Uncovering Trends for India-centric Mobile Interfaces

Project Brief

What can an ‘Indian’ mobile user - interface look like? How can mobile Graphical User Interface designers leverage the intense and colourful visual landscape of India to create a localised user interface for the Indian mobile user?

Such were the questions that had to be answered through the course of the project. The method we used was trend-reporting, with a focus specifically on the “visual landscape” of India. This entailed everything from government initiatives to; brand and cleanse the urban public space, to developments in Indian cinema and storytelling. The core of the research uncovered the narrative branding around the identity of India- as a global economic superpower, as a health-conscious nation, as a nation with a glorious past...

The trend document mapped imagery from Indian festivals, products, media, films to create patterns from which strong trends emerged— and could be used as inspiration for UI design. These five meta trends were also borne out of interviews with Indian experts whose experience in public art, communication design, illustration and UI/UX design and working in the Indian market to helped shape out some changes noticed in modern India. Top insights included the need for much more tailored, regional content for the booming ‘next billion’ internet users. In- depth interviews with five super-users were conducted to distinguish visual preferences, and idiosyncratic habits of mobile device use for content creation, distribution and consumption. This gave context and flavour to the schematic visual UI themes created at the end of the research.

The trend report serves as an exhaustive guide to the Indian visual and consumer landscape, it maps and tracks phenomena like product evolution and major shifts in buying behaviours and preferences.  At the same time, bringing to the fore changes in the Indian visual landscape, like public spaces that have been “cosmeticised,” constant reinterpretations of Indian kitsch and the increasingly emboldened voice of the urban youth. Five meta visual trends led us to three distilled themes, meant to be inspirational for a localised mobile UI.

The visual themes derived from the trend report, contain unique mood boards, that give cues for colour, motion, typography, and illustration style. Inspirational UI toolkits based on these themes, illustrated how the trends can be interpreted and applied, drawing parallels directly to the report at large.

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