Interview with designer Lollypop Design Studio (LS), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Upstox Website.

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Interview with Lollypop Design Studio at Thursday 20th of April 2017: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
LS : Founders approached us with a novel idea of disrupting the stock trading market by empowering individuals with an easy to use application at zero brokerage. We were awed with the concept and the thrill of conceptualising the idea from the scratch was extremely inspiring. Another thing that glued us to this project was that it was a new domain for us.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
LS : The main focus was to design extremely distinct product offering which was highly usable, intuitive and interactive. Also, we were extremely cautious of not attracting attention from the big players in United States. Another, major thing to concentrate here was winning the trust of the prospective users as this Upstox belongs to the financial sensitive industry. In specific, we had to distract the competition and at the same time understand the user base extremely closely to design products as per their requirements. Hence, we designed two separate products, one for the layman and second for the pro stock traders. And, to distract the competition we begun with the website so that all the attention was on that and not on the products.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
LS : We are a dedicated design studio and our plans are to always outdo ourselves. But, we sincerely hope that post this many Fin-tech driven companies wake up to the fact that designs can add priceless value to the product and try exploring the same.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
LS : We have done designing for the website in two phases. First, during the conceptualisation stage and second when Upstox turned into the parent brand. First phase had longer engagement of approximately 2 months and second phase was for about a month.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
LS : Upstox is a pure representation of designer’s creativity and capabilities. It is geared with freedom to experiment and implement new things. The inspiration has come from everyday life and the users of the application. Why did we design this particular concept is very hard to answer but what we can say is designing began with research and getting to know the users. While collating the data it was evident that the requirements were different for both the user base and hence, we decided to go ahead with two different product design. Also, while we were discussing with the founders, the passion and vision had to be clearly communicated and hence, came the design language and tone of the website. Finally, when we combined the functionalities, vision, aesthetics, and usability together under one platform, Upstox was born.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
LS : We have designed for our client ‘Upstox’ based out of Mumbai, India.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
LS : Design Thinking and the zeal to learn new domains led us to Upstox. First, it was challenging to understand the business and second, the chance to re-imagine the sock trading market was very exciting.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
LS : Every designer at lollypop contributes to each project that comes in and this is part of our process. But main designers were Lead UI Designer: SATHISH NATARAJAN, Lead FED: Sibi Chakravarthy S. and FED: Priyanka Naik

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
LS : There are two broad categories; first, the entire mass who is willing to invest in stocks and second, the pro stock traders.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
LS : Designs are extremely interactive and are driven with technology. Design Innovation helped in crafting the distinct identity of the product and also supplemented with insights such as empowering users with the free trade learning platform called ‘Trade Academy’ to drive user’s trust. Moreover, the customised icons, illustrations and animations are cleverly used to make the entire website interactive with users.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
LS : We literally locked ourselves in the room along with the founders, ideating on the name, logo and brand identity direction. The name ‘Upstox’ was born inside the Lollypop studio and within couple of days we had designed the logo and brand guidelines for the same. Upstox basically symbolizes empowerment and helps one upgrade their skills and financial status with easy to use app.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
LS : We used ‘sketch’ for wireframes and few of the Adobe suite tools.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
LS : Design research and thinking has to be the most unique aspect of this design. We have explained above how it helped in strategizing the business.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
LS : We are a dedicated design studio with in-house solution for UX, UI and FED and hence, our team worked on it inn initial phase. Later, we collaborated with Shreya Gulati, the in-house designer of Upstox.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
LS : Technology and Design are two sides of one coin. It is only through technology that designer’s thoughts can be realised. If we talk about Upstox, you would notice that the whole website is extremely interactive and has been coded in such a way that it implements design pixel perfect and still remains SEO friendly. For example, the banner of the Upstox website has been coded using the proper script for smooth interactions; this has helped in increasing the inbound leads.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
LS : Before even beginning design, we had done an extensive research from tier 1,2 and 3 cities of India. The data was huge and was properly collated to draw insights from them. From questionnaire to in-person meeting and focused group interviews everything was done.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
LS : There were several challenges; first being the wide audience range that belong to both tech and non-tech savvy class; second, given the network issues in India, we had to code it in a way that important communication loaded at the beginning and animations loaded later if network was good; third, our designs had to be extremely modern (quiet disruptive in the given industry) and had to give high end feeling driving the trust factor.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
LS : Lollypop does not believe in marketing but in communication. And, from past 1 year has been making efforts to bring forth the designs that has been realized in-house; to achieve this we have been applying to few of the prestigious awards and A Design Awards was one of them. Also, we got lucky this time as one of the jury members, Mr. Saikiran, reached out to us on twitter and offered a Jury ticket encouraging us to take part in the awards.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
LS : Every design project help us learn and grow. With Upstox it has been an amazing learning journey, we got better at understanding users and the best part was discovering the depths of designs that connected with the emotions and psychology of users. Another, thing was that it was completely new domain and hence, we learnt a lot about stock trading and market.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
LS : Upstox is extremely design driven and we would like to thank the founders to have faith in design; by design we mean solution. And, they gave us enough freedom to reimagine the stock trading market.