Japanese UX firm Goodpatch expands to Berlin, hoping to import more diversity in designs



This is the abridged version from our original article in Japanese.

Tokyo-based user experience and interface (UX/UI) design agency Goodpatch announced today that it will launch the first overseas office in Berlin, called Goodpatch Berlin. The company’s executive officer Boris Friedrich Milkowski will be appointed as head for the new office.

Goodpatch is well known for having served notable Japanese mobile apps such as news app Gunosy and accounting app Money Forward in improving user experience. The company launched a prototyping tool called Prott last year.

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Germany has a profound history of design as represented by the Bauhaus. Goodpatch selected Berlin as the location for its first overseas office because the city has a high profile as a global startup hub. Compared to UK or France, Berlin is easier to live in because of cheaper house rent and living expenses. So many people from all around Europe have moved into Berlin upon expanding their business to different markets in the entire region.

Goodpatch CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya loves the UI designs of web services born out of Germany, and he has written about many of them on his company’s bilingual blog called Memopatch. Boris found Tsuchiya’s article on the blog and applied to join the team while he was attending Keio Media Design (KMD), the graduate school of media design at Keio University.

Tsuchiya told The Bridge why they have chosen Berlin:

We have been eager to open our overseas office. Initially we were thinking of San Francisco, but the city is already a trending spot, meaning it is not so high priority.

Then Boris graduated from KMD last year and started working with us on a full-time basis. In charge of global marketing of Prott, he had been holding our workshops in Europe and San Francisco. While he is from Munich, we decided to set up an office in Berlin because the city is more interesting.

Goodpatch plans to rotate their employees between the Tokyo headquarters and the Berlin office, aiming to let them experience more diversity and inspiration in designs. Going forward, the company wants to help Japanese companies expand their business to the European market.

Goodpatch shares its Berlin office with Mimi, the Berlin-based startup developing an app for the hearing impaired. The address is Neue Schönhauser Straße 19, 10178 Berlin.

From the right: Goodpatch CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya, Head-designate for Goodpatch Berlin Boris Friedrich Milkowski

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy