Prateek: How is YUJ Designs bridging the gap between demand and supply of UX designers globally?
Samir Chabukswar: It’s important to understand that the problem lies with the current market situation where the supply of ‘good’ designers is limited and the demand is humungous. Good designers are hard to come by, there are mediocre designers in the market that are getting paid higher salaries. On the other hand, there is a wide gap between design education and the need of the industry, making it difficult for the industry to hire fresh design graduates. As a result, UX output is plateauing.
YUJ Designs has started a global program for budding designers called – YUJ-Way of Working (WoW), which will help young designers to bridge this knowledge gap and empower them to become industry-ready. We are mainly focusing on making them industry-ready within a short duration of 8 weeks. Graduates of this program have a mature understanding of the role UX plays in the business world, and they are able to hit the ground running.
They have become the design consultants we need, to solve enterprise-level problems. We are grooming them to be the design leaders of the next generation. The results are astounding, in many cases, the WOW graduates have replaced designers having 2-4 years experience in the industry.
Prateek: How did the pandemic affect the UX industry? What policies did YUJ Designs adapt to cope up with the situation?
Samir Chabukswar: The pandemic has turned out to be a boon for the UX industry. Demand has increased multifold as a result of remote working and the realization that UX creates disproportionate value for organizations. YUJ Designs has grown 100% in employee strength during the pandemic. The reason we were able to attract industry-best talent is because of our reputation of being a design purist studio and making a large impact by design to our customers’ products.
Early on during the pandemic, we observed that new behaviors are emerging among prospective employees. To improve employee experience we adopted a 101 benefit program – including covid leaves donation programs, and work from home. YUJ Designs is now a 100% work from anywhere organization.
We also saw an inclination of designers towards gigs. So, we invited many UX entrepreneurs to have their own UX studios to work with us. We offered them to grow their business while we serve as their demand engine. YUJ Designs also hired 50+ fresher designers and created a YUJ-WOW program, that would make them industry-ready.
Prateek: What technological advancements and changes will tread in the designing industry in coming years?
Samir Chabukswar: User Experience in its current form is becoming highly commoditized. Automation tools will soon be able to create templatized designs. This will change the way designers function. Designers will need to learn new skills and develop competencies to be able to cope with new technologies such as AI, AR, and ML.
It won’t be sufficient to know design but also be able to understand these technologies and work with cross-functional teams, and designers will start thinking about issues such as trust in AI and machines.
With IoT tech rapidly advancing, connected experiences will be the focus of the design. Design won’t remain confined to screens, and it will expand its horizons to mean the design of digital plus physical products and systems. Concerns about the rapidly deteriorating environment will make ‘Responsible Design’ the norm.
Prateek: What is the scope of the UX design industry in India?
Samir Chabukswar: A decade ago, it was difficult to even explain what user experience is to anybody. The need for it, why it is essential, and what it can do for the business. Now India is quoted as the next talent hub for UX design. There is an extremely high demand for UX professionals and it is one of the top jobs drawing top salary in India.
The quality of design talent in India is growing, and going to the high cost of designers in the western world is becoming a popular destination for offshoring design. This is not just due to cost augmentation but the overall value of design that businesses get.
There is also scope for highly scalable design teams in India, and a hybrid team with few designers onshore and a larger proportion in India yields humungous business benefits for organizations.
Prateek: How enhanced customer experience will play a key role in the success of the UX industry?
Samir Chabukswar: Focus of industries on customer experience means that the products and services will need to provide a great experience to consumers. Digitization is at the forefront of industry transformation. If you put both of these together, the most important ingredient to make this successful is user experience.
That is the reason we see an uptick in the user experience business worldwide. Products and services that have a great experience have been known to improve conversions, improve customer loyalty and enhance profitability. So, I think it’s the other way around- UX will play a key role in the success of an enhanced customer experience.