Colors in Brand Strategy

A great article in Fast Company on how colors can impact user behavior and why they should be a consideration in your Brand Strategy.

Advertisements

Why Upstart is brilliant

Few weeks ago, a Sophomore High student told me he enjoys investing in stocks and looking at trends. I was inspired by his enthusiasm to commit to opening an investment account of $1k for him to play with and do it for real.

My nephew started his own iPhone repair gig while in high-school and managed to buy his own camera equipment, devices etc. with his own earnings. There are kids starting ventures in high-school and whenever I meet them and listen to them, I want to support them in whatever possible way I can not that I have deep pockets but I have my time to mentor them, few hundred dollars to show my encouragement and find ways to tell them that I believe in them and am willing to take a chance with them. These are the kids that make me wonder why PayPal or banks need to have a minimum age of 18 for these kids to open accounts-maybe for adults like us to discover them.

When I came across Upstart, I had just wrapped up my gig with a Mentoring Platform company and felt we need a disruptive way of investing in the future. Upstart allowed me to open my account quickly with just a couple of qualifying questions and I was on my way to put aside my money. Also I am one of those people who do first and think later so I instantly transferred $500 through my PayPal account and was ready to find young talent that inspired me.

It is easy to gravitate towards what you know – looking for your own individuals my Alma Mater – California College of Arts – Design MBA program. When I could not find any, I browsed further to find other candidates who wanted to do something in Education, Health and Community. Very soon from my short list, I picked 2 women. I couldn’t help my gender bias and a need to find a way to uplift other woman.

What made it easy for me to jump on this experience is:

  1. My personal belief in investing in future generation through mentorship and investments
  2. My comfort with micro-loans from my experience with Lending Club and Kiva
  3. Ability to quickly transfer funds through PayPal and other payment methods of my choosing
  4. My own prior experience of why I could not follow my dream of starting my venture first when I graduated from Fine Art college and very recently from the DMBA program.
  5. It was the best way to put my money where my passion is – investing in future.
  6. It gives me an opportunity to chose to mentor the person I am contributing to if and when that individual needs mentoring. This increase the chance for me to follow up on my investment.

My husband and I have consistently tried to support artist and designers through buying art, funding design projects or offering interning/work opportunities for people with no experience but with lot of passion. We don’t consider ourselves as collectors or investors (don’t even have a way to boot-strap my own start-up) but we would like to do whatever we can to encourage passionate individual committed to doing great things in the future.

Growth Model

On a personal basis there is a mis-match my relationship with money. I did not have money when I needed it most – when I went to school, when I moved to America, when I went to school, when I had my kids in middle of school, the jobs I picked because I could not survive without them. Now that I have little bit of money, I am not comfortable with who can invest for ideas, whom to invest in, what happens to our investment, who manages it, who really makes the money etc. Upstart finally provided me a way to make the best use of. I believe Upstart provides a model for sustainable growth for individuals, investors and development of community without putting middle-man with fat pockets in it.

I am comfortable with an average of 8% of returns or lesser. It is still more than what my savings account or CDs give me. This may change how I feel about writing checks to individual charities vs. individuals who want to make that trip to Haiti to volunteer their time to teach kids there.

Upstart is still focused on recent graduates from few school but very soon I expect them to disrupt lot of traditional models of what we do with our money. Will you be comfortable investing on individuals on Upstart?

Design Thought Leaders

Over my working career I have been inspired by a huge number of design thought leaders and I would like to acknowledge them. On personal level my journey in design started when I met Mr. Nandu Kavalanekar while I was a college student at Baroda Fine Arts. Mr. Kavalanekar is the founder of N.A.Modelling works which is an amazing workshop that creates working prototype of product – big and small and supports programs like ISRO and other government agencies by creating working models of dams, rocket launchers etc. (not sure how much I can reveal). Mr. Kavalanekar or Nandubhai as people call him does not identify himself as a designer but as a problem solver. Interns who work with him are initiated by questioning everything from how things work, religions are formed, economies work, societies operate. There is no small or big problem. He is and will be my Guru. 

So here is the list of other Design Leaders, my other Guru(s):
1. Nandubhai Kavalanekar – who taught me – if there is a problem, it can be solved. What is your purpose in solving it?

2. Nathan Shedroff – introduced Experience Design through his blogs when I was new to the field and over the years he re-introduced the purpose of design. What can design do? – do check out his books on Design is the Problem, Making Meaning and Make it So

Others:
Dr. Deepak Kanal – he introduced teaching by story-telling. 
Jyotibhai Bhatt – I learnt to feel wonder at various experiences looking at his approach to art, learning about people and using photography as ethnographic documentation method
Raffi Minasian – introduced rhythm of life about how we experience our daily life, people and objects around us and how our relation to it shapes our behavior, work that includes solutions and innovations.

Design Thought Leaders that have inspired me that I wish I had met or can meet:
1. Buckminster Fuller
2. Dieter Rams
3. Charles & Ray Emes
4. David Kelley
5. Tim Brown
6. Bill Moggridge
7. Steve Blanc
8. Steve Jobs
9. Jonathan Ivy

I continue to get inspired by individuals who design to make our lives better, meaningful and purposeful. 

Who are your inspiring Design Leaders?

Affinity Diagramming: Uncovering a better user experience

A great blog on Affinity Diagramming.

Acquity Group Blog

To the untrained eye, an affinity diagram may look very scientific, confusing and messy. But what you are viewing is actually a simple, yet powerful technique used in the early stages of Acquity Group’s design process. Interaction Designers use these affinity diagrams to help diagnose complicated problems through collecting, grouping, organizing and analyzing feedback and findings from up-front research studies. Within these diagrams, we begin to make connections and identify the experience gaps during the “Evaluation” phase of the Acquity Group Design process.

Diagram-wall_fullSo what are the first steps an interaction designer will take when beginning an affinity diagram? Usually, these diagrams need a fairly large space to work with, but you could start by using over-sized presentation boards (the ones that look like gigantic sticky notes) and line the walls with these boards. Within Acquity Group’s Chicago Studio space, we have large floor to ceiling wipe board walls we can assign…

View original post 350 more words

Bridging the Worlds of 2D and 3D Interactions

Looking forward to a future without devices.

In a world where the devices around us are being connected before we even know why they should be, there is increasing buzz around the idea of the connected home: a futuristic ecosystem of products that provide feedback about the home that could transmit data about anything from what food is rotting in the fridge to what the vacuum cleaner accidentally sucked up while you were out.

As cool as this idea sounds, most concepts in the connected home leave me thinking “why would I ever need that?!”  Part of the problem is that it seems like 2D interactions are glued onto 3D products like lipstick on a pig, with an expectation that something magical will happen as soon as the cosmetic is applied.  This leaves many interaction designers like myself posing the question “How should we bridge the worlds of 2D and 3D interactions?”

This morning, I stumbled upon this…

View original post 408 more words