CHENNAI : UX, UI, motion graphics and iconography. These might sound Greek and Latin to most of us. But, for tech and design geeks this is passion and profession. Three years ago, the growing demand for effective UX design led Sharan Grandigae to follow his dreams and form Redd with a vision to humanise technology with design.
He started the self-funded company in April 2015 and currently heads a team of 19. “We solely focus on user experience (UX design) unlike other marketing agencies or software development that offers this as just another services. Narrowing down helps us widen our capabilities and delve deeper into what we do. This sets Redd apart. We also specialise in branding, service design, communication design and web development,” says the entrepreneur, who gradually developed it into a full-fledged business.
Like every entrepreneur, capital management and team building were some of the challenges faced by Sharan. The team has completed over 70 projects till date including for companies like Urban Ladder, Bluestone.com, Adobe Systems, Asian Paints and Lenskart.
“The best metaphor for UX is that of an architecture. While an architect deals with the construction site, we deal with the software. A design is framed based on client’s perspective, their type of business and what they’re trying to achieve. Software application can be done on any medium like website, smart watch or even phone. We’ve designed one even for the set top box of a smart television,” says Sharan who does not come from a traditional design background.
He believes that people who come to this field out of passion rather than education are given more preference. Likewise his team members come from a diverse background of chemical engineering, computer science, fashion designing, advertising and architecture.
Working in a field with frequent software updates, the team is always alert to experiment the latest feature in market. About the pilot studies and demo testing that goes into a software before handing it over the client, Sharan says, “This stage involves quite a bit of work. Earlier we used to put users on observation mode, conduct a test to see if the software performs required tasks.
But subjectivity and bias are some of the problems in the field. Going a step further, we have electroencephalogram headphones usually used to study the brain patterns. We’d give these to the users, leave them alone in a room and observe the behaviour from outside. Without fear of being judged or anticipation they tend to perform well. This has produced tremendous result which otherwise wouldn’t have been the case,” explains Sharan, who is also working on purchasing experiences on an e-commerce site and understanding how one consumer’s pattern can influence another.
The field of graphic designing has evolved drastically and has shifted from mere interface to problem solving. With advancements, the team has to be aware of graphic design tools, economics, business application and operational aspects. Design in India is still in its growth phase because some business owners tend to look at it as aesthetics rather than as a tool to create growth.
“Most of the IT companies outsource design from abroad. Focus needs to increase in this field. We can offer world class quality in designs too and companies must recognise it,” says Sharan who wants to branch out across the world. The team functions from Bengaluru but has clients across India and from UK and the US.