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Bhooshan Pandya is a UX consultant & Product Designer with more than 12 years of experience in representing global brands within cross-cultural teams in many countries. He brings his customer-centric vision to projects and is an ardent advocate of ‘design-thinking’ for co-creating solutions that create value for both the business and users. While working with a product he follows the objective of designing an experience which is enjoyable, engaging, and enduring.

Quotes from ‘Steve Jobs – The Lost Interview’

Steve Jobs - The Lost InterviewThis is one of my favourite documentaries on Steve Jobs, an interview with the legend who’s at his best reliving his time at Apple, NeXT, and beyond. It’s full of anecdotes from his thought process on product design, and why Microsoft is after all…Microsoft and I thought to reproduce some of his insightful quotes. This interview was conducted by Bob Cringely in 1995, it was lost until the director of the series found a VHS copy in his garage, and released to theatres in 2012.

At a time when technology has virtually seeped into our psyche, this interview brings a tremendous insight as to how far we have come, and especially for Apple as a company as it continues to innovate.

On Becoming a Millionaire at a Young Age

“I was worth about over a million dollars when I was 23 and over $10 million when I was 24 and over $100 million when I was 25. And it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money. I think money is a wonderful thing ’cause it enables you to do things. It enables you to invest in ideas that don’t have a short-term payback and things like that. But especially at that point in my life, it was not the most important thing. The most important thing was the company, the people, the products we were making, what we were gonna enable people to do with these products.”

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Why You Should Be Embracing ‘Inclusive Design’

Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, promoted by the United Nations since 1992 as an understanding of disability issues and to mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. I find this an excellent opportunity to reflect on the choices we make as designers of the modern digital revolution in embracing inclusive design for our products.

Product companies are increasingly aiming for an equitable relationship with its diversified customer segments. Designers in the ‘customer experience’ and ‘user experience’ field whose primary focus was streamlining user-interactions would have to accommodate a strategic-level thought process in incorporating a 360-degree outlook which includes a product’s physical & environmental aspects besides UI. For design professionals, therefore, the boundary between ‘industrial design’ and ‘experience design’ has blurred exponentially as customers evolve and companies remain committed to delivering business value.

As a consultant, I am involved in the framing of a viable design strategy for digital systems and applications, and it becomes imperative that I acknowledge the ambiguity of connecting the product goals with user needs and make amends in advocating a design which is inclusive for all. In more specific terms, that means integrating a systems design that reaches out to the masses by helping them achieve their objectives regardless of the physical and mental hurdles. In the words of the legendary Steve Jobs lies vital clues for designers in approaching products from the context of an ‘inclusive design’ which is engaging.

“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

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Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Who Can We Identify As An “Indian”?

Someone on the Internet responded to a rather contemplative question on who amongst Sonia Gandhi, Sundar Pichai, or Satya Nadella could be considered as ‘Indians’. But this individual’s answer extolled endlessly why Sonia Gandhi was an Indian but not the others who are business leaders on their own merits because today they’re Americans, also including some Nobel prize winners. I smiled because, in reality, I believe that they are all Indians! There’s always a broader perspective to such questions, but personally speaking, my understanding of this argument hangs on two parameters which pertain to ‘technical’ or ‘cultural’ viewpoints. Inasmuch as to call oneself belonging to a certain country relies strongly upon not just one’s nationality but also the genetic and cultural attributes, besides breeding a sense of pride in identifying ourselves with a certain country and culture regardless.

So technically, although she was born and raised in Italy Sonia Gandhi is truly an Indian national. In contrast, Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella are culturally Indians by birth and by race but not by their nationalities. Therefore, countless persons like Pichai and Nadella, whether they have settled in the US or relinquished their Indian citizenship, their genetic & cultural identification remains ‘Indian’ so long as they exist, and subsequently, their future generations would continue to display the Indian lifestyle depending on how they have instilled the values. Coming back to the issue of ‘technicality’ on nationalism, there was some certainty that scores of ‘Non-Resident Indians’ would have willfully also continued as ‘Indian’ nationals if India had recognized dual citizenship status, which is not the case today for political or historical reasons. And instead, these NRIs are recognized as having an ‘Overseas Citizenship of India’ and given an OCI card which is beside the point.

Would you die down as an ‘Indian’ just for relinquishing your nationality? Or would you continue to identify yourself culturally & genetically as an ‘Indian’ too? I would dare to characterize an ‘Indian’ as someone who belongs to India by birth, but also identifies with, adopts, and nurtures the ethos of India with its rich tradition, moral fiber, and the respective regional cultural values, anywhere that he or she chooses to call a home. Eventually, I feel, it is not just the Pichais or the Nadellas who are subjected to circle through such an unwarranted controversy, and to put it plainly, so long as their heart yearns for their roots anyone should be okay with recognizing themselves as an “Indian”.

‘One Heart’ Is A Melodic Pilgrimage with AR Rahman

I have been an ardent fan of the Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman since the ‘Roja’ days and I feel particularly sorry for admitting that I haven’t been to any of his live concerts! But all is not lost and I still have my hopes high. Meanwhile, I was privileged to watch a movie on his life and times through a concert called ‘One Heart – The AR Rahman Concert Film’. It’s a film for anyone who has missed the chance to experience a live performance.

The 90-minute documentary consists of footage from AR Rahman’s ‘The Intimate Concert Tour’ in which his cherry-picked 10-member band performed in 14 cities across the US. Though I could not ignore the fact that this movie appears to be produced as an afterthought by including additional footage, in the end, it was the music and the live performances that mattered. It revealed the maestro’s melodious journey through a rare interview of the legendary composer himself, how he engineers those tunes, his inspirations, and associations, etc., also a never-before-seen Rahman opening up on his personal life. The live band consists of AR Rahman himself, with Ranjit Barot (percussion), Annette Philip (jazz/vocals), Marie Calhoun (violin), Jonita Gandhi (from Toronto! Yaay!!) and Haricharan (vocals), Mohini De (bass guitar/prodigy), Keba Jeremiah (guitar), Devi Rani Najev (dancer), along with Shiraz Uppal, Sanket Athale, Ashwin Srinivasan, and more, most of whom you might have caught jamming on the MTV Unplugged (India) season. I imagine I may have missed a few names, but then again, the concert was very engrossing.

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Bhooshan Pandya