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August 22, 2017

Few things I would die to Design

Prady_menu_itemsMy biggest bragging-right is that I have one of the most admirable work-life system. I have built it with years of slog, maintaining my own and individualistic perspective and ability to stay on course and not waver based on what others are doing.

I love most part of my life and would not slow it down or change it in anyway. But I would always want to look at the sky and make wishes — what else would I be doing if I had the luck, chance or charm to influence with opportunity. This is by no means that I will quit what I do today, and jump at the new track, but to build on top of what I do today. So don’t get me wrong — I am not planning to retire. Ever.

Here’s couple of peeps

Sustainable “Something”

When I was kid I wanted to be an Architect. That did not happen — my parents did not want me to be “those” types. I was forced to become Engineer — Electronics Engineer. I did not hate it, but I can surely tell those 4 years could have been utilized better. Then when I went for Masters in Industrial Design, I did not want to be a consumer product designer (or sweating, dirtying my hands). But there were few things that taught me how to think about design in real space and context. I have been admirer of Industrial Designers since then.

Recently I started following works of Architects & Designers — Bjarke Ingels and Kevin McCloud. Not to mention, I have been forever admirer of Frank Gehry. There’s something about these guys that I think has changed how we perceive Architecture. It’s not about affordable & adorable housing, but stretching the imagination to include sustainable and affordable development to a new appealing point. All the work of Bjarke and Gehry is a form of playful experiment, breaking away from the ordinary and using the modernism to build new environments. They are the design thinkers and class apart from many of other architects.

I would love to be involved with Architects to add my design thinking. I would love to build a sustainable house of my own one day — so I have the selfish desire to learn the nitty gritty before I put my money at it. But more importantly, I do believe that most of the Architects are less acquainted with digital media. Kevin McCloud is the fashionable flag-bearer, but not all architects are born alike. Most of them neither have that much time nor are interested in telling their story.

What I can offer to Architects is ability to showcase their work, process and methods in the new digital medium. Presenting work portfolio on the web is one thing, and everyone does it best these days — but giving out a compelling vision towards the sustainable future is what great Architects/Thinkers must be doing. That can make an Architect/Firm stand out from the rest. This contribution can involve ideas from future technologies — Virtual Tours, DIY with Augmented Learning, Communities, etc. I have been part of few software ventures and have learned things about product and service management. I can provide the digital transformation mindset (with pun intended) to Architects.

CX/UX Design Drama Series

Digital Transformation projects are hot these days. Every business transforming its operations with Digital. Every digital service provider brags about their case studies. However none of these case studies feels real — just like fake news they seems propaganda or the sales pitch. And that is not because the case studies are wrong, but that the case studies are often an after-thought. People who are writing the case studies are detached from the project and have very mediocre skills to narrate the story. They are not real people who have been part of the drama to make it real.

We have all seen DIY projects, Apprentice, Real Time Drama series, and my favorite “Grand Design” by Kevin McCloud. All of these are great evolution of TV broadcasting that teaches us something more. How is Software business any different? It’s because it is lead by people who lack imagination, story telling and are overtly hard wired with the old technology paradigm. Everyone knows UX/CX/PX but none have the imagination to show all that goes inside. Software industry is full — portfolios, case studies, seminars, online courses to learn ‘things’.

I am not all that pessimist, but all I am saying is there’s a huge room to make it entertaining and interesting.

If I get a chance, I will work as a creative advisor on the project that requires complete re-imagination and end-to-end transformation. Or, as a creative director, I will take a snapshot of each individual steps of the projects — strategy, research, design, development, marketing & sales. I will track the haggles, negotiations, trade-offs and all the mischiefs that goes into making a product — the part of the drama that we software folks live everyday. The means & medium should also be thought through — the future of storytelling is not necessarily linear-unidimensional-TV-monitor. It is about making it immersive, imaginative, virtual and augmented based on the reality.

New Concept of Work

[Wait…! I am gathering my thoughts]

  • Present day work (especially knowledge work) involves motivation and attitude more than the skills & fit
  • The current work attitude reflects industrial age, assembly line mentality
  • Making the productivity and individual satisfaction important, companies may want to consider the new concept of “work” to be ready to attract new generation of workers
  • The shift with new “Concept of Work” culture may be the next sustainable edge for companies to not only retail its top talent, but stay on top of productivity curve
  • Thought leaders — Tim Ferris, Daniel Pink, Alain de Button.

Comeback soon!

User Interface for Robots (or Self Driving “things”)

Would love to make Tesla’s Dashboard & Mobile App better…, just kidding 😉

[I am gathering my thoughts] Comeback soon!