Reflection point : Types of icons and their meanings

I’m sure you must have heard the phrase ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. Because of how our brain is wired, we find it easy to perceive, process and recall visual information quickly than words. Our brain distinguishes images that we see and words that we read very differently and responds much better to picture stimulus. This phenomenon is explained by the Picture Superiority Effect. It is based on the notion that human memory is extremely sensitive to the symbolic modality of presentation of an event information.

From pre-historic cave paintings to hieroglyphs and cuneiform scripts, the evolution of…


An observation on design patterns and flows in Hotstar

Screenshot of Hotstar’s premium content page

Hotstar is a digital and mobile entertainment platform for streaming media and video on-demand services. It was launched in February 2015 in India with the intention to serve as a mobile app for live streaming 2015 Cricket World Cup. Later it expanded its services to include media content from eight Indian languages across different genres from television shows, entertainment, movies and sports. It currently offers 50,000 hours of television content inclusive of free to access media and premium content by paid subscription services.

In addition to the application, Hotstar also has a website for streaming media. The application has over…


Reflection point: Usability, Accessibility, and Ethics

Township is a real-time city building cum farming development strategy game. It is free to download and is available across multiple platforms, such as iOS, Android and Amazon Appstore for Android. It is developed by Playrix, one of the world’s top mobile game developers based in Russia. It was released in the year 2014 and as of today the game has 120 million downloads with 3.5 million active users everyday.

The reason why I chose Township for a heuristic evaluation is not because how exciting and addicting the game is (It really is! Check it out here for yourself). It…


A dive into the history, evolution and current system of organizing information using IA.

Information Architecture (IA) is the structural design of information and content within a digital product focusing on presenting the most efficient and logical way of searching and utilizing information for a user.

In other words it helps the user solve the problems of accessing and using a vast amount of information that is available to them.

In the digital world, IA focuses on organizing and labeling websites so that users can easily find what they’re looking for. It helps them understand - where they are, where they can go, how to find what they are looking for, what they have…


A curious case of assumptions & failures

A cartoon representation by Kipper Williams

As of the year 2016 BlackBerry officially stepped down from the smartphone arena. After 14 years in the making, once a tech-giant BlackBerry decided to stop making its own smartphones by shutting down its hardware manufacturing division. In an official written statement, John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry Ltd said —

“ We are reaching an inflection point with our strategy. Our financial foundation is strong, and our pivot to software is taking hold…Under this strategy, we are focusing on software development, including security and applications. …


Reflection Point : My thoughts on what makes a good product design

A melting pot of many cultures — Chennai is a bustling city, housing a 10 million people and is the fourth populous metropolitan city in India. Businessmen, vendors, college-goers, home-makers, tourists, school kids, ‘i’m-gonna-make-it-in-kollywood’ wannabes — with only a few born and bred Chennaiite mixed into this crazy bunch. Regardless of which category you fall into, you are not a true Madrasi if you don’t find yourself getting mugged, trampled, beaten up, in one of these situations and have a mini existential crisis about the choices you’ve made in your life to get here.

  • First Scenario - First day of…


UX Academy Project

Using Design Hierarchy of Needs, in this article I will be analyzing three different web and mobile applications in terms of what characteristics make up for a good design vs. bad design. Inspired from Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”, the psychological hierarchy of human needs can also be interpreted in design context.

According to this theory, a good design should conform to addressing the basic needs of a user first before satisfying higher-end needs.

Design Hierarchy of Needs

Starting from the foundation of the pyramid, lower level needs to higher level needs are classified based…

Aarthi Padmanabhan

Product Designer | Emaar

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