On Friday, August 10, 2018, designer Melvin Thambi came to Z LAB’s headquarters to speak on what it takes to be a designer, the tools of the trade, and some of his favorite moments in this field. After Thambi’s presentation, we sat down with him to take a deeper look into his profession.
How did you get started in design?
After finishing secondary school, I came to know about fine arts in college. I got a chance to join a fine arts college and later worked at an IT company. I learned HTML, design software, Photoshop, Illustrator, user interface and user experience from Google.
What made you really love design? Why do you enjoy it so much?
The technology and trends, in particular, are changing, so there’s always a challenge in the design industry. These challenges arise with new styles and trends and figuring out the usability factors in design. It’s always evolving.
One of the main reasons why I love design is because it evolves year
It’s all about colors, and I love the visualization part, too. It’s very difficult for business owners to visualize, but designers fill that gap. We play a big role here; we help define businesses. Taking that responsibility is interesting, fun, and challenging, and I love that.
What software programs do you use and recommend?
Sketch on paper first. Think of all the wire frames and catch your ideas on paper. Afterward, use Photoshop to compose your images. Designers can then use software tools like Sketch and Adobe XD for designing.
When you plan on creating logos, I recommend Adobe Illustrator for the vector software, so we can scale the design elements to any size
When you’re working with clients, how does that relationship work? As in if a client requests XYZ, what do you do?
Communication between the designer and stakeholder can be tough sometimes. That’s when wireframes help a lot. When I get an assignment, I use an online tool or I will design something on paper. I’ll provide some grayscale designs for them, so they can visualize what is going to be there for each page and how it flows. I speak in visuals, and they usually speak in text and words. At some point, we align on the same page where we can understand each other and the communication eventually gets better. I introduce articles and videos to educate them in the initial conversation.
You mentioned your blog with other designers, can you speak about that?
I learned a lot from the internet, the work of others, or reading articles from other designers. I think whatever I learned, it’s better to share with the rest of the world. With that in mind, I started a series, and I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing wonderful designers and artists from around the world. I ask what they would like to learn and what they would like to share with the world. The answers they provide are a knowledge bank. They talk about their design tools, their style, and how they joined this field. People get a lot of useful information for their career growth.
Out of everything you’ve learned, what do you feel to be the most impactful?
The most impactful thing I’ve learned is Design Sprint. This is a time-constrained set of phases that brings multiple stakeholders into a design thinking process. I was always confused about the process of bringing particular solutions for requirements or assignments when I working with a big enterprise. In that case, I was super confused about the terminology, process, and design thinking. Design Sprint changed the way we can work together.