Life Beyond Mock-ups - Puneet Arora, Dell

Life Beyond Mock-ups - Puneet Arora, Dell

16, June 2021

We have this weird problem of nagging and complaining. The food is too bland, we complain, the UI is too confusing, we complain, the website buffers too much, complaints again. But should all complaints be taken at face value, or is the real problem veiled somewhere underneath?

“Solve the right problem,” says Puneet Arora, the APJ Practice Lead- Design and Digital Transformation, Dell. He has worked in various industries such as Digital Printing and Platforms, and Airlines & Aviation. His focus has always been on developing customer-centric solutions in the given budget and timeline. He likes to join random dots? the ones representing business requirements, technology constraints, and user needs. He is a strong believer in the role of design in creating value for people and brands.

The customer may complain about a lot of things, but it is the designer who needs to dig out the actual problem. And this digging out cannot happen by sitting in one place. Tech giants once made this mistake and they paid for it. You need to know what are your users asking for. With guesswork, you’ll only fall flat in the face.

“Think big but start small. Starting small enables you to ship sooner,” says Puneet. “The sooner you ship, the sooner you get feedback on your assumptions and your solutions.”

This helps in knowing what is working for you. Validating your assumptions can help in learning more about the user. And this is the life of a designer?—?it stretches its arms way beyond just making mock-ups and creating pixels. There are various aspects like designing, developing, iterating, and delivering which come to play.

Change, yes we’re all part of this hate club. But as they say, change is the only constant. And the pandemic situation catalyzing the process, it’s time to change the business paradigm. Like every other business, Dell is also adopting the Dell Digital Way. Puneet says, “The lines between businesses and their technologies are increasingly blurred.”

And this has strengthened methods like the B-M-L loop (Build-Measure-Learn) and Double Diamond Method. Where diversions and conversions look like an ECG reading, this method helps in delivering superb results. First, you diverge to think about the problems the users face and then converge to identify the real problem. Then diverge to brainstorm solutions and converge to find the applicable solution. This is followed by another series of iterations depending on the feedback. Prototypes help in garnering quick feedback which can help in iterations. It’s a long process but it’s worth the time.

Daily stand-up, this another interesting part of the life of a designer. And no, it’s doing stand-up comedy every day. It is discussing your progress, goals, and challenges with the team, daily. You get a minute for this short and sweet discussion. This further helps in Iteration Planning Meetings (IPM) where backlogs and priorities are discussed.

But to make a product successful, one must lean the MVP way. You can have the best of the service delivered, but if your user doesn’t want it, it’s a dead end. Understanding your user and the market can be of use. “The key to developing products people love is understanding those users and their problems that need to be solved,” says Puneet. “Defining specific groups can help prioritize opportunity areas.”

Marketing your product can be a tough nut to crack but MVP makes that simpler. Having reduced the cost, reduces the risk at stake. It also renders constructive feedback. If you’re a designer, feedback is your fuel and iteration is your way forward.

Written by,

Esha Mehta


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