How designers are changing the face of business


At the 9th edition of TechSparks, leading designers of the industry spoke about how they are redefining marketing, sales and business aspects across all industries, one doodle at a time.

From scriptures to paintings to doodles, art has been a beloved part of society for ages. With the integration of roles in the enterprise, and social and mobile creating a huge brand impact, designing has become the new poster boy of the industry.

At TechSparks 2018, some of the leading experts in design spoke about what they do, and how design is vital to businesses.

Love the MVP of business

For UX-UI designer and founder of Designup Jay Dutta not compromising on quality is one of the best things entrepreneurs can do. Drawing from the movie Dr Strarndlove, Jay illustrated his life story and explained how he has stopped worrying and begun to love the most valuable proposition (MVP).

He founded his first startup in early 2014, 'a Trip Advisor for conferences' - Confiq - with Jody Rodgers. Confiq had a simple homepage that listed conferences around the world. The company covered 100 conferences and did 300 reviews.

In 2016, Jay founded, a design conference which stood at the intersection of design, tech, and entrepreneurship. He claimed the company had grown at 3.6x speed since inception by focussing “on having no speaker fees, no business class travel, no investors, no big discounts, no auto-nominations for sponsors, no PR agencies and no employees’.

“The only secret to succeeding in the design space, without investing in the above-mentioned factors is to keep raising the bar of content, speakers, community involvement, attendees and 'desserts',” said Jay.

The ‘X’ factor of design

Every company has an ‘x’ factor, and Zomato’s Art Director, Akshar Pathak combines it with current affairs to create design-based marketing opportunities.

"Whenever there is an important match happening, we try and make a design that can convey the message without the use of any copy or text," he said while talking about Zomato's famous "fork with stumps" advertisement.

According to him, "Everything is about timing." Being timely and producing designs with current themes is very important. For example, when Salman Khan was granted bail in half-an-hour, Zomato designed an advertisement that said: "Get bhel delivered faster than bail".

Akshar advised designers to not be fixated upon ‘viral’ or ‘quirky’ content, and seek inspiration to create new ideas.

Talking about Zomato’s design strategies, Akshar said that the design team has no strategy at all. "We have no fixed plan and portray only the best ideas the team comes up with."

Should a designer think with their heart or their head?

Co-founder and Head of Research of Greenopia - Mayukhini Pande started her company to bring back plant-care into urban lives by using design and technology. In 2015, she and her co-founder Mani HK spend a lot of time trying to understand what people don’t know about gardening.

“We have a rule – when we design a product, the first 100 will be made by my co-founder or myself. It actually translates into efficiency at some point in time. Doing things with your hands not only helps you but helps others as you have discovered a more efficient way of doing something. Your staff will watch you work and learn too. Eventually, the last man standing next to you will also be a designer,” she said, adding that the process of generating ideas does not involve thinking about profits and losses.

Design for all - from innovation to brand

Kevin Gilboe, Head of Design of 3M Asia Pacific, outlined how design creates value for every company by bringing innovation to life and ensuring meaningful brand experiences.

Famous for its innovation, 3M is using design to enrich innovation and build meaningful business experiences. Through collaborative creativity, the 3M Design Mission team designs meaningful brand experience and enriches innovation.

Combining that with creative capability, the team fuels business growth by providing services such as advanced design, brand experience, design colour, finish, materials graphic/visual design, design management, design trends, identifying design interaction, sound design, and user experience (UX).

“Design enriches innovation and builds powerful brand experiences,” Gilboe said.


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