Talking about design.

So, a few days ago, I had an opportunity to make a persuasive speech about a topic of my choice for an elective subject that we have here, Effective Public Speaking(EPS).

Now, I took EPS because I wanted to gain the confidence I had lost somewhere in 11th because I stopped participating in debates, etc. I haven’t really achieved what I wanted to, but I’m closer to doing it.

Persuasive speech is the last interactive component in the elective, and this time, I had the choice of what to speak on. This, infact, is very important to me. Whatever be the case, I am just unable to speak on a topic I don’t like. But here, when I got the choice, I chose to speak on design. Here’s what my speech looked like : *** Now, in EPS, we are expected to dress up in formals when giving a speech. I went in semi-formals(because I couldn’t find my “be creative” t-shirt)! This was to make a point. And I knew what was going to happen. Everyone had a smile on their faces when I went on the dias. But then, I mentioned that the appearance I had was to make a point.

Design is, I believe, usability. Usability and user experience come first. Looks are important, but secondary. And they help in improving user experience anyway.

I have read this one very interesting thing about the unveiling of the first iPhone. It did not work. It was made to look like it does[1]. They hardcoded some things in, like the phone showed full network coverage at all times. All these things were deception. They did this because Steve Jobs understood that as long as you make the people believe that it works, it’ll be okay. The main thing here was the design. They way those swipe gestures worked, and how they made the phones so easy to use. They took the world by awe, and suddenly, everyone wanted an iPhone. Here’s the thing about Apple: It is a design- driven company. Unlike others in the game(Samsung, etc.), designers are of utmost importance at Apple[2]. This probably is what makes Apple stand out and have the premium quality to it’s products that it has.

I study at BITS Pilani Goa Campus and we, being a technical college, have many startup companies springing up. From what I’ve noticed, there’s a basic difference between many companies here and in colleges outside India: the design. In tech colleges and in India in general, the designers are not that valued.The companies are engineering-driven, not design-driven. In my opinion, this has a huge impact on whether the company will be successful or not. This is also due to the fact that not many people start out to become a designer over here. So, it’s very difficult for companies here to have a powerful figure like John Ivy as a designer. India lacks places like the Stanford dSchool, whose product design program is highly respected. The people over at Stanford dSchool have made a “design sprint” mechanism for startups, perfected by Google Ventures. This is another example of importance of design in startups.

The fact is, we do say that don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but in the end, we all do.

So, next time you start a blog or give a speech or use a product, think about the design. Design is everywhere, you just need to notice and appreciate it.



[Also, here Talking about design.]

The cover image looks nice on medium.]