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UX Mantra I received from Mantra Labs

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4 minutes read

My learnings and experiences as a UI/UX intern at Mantra Labs.

UX Mantra I received from Mantra Labs

“Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.” — Robert L. Peters, designer and author

In this blog, I will share my learnings and experiences working alongside the design team at Mantra Labs.

The past three months working at Mantra Labs as UI/UX intern have been one of the most memorable times of my life, from meeting some amazing folks to learning some super cool tips and tricks. It was undoubtedly an amazing experience. Most people believe that interns only work on dummy tasks and never make any impact on the company despite their hard work. At Mantra Labs, this aspect is absolutely untrue. In a very short interval of time, I worked on multiple projects from different domains. As an intern, I was given the opportunity to lead a project’s UI/UX design from start to launch. I had to take all the design decisions, interact with stakeholders, collaborate with developers, and manage even the simplest of tasks involved.

Here are some of the key learnings from my experience at the company:

1. Ask Questions

The best way to accomplish something is to ask lots of questions to be sure what exactly needs to be accomplished. To be honest, in the beginning, I didn’t know the exact way to do lots of things. But, as an overthinker, I was always concerned about not being annoying. My manager and colleagues showed humility and taught me every little thing with utter patience. There were times when my manager got into some other work which left no time for him to answer my questions. Even then, I had my lovely teammates who stood there to guide me. I learned the most from my internship by asking questions and clarifying all my doubts.

2. Keep an open mind and apply a positive approach.

UI/UX Designing is incomplete without solving problems. The client’s requirements must be met by all means while keeping accessibility, conversational and humanized approach, and all the other things in mind. Therefore, for such a task, the ability to hear all the reviews and perspectives with an open mind and apply a positive approach to it is the only key.

Working with different design minds at Mantra Labs made me understand that not everyone is going to agree with your designs and ideas — even people in your own team! One has to keep iterating, once, twice, and sometimes even ten times. No matter how many changes happen, they should not be taken personally because a majority of the time the changes are only going to improve the product in the end.

3. Stop over-evaluating!

I have always been someone who at every step has over-evaluated myself. Thriving to achieve the best of me has been overwhelming all my life. Here, at Mantra Labs, I learned how to trust my instincts as far as designing was concerned. I was corrected wherever I made wrong decisions. It all made sense when I saw the outcome. It was during my internship that I learned how important it is to always check all decisions, but never question yourself to the point where you lose interest in your own judgment.

4. Try something new, and explore different domains.

Ever since I started my career, I was mainly working with Ed-tech companies but at Mantra Labs, I got the opportunity to work in multiple domains like Health Tech, and Solar Tech in a very short duration of time. Obviously, these fields were quite different as these domains were very new to me but as a UI/UX Designer, you’ll have to be ready to solve any problems irrespective of any domain.

5. Show gratitude

An entire team is involved to complete a project. You win only when everyone in the team applies equal effort to make it happen (it’s the teamwork that counts). The work culture in Mantra Labs is great, from cool colleagues to a cooler manager. All of them work and coordinate with each other in a way that ultimately leads to the completion of the project to the satisfaction of the client. Having such people around me at work was no less than a blessing during my internship.

Better Communication skills

Communication requires a language common to the speaker and the listener. Fortunately or unfortunately that language is English. Honestly, this language has not been a very good friend of mine. I was quite good with one-on-one conversations but public speaking had mostly been a blunder. During the course of my internship, I led some client meetings and also demonstrated my work to a group of people. Talking to clients and my teammates have helped me brush my communication skills and instilled in me a sense of confidence.

Any sort of work can become boring if one stops taking fun-filled breaks from it. UI/UX Designing is a creative field and creativity comes only with the freshness of mind. I am someone who is a workaholic, I skip my meals and sleep until the work assigned to me is completed. There were instances during my internship when I would get so involved in the project that I used to forget to get myself engaged with my fellow teammates and colleagues. At Mantra Labs, the environment was so cool and friendly that we played numerous games (treasure hunt being at the top of my list) between work. We even celebrated each other’s birthdays and partied after the office. All these were a sort of my recreation to get back to work the next day with the same zeal and zest.

Before wrapping this up, let me tell you something very important:-

Design overthinking is now extremely common among designers. A deep design thinking approach is not always necessary when solving problems, the solution to some issues can be as simple as drawing rectangles.

Draw rectangles, Don’t overthink 🚀

About the author:  

Shashi Kumar is a pre-final year journalism student at Chandigarh University, who worked with Mantra Labs as a UI/UX design intern. He loves to talk about geopolitics and entrepreneurship.

Want to know more about designing?

Read our latest blog: How to Sell UX Research to Your Clients?


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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

Chart, line chart

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

Chart, sunburst chart

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.


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