Design Dialogue at Urban Ladder

. June 29, 2016 .

Urban Ladder has been built on the twin tenets of design and trust. As a brand that believes in creating beautiful spaces, it goes without saying that we consider design integral to all that we do. To sharpen our understanding of what good design is all about, we’ve mapped out a journey of five design-oriented sessions called ‘Design Dialogues’ for everyone at Urban Ladder. This post covers a few key takeaways from the first two design dialogues.Navin Parwal, Creative Director at Urban Ladder, held the first of these sessions. His talk touched upon visual storytelling and the fundamentals of design.

A skill that dates all the way back to prehistoric times, visual storytelling plays a huge role in making a message more impactful. For a brand like ours visuals play a powerful role in engaging the audience and communicating our design thinking. 

“99% of the times, design goes unnoticed. Yet, it never leaves the receiver untouched. It slips in subtly right when it’s doing its job, and has your attention.” shared Navin.

Each one of us develops a liking towards a particular colour, form, type, etc since aesthetic sensibilities are highly subjective. Navin spoke about how we can channel our individual likes and dislikes in a constructive manner to create something with wider appeal.

An often overlooked subject, typography received a whole lot of attention in this session. Navin demonstrated how something as seemingly small as the curve of a letter or the space between characters can alter a piece of communication.

Of course, no design session would be complete without a discussion on colours. Navin shared his insights on how colours can be paired to bolster your message and convey the right emotion.

 “Don’t be afraid to make colour your friend. Play with it, but always use it to arrive at harmony.” – Navin Parwal, Creative Director at Urban Ladder

The design conversation concluded with Navin highlighting a few basics to remember, including consistency, hierarchy and finally, the magic of the ever-so-neglected, negative space. 


After understanding the basics of good design from Navin’s session, the team was introduced to the importance of good User Experience Design by, Sunil Shenoy, User Experience Design Lead at Urban Ladder. 

Familiarising the team with the three most important aspects of user experience design- Logic, Trust & Analysis, Sunil shared, “A good experience design gets people to do things you intend to make them do and allowing them to feel good about it”.

Comparing designs we meet digitally with the ones we see in the real world, his session involved many examples that inferred how design decisions can be taken more efficiently just by implementing user control and freedom. A story that invited ears from across the room was how Sunil’s father helped him learn the very few basics of a good user experience.


“I had pre-planned the placement for the switch boards across the house because bad alignment can make the whole design look out of place. While every installation went as planned, my father installed the switch board in my grandmother’s room with absolutely no focal point. An intended visual error, so my grandmother isn’t troubled by the wires while ironing. A reason so simple but completely overpowered by my misjudgement of form over functionality.” A lesson that got him to understand that empathising for the end user is the simplest way to introduce a good user experience.

Here is a snapshot of the Heuristic Principles that Sunil discussed. 


Wrapping up the interaction, Sunil added, “A good user experience is always invisible and it will always feel natural. It’s a seamless experience that subtly guides you in ways intended by the designer” 

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