Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

User-centered design is an iterative process that focuses on an understanding of the users and their context in all stages of design and development.

If you’re a designer, you’re probably familiar with the different design techniques around this — user interviews, surveys, card sorting, focus groups, prototype validation, etc. But with the growing popularity of remote offices and work, how can product, design, and engineering teams deeply understand users that live half a world away?

At Instawork we have two product+engineering teams — one in San Francisco and one in Bangalore. But, all our users are in the US (for…


I’m a UX Designer from Bangalore (India), with interest in psychology and in general — understanding human behaviors.

After getting a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Engineering, I started my career as a developer at a gaming startup called Hashcube. Soon I realized I enjoyed playing around with the UI, so I started focusing on the front-end part of coding (UX Design was not yet a thing here).

My next job was at a startup as well, but a B2B product this time — Recruiterbox. Being a fan of productivity tools myself, this recruiting software was a lot more…


UX Case Study

Recruiterbox is an “Applicant Tracking System” that helps small- and medium-sized companies manage their hiring process — including sourcing candidates, screening, scheduling interviews, collecting feedback, etc.

In this project, we set out to add a layer of “smartness” to the system, to make it highlight action items based on current status and the user’s role.

Employer: Recruiterbox
Role: UX Designer
Platform: Web
Date: May — Aug 2016

Context

Though the system already allowed clients to set up their hiring workflow (the stages a candidate goes through), these “stages” were nothing more than a set of labels. …


I’ve been using GoodReads for a few years, and I’ve always cringed at how badly it’s designed, especially the mobile app. I’m mostly concerned about the interactions and not so much about the look-and-feel.

Before I get to do a complete redesign of the app, with proper research and validation, I just thought I’d — as a fun exercise — create a persona definition based on myself.

Now that this is done, I’d like to speak to people who like reading books — those who already use GoodReads as well as those who don’t. If you’re a reader yourself, and if you can spare 30 mins to help me with this, feel free to let me know in the comments.


Image source: Pixabay

The more design-related articles and blog posts I read, the more I feel that they fall under these two categories:

  • Design Artefacts — the visible components that constitute your app-screen/web-page. This includes choice of UI elements, colors and typography.
  • Design Process — the steps you follow to make various design decisions, and to validate them. This has become pretty much standardized by now — user research, personas, story boards, user testing, etc.

One thing that I feel doesn’t get the coverage it deserves is the role of psychology in design. …


Image courtesy: lmjabreu.com

About 2 years ago, TechCrunch wrote this post titled Kill The Hamburger Button. If you take a look at a bunch of mobile apps today, it would seem as if most of them listened, at least the iOs ones.

It may not take long for the once-favorite hamburger menus to become the <blink> tag of tomorrow — that thing despised by every designer.

But, are hamburger menus absolutely bad?

Let’s take a step back and have a quick look at how they became such a common choice of navigation on mobile.

Brief history

Though it was originally introduced as part of Xerox…


The omnipotent faucet-lever (Image courtesy: centralmart.in)

During a recent trip, I found this faucet-control in one of the hotels we stayed at. It looked elegant. When I tried to use it is when the confusion started.

There was a shower above this and another tap-like outlet below. Now, how do I turn the shower on? I rotated the lever both sides, nothing happened. Hmmm.. maybe I can pull it? But will it open the shower or the other outlet?

Wait… They just told me hot water is available. How do I get hot water in this?

I just stood as far as possible from the faucet…


Just dumping my thoughts from a recent discussion…

You have something that you want your users to do. It could be signing up for your product, giving you their contact number, getting more productive using your product, or clicking on a particular button inside your app. How do you make them do this?

I’d like to quote a favorite statesman of mine in the domain of public policy design:

If you want people to do good, you need to make it easy to do good, and extremely hard to do bad things.
— Jayaprakash Narayan, Loksatta Party

The idea is…


While designing user experience at Recruiterbox, there have been many instances where people say “Hey.. isn’t that inconsistent?” My typical immediate thought would like “Dude! I’m trying to make the system smart here.”

I would immediately ask myself the question “Can’t a smart system be consistent?” One part of me would argue that it cannot be, that absolute consistency is nothing but dumbness. The other part would believe there should be a way of achieving smartness without compromising consistency.

One recent example, where I myself had the same question after I almost completed the design is what we call “action-based…

Vignesh Nandha Kumar

UX Designer with interest in psychology

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