Today, startups are trying to base design on business numbers and features, but Jay believes that design is about relevance.
After working for stellar organisations like Adobe and Flipkart, Jay Dutta, a celebrated UX-UI designer, went on to work for MakeMyTrip as an SVP UX designer. He was also a consultant VC for SAIF Partners. In his talk at MobileSparks 2017 in Bengaluru, Jay spoke about the future of design and how it evolved during his career.
Jay remarked that the best compliment for a designer is when a user validates a technology or a software. He quoted a user of Adobe, who once told him, “For 17 years, Adobe has helped me earn an honest living.”
This statement also made Jay think about how things changed in so many years. On delving into data, he found a correlation between sociology and design. “People changed partners, they changed cities, and India now has more mobile phones than toilets. Jugaad is not a scalable or a fungible business,” says Jay.
He added that India has gone from sachets of products to digital data sachets. In the digital consumption economy, apps hook you on and give the consumer satchets of data. Today, people consuming a lot more data and willing to spend on entertainment and news, is a global phenomenon.
What’s peculiar to India is the presence of multiple languages and scripts. “UI has gone from visual to voice to conversations,” said Jay. He added that in India, the business of mobile and design is like matching the bride and the groom. He even provided a view on how marriage apps work.
Although finding the right match on a marriage app based on community and other preferences is difficult, UX designers have solved this challenge by studying people. “There are low installs in India because there is a lack of context; only their relevance will make these apps prominent in terms of usage,” said Jay.
He even joked that apps are like an Indian wedding where you need to match-make well, or the marriage may not turn out to be satisfying, but people just live together. Besides, Jay reminded his audience that designing for the mobile world is very similar.
Is there a happily-ever-after moment? That’s the question every builder or developer asks. “How we engage with the next billion is one of the key questions being asked by engineers and designers,” said Jay.
However, Jay warns that designing for the billion is not the way forward and will have little meaning unless it is made easy-to-use for consumers.
For that, he mentioned that one can tap the potential of smartphones and its sensors to understand customer behaviour and design apps with the aim to simplify their usage.
As an example, Jay explained how Amazon and eBay made Ui-UX relevant with contextual messages.
“A good design is something that is used by everyone and every department,” said Jay.
Here are a few do’s and don'ts that Jay suggested:
“Like marriage, not all relations are stable. When you have an awesome app, it might work for a while and then go down,” he said.
His tips for designers include the following:
Jay emphasised that design is about building a relationship — “It should be considerate and thoughtful. Make your products humane and you’ll have everyone using your app every day.”