Principles Yasuhiro Sasaki

Takram • Omotesando, Tokyo • August 20, 2015

Yasuhiro Sasaki is a director and business designer at Takram, a design and innovation firm in Omotesando, Tokyo. We spoke on designing business models, storyweaving, and prioritising context over product.

Weave the product story and business story together


Go to the gemba

First, I go to the gemba of the client, the place where things are happening.  Designers think about users. So, we interview users at the place where they make decisions—the gemba.

But we also interview people from our client company who are involved in the product process, both from the manager point of view and the implementation/sale point of view. Often what we hear from both is totally different. We need to find an understanding between them.

Tell both stories

The story process can be divided into two stories: story from users and story from company. The company story is brand and product strategy. The user story is observation and interviews.

UX Design and Business design are not separate. Business is all about providing a good user experience.

Don’t develop the product before the story, or the story before the product





Prioritise context over content

Start with the context

Forget every aspect of content. We should have a part of the process where every project member to only thinks about the context. For every project, I lead a brainstorming session to think about the branding and advertisement of the product before we have any product ideas.

Don’t separate the product from the experience around it

We should not spend as much time thinking about the ideas. We should spend more time thinking about the whole experience.

The details of the experience and the details of the product are the same from the user’s point of view. Users don’t just think about the shape of the product, they also think about where it is sold, how people talk about it—all of this is equal from their point of view.