Conquering Fear : My Thoughts on Entrepreneurship

I have been an entrepreneur at heart and have been trying out quite a few things. When  I reflect back on my life so far, I think there are certain instances, which I feel have inspired me. To me, entrepreneurship is all about conquering fear, and only by doing so one can be happy. Only when one is Happy, can one be an entrepreneur.

I spoke on this topic at the SAM UTH, event in VIT Vellore, on the 23rd March. Conquering Fear : My thoughts on Entrepreneurship from Kshitiz Anand

Why User Experience Matters – talk at Honeywell

Last week I was invited to the company Honeywell Technology Solutions, to give a talk on User Experience. I chose to touch upon the fact that User Experience is important and how every company should get a team for UX, engage with UX designers or atleast have the entire company believe in UX.

The topic for my talk thus was “Why User Experience Matters”. I loved the discussions that followed after the talk and was a great joy to see the participants enjoy the section on the Arial Vs Helvetica quiz. At the end of the day, everyone agreed that UX is important and how even small things like Fonts and Typography play a huge role in the UX process.

Here is the slide deck from the talk.

 

Story of Design – Design Day talk

On Saturday 20th April, I gave a talk on Design Education in India at the Design Day Event. The event is a curated, monthly, free for all event that serves to act as a platform for designers to meet, interact, network and engage in conversations around design. The theme for the last one was Design education, and every month the theme changes around one aspect in Design.

PROLOGUE OF THIS TALK We as designers often wonder,why is it that we have so less design schools in India, in spite of its rich legacy in crafts and culture. Where are we now and what is the future of Design education in India ? Do we really understand what is Design and the professional practice of design?

Story of Design from Kshitiz Anand

 

The rise of SoLoMoN

My recent talk at STC UX conference aimed to throw light on why everyone is a designer and is contributing to the co-creation of UX.

We user experience designers, live in exciting yet challenging times. From the rise of social networks, to the evolution of different devices and platforms, to our design decisions being governed by someone else, the excitement for the field is unbounded. However the excitement also comes with its set of challenges. Design being discussed in the board rooms, poses a lot more challenges. While its an indicator that it is being given its long due value, it also leads to a lot of expectations.

This also allows that a lot of people start pitching into the design process. The rise of the adoption of Agile framework at work places, the decision making in design is starting to get faster and often without much thought about ideas.

Another phenomenon that is gaining momentum, is that with design gaining more prominence across projects, often we end up having many more people who need not be from a design background, to contribute to the designs. These come mainly from the Business teams, the technology teams or even the marketing teams. This is also corroborated by the fact that there is a rise of a lot of crowd sourcing platforms. Design faces a lot of challenges when going via a crowd sourcing platform. As a result of all the above, the UX field is undergoing a paradigm shift.

In a follow-up to my earlier article on Co-creating the User experience, I recently gave a talk on the same topic at the STC UX conference, held on 27th August at Bangalore. Here is the presentation that I used in the talk:

Co-creating the User Experience View more presentations from Kshitiz Anand . . . → Read More: The rise of SoLoMoN

On Design Decisions

Interesting Video that I came across this morning.

Excerpts from the talk- “The best designs come from not one, but hundreds of well-made decisions. The worst designs arise out of hundreds of poorly-made decisions. All that stands between you and a great design is the quality of your decisions. Where do they come from?”

 

Jared Spool – Anatomy of a Design Decision from User Interface Engineering on Vimeo.

Inspire and feel inspired

That is what happens at any event that I attend and give a talk. At the TEDxMANIT Bhopal, I had a good time. I felt inspired by the other speakers and performers and also I hope I was able to inspire a few with my talk.

At TEDxMANIT Bhopal

Just love the amount of positive energy that each of these events bring along with itself.

Seen here along with Nakul Shenoy and Pradeep Ghosh, who were the other speakers at the event.

On being a Designpreneur

I have been out of blogging much for quite some time now.

It has been mostly due to the startup Deskala. We recently completed 6 months there and the journey there has been truly fascinating. During this period we have interacted with a lot people, and me personally got to know a lot more because of my photography workshops too. The other reason is the travel, which if something I just love, so cannot put an end to that too.

One of the biggest challenges that we have faced as Design Entrepreneurs, (Designpreneur) is to sell the service of design to people in the Business tea. And when this happens inspite of having close to 10 years of experience between us, it surprises me. My friend and co-founder of Deskala; Porus wrote an interesting article on this phenomenon, and what both the parties namely the Business and the Design team should work towards.

In my opinion, I think that its relatively easier to become a Designpreneur, but more difficult to sustain oneself as that. It’s easy, because right from the college days, one is designing and creating products and services. The innovations is happening then and there itself and its actually their first meeting with the entrepreneurial life. Now let’s see what happenes when that particular developed idea is marketed and sold properly. Viola! you have the idea for the company that you are going to put up.

The other big challenge that we have is to position Deskala as a design firm and not a development firm. There are already numerous firms who start off with software development and slowly add designers to the team.  As Deskala, we are going the other route, wherein we say build a design centric team first and then we move forward.

As mentioned  . . . → Read More: On being a Designpreneur

An Inspiration: Interview with Paul Rand

Came across this interesting interview about the legendary graphic designer Paul Rand. Touched upon some really nice points. Gives an explanation on the IBM logo, and also his views on why the world needs graphic designers in it. Enjoy!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

My Talk at Regalix Design Meet

I gave a talk recently at the Designers meet organized by Regalix, here in Bangalore.The theme of the meet was Digital Design Innovation. My talk focused on how we as designers should look to  to see the impact of Digital Design Innovation in the context of India, and in particular in the social sector.

Below is the presentation that I used for the talk, which ran for 15 minutes.

Design for Social Impact – An Introduction

As the participants were not too familiar with the domain, the challenge was to lay the platform for everyone to understand easily. The idea of the talk was to introduce the concept of Design for Social Impact, and implant a hope that there would be more people who join me in the quest for ensuring that design expands its boundaries and reaches out to places where it can make a huge difference.

Cyber Ethnography and its challenges in Emerging Markets

I recently attended a talk by Elizabeth Churchill, Principle Research Scientist at Yahoo Inc, California. She was presenting her ideas from a HCI perspective and as a part of the Big Thinkers Series, organized by Yahoo Research and Development, Bangalore.

The talk focused around the idea of SocioTechnical Design and Engineering. The context was primarily in understandings for the Internet Experience Domain. It was a great talk! I enjoyed every moment of it. It is especially important in the context in which we have opened up Deskala. At Deskala, we are exploring the reach of technology in emerging markets and coming up with design solutions, services and innovations.

With the context of communities changing everyday (Sherry Turkle et al. ), the way we conduct research on users is also changing. What was the notion of a community a few years ago is not the same today.  Cyber-ethnography has become the most appropriate tool in reaching a definition of the virtual community.

In the context of an emerging market like India, the need for defining newer methods of user research is important. The penetration of technology is limited to the mobile experiences amongst the emerging markets population. But with the ever changing technological scenario, the technological intervention will expand to other forms of technology.

One of the key propositions going on in the design research field is to bridge the gap between the offline and the online. In India at-least, inspite of having a good reach of technology, there are only 32.1% of the population who are online and are accessing internet from devices.

The notion of cyber space, is therefore not limited only to the online world. One has to expand the understanding of the cyber space. So in the ideal case of cyber-ethnography, one would spend hours in this . . . → Read More: Cyber Ethnography and its challenges in Emerging Markets