I’m Mohammad Owaiz Shaik, a digital product designer and strategist from India who creates experiences that help people live better and work smarter. Currently building Cone to help business owners and accountants with all their finance and accounting needs.
Technology and business are becoming more complex. I humanize products, services, and experiences through design. I put insights and imagination (a little magic too) at the center of everything I do.
That’s more or less of it. But if you’re still curious, keep scrolling.
I didn’t find the design. The design found me. Being a Designer was not a choice, it was a calling
I was born in the town of Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh, India. I have been a creative kid from a young age, fascinated with calligraphy and interested in doodling.
I have always enjoyed building things. I left my artistic side to pursue my goal of becoming an engineer. My love for math and technology led me to Computer Science.
While getting more familiar with computer science in undergrad school, I explored my creative side again through graphic design. I’ve always been curious about the intersection of these two fields, leading me to discover UI/UX design. I led a team of like-minded people at my university to manage the design work for three national-level annual festivals. I became a well-known guy in the university for my design work and contributions.
In 2016, Campus Diaries recognized me for their 25 Under 25 awards for changemakers in the arts and design category. The Special Jury includes Jessica Walsh. Moved by this moment, I returned full of inspiration and motivation to pursue a career in design.
It wasn’t easy finding a good design job without a design degree. Still, I finally got to work with Appiness (it was a hell of a story, don’t forget to ask about it when you meet me). I am lucky to wear various hats, such as being a UX designer, UX lead, and product manager in a short period. I have experience designing products for major industries such as finance and banking, e-commerce, education, healthcare, e-mobility, supply chain, entertainment, and government. I had the opportunity to build products for my clients, from research and ideation to testing and launching the products.
As a hustler, I also worked on many side projects along with my day job, which helped me manage my time effectively and juggle multiple tasks.
Moving from Engineering to Design was a natural evolution for me. I attempt not to live and breathe design, but it is close to my heart every day. I have been called “relentless” in the pursuit of solving real problems and crafting delighting user experiences.
Values I live by
Inspired by legendary Dieter Rams, The idea of eliminating all the noise and focusing only on the essential aspects and giving it our best effort works, not only in design but in life. Embracing less but better shifted my attention from quantity to quality.
Passion is what keeps me up in the night.
The aim is not to do things for the sake of doing them. When you are motivated by your passion, you are in line with your goals, your vision with every part of your being and belief. You truly have a sense of urgency and the importance of not only manifesting your goal but enjoying the path in making it happen.
I always try to infect people around me with my passion.
Everyone has a story.
The point is that you never know what’s really going on in someone’s life. You may see a pleasant, surface-level picture, or inexplicably bad behaviour. Make no assumptions. The back story, the one you don’t see, is why it’s so important to treat people with patience and kindness.
Quality-first is the most important mindset I believe in. Mediocre stuff is not my cup of tea or coffee. In the real world, getting from good to great requires extraordinary effort. I always try to take that extra mile to make my mark on everything I do.
The aim is not to be a perfectionist but is to strive for excellence.
No shady tricks to make the extra bucks.
Ethics are very important for a designer, just as they are for a doctor or a lawyer. Don’t take unethical shortcuts to meet your goals and needs.
Consider the context of the product you are creating, for whom? What kind of impact does it have on society and the environment?
Helping others can actually create a sense of meaning we’re seeking. Rather than ruminating on what makes our life worthwhile as we work toward burnout, we can find the answer outside ourselves, in human connection.
Discipline doesn’t need talent, it just needs will power. If there is one thing that can keep you at the place, it is discipline.
“Sometimes you just get in there and force yourself to work and something good will come out of it.” Jack White
The people who inspire me
Generally, I tend not to have any favourites, I try to get inspiration from everyone I meet and everything I see. Learning, like Design, is never complete. These are some people who have inspired me and shaped my thinking.
Random facts about me
I am ambidextrous. I am born left handed but due to cultural pressure I started using my right side for many activities and it turned out to be a good thing for me.
Given the different music genres and eras I love, my Spotify and Youtube algorithms are usually confused!
I am a Typomaniac. On the streets they look at girls, I look at type on billboards.
I am called Owaiz Bhai by colleagues and friends. Bhai is a slang term for Don used in India. This title comes from my hindi speaking college buddies who called me badass 😅😛 during my college days.
Being organized is one of my biggest obsessions. You can see it by taking a look at my browser tabs or files and folders. If I see too many files on a desktop or files with the title untitled, I may go bonkers.
Technology, Time, Maps, Books, Architecture, Music, Creativity, Movie making, Voice overs, Beatboxing, Teetotaler, Calligraphy.