Product design is the process of creating new products that meet the needs and desires of customers. This includes everything from conceptualization and prototyping to manufacturing and distribution. The field of product design has grown rapidly in recent years, with advances in technology and the rise of the digital economy.
Shravan Hotha is a talented product designer with a passion for creating visually stunning and highly functional products. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Shravan has become known for his ability to push boundaries and create products that resonate with audiences.
Shravan began his career as a visual designer for advertising agencies when he was just 14 years old. His curiosity led him to pursue computer science in his undergrad, expanding his interests and preparing him for a successful career in product design.
One of Shravan’s most significant accomplishments was designing five themes that garnered over 3,000 sales on Envato Market. His unwavering dedication to his craft earned him four awards for his contributions to the marketplace, and one of his items trended and ranked among the weekly top sellers across the entire marketplace.
Currently, Shravan works as a Product Designer at Plume Design, where he is involved in the development of HomePass, a product that he is deeply invested in. His expertise in product design and his passion for creating impactful work make him an invaluable asset to the team.
In this interview, we will be exploring Shravan’s expertise in product design and his ability to create products that are both visually stunning and highly functional. We will delve into his process for designing products that meet the needs of different stakeholders, including customers, business, and engineering teams.
When designing a product, how do you balance the need for it to be visually stunning and engaging, with the need for it to be functional and user-friendly?
To strike the right balance between visual appeal and functionality, I rely on a design system that my team and I have developed. Our system is based on a lego block component design that allows us to quickly assemble and ship products while ensuring consistency across all features and services.
To create engaging designs, I experiment with various iterations and explorations, testing different design elements and combinations until I find the best solution that meets both visual and functional requirements. Additionally, I ensure consistency across all features and services to create a cohesive and unified design.
For instance, when designing a new feature, I start by creating several rough ideas and exploring different layout options. Then, I select the most promising ideas and iterate on them, making refinements and adjustments until I arrive at a final design.
Balancing the need for visual appeal and functionality is a delicate process, but by utilizing a defined design system, exploring various iterations, and maintaining consistency, it becomes much easier to create visually stunning and user-friendly products.
How do you collaborate with different teams, such as engineering or marketing, to ensure a successful product launch?
As a product designer who mainly designs B2C products, particularly mobile apps, collaborating with different teams such as iOS and Android developers, PMs, and PMMs is crucial for a successful product launch. To ensure smooth collaboration, I communicate regularly with each team member to understand their perspective and align with their goals.
I understand that design is not a one-time process, and bug fixes are inevitable. Therefore, I work closely with the engineering team to identify and address design bugs promptly. This requires clear communication and a willingness to be flexible and open to feedback.
In addition, I create Protopie animations to showcase my designs and ensure that the interactions are working as intended. This not only helps the engineering team understand the design better but also sets the expectation for a high-quality result.
To ensure that everyone is on the same page, I create detailed Figma designs that describe all the user flows of the screen. This makes it easier for the development team to understand the design and avoid any miscommunication or confusion.
Overall, I believe collaborating with different teams requires clear communication, flexibility, and a willingness to work together toward a common goal.
What’s the most challenging project you’ve worked on, and how did you overcome any obstacles you encountered along the way?
The most challenging project I have worked on so far was designing a feature for our HomePass app that focused on Quality of Service (QoS) and app prioritization, with the goal of boosting the app’s overall performance. One of the biggest challenges I faced was unifying the designs for both features and making it easier for users to understand a set of templates they could prioritize.
To overcome these obstacles, I started by using a unified color scheme throughout the entire design, which created a consistent and cohesive feel. I also created a set of icons that were used throughout the design to help users easily identify different templates and prioritize them accordingly. In addition, I worked closely with the content team to create clear and concise copy that explained the different options and how they could be used to improve app performance.
Despite the challenges, I successfully completed the project by staying focused on the end goal and working closely with the rest of the team to ensure that all aspects of the design were cohesive and user-friendly. It was a great learning experience that taught me the importance of effective communication, collaboration, and attention to detail in the design process.
Can you tell us about a time when you had to change your design approach to meet the evolving needs of your customers or market trends?
I recall a time when I was working on the redesign of our entire app, and I had to change my design approach.
To begin with, I realized that I needed to incorporate more user testing into my design process. So, I started creating various prototypes on Protopie and testing them with our beta testers. This allowed me to get real-time feedback and insights from our target audience, which helped me make informed design decisions.
Additionally, involving our developers in the design process was crucial to ensure that the designs were feasible and could be implemented efficiently. This allowed us to address any technical constraints early on and make necessary adjustments to the designs.
I also spent time reviewing app store ratings and reviews to understand what users were saying about our app and what they wanted to see improved. This feedback was then incorporated into the new designs and iterated until we were confident that we were meeting our users’ needs.
Lastly, I found whiteboard wireframing to be an effective way to quickly ideate and iterate on design concepts. It allowed me to collaborate with our team and rapidly explore various design solutions.
Overall, by changing my design approach to incorporate more user testing, involving developers in the process, reviewing app store ratings and reviews, and utilizing whiteboard wireframing, I was able to create a more effective and user-friendly app design.
When designing a product, how do you ensure that you’re meeting the needs of different stakeholders, such as customers, business, and engineering teams?
To design a successful product, I prioritize involving all stakeholders in the process to ensure their needs are met. Firstly, I review the product requirements document (PRD) created by the product manager and work closely with the engineering team to iterate and prioritize each requirement based on its importance and impact on the overall success of the product.
To ensure that my designs meet the needs of customers and align with the business and engineering goals, I collaborate with stakeholders throughout the design process. This involves sharing wireframes and prototypes, gathering feedback, and taking on board any suggestions or concerns.
I believe that a collaborative and iterative approach to designing products is essential, where all stakeholders are involved, and their input is valued. This helps to ensure that the final product meets the needs and expectations of everyone involved, resulting in a successful outcome.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in product design, and what role do you think they play in creating successful products?
As a product designer specializing in mobile apps, staying up-to-date with the latest design trends and technologies is crucial for me. I make it a priority to keep myself informed of emerging design trends by exploring various resources, such as Dribbble, Behance, and industry publications.
In addition to these resources, I heavily rely on official guidelines from major platforms like iOS and Android. For instance, I always ensure that I am up-to-date with the most recent version of the iOS Human Interface Guidelines and Android Material Design specifications as they provide valuable insights into the best practices and design patterns that have been tested and proven successful on those platforms.
By keeping myself informed of the latest trends and guidelines in product design, I can create visually appealing and intuitive products that are user-friendly, which ultimately leads to more successful products.
Can you share an example of a project where you had to work within certain technical limitations, and how you overcame them to create a successful product?
One project that stands out to me is when I was tasked with designing an extended warranty program for smartphones on our app. However, we faced a technical limitation that required us to descoped a feature that we had initially planned due to various factors such as cost, time, and potential complications with integration into the existing system.
To overcome this challenge, I collaborated closely with the development team to explore alternative solutions that would still meet the needs of our customers. We brainstormed and evaluated multiple options, weighing the pros and cons of each before ultimately deciding on a simpler yet effective approach.
Although we haven’t yet released the extended warranty, I am confident that by working within our technical limitations and focusing on other essential aspects of the product, we will be able to offer a successful and valuable solution to our customers.
How do you gather feedback from users during the product design process, and how do you incorporate it into your work?
To gather feedback during the product design process, I utilize a method that involves selecting a diverse group of individuals as beta testers to test my product. Once I have received feedback from them, I carefully analyze it to identify common issues and concerns that arise. I prioritize the feedback based on its severity, frequency, and potential impact on the user experience.
Incorporating the feedback into my work is the next step, which involves making necessary changes to improve the product. I also take the opportunity to reevaluate my initial design decisions and determine if there are any improvements I can make to better address the needs and wants of my users.
As an aspiring designer, gathering feedback and incorporating it into my work is crucial in creating a product that meets the needs and expectations of my users. As an iterative process, it helps me to refine my design decisions, identify areas of improvement, and deliver a product that provides a positive user experience.