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Tania Kohli | August 8, 2019 | 4 min read
Huddle Diaries – Product Design

Zomato hosted the 6th edition of Huddle on Product Design to focus and propagate the importance of the very core of Product Development – User Centric Design.

We had over 140 design enthusiasts join us from some of the best tech-enabled organizations: Rivigo, UrbanClap, Yatra, Make My Trip, OYO, Sprinklr, PayU and many more.

For those who couldn’t make it, we have put down some of our learnings from the sessions conducted at the event. Here is what our speakers had to share: 

  • Somya Hastekar (Design Lead, ThoughtWorks)

Somya walked us through the importance of responsible design in today’s world. Over the last decade, design as a whole has stepped way beyond the realm of just being utilized to craft interfaces. With this development, there’s a bigger onus. 

In this age of social media, where every single product is scrutinized to the very core, one should keep the following questions in mind while designing products –

  • Are we hurting anyone’s belief system, customs or religious views? 
  • Are we ensuring our product is universal, accessible and focuses on equality?
  • Are we deep-diving into actual user needs and answering the bigger ‘whys’, that are emotionally driven? 

We need to understand the larger influence of design on societies and cultures and be as mindful of seeing our designs from their perspectives.

The shift in factors that influence product design
  • Ruma Dhingra (Lead UX Researcher, Global Product – OLX Group)

Ruma took us over the methods of comprehending users, that ensure responsible product development. Before deciding on the right stage for user research application and solving for methods to be applied, a few questions one should always keep in mind are the ‘what’, ‘who’ and the ‘how’. 

  • What is the product? What are we solving for?
  • Who are its users? What all do we know about them?
  • How are the findings from the study going to be used?

If research sessions are conducted in a structured way, one can get close to understanding user requirements and journeys in the best possible manner. 

Here are some things to consider during your research sessions: 

  1. Define your user sample clearly to identify trends that are in line with specific parameters
  2. Be empathetic to your users during any kind of interactions in order to make them more comfortable in such a setup
  3. React with your eyes. Be as neutral as possible during such interactions so that their responses aren’t influenced by your expectations
  4. Document every single detail, so you can go back and implement all changes without having to redo your research
The importance of applying user research to product development
  • Ananya Mittal (Product Designer, Zomato)

Ananya kickstarted the session by speaking about the users Zomato serves on a daily basis – Delivery Partners, Merchants, and Customers. It’s very clear to us that if the first two elements aren’t happy, the latter will never be able to stick to our product. Thus, it becomes even more important to ensure a user-friendly product is also built for internal products and its users.

By deep-diving into elements in our delivery partner app, she went on to elaborate upon aspects that may help while designing –

  1. Set aside some time, observe and speak to users. That’s when we can catch hold of the feedback we’re looking for
  2. Use familiar interaction flows that will not involve a steep learning curve
  3. Find places to incorporate delightful interactions, which will not distract the users from performing their tasks
  4. Try and embed training in the product itself or a platform where it is easily accessible
Focus should be on user-centric needs

The Huddle was a great success as these series of tech events keep getting better. We interacted with guests who weren’t entirely related to this field but were incredibly eager to learn and understand how design can influence user behaviour. In addition to this, we also saw a great number of entrepreneurs, who were willing to learn techniques in relation to user research, that could be applied to their own product, with the sole aim of building a loyal user base.

It’s interesting to see how, by utilizing simpler techniques and ideas in user research and design, we can formulate better and more user-friendly products. 

For any queries or suggestions, do reach out to us at huddle@zomato.com

(All illustrations have been made by Shweta Bendre, Product Designer at Zomato)

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