Designing for India

Kumar Ahir
3 min readJul 28, 2018


a Google IXDA event in Bengaluru

IXDA Bangalore chapter organized a local meetup to to share thoughts and speaker session on Designing for India. The guest speakers had a good work background on building and designing products for India users. Guest speakers were User Researcher, Entrepreneur and Designers. And then there were surprises too towards the end.

Speakers from varied work profiles were invited

Designing for Trust

Session started with Muzayun Mukhta (UX Researcher, Google) setting up context of on Designing for Trust and discussing various parameters that goes into building Trust for a product. She gave different examples on how trust is built and retained on mobile platforms like Tez and Neighborly (a recently launched localised platform for India). Below is sketchnote of her talk.

Designing for Trust by Muzayun Mukhtar

Journey of Meesho and design insights

Next talk was by Vidit Aatrey, founder of Meesho a Y Combinator startup. Being in industry for 3 years and done 2 pivots for his business, he was apt speaker on how to monetize on design. He gave interesting insights on what does it take to design and build a product that strives on Trust. Following sketchnote captures his session.

Meesho — product journey by Vidit Aatrey

Designing for Real India

What followed next was eye opener for many sitting in the room.

You’ll never design for whole of India but only small segment of it

Only 4% of Indian population buy stuff online and only 6% make $10 a day. So when the designing the product you are catering to only this small part of the whole of India. That’s brings us to the fact that we are always designing for people on Top of the pyramid, sitting in cozy office space and using Apple Mac book (a stark contrast between designer and user). He gave a very interesting example of “Pencil” icon — one that’s de facto for edit operation in any form and how Doctors in India were not able to identify it’s true use.

Sketchnotes for Anshumani Rudraa

Design for Privacy

And the final talk by Garen Checkly (an American residing and studying Indian users behaviors) started with “Namaste, meri Hindi itni achhii nahi hai”. He presented his research on how mobile phones are perceived by genders differently and some real insights on hacks that people do to mislead software to hide their activity trails online. He shared many anecdotes from real users.

a lady would browse 5–6 other videos so that she can hide what she watched to save her privacy when it’s moderated by he husband

Gavin Checkley on Gender Equity

Another nice sketch note by Rasagy Sharma (have become fan of him on his sketch note styling)

Some of the interesting points that worth noting from the entire session are as follows

  • Trust and Loyalty (in sequence of priority)
  • Designers privilege v/s users
  • Privacy
  • Listening v/s assuming as designers
  • Designing for a part
  • Behavioral v/s Attitudinal

And it didn’t end here. Google gave out nice goodies and yummy dinner.

Made for India

Below are some of the 360 degree capture of the event

Just before it started
speakers panel



Kumar Ahir

successful exit in first startup, AR VR enthusiast, ex CISCO, SYMANTEC, interaction designer, entrepreneur. More at