Designing CRED — Why is it, the way it is? — Harish Sivaramakrishnan
Since its inception, CRED has always been in the news. Obviously for good reasons and one of them being the jaw dropping design of the CRED application.
This HelloMeets event was all about designing CRED, the philosophy and the motivation behind that.
And who else other than Harish Sivaramakrishnan would be suitable to tell the story.
A little about Harish, if you don’t know him already,
He is a multi-faceted guy, primarily being a designer and a Rock Carnatic musician also. You can watch out his band here.
In a nutshell, if I have to summarise what this session was all about, it would be, How Design at CRED looks like?
As always, if you have missed out on the event, here are the key takeaways/learnings/observations from the session.
Form is also a Function.
That’s a different school of thought which is not prevalent in the the industry. It’s known fact that form is treated as a different aspect other than function and hence, different roles follow.
UI, UX Research, Good Motion Design is a function.
Function helps you in helping the users achieve their goal and form can help you bring joy while they are doing that and that’s what makes a product sticky.
But in CRED, form is also a function which makes them unique as they are.
One Title Company.
Everyone who contributes towards the product is called a product designer. Doesn’t matter if he/she is an illustrator or a graphic designer or something else.
And that’s what makes CRED different then other design focused companies.
Experimentation is the key.
If you have seen CRED, you will notice that there is no search bar and it has been done purposefully. Because, according to Harish, it promotes deal seeker behaviour and since they are not building a mass product, they don’t want such behaviour on the platform.
Somehow, it establishes the fact that designers can shape the path on which product rolls.
And more such experiments are done on a regular basis.
Be open to learn.
One of the things that moved me was how important it is to be curious, & being open to learn when it comes to becoming a better designer.
I personally look upto Harish and how he is able to create a balance between work and his passion. How he is eager to explore more aspects of design and how mindful he is?
Apart from this, following are the pointers from the event:
- Design is art and art definitely has a purpose.
- The way CRED is being designed is like a monument not an apartment building.
- The philosophy that they are following may not work for mass product but may work for products which are being made for a dedicated walk of society.
- We all signal. And that’s a prominent human behaviour which can be tapped into building a product like CRED. For eg. People will be willing to show their CREDIT history & Rewards just to signal how much they are spending every month. Also, Simplicity is one such signal.
- Harish also slams the discrimination that is prevalent in the design sphere and explicitly calls out that as “CASTE SYSTEM of DESIGN”.
- He said that, Illustrators or Graphic designers are equally important as UX/UI Designers and UX >UI makes no sense.
- There is no such thing like “No UX”. It’s either Good UX or Bad UX.
- Aesthetics first.
- If you think that this feature is something that the user doesn’t care about then you are wrong. Customer cares but he is too busy to tell you. And if you ask him, he also chooses what to tell you and what not to.
- The motion design and animations that you see in the CRED applications are a part of rituals that you need to perform to get into the ecosystem. It helps in creating an immersive experience of the product. The inspiration being the tribes.
- When asked about how to develop good taste in Design? He said that, “Taste is function of open mind”. Be open to learn, practice and you get there.
- When asked how to be a better designer? He mentioned that, look into data, learn some basics of SQL, maps your design decisions to impact and the results and iterate.
- Don’t be afraid of experimenting.
In all, it was amazing to see such enthusiasm and get to know a personality who takes pride in what he does and is constantly trying to learn.
Extremely thankful to HelloMeets for providing such a platform where we can meet such folks and Swiggy for being a hospitality partner.
Also, thanks to Megha Chandrashekhar for the pictures.
P.S: So, most of what he said are like words of wisdom but you may or may not take that as a reference for your design journey because what he said was in context with how design at CRED looks like and you should keep in mind that every business use case is different and should be treated accordingly.
Some pictures from the Event: