Shivram Mahendran

Director, Latice Design

What is your vision on the future of design? What could be the next breakthrough?

The future of design is delivering an experience which is a combination of Print & Digital. To articulate this better, it's going to be the use of xR technologies like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality. The mass adoption and unification of these technologies can help designers craft more immersive, interactive & fluid experiences. IoT is also going to play a vital role in design, the use of smart data is going to help substantially in crafting extremely personal experiences yet maintaining a recognizable design language. The next breakthrough would be affordable and simplified tech that accentuate custom sensorial experiences delivered through a digital medium.

How do you think designers can improve user experiences in the nearest future? What according to you is a great design?

The new world is moving towards crafting customizable experiences, designers need to focus more on storytelling that's easily translatable to usability, so that personalization doesn't feel alienated from the overall product/brand experience. As Dieter Rams puts it "Good design is invisible." . Great design is something that you don't need a manual to understand, it's something that gives the users a good feeling using the product and appreciate the subtle details gone into crafting it.

Have clients these days been emphasizing on responsive design?

One of the first questions that clients ask are "Will it be responsive?". The number of mobile and tablet users have overtaken that of desktop computers so providing a consistent experience throughout all platforms is one of the core fundamentals of good design. In today's world, responsive design is somewhat of a basic standard, and clients are starting to understand that so they do insist that their design is adaptable to all platforms.

Let's briefly talk about Creative Cloud. Which products make it easier for you to digitize your ideas?

Illustrator and Photoshop are key products that we use for content generation, from time to time we use After Effects to help visualize some concepts better, InDesign helps to put all of that together. Experience Design is the new tool that we've been tinkering quite a bit with for presenting comps to clients.

Do you try to see a project from the client's perspective or are you always guided by your creative intuition? Are clients more demanding than they used to be?

All our designs are visualized from the client's perspective, our discovery process helps us to understand their business processes, products & values. We also study their users, user journeys & customer touchpoints. Our creative intuition then comes into play in translating their business goals and values to their customer segments using good design. Clients have become more demanding due to the rise of new media but on the bright side they're also becoming more understanding & accepting of the processes that are involved in achieving a great experience.

What would be the next step for you? You know 5 to 10 yrs, what would you like to see yourself doing creatively?

I am currently bootstrapping on an opensource multiplayer WebVR platform called Zeo. If all goes well I would probably be working more on crafting better product experiences for the platform. I'm also working on integrating IoT with furniture that should be something of a product design essential in the next 5-10 years as well.

What sparks your inspiration?

I am fascinated by nature & culture, there's always something interesting to discover. I also love to experiment with tech and innovative materials.

How do you keep yourself developed, educated & up to date? Do you follow trends or actually counter trends? In fact, are there things like Design Trends?

I'm a massive content consumer and quite a bit of an information sponge, I'm constantly reading articles on several websites- my chrome almost always has about 50 tabs open at a time. I also check pictures & posts on my Instagram & Facebook feeds quite often, every now and then I like to check out projects on Behance, Dribbble & ArtsThread. I try to read about one book a week & watch one if not two tutorials a day. I do keep up with trends and follow them from time to time, it completely depends on the type of work that I'm dealing with.

Where are you normally when you get your best ideas?

If I'm being totally honest it's the bathroom, it's probably doing the mundane activities that diverts my attention and gives me a new perspective on things.

Designer. Photographer. Filmmaker. Dreamer. No matter who you are, Creative Cloud gives you the world’s best creative apps so you can make just about anything you want, wherever inspiration takes you.