I recently spoke and ran a workshop at UXUtSAV, the first and largest international UX event in India’s history. I was so honoured at being asked to present and although tiring came away very exhilarated and content. this is my third trip to Bangalore and each time I am always amazed at how intelligent, switched-on and willing to learn and feedback the creative business community are.
On this occasion I realised how different, culturally, India is from Europe and Asia. Apart from certain mannerisms, beliefs and the obvious cultural etiquette, I realised I had to adapt my presentations and workshops to cater to what is most culturally relevant and appropriate. My talk focussed on promoting UX to the higher echelons of the board room and being able to strategically influence the direction of a business using design techniques and approaches. I had to fine tune the presentation to allow for the fact that India has a steep and long history of design innovation which seems to be under going a renaissance right now. They more than most realise that they are moving quickly out of the services industry into on of product design and original creation. Startups are being invested in that are changing the world. The stereotypical image of Indian call centres is slowly being superceeded by one of innovation and brave risk taking.
My workshop focussed on how to disrupt the movie industry to make it more relevant in the near future. As we all know Bollywood is sacred and a huge industry second to only that of Hollywood. So to take on such a massive and influential, yet potentially realistic and culturally significant challenge was not one I could take lightly. Fortunately I had a day to talk to delegates and my peers to get a feedback on how to make certain amends to my workshop to make it more exciting, relevant and useful to those attending so that the key take aways and learnings ‘hit home’.
I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to share my thinking and techniques to make any company perform better and work on the most relevant competitor differentiating ideas. I have to say though they taught me as much about factoring cultural differences into presentation and workshops as I i did imparting my knowlefdeg. A big thank you to India and the UX Utsav organisers for an amazing experience.