Today, we are joined by Chaula Ajmera. She is a Web Designer  You can view her portfolio here.

  • Who are some of your biggest influences in web design?

Our main influences in web design include Steve Jobs and Apple – for their minimalistic, clean design philosophy, Jack Dorsey and Squareup – they believe in beauty and minimalism, Industrial designer Dieter Rams amongst others


  • What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?

Some exciting concept designs we worked on were for leading brands like Facebook, Whatsapp after Facebook acquisition, YouTube, McDonalds, ESPN. We thoroughly enjoyed conceptualising and designing a Fifa World Cup app too. Skyline Exchange and Medlinx Mobile apps (in stealth mode) are some client projects that we have enjoyed designing. Designing for Ersy and Association of Freelancers was also a very rewarding experience. Both are in stealth mode at this time.


  • What advice would you give to other web designers?

As designers, using elements of beautification like the right font and weight, selecting an informative icon set etc are standard practice. Minimalism and stepping into the end user’s shoes will actually help you design applications that are pleasurable to use. Think of the end users, their needs and how you can make it easy for them to achieve the task your application will be helping them do. Small iterations, being critical of your own work and learning from applications that are doing it right will help. Aim at creating happy experiences, not just beautiful designs.




  • Can you give us a summary of your process?

We introduce our UX experts from the very start of the project. After a requirement has been received, our UX experts work closely with the project managers while they plan the application. The UX expert has a say in improving a project’s offerings after having understood the industry and target audience and having studied their needs, current pain points and how to overcome them. Wireframes are created and the project manager discuses them with the UX expert. Together they make improvements before presenting them to the client. On approval, the designers create the user interface. The UX team audits these designs, helps make required adjustments and keeps discussing how it will all work with the development teams so they are also aware of and thinking inline with the UX expert. Designs are critiqued and undergo iterations while still within the organisation. Often, improvements are suggested by clients and end users after an application MVP is rolled out. These are considered and incorporated after due deliberations. All our work undergo a rigorous testing too. There are around 400 checklist items that products are checked for.


  • How do you differentiate between UI design & UX design?

User Interface Design has traditionally been about making applications look good. While great design is essential to creating excellent User Experiences, ensuring excellent and positive User Experience is designing with care. You think beyond just good design, you think about the various interactions in your application and if they make for ease of use, offer the least possible friction for completing a task; iterative design to reduce the friction areas and creating applications that work so seamlessly that users want to use the apps (and not get frustrated using them). User Experience Design is about using delightfully interactions and that includes excellent user interface design but is not limited to everything looking good. User Experience Design is thoughtful designing, which encompasses how seamlessly things work and if they create happy end users.




  • Can crappy design still provide excellent UX?

Crappy design cannot provide excellent user experience. It definitely creates a poor user experience. A bad design creates immediate friction and ends up causing a negative UX. Good design is integral to creating good user experiences. An excellent user experience is one where a great design is thoughtfully executed to provide a seamless user experience.





  •  What are some of your thoughts on the importance of web standards?

It is extremely important to have web standards. The internet is no longer limited on computers. Its now accessible on so many on the go devices. For end users, its important we serve things up in a standard fashion to reduce their learning time. Standards help developers and designers create applications that work seamlessly on whichever device they may be called upon by the end users. While the Internet is a democratic medium, following basic standards serves everyone connected to it far better.


  • How do you convey the importance of web standards to your clients?

We explain that the end user could be using just about any device or web browser to access your application and you’ve got to be able to serve them – the only way to do it is by following the basic standards and practices prescribed.



  •  Web design changes so quickly, how do you keep up?

Yes, they do change ever so quickly :) Which is why we keep in touch with the latest trends, constantly keep learning and expressing the changes in our designs and also letting our design instincts take lead. Its important to have a strong sense of design. We also follow some industry leaders in web and mobile app design arena closely to take queues from them. But a lot of it comes from being avid internet consumers. Our design sensibilities have developed over the years and we are often able to predict which way to go next.



  • What are some of the biggest challenges that you see facing the web design industry today?

I see one big challenge – that the majority of design industry thinks good looking, beautiful designs are it. They don’t think the whole thing through. Designers must collaborate with developers and think of a product as a whole – a functioning entity and not just a good looking interface. Its important for them to think like Steve Jobs – design and technology need to combine to create beautiful products that people love to use.



  •  What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Designs that are delightful to use. Designs that you would want to copy :) Designs you would like to own for your applications.