Srinivasan at the UX session at Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock last week. | Photo: HumanIPO
HumanIPO: Any comments on your recent entrance into the South African market and the partnership with Design XYZ (dddxyz)?
Srinivasan: Our reviews from the US are not necessarily very bright about Africa until or unless you get a touch point. So we got a touch point and I said let’s look at what we can find there and we started learning more about Africa and what we can do.
They’ve got potential to go into growing economies, as well as in North America, so we try to fit into the scheme of things.
The other benefit to dddxyz would be building a new user interface (UI) and user experience skill base that is still at infant stage in the South African market,where we could actually bring in some of the skills that we have done in the North American markets.
In general [we] try and educate the market as much as we can through presentations and seminars like the one we did the other day, spread the word that xyz is there in the user experience (UX) space. But it is going to take about a year for us to get recognised as a xyz having UX skills and that support it.
What do you think of potential and growth in the African market?
Generally there is a lot of buzz around the mobility and people using mobile devices for everything.
The interesting news is the business of using mobile devices is growing at 300 to 400 per cent per year.
Currently they just have a screen which is very simple…but they do not use anything else.
Subsequently in the next year or two or three they are going to do more clever screens, more funny screens, more appropriate screens for the industry or a business and that’s why we drive a lot more creativity in presenting.
Is collaboration with other companies out of Africa perhaps a solution to bridge gaps?
These gaps can be breached, but again you need a good mindset. Because obviously in our partnership with xyz, our expectations of revenue and return on our time have to be readjusted to [fit] the African market expectations. So obviously we won’t be able to charge the same as for North American or Indian services in SA. So once you made the adjustment, it becomes easy.
So the reason why we do that is we want to reach a larger market as opposed to being in one market and being satisfied with the business we have been given.
What do you think about the African design mindset?
My experience with Africa is limited to a year plus, directly working with and talking to enterprise, and potential customers.
So my limited reading on this subject is that exposure to leading markets, whether it is European or North American or Asian. There is a lot to be learnt and that is one of the things that will benefit the African market.
Especially the lesser known African countries that have limited exposure to other markets. So that will have a huge influence in terms of how to design and how to monetise the design that is keeping the design alive and that is also affordable for people to use.