Aayushman Gupta

Design Talks with Aayushman Gupta: A Young Mentor and Experience Designer

Design is perspective and everybody has got one. The point is which perspective solves the problem better. 

At such a young age, this fellow is mentoring students, leading an enterprise design team and always seen giving back to the design community through meetups and events.

In this episode of design talks, we have Aayushman Gupta. He is currently working at Cohesity as Enterprise Design Lead.

Aayushman is an advocate of not reinventing the wheel over and again & using the existing patterns.
A straightforward guy with inherent skills when it comes to design.

Let’s pick his brain and hope you would be able to learn something new from him today.

1) What is the problem with Indian design ecosystem in India?

[Aa]: Unfortunately, In India, User experience design is still seen as visual design meaning that how to make things look beautiful whereas User experience design is all about making the experience better for the end user.

And the  visual design is a subordinate of user experience design  not the whole of it.

However, some companies here in India are design focused and values design thinking a lot.

2) Let’s consider a scenario where it is not possible to aggregate users under one umbrella, in that case, how would you go about solving the problem without having a set of personas?

[Aa]: In such a scenario, either you are trying to solve a problem from a superficial level or the use case is not thought through well.

In a nutshell, to solve a problem, one needs to have a persona base.

3) What is your design process? Given that you have all the resources and time of the world to solve a problem, what would be your ideal design process then?

[Aa]: See, design process differs from company to company or domain to domain.

Essentially, the variable here is the problem.

There can be no fixed design process for every problem which you can just plug in and get the solution.

A design process is not something like, “One size fits all”.

So, the design process is about making the best out of everything you have in order to solve the problem in a better way.

Coming to the second part of the question, if ever that’s the case, Here is what things would look like from a higher level:

Validating use cases with the customer -> Sketching out the flow -> Process Flows -> Wireframing

Just to mention that design is an iterative process.

4) How to explain a particular design to non-designers?

[Aa]: Build an analogy around what you have made.

Tell them why you choose this over that. Give them comparison points.

5) Does every element in design has to be thought through?

[Aa]: No. Do that only when it is necessary.

 Why reinvent the wheel when you can leverage the existing things and build on top of that? 

Let’s say, for example, you have to add notifications functionality to your applications. Facebook and other social media platforms have kind of standardized the way notifications are consumed.

And that’s a pattern which most of the audience follow on a regular basis. So, why not make use of that and just get your work done.

6) How AI and ML will disrupt the user experience space? Do you see them replacing the jobs of designers?

[Aa]: AI and ML will aid the design process for sure. But wherever strategic and experience design is involved, a human touch is required and no machine can ever simulate that.

The point is that AI and ML works on existing data points.

So, just imagine how these AI and ML would behave when sufficient data is not available? How would they behave in novel situations?

That’s where human intervention is required.

7) Design books that you would recommend every aspiring designer to read?

[Aa]: 1)Design of Everyday Things
2) Don’t make me think
3) Hooked
4) Human Faces
5) Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if your life Depended on it

8) How important is Psychology in experience designing?

[Aa]: It is extremely important because one way or the other, you will be designing solutions that will touch human lives. And in order to make that experience better, it becomes important to have a notion about their common patterns, behavioral sciences, and others.

For example, F shaped patterns and all.

9) How Indian UX sphere is doing?

[Aa]: The UX scene in India right now is booming.

“Designer” is a buzzword right now. But there is a long way to go. Somewhere down the line, I feel that the UX scene of India will be in mainstream par to the level of UX scene abroad.

10) What advice would you give to the newbies entering into the UX sphere?

[Aa]: One single piece of advice would be to “Find a mentor”.

It’s simple as that. Finding a mentor will set you on track and will save you a hell lot of time for obvious reasons.

Apart from that, Be very practical, focus on mental churn and try to develop visualization skills.

And there are a plethora of platforms where you will get good stuff on UX for free.

For example, medium has a lot of good resources on UX. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Don’t reinvent the wheel if not necessary. Use existing patterns.
  2. Find a mentor if you are new to the UX sphere. It saves you a lot of time in figuring out stuff coz time is an asset.
  3. Be flexible with your design process because every domain, problem is unique and different.

So, that’s all for this design talk today. Hope it might have contributed to your learning in some way or the other.

If you have any suggestions or questions that you might want to ask any experts, do let us know.

And here are the social media links for you to follow Aayushman.

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