Lessons in Design from SlideShare Principal Designer, Arun J


“Modernism does not mean minimalism, contemporary does not forsake tradition, and technology does not mean abandon people and senses.” I read this quote and set out to do an interview with SlideShare Principal Designer, Arun J. The recent SlideShare acquisition by LinkedIn for $119 million has put SlideShare in the limelight and there have been a lot of speculations. SlideShare has some brilliant content and LinkedIn has a vast database of professionals in various fields; connecting the two is nothing short of a marriage made in heaven.

Design is a continuous, data-driven, iterative process at SlideShare. Design involves Ideation, going back and forth doing wireframe mockups for information architecture, interaction design and many other intricacies before rolling out the html/css.

Design Evolves

Design is never constant. “You can never fix up a design because design needs change continuously and your design needs to adapt,” saysArun. There is a vast difference between UI, UX and other aspects and it is very important to understand them. The main aim of a design is to make it user friendly along with being pleasing to the eye. “For instance, getting an upload button to be the right size and colour may seem insignificant but it matters a lot. A lot of thought goes into such stuff and correct execution using testing and metrics is what makes a good design.” he adds.


The India-US differentiator

A comparison always springs up when it comes to technology or design. Do Indian designers lack something? Yes, believes Arun and here are a couple of areas he points out:

  • Problems with ‘design education’ in India. “The students' thought process is very academic; even some of the brightest from top institutions lack an understanding about the Web as a medium.” says Arun. And this is what leads to a mediocre designing culture.
  • Cloning: The trends come into India 5 years later than compared to the US and the more than obvious ‘inspiration’ doesn’t do very good.

To close on a pretty interesting chat about design, Arun signed off with his design mantra, “Design is simply creating order out of chaos.”

How to Create an Engaging Social Media Experience

View more presentations from Arun Jay

You can reach out to Arun on Twitter @simplyarun or his website.

Also, if you happen to be in bangalore, there is a 2 day UX Utsav happening, starting tomorrow.