Adianta sessions: Aditya Kedia on user interface technology and research

IMG_20141211_130344804The Adianta School of Leadership and Innovation welcomes Aditya Kedia – who has honed his expertise as an Interface Designer, User Researcher and Design Strategist in the past. He is presently a Research Assistant at the Polytechnic University School of Design (PolyU Design, Hong Kong) and a part time visiting Lecturer. At Adianta, he shares insights on the facets of User Interface and its design implications, which he believes, could be achieved by ensuring a thorough research before arriving at a prototype of the perceived deliverable .

12:50 pm Aditya asks Adianta participants on how they gave shape to the product/apps (as the case varies for every individual). He is interested to understand the stages they took to reach the present stage and makes an interesting observation that a majority of the participants have apps as a medium to deliver the service intended.

He tells us how crucial it is to understand the minimum features and answer the most important questions with respect to design. In turn to understand this they will have to approach it in a multi-dimensional approach.

IMG_20141211_131523203_HDRA designer can easily visualize the product usability much unlike an engineer who looks at applying his scientific ingenuity to address the technical challenges.

Similar is the case with a marketeer, who focuses on the methodology to make people aware of a products’ value (neglecting its design or engineering aspects)

…It is desirable to have a prudent mix of these elements before you plan your next move as it will give you a well rounded approach, be it for a social networking app – for football, an education app or even a product powered by solar technology for the rural areas…

12:55 pm Speaking to one of the ASLI participants, Aditya is interested to know about medical apps based on OCR technique – which is an electronic conversion of images of printed text to machine recognizable text. Aditya also gives examples from existing technologies (specific to OCR) to understand and validate in what aspect is the app in consideration different from the ones that already exist. Participants also discuss about their present projects related to innovation for social causes and more.


1:00 pm Understanding that a lot of the participants have an app they plan to launch in the coming days, Aditya tells us how it is imperative to find ways on making people use the app.

…Making the app is one thing but one big issue is also to tackle the issue of making it an indispensable part of others lifestyle…

This brings the session to a questioning pause : so, how do you know people will use the app ? If no one is going to make it a part of his/her lifestyle then probably the app will die a slow death and. Drawing from his pool of expertise Aditya tells us ‘research’ is important and this is where we understand the finer nuances of a user centrist approach in interface design : in this case it being the apps being considered.

…There are only two ways to approach this: 1. To make the product and ask people a review on it 2. Go the opposite way by asking / researching on considerations to be made and thereby avoiding mistakes whilst repeating the loop of ‘an attempt at progress’. Aditya suggests that he considers the most efficient way is to research > test > refine!

1:25 pm It is important to balance focus and time on these issues, because if you make something and it is too late to modify then how are you going to change it? Aditya also points out this is the reason why many start-ups fail as they focus on A) Solving the wrong problem or B) The way they define their problem is different.

Marketing is difficult in the world of free apps as there are millions of apps and then there are apps like Facebook which work on top of other apps. Take for e.g. the ease of signing in to any website using the Facebook sign in.

It is as much about being easy and quick to use as apps need not concentrate on providing multiple features but just focus on ‘one good feature’ that makes them stand out from the rest.

Take the ‘Top 20 apps’ and they will have around 2 to 3 top features which stand apart for their ease of use. Be it WhatsApp, Twitter, Google (which focus on one feature from the rest), it has to be simple enough.

…There are several methods to involve people in your development and make it user centrist…

1:45 pm User research, empathy, emotions and innovation are the pillars to better understand user centrist design. Aditya tells us how Personas and scenarios are important concepts to employ in steering your research.

PERSONAS are your target user group.

…it is imperative to stress on an identifiable target and not just take a generic assumption of behavior for an age group of 18 – 25. Similar is the case with scenarios…

Through PERSONAS a psycho-graphic visualization of a user profile is generated, and it helps us to understand user motivations, their likes, dislikes. From there we understand that in a sample of 10 people, what are their similarities and differences and how they co exist in.

SCENARIO For e.g. a traveler goes to the location and creates an itinerary of things to do after he learns more about the place. On the other hand there is a traveler who wants to plan the sight seeing even before he visits the place. For this the review feature becomes valuable.

2:03 pm Aditya also stressed upon the CO CREATION, COGNITION & PERCEPTION INTERACTIVE DEVICES, COMMUNITIES & NETWORKS, PARTICIPATORY DESIGN, citing examples from a small hawkers market in Hong Kong which was about to be demolished as the government did not want hawkers in the spot anymore. This discussion also touched upon the UMBRELLA MOVEMENT which is a pro democracy movement in Hong Kong. He also tells us on how preserving cultural heritage is a cause of concern in Hong Kong as the city landscape is changing drastically by bringing in new practices and technologies.


2:30 pm He speaks on already successful models such as : – –

  • DIAMOND CAB which is considered ‘Ground Breaking Social Innovation for Wheelchair Users’. Add to it the fact that Hong Kong has a large number of older citizens.
  • The DIALOGUE IN THE DARK  is a participatory practice where people are invited into an unlit room. Your senses are put to use to understand the world around you and this sensitizes people to the problem of the blind.


  •  BONHAM STRAND – A street famous for tailors and hand made suits this is a brand of quality menswear. This social enterprise is aimed restoring the legacy of the fine art of tailoring and suit-making.
  • JUPYEAH - an online swap platform where people share unwanted things and find values from others’ old stuff.  A care to share community dedicated to extend the lifespan of stuff by finding a new owner for them.
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