Hustle to Master the Craft - Kedar Nimkar

Hustle to Master the Craft - Kedar Nimkar

07, April 2021

There are several layers in making a better portfolio and executing all of it with utmost precision will require constant striving to master your craft. "Just hustle around, it's not that you finish a task and it's done. You should follow it through, work with the technical team and keep improving it," says Kedar Nimkar, the Founder of Audiogyan. He is currently heading the design team at Jupiter (Neobank). Previously, he has worked as the Head of Design at BookMyShow and Cleartrip. He has been obsessed with design ever since he started working for Webchutney. From advertising, he moved to product-based companies like Burrp and Paperplane. Spending over 16 years in the online world, he realized the lack of documentation in the field of design in India and started Audiogyan. He is a design leader who focuses on mentoring and building design teams, partnering with businesses, and delivering compelling user experiences for brands and products that he works for.

Explaining the B2C environment, Kedar shared about the recruitment process, which has the following steps: phone screening, generally conducted by big companies, on-site/phone interview, providing a flavor of the team to candidate, portfolio review, product or design critique, mostly checking the evaluation skill on the pain points and algorithm of a product and a design exercise, more likely to be given to the recent undergraduates.

While going through this process there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First is attention to detail in every single point of the screen be it typos, button hit areas, vector level or sharpness. Then there must be an optimum level of visual quality. Another mostly missed factor is hustling with a positive attitude and last is openness for feedback.

He then recommended some sites for portfolio build-up viz., Bestfolios, Medium, Behance, Awwwards., Dribble, and Adobe Portfolio. One must not take inspiration ideally but if they do then they must do so with utmost perfection and never forget to give credit. Masters students who have some industry understanding can make their own portfolios.

"If you can draw Mona Lisa the way it is, you are a good artist, now it's just about practicing and making some different artworks," says Kedar Nimkar.

Illustrating the method followed by Julie Zhou a former Facebook employee, he suggests that the starting 5-6 years must be devoted to master the craft of a particular field, then reaching a product thinking stage one must take the ownership ultimately leading to the final influencing stage when you are capable of bringing some industry-level changes.

Interestingly, there exists a simplified version of the portfolio framework i.e., STAR. Here S is the situation or the problem, T- the task to be performed, A for action took to solve the problem, and R is the result. Now this result must be tangible ROI and also in the form of social validation. For communication design where tangible ROI cannot be recorded, it is quite subjective, and social validation can be the result like for a hoarding, whether or not it is placed at a prime location can be the result. To start, one can pick personal problems or the ones in the existing product to solve. Airbnb, Uber, and Ola were all the result of picking personal problems that turned out to be great successes. The redesign is another promising option where your solution for an existing product can be reviewed by peers and professionals and you stand a chance to get placed in the same company.

He shared some hands-on pointers like following your favorite designers and seeking internship under them, providing detailed solutions instead of screenshots, avoid putting Google drive links, getting peer reviews, having a website, and if one copies then doing it perfectly. For mails, he adds never mass mail, adds personal notes, doesnít come across as miserable, and always spell check specially for company professionalsí names as you must know about the company.

In his blanket tip, Kedar suggests to everyone that all these layers can be perfected only when one keeps observing and hustling day in and day out, mastering every single skill of that particular domain.

Written by,

Anvesha Dubey


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