I am a Designer. I DESIGN.

One of the interesting discussions I remember we had was in Erik Stolterman’s class on the word ‘design’. Basically, Design can be a noun (when used to define a quality of a product). Design can be a activity (I design things.) Design is a profession. Come to think of it, Design also happens to be perhaps the oldest living profession, when you think that every must have been designed in a particular manner before it was invented.

When a designer opens a Design firm, it is a highly challenging situation. And in my opinion, I think it’s more challenging than any other tech startup. Well you may ask why?

To start of with, as an entrepreneur you are constantly doing everything else but Design! Yes, sad but true. So one day you are doing Marketing and Sales and the other day you are writing up proposals. Things you had thought was the job of Managers only. And not to forget what technical writers are meant for, you end up doing that as well. You grow your networking and improve your networking and people skills. You attend gatherings of other entrepreneurs, inspire each other and then find the next gathering and its location.

In the hustle- bustle of all this, Design as an Activity takes back stage. You tend to think that since you are in the Design Profession, you will end up doing good Design (a noun here) any day, no matter how long you do not do it. However, i think that is not true. Design is a process that has to be practiced. One needs to keep doing it from time to time. This can be in the form of simple doodles, sketches, diagrams etc to full fledged design solutions.

Therefore any Designer in . . . → Read More: I am a Designer. I DESIGN.

State of UX in India

I recently came across this article by Joe Fletcher titled “The Bridge Between Cultures and Design” The synopsis of the article is that: Over roughly the last 10 years, China and India have given way to a huge rise in technology outsourcing. Jobs are outsourced from companies like Microsoft, Google, T-Mobile, Honeywell, and many others. In Microsoft I’ve worked with teams in both India and China developing software for a variety of uses. Having our headquarters in the US, I usually work with small satellite teams in these countries. I couldn’t help but wonder why these countries who had become huge in the area of software technology, struggled so much in the area of user experience and UI innovation.Note: this article refers specifically to software UX. Both of these countries have very innovative and creative aspects in other areas of their culture, and I’m not expressing these comments as blanket statements.

I think that is a very valid question that Joe puts across. However I do not quite agree to all the points that he mentions in the article especially if one is looking at the case of India.

Cross Cultural Design

One of the key things required to see is the growth of UX as a field in India. While in the west the field UX, Interaction Design, HCI have been around for much longer a time, in India it is know only for say last 5-6 years.

This leads us the point that in India, Interaction Design has a long way to go before it catches up on the west. In my opinion, in India, the Interaction Design as a field is still limited to the software industry and all the User Experience is still discussed in the context of the Software Design. Unless . . . → Read More: State of UX in India