Madrasters meetup 9 ;)

Abishek Ranganathan
Published in
5 min readJun 28, 2018

It was 10am at the IIT Madras Research Park and I was all set to attend the Madrasters meet up 9. In typical Madrasters fashion everything was organized, stylish and good to go. It was a pleasure to have ‘Prob’ as our MC. He’s always quirky, funny and also makes a lot sense when he talks.

Since I’m a regular at Madrasters events I know the format and was looking forward for the first session — ‘The activity’. This is where we get our hands dirty. Literally.

‘The activity’ for this meetup was to come up with a visual representation of an artificial intelligence voice. Coincidentally, I've been reading up on products like Alexa, Haptik, chat bots, etc of late and this was a pleasant surprise.

As usual we were about 120+ of us as participants, now being split in to teams. We were a generous mixture of designers, engineers, developers, entrepreneurs, etc. Both experienced and freshers.

Team Six

I was part of Team Six. We started off with our five minutes of brainstorming and boiled it down our idea to designing a watch called “Thanos”. We decided that it will be the full jing-bang, with the infinity stones, colors, the works.

Just the rough sketch.

We choose this as interface, as currently wearables are all the rage and as a product design we needed it to be both inspirational and realistic. This watch essentially had a face display which could express what it wanted to say based on the situation, not only intelligently but also emotionally. The user can choose from a huge range of avatar faces starting from celebrities to you own creative dream avatar. The user could customize not only look of the bot but also voice. An imaginary software update in the near future will help to user to experience a holographic version and convert their 2D experience to 3D. Just then I realized how much our generation has been influenced by Hollywood movies. Hail Hollywood!

We were all given the basic tools and stationary to come up with the visual look and feel off our prototype which we did. Although, it was a very short time I think we did a good job and we’re able to visually display our idea to the audience.

Once all the teams finished the presentation of their ideas, we started with the Speaker of the first speaker of the day Jeevan Siva.

His perspective on psychology for designers was simple but very interesting. The highlights which stuck on to me from his talk was the topic on what role psychology plays in terms of shape, color and typo. I think most designers at a subconscious level already know that a huge part of the creative self comes from of an understanding of the psychology.

While doing product design or illustration sometimes it just feels so right. if we analyse our own designs, with the help of the information he provided in his talk and go into it deeply, then I’m sure that we would agree with most of the concepts he explained to us.

The next part of the event was ‘limelight’.

Vishnu and Mahesh gave presented a small preview into the kind of work they have been doing in their professional & personal lives.

While Vishnu work was to do with UI UX and motion design, Mahesh given was an extremely diversified designer. Vishnu’s UI/UX design, look & feel which he had displayed was fresh, interesting and could become a trend in websites UI/UX in 2018. The way he has used movement inside images, made them to stand out and made the overall look and feel unique and satisfying.

Mahesh apart from designing hundreds of magazine covers newspapers has diversified his interests to clay and soap sculptures, fruit carving, paper crafts and much more. They were quite interesting and received tremendous applause from the audience.

They were evidence that with bit of hard work and a bit of thinking, one can give tremendous results.

Now after a short break we resumed for the talk by Sasha Davearajan, who by profession is a UX designer. He was able to explain to us topics like wheel of emotion and the levels of emotion.

Other concepts like FOMO- Fear Of Missing Out were explained in a casual relaxed easy to understand manner. Along with that he covered a twist of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. He calls it Maslow’s hierarchy of emotional

Design. He also said that the character of an emotional design must be highly visual into an artistic the conversation created out of this design should have strong design elements, should have the capability of storytelling, with a warm tone of voice and last but not the least photographic imagery. These parameters will decide if a particular design will be able to reach the reader or not.

One of important takeaways for me from Sesha was, ”NEVER ASSUME THAT THE USER WILL UNDERSTAND YOUR DESIGN”. It is essential that we know our audience and we need to communicate with the user figure out and fine tune our design.

Post his talk ‘Prob’ took over and did the interactive session called ‘fact fact fact’. Basically, it’s a buzzer round part of the meetup where he shoots questions and the audience are supposed to do quick answers. And also a small explanation is given about the question and the answer. This is where we kind of wrap up and all the thank you’s are given to the audience and the organizers.

A pleasant update was given to the community where the new team of Madrasters organizer team were introduced by asking them to wear the new bright yellow t-shirt with the Madrasters Logo.

The networking session was next. We could walk around and talk to anybody about stuff, etc.

What I have described here, sums up probably just about 1% of the experience of attending this meetup. If you are someone who have interest in design even in a remote sense try to make it to the next event. That is all you need to do to kick-start your creative journey with the help of this amazing community of creatives.

The gang!




Abishek Ranganathan

Co-Founder, & Paddle For Future. Designer, Thinker, Learner. Permanently in Beta mode. Holistic approach is my way of life.