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Darshan Gajara, Product Designer & Maker of ProductDisrupt, Shares His ‘’Secret Weapon’’ Book for Designers

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darshan gajara is the maker of Product Disrupt, a website dedicated to all the curious folks who want to learn design.

Darshan is a computer engineer turned freelance product designer, driven by his passion for making products while helping others do the same – or even better.

Since most of his skills have been developed with the help of the internet, he’s a strong believer of giving back to the internet. This is one of the reasons why he created Product Disrupt, his side project, where he shares his disruptive list of resources that made him a Product Designer.

He also does that by sharing the codes that he’s written, design freebies, and knowledge that he gains from his own experience.

Darshan is experienced in delivering end-to-end product solutions for BookMyShow, India’s top ticketing portal, and building Wishberry, a crowdfunding platform for creatives. He also worked towards building a community of design enthusiasts for Panda Network.

In the past 6 years he’s been working as an independent Product Design Consultant for startups across the world, from India (where he’s based) to UAE, Canada, US and UK.

When he’s not writing posts related to product design, he’ll share his travel stories – such as this one about the 14-days backpacking trip he took last December to North India.

We’re grateful that Darshan accepted to share with us his favorite books, what he learned from them, and how stories get stored in his mind as photographs – keep on reading to learn more.

El tiempo estimado de lectura de esta entrevista es 7 minutos. Si prefieres escucharlo, puedes hacerlo en itunes, Google Play o grapadora.

¿Cuál es tu libro favorito y por qué? Negocios y no negocios, si es posible.

My favorite business/design book is ‘Design for a Perfect Screen’ by Tal Florentin. I was in my early days as a Designer when I picked up this book. Tal’s writing is so crisp and clean. He seamlessly makes one aware of the most basic principles of design and provides actionable insights to execute them.

I’ve lost count of the number of folks whom I’ve recommended this book. I believe it’s a must read for all those early in their career as a designer or those enthusiastic about it. I just can’t recommend it enough.

My favorite non-business book from the limited number of books I’ve read is ‘once minutos’ by Paulo Coelho. I was 17 when I picked up this book. And like any other small town boy in India, self-discovery, adventure and sex were foreign entities to me.

Going through Maria’s story (main character in the book) alone, my eyes were wide open to the outside world and provided me with courage to break free from my own little bubble and start exploring.

¿Hubo algún momento, específicamente, en que algo que leíste en un libro te ayudó? ¿Me puedes decir al respecto?

It would be difficult and unfair to pinpoint to a specific moment. I believe whatever we intellectually and emotionally consume stays in our mind forever and our future actions are then subconsciously influenced by it.

Having said that, reading e-books and articles online on design have been of great help to me. There’ve been number of occasions where I was able to circle back to a few concepts learned from a particular book in order to support my argument.

¿Disfrutando de esta entrevista? Si desea más material interesante relacionado con libros y negocios, suscríbase a nuestro boletín semanal. Saber más aquí.

¿Qué libros te impactaron más? (quizás cambió la forma en que ves las cosas, cambió drásticamente tu carrera profesional)

It’s funny how I keep referencing that one book in most of my answers here, but can’t lie about it.

Tal Florentin’s ‘Design for a Perfect Screen’ has clearly had the biggest of impacts on me as a designer. The way I pursue design and user psychologically dramatically changed after I read this book.

I no longer make random guesses when making a particular design decision instead my design decisions are now based on the core principles and understanding of the user base.

¿Qué libros recomendarías a los jóvenes interesados en tu camino profesional? ¿Por qué? (sin límite de número aquí)

Me interesa saber más sobre sus hábitos de lectura. ¿Con qué frecuencia lees? ¿En qué formato?

As you might have guessed it already, I’m not an avid book reader. However, I do read a lot online.

Every morning, before resuming my regular work, I spend an hour or 2 reading articles from the sources I’ve mentioned on Product Disrupt. I read a few more articles between work as and when they show up and sometimes also before calling it a day.

Every once in a while, I pick up some not-so-lengthy e-books and read it during my work commute or long travels.

To answer your questions about formats, I absolutely prefer e-books. PDFs or the ones that can be read on some kind of a mobile application. I’m a collector of many things, but physical books aren’t one of them.

¿Cómo haces tiempo para leer?

As explained earlier, I’ve a routine. So, I don’t have to go over my way to make time for reading. I also believe if you’re really interested in something, you’ll automatically make time for it otherwise it’s just empty excuses.

¿Tomas notas o tienes alguna otra técnica para conquistar el torrente de información?

I’ve a vision disease, but my mind makes up for it. I can remember slightly better than a normal person and stories get stored in my mind as photographs. So, I don’t have to take notes while reading. However, I’ve made it a practice to write down any actionable items from the books I read.

¿Cómo eliges qué libros leer a continuación?

My choice of books to read is usually influenced by the sources I follow for regular design and business wisdom.

And once in a while, I’ll pick up some books recommended by people I work with and close friends.

¿Priorizas los libros recomendados por determinadas personas? ¿Hay alguien a quien consideres un gurú de las recomendaciones de libros?

I guess I’ve answered this in the previous question. Although there are folks like Tobias van Schneider, James Clear y Anoop Anthony who recommend some special gems every now and then.

Última pregunta: ¿qué libro estás leyendo actualmente y qué esperas obtener de él?

Currently, I’m not reading any book, but soon looking to pick up ‘Crush It!’ by Gary Vaynerchuk and eagerly awaiting the launch of books by Paul Jarvis y Jason Zook.

Links where you can follow Darshan Gajara or find out more about his projects:

All books mentioned by Darshan Gajara in this interview:

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