Title Image: Inclusivity is not a choice.

My fiancé and I often argue about things ranging from who ate the last piece of cake to who should do the dishes on Sundays. But the more interesting debates happen when we discuss our loosely intermingled professional roles and the work they involve. One such insightful conversation stayed with me longer than it should have. It went something like this –

Him: I need to approve a design of a dashboard for my client. Does it look good to you?

Me: *takes one look* Looks neat, but the colours are not accessibility compliant.

Him: What’s that?

Me: There are…


What is ethical design and why does it matter? — image

When I look back at my time in design school, I realize that I never had a class on ethical design practices. You would think they were educating future designers on how to be mindful about their work, but unfortunately, knowing Photoshop is a more preferred skill than having integrity.

This led me to conduct a poll on Instagram asking people to respond with a “Yes” or “No” to whether they are aware of what ethical design is. A whopping 85% of the respondents voted no. In the next story, I invited answers to the question — “If I ask…


It’s been many years since the term MVP (minimum viable product) took the Product Management World by storm. Essentially a development technique, MVP is a process in which a new product houses just enough features to meet a customer need. The finer details are only added once early users of the product provide feedback. The basic premise of an MVP is that there is no need to fully flesh out the design — a rough version of the solution is enough to run an initial test. But how crude should this version be, given the current technological landscape? …


If you haven’t heard of the Jio-Zoom plagiarism clash, you’re probably living under a rock (which may not be a bad idea given the state of the world right now). The turf war between Jio Meet and Zoom began when the Indian telecom giant ripped off the Chinese company’s design pixel by pixel. What followed was users all over the country bashing Jio for publicly admitting to plagiarism. I guess Zara stealing designs from the runway is too menial for us to be outraged at, but user interface design is where everyone draws the line.

As a designer, I am…


Ever noticed how the numeric keypads on a smartphone and calculator are actually inverted? Me neither! It was only until I read about it on Medium that I realised how oblivious I was. The article, though technical, piqued my interest because it brought to my attention a very interesting insight -the design was definitely user-centered but not user-friendly.

And suddenly, I began to question my entire design career. Why are user-centered and user-friendly different? I’ve been using them interchangeably all along. Moreover, most people around me have been doing it too. Are we all wrong? …


Ask yourself — Are you being mentally hijacked?

Each time we are faced with the compelling question ‘What kind of world are we leaving for our children?’ it leads to a discussion on physical factors such as plastic-free packaging or organic fabrics that help reduce carbon footprint. But as members of the technological revolution, have we stopped to ask if we are designing responsible experiences for the future? If history is any indication, humans are highly adaptable creatures. Simple behavioral traits at a particular point in time can have far-reaching effects on human evolution. …


I’ve been MIA for a while now so let me begin this one a little differently. I’m going to assign a task to you. Nothing too major, just a simple mental exercise. Ready? Okay, here goes.

I need you to design a shoe.

Any shoe. It doesn’t matter what fabric or colour you choose. It doesn’t matter who you’re designing it for. It just needs to be a shoe. Simple enough? Great, now go ahead and start thinking about this shoe. Think about how you’re going to design it. Think about what will really make your shoe unique. What is…


A friend of mine happened to ask me, quite recently, about how I design a piece of artwork. I think he expected me to spew some industry jargon, because when I told him of the methodical process that is design conceptualization, he was stunned. “So, the idea doesn’t just hit you like a bolt of lightning?” Yeah, if only it were that easy! He seemed really impressed by the fact that creative thinking is a conscious decision. Little does he know that the creative bit isn’t even the toughest part of being a designer. …


Back in 2011, designer Christian Louboutin sued Yves Saint Laurent for copying his signature red sole, a distinguishing feature of the former’s footwear. YSL retaliated that it was not possible to trademark a colour, especially in fashion where the element acts as a backbone. The case dragged on for years and ultimately the court ruled in favour of both parties. I guess, imitation is the best form of flattery so long as it doesn’t hurt business.

As designers, our lives are completely dictated by inspiration. Bookmarking pages, browsing through designs and downloading artwork have become routine because looking at other…


People make mistakes. That’s one thing we can count on all humans to do. Either it’s a mispronounced word or a text sent to the wrong person, maybe it’s a bad haircut or the decision to devour that chocolate cake after a strict diet — our lives are bursting with blunders, some big, some small and some too evident to ignore (Damn you, chocolate!). And then there are those mistakes that we encounter each day, yet we don’t push to rectify them. Why? Because we aren’t the ones committing those mistakes. So why do they matter? They matter because they’re…

Akshayta Rao

On a mission to educate the world on user-centric design. Writer at https://www.trystwithdesign.com

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