We got featured in Designedge Magazine!
We are so thrilled to be featured in Designedge Magazine in their March/April Issue!
Designedge Canada is the country’s leading magazine for the Graphic design industry. With a full suite of award-winning print, web, e-mail, social media and event properties engaging designers across the country.
The magazine has the highest circulation to professional graphic designers of any publication in Canada. Designedge Canada also produces the annual Canadian Regional Design Awards (Redgees), with the “design party of the year” held each Spring in Toronto, and the bi-annual Design City trade show, the largest show for designers in Canada with more than 1,100 attendees.
March / April 2014
THEY JUST GET IT
The importance of a great user experience is paramount when it comes between a person and their most intimate of objects, their phone.
Toronto-based mobile application specialist TheAppLabb is located in the hip Liberty Village area, an active hub in the city for upstart technology and creative companies. The owners, husband and wife team Kundan and Surbhi Joshi, co-founded Joshi Inc. in 2007 as a digital marketing business offering website and mobile development, which has since evolved into TheAppLabb.
Surbhi is a graduate of the York University/Sheridan Bachelor of Design program, class of 2005, and Kundan in a Software Engineer from the University of Western Ontario. “TheAppLabb is all about mobile, from strategy to design, development and implementation”, says Kundan, the CEO of the business. The company develops custom mobile applications for companies of any size (clients include: Canadian Auto Show, Rogers, Unilever) plus it has built its own white-label solutions for specific market sectors including events, retail and education.
TheAppLabb has grown to a team of 55 people, with the majority being developers. Surbhi, the creative director, oversees the team of UX and UI designers. “For our company, the main role of the UX Designer is to be at the intersection of the product needs from the client’s perspective and aligning that to the needs of the users they are targeting”, she explains.
According to both, a UX Designer must have a very good understanding of the mobile landscape, from both functionality point of view and from a structural and layout stand point.
“From a high level view, the UX designer is a very multi-faceted person,” says Kundan. “He needs to know the users very well, understand the right kind of user testing and research that will help him come up with the right analysis and have a good understanding of the look and feel of the interface design. Those three elements, combined together, give a UX Designer a good foundation.”
He adds that it’s a very crucial role, because if that up-front work is not done right, it will require a lot of “catch up time”, to get it right after the product is launched.
Surbhi also emphasizes the importance of of the UX designer being a good communicator. “Not just a good at communicating with the client and the internal team, but also communicating with external users.” Because it is often UX designers who field test or conduct focus groups, so they need the soft skills of active listening to truly decipher the different user needs.
“There are some people who just get it,” remarks Kundan, who has experienced this first hand. During the interview process TheappLabb will ask candidates to analyze a few popular apps. “The right candidate will quickly be able to point out exactly what is not working and why,” he says. “We have hired graduates right from university who have that knack, that talent, without any experience at all. It’s hard to explain.”
Surbhi and Kundan Joshi,
co-founders of TheAppLabb in Toronto
By Doug Picklyk,
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