The Importance of Usability - Kailash Nadh

The Importance of Usability - Kailash Nadh

22, February 2021

What use of a degree without a genuine interest in the subject? It’s nothing but a piece of paper. It’s not about the projects, it’s about the sustained interest you have that reflects in your portfolio.

“A good engineering degree is just a guiding path to your personal interest,” says Kailash Nadh, the CTO at Zerodha, the largest stockbroker in India. He works on interesting financial technology projects and he still programs every day. For a brief while, he was in academia conducting research in Artificial Intelligence and computational linguistics where he obtained a BSc. in Computer Science (2008) and a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence & Computational Linguistics (2011) from the Middlesex University, London.

They say a portfolio is a reflection of yourself. But hold on, ever wondered who are these they. When statements like this are included in the portfolio, it is necessary to cite the research that supports your product.

“Would you design a product based on just a belief?” questions Kailash, “It has to have a strong rationale and objective facts backing it.”

This will help justify your problem statement and solution, but this is when you are being judged and evaluated. How utopian is the time when nobody is judging you; you’re free to follow your heart. And it is hobby projects done during these unconstrained moments that truly reflect your spirit. It is good to include some of these. Actions, no doubt, speak louder than words. Your work reflects your in-person attitude. And what this implies is a direct description of yourself makes more sense when your work backs it.

A lengthy list of technologies is just noise. Chaos causes confusion. Three to four of them are sufficient to show where your true interest lies. And to make your project look clear, there needs to be a certain orderliness incorporated in it. “People shouldn’t be scrambling on how to use your project,” says Kailash. It’s good to have instructions on how to run the program or project.

Have you ever booked train tickets online? Then you’ll probably chip in with your share of problems when the UX of the IRCTC website is up for discussion. And it is such websites that really need a redesign. Students taking up a real-life problem and coming up with their own hypotheses is much appreciated. If 15 clicks can be innovatively reduced to 2 or 3, your evaluators will like it.

With the popularisation of graphical elements in apps, usability seems to have taken a back-seat.

“ You can have a super simple app with just 2 colors and a couple of buttons which that is way more usable and user-friendly than a beautiful looking app which turns out to be a pain,” says Kailash.

These attempts at excessive graphics backfire and affect convenience. It’s not always about the aesthetics, it’s more about the user-friendliness. How efficiently has the problem been solved is the main question, design, and engineering are just underneath it.

Just going out there and exploring can work wonders. You might chance upon something that piques your interest. Follow it and develop your niche. Just like Kailash found Go, which became one of the major software used by Zerodha.

Written by,

Esha Mehta


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