Meet our Chief Design Officer, Pharaoh, whose best skills as a designer includes creativity, multi-disciplinary knowledge, initiative and persistence. He has great experience designing products across multiple industries and has managed to help many clients turn their ideas into reality by creating elegant solutions to complex problems. Pharaoh is recognised by the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA) as one of the UK’s top creative digital leaders. He has a wealth of experience in building strong creative teams, tech companies, and world-class digital products. Appello Software is lucky to have him!
Tell us about some brands you admire. What makes them stand out?
I admire Apple, for its focus on developing and evolving the quality of its products. Tesla, for its blue-sky thinking approach towards innovation, and Google, for its well-thought-out digital ecosystems and the value it provides to everyday users.
What do you think will be the next big thing in mobile and web design?
I envision more mobile app developers leveraging Blockchain technology and smart contracts to facilitate in-app micropayments, and I think AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants will become more popular, which will help to revolutionise the customer support experience. With the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning (ML) we could start to see more personalised user interfaces, enabling mobile apps and websites to quickly learn from user behaviour, so as to provide a more tailored content and service experience for users. We may also see the impact of AI and ML within areas of cyber security, with passwordless logins such as face and fingerprint recognition (biometric authentication) becoming more common. Voice User Interface (VUI) adoption may increase, as a by-product of advancement in speech recognition technologies, and the emergence of applications and plugins that can read written text aloud could dramatically help to resolve some existing accessibility issues. I also see Augmented Reality (AR) becoming a more common part of everyday life, making UI layouts more functional and informative via the superimposing of additional layers of information.
What do you think makes the design of an application successful?
The design of a successful product usually consists of a well thought out set of consumer-centric and business-centric features. For example, in the consumer-centric sense, the UX and UI should be user friendly, aesthetically pleasing and considerate of user expectations and goals. Whilst from a business standpoint, a successful design should be scalable and effective in encouraging user adoption and retention, whilst creating opportunities for introducing seamless monetisation experiences.
What do you think are the biggest challenges organisations are facing regarding designing new technology solutions?
Some of the biggest challenges I’ve observed are related to Digital Transformation, and how that impacts company operations. The challenge involves upgrading organisational processes/mindsets and tools, resolving inadequacies in cybersecurity, compliance and the hiring and upskilling of existing employees. I think a certain level of mindfulness and periodic due diligence is often required to ensure company operations are running at optimum levels; this in turn will always have a positive effect on the quality of new technology solutions.
What inspires your design approach?
I’m a big advocate of Design Thinking, which is essentially a solution-based approach to solving problems. It’s an iterative process that seeks to understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions to prototype and test. I’m also inspired by organic systems, patterns and aesthetic solutions found in nature.
How influenced are you by current design trends?
When it comes to design trends, I think it’s important to be aware of the changing landscape, however, some trends are passing fads, which shouldn’t necessarily be adopted. Discernment is key. I personally like to remain open-minded whilst cultivating my own sense of design, which more often than not increases the potential for creating new innovative solutions.
If you would like to have a design consultation with Pharaoh for a project, get in touch!