Interview
Redd, headed by founder Sharan Grandigae, has been ranked amongst the top nine design agencies in India by Dysco, Marketplace for Designers.
Sharan Grandigae, Founder & CEO, Redd Experience Design

User experience is the field of design that organises the touch points of a business in order to achieve its objectives while balancing them against the customer’s needs. In other words, it makes it easy for a customer to do business with a company, be it in understanding the product and service the company offers, or in seeking the help they need from customer service or even in helping the company by referring friends to them. 

Redd is a specialised user experience (UX) design startup that was established in April 2015 and is based out of Bengaluru. The team of 19, headed by founder Sharan Grandigae, offers specialised services necessary for UX design including UX, UI, motion graphics, illustration, iconography, graphic design, copywriting, branding and service design. Redd helps to identify and plan all the supporting business functions in advance and develop easy to use custom software for both small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The company completely focuses on software designs that are hinged on practicality and are guaranteed to be implementable. The cost and time spend is reduced upto 50% in the process.

It has been ranked amongst the top nine design agencies in India by Dysco, Marketplace for Designers. 

In an interaction, Sharan spoke about a few aspects including what inspired him to venture into UX design, how user experience helps in the growth of a company, future of UX design. 

When did you start the company? Explain its inception. 

I quit Adobe Systems in 2013 as the design manager for India. I loved working on user experience but I wanted to work with start-ups and the best way to do it was to freelance. It was the heyday of start-ups in Bengaluru and very quickly, I was inundated with work. I worked with other UX designers and while that was fine to handle the volume of work, it wasn’t a good structure to set processes and methodologies in place that would advance the field. 

It was important to do this because UX was in its infancy at the time and not a lot of design agencies did UX design then. The best practices were set by those from a graphic design or software development background. But UX is different. It’s the meeting point of the fields of design, business and technology and someone practicing UX design needs to have a good understanding of all three fields. It was clear that I needed to start an agency of my own and that’s what I did. In April 2015, Redd Experience Design was born as one of the few agencies solely dedicated to providing UX design services in the country. 

How does user experience design help in the growth of a business?

Good user experiences are a requirement these days. Consumers are no longer satisfied with dealing with companies that only aim to “do the job” and instead, want to work with those that delight them. But it’s not just about the abstract idea of making things easier for a customer. In fact, a dollar spent on UX can give between two and a hundred dollars in return, says The American Genius. Or take the statistics published by Forbes magazine that show that “intentional and strategic UX has the potential to raise conversion rates by 400%!” Or how about Walmart Canada seeing a 13% increase in online sales when they tweaked the website just to improve customer experience.

UX can definitely improve the bottom line but it is capable of much more than that. We have time and again helped our clients to achieve a better top line as well by analysing their online business strategies and even realising new revenue streams for them. 

Some of the apps designed and developed by Redd

At Redd, we’ve developed a new product of our own every year since our inception. We did this as a way for us to put ourselves in the shoes of our clients and evaluate things from their perspective and understand the constraints and decisions they face on a daily basis. It was an effort to improve the practicality of the solutions we design for them. 

The way we’d pick the idea to work on was either by choosing a problem that we contended with ourselves, or by deciding to build a product for a field we knew quite a bit about or by evaluating a problem that was faced by society at large. The following are some of the products we’ve designed and developed so far:

Redd Drop: This is a website that two people can go to and transfer files between them without installing anything, sharing a link or even signing up in any way. And it works between Mac, Windows and Linux PCs; Android and iOS devices! It’s the most convenient way to transfer files between devices! This product is completely free to use. 

Redd Board: This is created for designers and architects to be able to share their designs with their clients live across the web and also allows anyone to annotate the design so that decisions can be made quickly and accurately. 

Redd Scapes: This product is best described as “Kindle for art”. It’s a screen that displays digital artwork on it and is meant for those that want art on their walls but also to keep changing them based on their decor, seasons or even their moods. You can download the companion app on a smartphone, browse through artwork designed by many different artists and then purchase and display that artwork on your Redd Scapes screen. Being digital, the art can move and also react to the environment. So you can see a different version of the artwork based on the different times of day!

Major clients

Redd Experience Design specialises in helping well-known start-ups and enterprises like Juspay, Urban Ladder, Lenskart, Asian Paints, Discovery Channel, Godrej Interio and Cloudnine Hospitals develop and deliver superlative user experiences. We are pioneers in applying cutting-edge technology to design like using voice interfaces with GUI, designing interfaces for systems that use machine-learning engines and using EEG headsets for testing user interfaces.

What is the future of UX design?

As long as there are users, there will be UX design. In the short term, we will see the development of multi-modal interfaces that combine touch, voice and touch-less gestures. We will be able to take advantage of each technology’s benefits and create interfaces that are even more intuitive and natural to interact with than they are today. They will also be able to bring more of the digitally uninitiated population on board. 

In the long term though, we are looking at controlling technology through direct brain interfaces. We see the work being done by companies like Neuralink as a stepping stone and envision a future where we will be able to interact with technology without wires or surgery.