Ray Besiga

Hi! My name is Ray Besiga.

As a product designer, I work to empower people with a results-oriented system thinking approach to product and service design. I believe that design always works when it prioritizes the needs of users, business, team and finally yourself, in that specific order. Without users, a business and team cannot exist. I use the human-centered design and jobs-to-be-done methods to design products steeped in the desires of the user. I love to design products, especially on teams with great feedback mechanisms, as I learn and work exponentially faster. I love the outdoors and reading. I sometimes write. You can follow my RSS feed for updates.

Work

Co-founder, Sparkplug

March 2013 - Present

Built a team from scratch. Focused on product design and project management for clients such as Starkey Hearing Foundation, Clinton Health Access Initiative, RTI International, University Research Company, BBOXX, Maxwell Stamp, Mango Tree Uganda, Enventure Enterprises, Living Goods, EFC Uganda and Polo Safaris. Was in charge of business development. On a break. Clients included the following:

  • Starkey Hearing Foundation
  • UNICEF Uganda
  • Clinton Health Access Initiative
  • RTI International
  • University Research Company
  • Bboxx Capital
  • Expanding Social Protection (MoGLSD)
  • Infectious Diseases Institute
  • Mango Tree Uganda
  • Polo Safaris
  • Enventure Enterprises

UI/UX Designer, Catalpa International

November 2015- October 2016

Worked on a small team to design and develop the mobile app for Liga-Inan, East-Timor’s first mhealth project. Conducted user research, designed and sketched with Sketch, built functional front end prototypes. I also worked on various other projects in water and sanitation, and aid transparency.

Software Developer, UNICEF Uganda

September 2012 - July 2013

Redesigned and built modular functionality for the EduTrac web interface, UNICEF’s SMS-based education monitoring system used in Uganda and Afghanistan. Roles included extensive code review and debugging, automation and design iteration.

Distance Learning Office, Infectious Diseases Institute

July 2011 - July 2012

Provided technology support to distance learning activities in health. Upgraded the learning management system to support offline learning. Designed the prototype for the organization website redesign. This was under the Global Health Corps Fellowship.

Projects

Tribe Kampala

A co-working and community space to build skills, foster collaboration and nurture innovation within the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kampala. We believe the future of work is flexible and affordable.

Urb

Urb, a platform, built on Android, to link citizens to the services they need to enjoy their city, beautify their community and connect with local government. Focused on monitoring citizen service requests.

Akabbo

East Africa’s first mobile money powered crowd-funding platform. A web based social payments and crowdfunding platform.

Skills

Product Design

End to end design of web and mobile applications that start with user research, indentifying jobs to be done, sketching, prototyping, user interface and user experience design, testing and deployment. Current tools are Sketch with Invision but I am thinking to check out Figma and Alva.

Frontend Development

I thoroughly enjoy a bringing concepts devised on paper and Sketch to life in the web browser or mobile emulator. Great with HTML5, CSS3. Decent with Python/Django. Getting there with Javascript.

Business Development

While running Sparkplug, I needed to align design and business strategy not just for ourselves but our clients as well. All design output needed to align with the business needs of the project at hand. Secured a number of great clients.

Project Management

Was the anchor liaison for all projects with our clients at Sparkplug and in my private practice. I ensure that there is unified, optimum communication with clients for timely delivery of milestones.

Other Stuff

Urban Sustainability Global Talent, UNLEASH Innovation Lab

Denmark 2017

UNLEASH is a global innovation lab that brings together people from all over the world to transform 1,000 personal insights into hundreds of ideas, and build lasting global networks around the Sustainable Development Goals. As part of the inaugural cohort, under the SDG 11 - Urban Sustainability, I worked together with my colleagues through a creative design thinking process that focused on problem framing, ideation, and prototyping to work towards solutions that would help achieve the targets therein. My main group explored the sub-theme of "Citizen Engagement" with the goal of improving linkages between urban and rural areas in ways that keep cities sustainable while supporting local production of goods in associated rural areas. UNLEASH 2017 was a great experience that allowed me to explore further the role of technology and design in the international development. Partnerships will be key in achieving the SDG targets by 2030.

Spotlight Health Scholar, Aspen Ideas Festival

U.S.A 2016

Was awarded a scholarship to travel to Aspen from Timor-Leste by the Aspen Institute in recognition of my contribution to the advancement of access to health through the use of technology. Met a lot of interesting people with varying degrees of expertise and experience. I was exposed to the wealth and breadth of the health field in unexpected and surprising ways. I highly recommend it for anyone in the public health field.

Speaker, TEDx Kampala

Uganda 2015

Was honored with an invitation to speak about technology and how it tied into the theme, "Owning Your Destiny". I spoke about technology and its role in the sharing economy. African communities have always had a culture of sharing so it was not too hard to explore ways in which we could extend this culture to our economics.

Availability

I’m currently available for new opportunities. Say Hello