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Bhooshan

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.

Saving Private Ryan -“Earn It”

Ryan

‘Saving Private Ryan’ is one of those rare movies which I may have caught probably a dozen times. And it breaks me every time I watch the bridge scene at the end where a mortally wounded Captain Miller is feebly uttering to Private Ryan – “James…earn this…earn it…”, a grim reminder that he was saved by his men against heavy odds, and now he mustn’t take this privilege for granted as long as he lives.

Many years later, a visibly tearful and fragile James Ryan, accompanied by his loving family, is standing next to the gravesite of Captain Miller and asking for the departed soul’s acceptance of a cherished life bestowed upon him. His profound words hit me hard every time I hear it:

My family is with me today. They wanted to come with me. To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel coming back here. Every day I think about what you said to me that day on the bridge. I tried to live my life the best that I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that, at least in your eyes, I’ve earned what all of you have done for me.

It’s such a truly, contemplative quote from the movie.

Source: IMDB

Thank You, Sears.

Sears shut all its stores in Ontario, and it will subsequently cease operations across Canada later this year. I still recollect, as a newcomer, I was living right across the street to a store and the first items which I selected for my new home came from this iconic brand. I cannot imagine the convenience of a mega-store with its choice of home appliances without Sears in my neighborhood. It was rather distressing to watch that store shut down in November last year which had become a part of my regular shopping jaunts. They were on a rebranding spree and I was expecting a grand revival, but it happened too late, as suggested by the memo on their website.

Over the past 18 months, Sears Canada had embarked on a reinvention plan that had begun to gain traction with customers. Unfortunately, despite the outstanding efforts of dedicated associates across the Company, Sears Canada does not have the financial resources to provide it with the time necessary to complete its reinvention. As a result, Sears Canada is winding down its operations and shopping is no longer available online. Please see below the list of stores currently open for liquidation. We appreciate having had you as a customer, and hope you find some great bargains for you and your family.

Source: Thank You.

Grandpa Kitchen And The Simple Cooking

Several shows on the TV have attempted to promote culinary skills with even celebrities donning the apron, but you may not have seen anything like this. I caught a YouTube channel with over a million subscribers called ‘Grandpa Kitchen’ (not ‘Grandpa’s Kitchen’) featuring an aged man cooking Indian and western delicacies in the open with some youngsters as assistants, and err…peering pets. The delicious stuff is then distributed to some less fortunate beings for charity. But what’s so unique about this cooking “show”? At the onset, I was surprised to watch the straightforward chef bake a huge pizza using basic skills & equipment! Because you’d imagine pizza-making at home might require, besides an oven and the ingredients, some expert culinary skills, but cheers to the grand old cook who never fails to prove you wrong using just the everyday kitchen appliances with confidence. Then with each video, he carries his adept cooking skills to create some more restaurant-styled delicacies such as doughnuts, KFC-styled crispy chicken, french fries, etc. It’s exasperating to watch the endless list of mouthwatering stuff being made in such simple terms. I just have one disagreement with the food being cooked in the open environment which could pose a public health risk.

Baahubali’s Fantasy Adventure Is Amazing!

BaahubaliAfter brooding over my choice to watch the Baahubali films (BB) for years I finally garnered the motivation to catch up on the series yesterday, both flicks back-to-back. Frankly, I have become sceptical to watch mythological/historical period films with the current spate of drab historical Bollywood offerings not providing any entertainment value per se. And then BB fell into the category of ‘dubbed’ Hindi cinema, the ones made in the South but rarely given its due production importance for its Northern masses. It does remind me of the LOTR series but being made in India on such a grand scale (the CGI, et al) made this series that much more compelling to watch. Here’s the funny part – back then I couldn’t wrap my head around the whimsical Internet memes on “Katappa Ne Baahubali Ko Kyun Maara?” (Why did Katappa kill Baahubali?), but after watching ‘The Beginning’ that question came to haunt me too as it did millions of fans in 2015. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait for a year for the sequel (‘The Conclusion’) to get my answer.

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Market Research and User Research

Market Research Vs. User Research

I have often had conversations with clients and designers who have a difference of opinion on the virtues of ‘market research’ and ‘user research’, sometimes even using the terms interchangeably. In one such recent interaction with a marketing executive from a large Canadian company with whom I was associating for a consulting project, I was told that ‘user research’ was not necessary for the current circumstances since his company was perfectly cognizant of its customer base. He was referring to the marketing research his team was involved with, and rightly so. In all this, I believed, his goal was to expedite product development by paring down the number of hours and the expenditure required for the user research phase. It should come as no surprise for designers and managers, that a large chunk of their product design commitment relies on a comprehensive overview of the customer base gained from research studies at different times, and any form of research which could serve various purposes during a product’s development journey.

An ardent proponent of the UCD methodology, I firmly believe in the potential of research data in gathering an informed opinion about the motivations of the actual users which would enable me in developing a product’s design strategy, this includes presiding over focus group sessions, moderating personal interviews, or conducting a contextual inquiry study.

The user research exercise is not just relevant to the current state of the product analysis, but as the audience evolves and the product begins to feel redundant, the overlapping data from the market research and user research becomes that much more critical in the product’s design goals. Incidentally, some experts believe in the difference between market research and marketing research though I would like to set aside that debate for now. Instead, the question which I aim to examine in my article deals directly with the significance of market research and user research from the context of a product’s development lifecycle.

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Bhooshan Pandya

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