Silicon India: Web Design In A Nut Shell By Nakul Shenoy

September 04, 2012

Bangalore: ‘Most of the designers go wrong when they try to reflect the collected information on to a PowerPoint slide with statistics and numbers’ said Nakul Shenoy, co-founder of Peepal Design while addressing the key note session on  at the WebAppsConference held on August 18, 2012 at the NIMHANS Convention Center, Bangalore.

Shenoy well known as “The Mind Reader” and a leading corporate speaker who has influenced the corporate world with his unique vision as a hypnotist and a magician was delivering a keynote talk on User Research and Web Design to a bunch of enthusiastic web app developers and designers. Shenoy mentioned that when designers come up with a design in the Peepal Design Lab, they run the UI in their lab and get in users to try the design which helps them obtain the perfect user review and help improvise. Being a magician himself, Shenoy quoted words of Edward Tufte and said that if one can explain a magic trick, then they can explain most of anything.

Peepal Design Lab represents India in UX Alliance which is a conglomerate of 46 user firms from around the globe and also proves to be a great opportunity to do cross cultural research on design.

Hurdles that designers face

Designers should put themselves in the user’s shoe and think like a user. These thoughts would help understand the user better said Shenoy.When testers and developers try to run the designers through the design process ‘numbers mean nothing in terms of design research because the whole task to make the users go through is just a process, a process to understand what is going on in their mind.’

He also added, “While testing the design with a few set of users, doesn’t actually give a clear picture about its usability. In some cases even if all of the users with whom the testing is performed gets it right there will be certain factors revealing the way the test have been defined that makes it look as right.”

To overcome hurdles- Views on different kinds of users

Shenoy said, “Users stand in various kinds, you can have basic user, expert user, an early adopter or a late adopter.” Emphasizing on this, Nakul gave an example of how different people have different usability levels of mobile phones. No two users use a phone on the same level, instead they use it as per their requirements. ‘A designer needs to come up with a design for users across the spectrum. The users are not always average or not experts or dumb, so the design has to match user expectations’

He suggested 3 steps to follow while designing

1) THINK – about the user, the use. Think about how the product or the software will be used and also about its utility.
2) QUESTION – yourself whether this is the only way to do it? Or, is it the best way to do it? Or, is there any easier way to do it?”
3) VALIDATE – is very important despite the efforts the designers put in or the experience they have.

Article reproduced from Web Design In A Nut Shell By Nakul Shenoy – Silicon India