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The future of UI/UX in India

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Mohar V, co-founder of Techved, India's leading User Experience Design powerhouse, talks to Tanishka Sodhi about the scope of UI/UX in India, career opportunities available, and a new online course for aspiring designers.

UI/UX is always the term we use to talk about User Interface and User Experience, but Mohar V, co-founder and business evangelist of Techved, corrects me on this. “People say UI/UX, but the actual term is Ux/UI- you design the experience first, and then beautify the interface. You don’t construct a building and then look for the architect, do you?”

The ease brought to our daily experiences is in many ways, linked to UI/UX. Explaining the difference between the two, Mohar says, “UX is user experience. It answers questions like what should come where? When I click here, what happens? When I swipe left, what happens? UX is a skeleton, like the blueprint for a building. UI is beautifying the interface with a visual design – making it more relevant. As humans, we are always inclined to consume what is aesthetically appealing.”

Techved is a company that, according to Mohar, strives to create interfaces not just for the present, but also for the ones that drive the future. “With the changing times, evolution and technology is required to track user behaviour across geography and domain industry. There are in-depth user searches done, to create interfaces that drive businesses.”

Mohar name drops a client, one of the largest private banks in the country, powered by Techved, that has 9 million NTB customers. Techved is a company that has been around for 11 years, occasionally conducting workshops for design aspirants across the globe.  Techved Academy of Design (TAD) is the online academy powered by Techved, that is introducing the XDP certification course. When asked what drove him to start such a course, Mohar explains, “Working the last 11 years across geography, we felt the need to create good designers who are productive from Day 1. Even if you pick up designers from top institutes, you will have to train them for 6-9 months before they become productive. One of the highlights of our course is that it is mentored by international mentors and the knowledge parted is not limited to bookish knowledge. Design, we believe, is a very practical subject.”

One of the USPs of this course is that it is an online course, accessible to the qualified candidates from across geography. “It doesn’t matter what city you are in, you can benefit from this sitting from the comfort of your home or office, as long as you have a laptop and internet connection. The classes are live streamed, and questions can be asked and answered in real time. If you miss a class, you can always go over it. We are only accepting 50 students per course presently, from across the country and the Middle-East.  At the same time, Design is a practical thing at the end of the day, thus we have an interaction with the batch coming down for a few days, where they can interact with the mentors and peers, and possibly work on assigned projects,” he says.

Mohar tells us how UI/UX works differently online and offline. “Digitally, you have to use colors which can be consumed over a period of time, which don’t cause fatigue to the eyes. Call to actions should be more graphical and easily accessible. When the screen size changes, everything becomes more prominent- you can’t just shrink it.”

Pointing to my phone lying on the table between us, Mohar explains, “If I’m designing something for this iPhone, there will be a lot of factors to keep in mind. Is the communication fit for the screen? Is the keypad covering the screen?

Is the resolution optimised? We are not designing for the client, nor are designing for ourselves. We are designing for the consumers.”

“Gone are the days parents would push their kids into engineering and medicine fields. As a country, we are defiantly moving forward, but have a long way to go. If you look at developed economies like North America and Europe, you will find that they are aware of user experience. Their experiences are inclusive, and are fit for differently abled and colour blind users as well. Our government is very forward looking too, so this will be the future for us. We are currently still focusing on basic problems. This industry was limited to the elite, but with the proliferation of e commerce and social media, the reach has gone to every nook and corner of the country. Users may not be able to articulate user experience but it is what they are used to, and are looking for interface.”

Just then, Mohar excuses us to greet a man who walks into the same coffee shop of the hotel we are seated in. On his return two minutes later, Mohar explains how the man he ran into was a long-term client, for whom Techved conducts training sessions, and helps expand the business exponentionally. “The latest application we are working on with them will transform the way a customer is acquired. Today, digital is not just supporting the business, it is the business itself. If you enroll in a premium course like ours, then you're not just looking for simple conventional jobs, but top notch ones as well- in India and abroad. All the industries that have digital aspects can be tapped on- which is almost each and every industry. We are helping them in innovation, and the opportunities are immense.”

"The minimum qualification to apply for our course is being a graduate. Candidates from all streams can apply, after which they will be required to qualify our written entrance exam. We assist with placements as well- students who qualify with the xp certificate are guaranteed the same- and students are granted a certificate at the end of the course," he says. When asked about his apprehensions, if any, about the course, Mohar replied, "I'm not skeptical about anything, but when you rely on technology heavily, it's important to keep backups ready. We have consciously picked a platform which is scalable, global, tried and tested."

Product thinking equals problem solving. We end the session on this note, with Mohar’s parting words being, “People don’t look for designing interface, they look for a way to solve problems. Design is only an enabler in this process.”

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