Creating an Interview series with Designers in the National Capital of India
An initiative to recognize Designers in the local community
Design, as an intentional inclusion in the development of a product or service has recently been appreciated by various industries across the world. In India, the adoption rate had been fairly slow and hence the aim of this project was to make people conscious towards design and its importance in the context of India.
Although we had read so much about design and it’s practice from the West, we hardly knew anything about designers from our own country. Call it our ignorance or the lack of endorsement of designers, we decided to find these professionals to gain knowledge about them, the industry and disseminate their ideas to a larger audience.
The Team and the Timeline
We were a two person team. My role was leading the project from idea to implementation.The timeline for this project was three months from June to September in 2017.
We followed the ABCD Model to determine a clear objective :
A: Audience for whom it is intended
B : Behavior expected from the learner to attain
C: Condition, in other words the context or situation in which the learning will occur
D: Degree is the level of expected performance by the learner
We defined our objective as follows:
How might we create a platform to create awareness about designers in our own city
The following image depicts our journey while building the platform.
Although we had defined our objective, we still weren’t sure as to how to go about implementing it. Being quite flexible with regards to the development of the project,in retrospect, was probably one of the best decisions we made. It’s easy to get lost in the details and not look at the big picture when the idea is still fuzzy. We learnt as we kept on doing the interviews which helped us iterate on our vision of the end product.
Finding Designers and Designing Content
We wanted to find designers in our city to make it easier to conduct interviews. Shortly after, we charted out a list of designers in New Delhi, India. Fortunately, a lot of them were accessible via email, LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
Developing the questions for the interview
While defining the questions for the interview, we looked for inspiration from platforms similar to our vision. After a healthy chunk of brainstorming, we came up with themes which would be the most beneficial for our audience :
- Journey into Design
- Current field of work and past projects
- Philosophy about design
- State of Design in India
- Sources of Inspiration
- Advice for Designers
- Future Projects
Making long form content enjoyable for the user
As we were interviewing designers, we realized that the content of each interview was substantial. Considering our audience might get overwhelmed by the length and the text heavy nature of each interview, we were exploring different ways of making the content engaging for the end user.
- Audio Snippets : In order to present a candid perspective and provide a rich experience to the user, we decided to include some portions of the interview in the form of audio snippets.
- Photos : Having photos in between long stream of texts can break the monotony and make the act of reading active in nature.
- Quotes : We also used bold quotes to break the stream of long text blocks.
The Resources Section
The objective of the resources section was to provide a list of learning resources for aspiring designers or enthusiasts to learn from. In order to make the content dynamic, we kept different types of media from long form books to short articles to visual media like documentaries.
As we were developing our visual language, we iterated over various designs. The objective was to come up with an aesthetic that relates the diverse set of designers living in the city along with the unique attributes of the city itself. The visual language was lead by my teammate Pallavi Monica Ekka.
The project was reasonably successful. Honestly, we weren’t even sure if we would actually have a live end product. We could have posted more interviews if we had been able to get approvals from designers. But this project was a great learning experience and made us realize the amount of effort it takes in developing your own product.
PS : Why did we only focus on interviewing designers from New Delhi?
Because we had both lived in New Delhi and it was more accessible than any other city to do one-on-one interviews. Additionally, we believed that if this series got popular, it might propel designers in other cities to start a series of their own i.e. Designers in ‘x’.
Check out the website here.