What’s the backstory, and how did you come up with this idea?
Before diving into the story of our recent startup, let me share a bit about myself. I graduated in computer science but quickly realized coding wasn't my jam. That's when I stumbled upon design, starting with freelancing on small projects. After college, I was keen on making a career in design, but landing a full-time job took me about six months. Finally, I got my first role as a UI/UX Designer.
Being self-taught, I faced my fair share of challenges in learning the ropes of design without proper guidance. It took me a good two years to find a mentor who helped me grasp the fundamentals and navigate the design world. Fast forward five years, and here I am, working as a lead product designer. The dream of starting something on my own never left me, fueled by my passion for design.
So, in 2022, I co-founded UX-ProdX, a design agency, with a friend. While working on UX-ProdX, our agency, I started receiving messages on LinkedIn from aspiring designers looking to break into product design. I began mentoring students, both on LinkedIn and at private institutes for the past two years. That's when I noticed the gaps between what was being taught and what the industry needed.
This realization led to the birth of Design Clan, an online UI/UX design school with a curriculum tailored to industry needs. It's been an exciting journey, and I'm thrilled to bridge the gap between design education and real-world requirements
How did you build the Design Clan & UX-ProdX?
Okay, so we've got two startups going on in the design space. First up is UX-ProdX. It's all about helping small startups get their product off the ground quickly. My co-founder Pratyush and I kicked it off. The idea is to team up with solo designers and support small product startups that might think design is a luxury they can't afford.
Then there's Design Clan, our other baby. Started this one with Pratyush too. It's an online design school. We're on a mission to help new designers break into the product design scene. I run live classes, and we bring in pros from the industry to give part-time mentorship. It's all about helping young designers kickstart their careers.
What does success mean to you and your company?
Success, to us, is about going above and beyond for our customers. It's not just meeting expectations but blowing them out of the water. We're all about those long-term relationships, sticking with the same clients and watching them grow like crazy. That's the mantra at both our startups. To keep things in check, Pratyush and I make it a point to chat with our clients every two weeks. We want to get the lowdown on how our team is doing and get some feedback. It's like a little quality control session, helping us fine-tune our services and make sure we're always on top of our game. That's the success recipe we swear by!
What has been your biggest struggle and greatest achievement?
Oh, the journey had its ups and downs, for sure. The biggest struggle? Starting out, it was tough breaking into the product design. I have questioned myself numerous times whether design is for me or not. Landing my first full-time job took about six months post-college, and being self-taught, learning the design without a mentor was a real challenge. But you know, that struggle taught me loads.
Now, the greatest achievement? Fast forward five years, and here I am as a lead product designer. That's a win in itself. Co-founding UX-ProdX with my buddy Pratyush is a highlight too. We're helping small startups kickstart their projects. And there's Design Clan, our online design school. Seeing aspiring designers break into the industry after our mentorship and classes – that's the ultimate high. Each hurdle's been a lesson, and the victories? Well, they're the sweet rewards of pushing through.
If you had a chance to do things differently, what would you do?
Looking back, there's always a moment or two you'd tweak, right? If I had a do-over, I'd probably dive into the design world with a mentor right from the start. Those early days of being self-taught were a bit of a rollercoaster. Having someone guide me would've saved some time and headaches.
Also, I'd kickstart our startups, UX-ProdX and Design Clan, a tad earlier. While the journey's been a blast, getting a head start on these ventures could've been a game-changer. But you live and learn, right? The hiccups shape you. So, if time-travel were an option, a mentorship kickstart and an early launch for our startups would be the tweak I'd make. But hey, the journey's been pretty fantastic nonetheless!
How do you look at AI adoption into the business?
Oh, bringing AI into our design studio is like adding a creative sidekick to our team! It's not just a tech upgrade; it's a total game-changer for us. AI helps us streamline processes, dig into data, and make design decisions smarter and faster.
Think of it like having a design assistant that can handle the nitty-gritty, leaving us more room for the fun, creative stuff. Our focus is on making killer designs and AI is the secret sauce that boosts our efficiency. Sure, there's a learning curve, but it's a journey we're excited about. It's not just about jumping on a trend; it's about weaving AI seamlessly into our design process, making our work even more awesome for our clients. It's like giving our studio a turbo boost for creativity!
What drives you personally as an entrepreneur?
You know, the whole entrepreneurship journey for me boils down to a simple fact – I get restless doing the same old stuff over and over. The idea of running a UI/UX design studio was my escape from monotony. Every day is like a fresh canvas, working with different clients and cracking unique design challenges.
The real kick comes from solving these puzzles that contribute to the bigger picture. Being a designer isn't just about creating pretty things; it's about making a lasting impact on our clients' lives, making things smoother for them. It's like having the power to sprinkle a bit of design magic that resonates beyond the screen.
So, what drives me as an entrepreneur? It's the thrill of the unknown, the joy of crafting designs that stand the test of time, and the satisfaction of making our clients' lives a tad easier. It's about turning mundane into extraordinary, one design at a time.
Where can we go to learn more about Design Clan & UX-ProdX?
Check out Design Clan and UX-ProdX on our website. Dive into our design world, and let's create something amazing together!
Design Clan (https://www.thedesignclan.com/ )
UX-ProdX (https://www.uxprodx.com/ )