What is the importance of design? What does design mean to you? Design is very important, because it has the potential to change the world. It’s how the little things and the small details add up to make a finished product that delights someone that uses it.
Do you think studying engineering has helped you design? No I think it’s really a waste of time. The trend in India right now is do engineering and then think what you want to do with your life, and I too fell into that trap. If there’s one thing I did learn there, I learnt to survive. Nothing more.
What is your favourite thing about the office here at Skcript? I think the work culture and the amount of freedom the office gives you. There aren’t really fixed timings (except for deadlines) so you can work at your own pace. Moreover, it’s like a family, not just a bunch of guys sitting together to make ends meet, it’s much more deeper than that. I think that connection with everybody is essential to be happy working.
What do you do if you get stuck in the design process? I close my laptop, take a step back, mess around with a fidget spinner for a while - anything that serves as a distraction. I need to get things out of my head, so I go talk to people at the office and get to know what they think. But sometimes you just need a break after working, even if it’s just for five minutes. It’ll help clear your mind and find new ideas.
What software can you not work without? Sketch. I think it’s essential for anybody who does what I do. It’s the best for prototyping and makes it so much easier. Paper (from Dropbox) is also really essential for me as well. It helps document thing easily and it’s simple to use, and its accessible from everywhere. A lot of people can contribute simultaneously to the document as well, so its perfect.
What qualities do you think a good designer should have? I’m not a seasoned designer myself so I just have vague ideas. There’s no good designer and bad designer, because I think every designer is unique. Everyone approaches the same problem differently, and at the end there’ll be different designs and it’s a matter of personal preference at the end of the day. It’s more of how you as a designer can solve a problem.
How do you meet tough deadlines? How well do you work under pressure? I have this app called Be Focused, which has a timer where you work for twenty-five minutes and then take a break for five. I think it’s important to pace yourself just right when aiming for a target, and not log continuous hours working because it’ll affect your efficiency and won’t get the best out of you. I just take a walk around the office and talk to people about other things for a few minutes, then I’m good to go again.
What’s an example of a project where you disagreed with the client’s feedback and how did you handle it? I tried to reason it out with them, because at times the client will give you feedback and it might not align with the goal of the project in your mind, so it’s important to clear things up. It’s crucial to take their point of view as well. At the end of the day, whatever you’re designing is meant to perform its required functions, and if the client is right you make the required changes. I just make sure the final product is the best it can be.
How do you measure the success of your designs? That’s a very tough question. One qualitative method of measuring it is through feedback, through something like Google Analytics. Your design should bring out the best in the product, and measuring how well it’s received is very important.
What are the basic ingredients of a well designed app or website? That totally depends. Whenever you design an application, it’s for a different problem you’re trying to solve. There’s no fixed ingredients, because it’s like cooking different dishes, some designs need a bit of this and other designs need a bit of that. Knowing what goes where is the sign of a good designer.
Who is your favourite person at the office, and why? Sanki-Manki (Sankriti). I like annoying her, and she’s funny at times. She comes up with the wackiest ideas when it comes to design (and they work too) so I guess that helps! Most of the time she doesn’t make sense, but I’ve gotten used to it 😃
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.skcript.com/svr/meet-the-nerd-hareessh-prabhu/