Fail Fast and Iterate Quickly
Viba Mohan is a Product Designer & UX Consultant with an interest in writing. When she is not designing, you can find her running, reading, writing and experimenting with code.
Why have you decided to step into design field? What inspires you and why?
As a kid, I loved visual art and problem solving – I’d spend hours a day solving brain teasers and exploring different art mediums. In fact, when I was 15, I was certain I wanted to become an artist.
But soon I realised it wasn’t fulfilling enough for me. I needed a harder challenge. And that’s when I found out about product design. It let me solve problems and put my visual design skills to use. It was perfect. Product design seemed like a natural choice by the end of my first semester at college.
As for inspirations, Jony Ive and Daniel Burka are old favourites. Akshay Verma and Pragati Mehotra – my mentors from Obvious are newer additions to that list. But I also turn to several non-designers for work related inspiration. Namely Hank Green, Tracy Chuo and Saikat Chakrabaty. I’ve seen how they consciously chose to do good and use their influence to positively impact people and organisations. That is something I’d like to do when I graduate.
Books have also been a constant inspiration. Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama is one of the most insightful books I’ve read till date. I find myself re-reading it to remind myself to work on the right things and with the right people.
How do you measure the success of your design?
I use a mix of quantitative and qualitative measures to evaluate the success of my designs. However, the criteria I use to evaluate how well a design works are determined in the form of Guiding Principles that I determine at the start of a project. This is based on a method that my mentor Akshay Verma from Obvious taught me about.
By setting a guiding principle for my work, I know what the most vital aspect of the project is. For example, while working on a health care app, the guiding principle was that it was meant to be non-intrusive. A good solution would mean that users could complete the task. But a great solution meant that users could complete the task without it intruding on their daily routine.
What is your biggest challenge in design creation process?
I think, my biggest challenge is anticipating blocks and preparing for them. But in the past I have also struggled with planning the projects lifecycle. I’d like to believe that I’ve gotten better at that though – but only time will tell!
What principles do you follow when creating attention grabbing design?
A few principles I religiously follow are fail fast and iterate quickly. When I first started out designing, I would spend hours trying to find the problem and re-scope it. But a mentor recently pointed out to me that maybe if I peeled the problem quickly and failed faster, I’d learn more about the brief and also have a better idea on how to approach the problem.
Find out more about Viba: www.vibamohan.com