airbnb for camping, after getting his degree in Interactive Multimedia Design. He constantly refined his view of great design processes, although completely falling in love with Figma. He constantly brings new features and toolkits to ease his work as well as other designers’.

However, he wants to put an end to design teams doing boring factory work ordered by programmers. “It’s time for change”. Here’s the summary of Sebastiaan’s talk titled “Winning by Design: The Power of a Systematic Approach”.

Right at the beginning of his talk, Sebastiaan pictures a lonely designer, led by an army of programmers, telling him everything he has to do, without any room for creativity. He wants to put an end to this era of being told what to do. He finds this approach is bad and too corporate. There’s more to design than just that. A design can be a whole system you build from the ground up, with solid foundations in order to create products “that are built to last”.

Sebastiaan showcased his view of design to us by pointing out what he’s done in his former design job at NOWJOBS, his change in workflow to Figma, and a simple yet intuitive wireframe toolkit he created for that specific software. But how to shape a design system? He immediately answers that question by saying one should start with an intake call with your client company to brainstorm all the needs you want to fulfil, launch discoveries by interviewing all the teams, and raise stakeholders’ interest by showing off your design approach through a video or a presentation, just like a NODES introduction video he’s done for Nodalview.

Now that you have all cards in hands to build an innovative design using a systematic approach, what else to do? Seba asks. The answer is simple: communication is key. To keep that approach and make it evolve in the right direction, all your teams should be able to be part of the design process. For example, Nodalview has a program where everyone from the company can submit a request regarding product design.

You also need your customers to love your product. For this reason, Sebastiaan told us about Maze, a french scaleup showcasing a product that builds questionnaires and sends testings to all users if they want to contribute. It also includes heatmaps and insightful figures. He assures that he can collect enough customer feedback regarding his design choices using this product.

For Seba, it is important to stop doing monkey work when it comes to product design.The systematic approach he elaborated on is a new and effective way to induce a perfect framework to how you shape your product, and what naturally comes first in that process is design. His last open question “How can you win by design” comes down to simple steps after listening to what he has said: communicate effectively with the company so everyone feels part of the design process, using the right (and best) tools, and establish a clear design process within the product framework. Accomplishing these three will give you superpowers!

Right before the end of his talk, Seba wanted to show Rocket Day attendees the new PandaPanda and dualoop joint venture, coming up with, a service to help take product design to new heights! Check out the website to know more about this brand new service.

Seba's full talk is available here! All Rocket Day talks are available on our YouTube channel!

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