An upcoming solo running event needed a logo and I had less than 24 hours only to come up with one. ‘Unstated requirements’ included a connection to technology and sports. The name ‘iRUN’ was chosen for the event.
Exactly a decade ago, I designed the logo and posters for ‘Science and Technology Run’ (stylized as ‘Snt run’) at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. I wanted to take the same inspiration of ‘race tracks in a stadium’ for the ‘iRUN’ logo design as well.
My friend gave me the above slogan for an upcoming YouTube Music Channel in Malayalam.
“I need a logo. Can you help me?”
“Yes, yes. What’s the name of the YouTube Channel?”
“We haven’t named it yet!”
The one who MUST be named!
Kaviprasad is my friend of 20 years. Prasad and I started brainstorming to name the new YouTube channel. The slogan reminded us of a popular Malayalam movie teaser trailer that connects romance, songs and rain. The search for a drink/food that is consumed during a cold rainy season, evoking nostalgia, led us back to the slogan itself — ‘Coffee!’ In Malayalam language, ‘Coffee’ is ‘Kaapi.’
COVID-19 shutdown in India happened on 24th March 2020. All of us are working from home since then. It is a new experience for us and after three months, I think we are adapting well to it. The working day is mostly spent on communication and collaboration apps. Weekends are spent on reading, writing, listening to podcasts/music and personal projects. I rarely venture out of my home and once in a while I go for a ride in my vehicle.
Welcoming new designers
Last year, we created a welcome guide for the new recruits to our designLAB. This PDF document was sent to them in Whatsapp so that they can read this beforehand and come to designLAB on ‘day one’ with the right expectations. Here are the screenshots of the document.
“Do you want to view Peppa Pig? Or is it Doraemon that you want?”
“Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig…”
“Here. Let me help you with the TV remote control.”
This conversation with my younger kid was telecasted to a dozen people in three continents because I forgot to mute! A Microsoft Teams conference call was going on while I was working from home. But I’m lucky compared with some souls who became the subject of viral ‘Zoom Fails’ during this Covid 19 lockdown.
Why are we finding it difficult to determine whether the video feed is ON or OFF? Mic mute or unmute? How hard can it be?
I was flipping through some hand-drawn low fidelity screens of a bill payment mobile app (Yes, some of us still prefer the old-fashioned way of drawing on paper first, than a pixel perfect, auto aligned digital version on Adobe XD). Then I saw it on the bottom tab bar.
“No, no, no. I believe we cannot do this.”
“What, the ‘Search’ function? Why?”
“Well. ‘Search’ is an action — much like ‘compose an email’ or ‘delete.’ An action shouldn’t be placed on a tab bar because tab bars are for navigation. Do you know what Apple Human Interface Guidelines (iOS) talk about tab bar?”
There are 400+ bookmarked articles in my Medium, Flipboard, Google Chrome, Evernote and Google Keep apps. I have amassed them in the past couple of years while skimming through various blogs, news articles and websites. I’m aware of the fact that I have read only less than 10% of these links.
My new year resolution is to stop bookmarking articles till I complete reading and absorbing the links I have favorited.
2017 will be the year of de-cluttering my bookmarks and slow reading of articles. Wish me luck!
“Which color do you recommend for an app icon? Ours should stand out from the rest of the icons.”
“Don’t you have a brand color?”
“No. We are a start-up company and we are going to launch a mobile app soon.”
A couple of young guys asked me this and so I embarked on a ‘highly unscientific study’ on 90 app icons that happen to come my way. Continue reading Designing a Unique App Icon: An 'Unscientific' Study→
“I will email you the links of some mobile apps we love. Study them and all the very best!”
This is my standard closing line to a majority of job seekers who end up before me to be interviewed for a post of mobile UX designers in my organization. Good talent is very rare. But I sincerely hope that more and more people will sensitize themselves about the amazing and complex arena of user experience design.
Here are the 10 mobile apps we love for the user experience and ‘Wow!’ factors, in no particular order. Continue reading 10 Mobile Apps We Love!→