How can we design ‘Intuitive’ interfaces? How can we make a product or a service ‘User Friendly’? Is ‘Simplicity’ really the key to good design?

Much has been said and written about user experience in the past 30 years ever since Prof. Donald Norman coined the word and became the first ‘User Experience Architect’ in the world.

Here is my contribution to the knowledge base based on my experience as a practicing Experience Designer.

Aesthetics of Experience

When we talk about the need for a User Experience what we are actually saying is the need for an ‘Aesthetic Experience’ for someone who is…


Context is everything when it comes to creating a design system. There are three things that you need to know before you attempt to build a design system:
1. Design maturity of the organization
2. Design maturity of the product
3. Design maturity of the people — sponsors, stakeholders, partners, and designers

If we say the measure of maturity is high, medium, and low for each, it is not very difficult to surmise that one size does not fit all.

For an organization that is undergoing a digital transformation, my guess would be a low-medium on all parameters with some…


or ‘How to set up a bicameral practice’ or ‘How I learnt to balance power to run a stable form of governance’ or ‘How my idealism failed me at first and then saved me later’.

A confession before I start. When I started setting up the governance I had no idea that it was headed towards a form of bicameralism. It was an emergent phenomenon based on the push and pull of competing powers and priorities within the organization and that is why I think it is beautiful.

When I first started setting up the governance model, I had simple…


or ‘How to Design and Develop in the same sprint’ or ‘ How to be truly agile’

Design Thinking and Agile break each other. But they need not. Let’s understand the foundations a little better. I will keep them brief.

Design Thinking

Courtesy: Design Council, UK

Design thinking framework by the Design Council, UK recommends four distinct phases:

  • Discover. The first diamond helps people understand, rather than simply assume, what the problem is. It involves speaking to and spending time with people who are affected by the issues.
  • Define. The insight gathered from the discovery phase can help you to define the challenge in a different…


Its so surprising that the internet is full of tips and tricks and rules on how to prepare for an interview for the interviewee but few for the interviewer. That is a little presumptuous, don’t you think? Why doesn’t anybody talk about it?

I have been attending interviews for the past few days. A few months before, I was interviewing people. While I was introspecting about my experiences from being on both sides of the table, I noticed some unmistakable patterns. I am sharing a few insights from my experiences of giving and taking interviews.

Good interviews share a few…


One moment, it all makes sense. Life, I mean. The next, it seems as confusing as before. Sometimes more. All my attempts to seek clarity, momentarily succeed and then leave me more confused.

This was me a few years ago. I couldn't stand it anymore. It was draining me from within. I needed a logical explanation for this confusion. Not some metaphysical salve to soothe my internal dissonance. I don’t mind metaphysical explanations to smooth out small imperfections like a putty before painting, as long as the structure is built on something that seems like logic. Yes. I live under…


When was the last time a piece of advice or a tip or a trick was not thrown at you by people and the internet in general on how to be ‘Productive’ and ‘Happy’? It is happening to me everyday now. Every…day!

Till some time back I was fairly happy and reasonably productive. Or so I thought. I got up on most mornings feeling fairly excited looking forward to my morning rituals followed by my chai laden with ginger and pepper. If either of those did not happen, I would feel very upset. …


Before I start repeating the popular narrative of Taylor-Toyota-Dreyfuss-PARC-Don Norman-Apple, I want to briefly talk about the history of Design and the Process. It was shocking to me that a timeline of design is spreading across the internet without the mention of Bauhuas and Ulm. The history of UX Design is not divorced from the history of design itself. It is a continuation of the same idea. Hence this article:

All major human activity can be broadly simplified to two distinct categories: Making Tools and Telling Stories.

It is the result of these two tasks being done continuously since the…

Girish Subramanian

Object Maker. Experience Collector. Story Seeker. Wikipedia Glutton. Happy Sleeper.

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