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Arun Pattnaik has been designing UX & UI with empathy and compassion for the user; employing classic design principles rather than blindly following trends has been helping him build his own fortress of work that he isn’t afraid to show off.

CG. What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have that help you achieve your desired UX & UI?

Arun. I start with the user persona, which is important to understand the users’ needs, behaviour, expectations, and general psyche, and thus build the product around these factors. Once I have a detailed persona set up, I research ways to best match business goals with the persona.

 

During this process, I create workflows, user journeys, and eventually wireframes, keeping the stakeholders in the loop at all times. Many designers tend to skip the wireframe phase due to the time it takes. However, I find that those extra few hours at the beginning stage can potentially save several days of rework.

 

Next, I usually look up to the clients’ competitors, in order to validate my ideas and approaches. Dribble and Behance are also great resources to look for general design inspiration.

CG. How do you narrow down to a specific element and work on making it more important? How does your core thought (the subject of your work or the way it is executed) make its way from initial ideas to the final output?

Arun. There is no magic here. I make sure the user and his experience remain at the core of entire product’s process. As mentioned earlier, starting with user persona helps a lot. A quick hack is to ask yourself questions like, ‘what does the user intend to do?’ ‘What is the user’s expectation here?’ and ‘Is this the best way to do this?’ at every step of the process.

 

While listing down possible features, which could be built-in the product, I usually identify and separate the ‘must-haves’ from the ‘good-to-haves’. One of the must-haves becomes the USP, which becomes an integral part of everything from initial idea to the final output.

CG. How is your approach different from others around you? What inspires your work and develops your style?

Arun. I don’t think my approach is very different from other designers. But I spend a lot of time researching, a.k.a. sharpening the axe, before actually starting the design. And this has worked very well for me so far.

 

Apart from that, I make sure to put a lot of empathy into each project I work on. I believe empathy towards the user is what makes or breaks a product. A lot of research goes into every successful design you see today.

CG. What are the key points you consider along with the client before you start working with a new product/company?

Arun. I ensure to completely understand the client’s goals of a project. If it’s a new product, I usually start with a basic market research, followed by user interviews. As a UX & UI guy, my priority is to build a bridge between the user’s expectations and the business goals.

 

There are times when the client would ask for more features. While the client can see its benefits, it also adds risks of building too many features your users might not even want. For a successful product, you need to draw a line between what you can build and what you should.

CG. We live in a multi-media world where people want quick information and fast response rates. Creative businesses have wide opportunities but also challenges. How has this affected your style of work?

Arun. This is actually a good problem to have. With more challenges, the product designers are getting increasingly innovative in solving problems. We’re seeing an entirely new level of design thinking across product designs, especially digital products. From iPhone to Hyperloop, innovation is constantly being driven by challenges.

 

This hasn’t really affected my style of work directly. Being a one-man consultancy, the biggest challenge I face is to manage all the non-design tasks which I manage with few auto-responders and the quality of my portfolio.

CG. How important is the UX & UI for the success of any project? And how do you make the client understand the same?

Arun. There is no such thing as ‘no UX’. A product either has a good UX or a bad UX hence it is very crucial to focus on creating a good UX from the beginning. If you use something and don’t feel great about it, then either the UX is badly designed or not designed at all.

 

The business value of UX design is so colossal; one can simply not afford to ignore the importance of a good design in driving your product’s success. It is even more important for young businesses and start-ups, as they usually lack a brand reputation to fall back on. In the last few years, the start-ups have been able to give head on competition to the industry behemoths.

 

I get a lot of clients who either do not know about UX design or have a misconception that it’s just a small part of UI. While onboarding the clients, I usually give them a few examples to explain the importance of investing in good UX.

CG. Your advice to budding UI and UX designers?

Arun. Design with empathy and have compassion for the user. If you want to guarantee a great experience, you need to learn how to fulfil the precise expectations of your users, with the minimum of effort. Focus your attention toward the design problem instead of individual design preferences may help.

 

Paint the back of the fences. Pay close attention to details. Sometimes the difference between your product and your competitors’ is a number of details you put in.

Lastly, if you’re a designer and new to freelancing, brace yourself for a lot of struggle in the beginning. Everyone does it, everyone starts there, including the top designers you keep hearing about. If you don’t get work outside, make sure you work on the inside.

 

When you work hard, it shows. You work doesn’t only need to be a client’s project. Build something on your own, and don’t be afraid to show it off. You will get negative feedback; use it wisely to get better.

Published in Issue 36

Every year brings a lot of hope and promises. With a New Year resolutions list (which might be lost by now) and hope of everything will change for good, we all welcomed 2017. This issue explored, how these changes will affect our businesses and how we can be prepared for the growth predicted by the experts. The Wise Advice section includes pieces of advice on the web, mobile apps, user interface and user experience from well-known industry experts. Arun Pattnaik, a self-learned UX & UI expert also highlighted the importance of user experience in the process of building a strong brand. This issue gives you hint about tends to keep an eye on and how to be ready for it! So not just for the business owners but also for upcoming creative entrepreneurs this one is a must read!

 

Order Your Copy!
LATEST RELEASE
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

Freelance UX designer, Arun Pattnaik advocates that your brand can either have good or a bad UX but ‘no UX’ is impossible. A well thought out user experience can create multifold value for any brand. He explains, why we should not ignore the finer details and focus more on creating a great user experience.

UX or user experience is what you feel while using a product. When a product makes you feel good, you know it’s designed well; if not, it means the UX is either badly designed or not designed at all. Good UX helps a product in increasing conversions, reducing abandonment, & building customer loyalty. This doesn’t just happen by accident. Apart from basic principles of graphic and content design, UX design takes into account issues of sociology, anthropology as well as cognitive psychology.

 

Let’s understand it with some examples of good UX.

Flights Tickets.

Booking flights was a hassle for a long time until Virgin America came up with their new design. It completely transformed the UX of flight booking by letting the user focus on one step at a time in a beautiful, unconventional interface. You start with their departure location and destination and then go to a page to determine the number of passengers followed by a page to select seat assignments. By reducing information overload and a clean, playful interface, Virgin America not only made bookings easy but also fun.

good UX

Train Bookings.

A few years ago, booking a train ticket in India was a nightmare. Because IRCTC had a terrible UX & Indian travellers didn’t have a choice but to deal with it. But then came the travel portals like MakeMyTrip & Cleartrip with great UX and changed the game. Today these companies are growing exponentially. Conversely, IRCTC is losing ground because of its horrific user experience.


Losing To The Competition.

UX focused products are massively disrupting the industries worldwide. Like Uber is in transportation, Airbnb is in hospitality, and the list goes on. Look at how the good old cable or satellite TV is on the deathbed because brands like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime are offering users a much better experience. The bottom line is – if your UX is not providing enough value, you will lose your users to competition.

 

Take brands like Apple and Google for example and imagine what would have happened if these companies didn’t give a good user experience. They might be giants now, but they had to start somewhere and they started with great experiences. The experiences defined their brands.


The Finer Details.

Think about how the word Disneyland makes you feel; one gets excited merely by hearing the brand name- because we know Disneyland’s user experience is beautifully crafted, paying attention to the very last detail. This is the value a good UX can bring to your brand; as you will always remember how a product made you feel.

 

When you care for your users, it shows. While designing your product, keep empathy in mind. It will help you create a product that will make your users truly happy, and in return, your users will love your brand. Good UX is an investment, which will start giving returns immediately.

Published in Issue 36

Every year brings a lot of hope and promises. With a New Year resolutions list (which might be lost by now) and hope of everything will change for good we all welcomed 2017. This issue explored, how these changes will affect our businesses and how we can be prepared for the growth predicted by the experts. The Wise Advice section includes pieces of advice on the web, mobile apps, user interface and user experience from well-known industry experts. Arun Pattnaik, a self-learned UX & UI expert also highlighted the importance of user experience in the process of building a strong brand. This issue gives you hint about tends to keep an eye on and how to be ready for it! So not just for the business owners but also for upcoming creative entrepreneurs this one is a must read!

 

Order Your Copy!
LATEST RELEASE
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49