A spring-summer reading list from Wingify Design team

March just got over. With all the holi revelry behind us, we've now stepped in April. Most parts of India are now bracing themselves for the upcoming hot months and some of us are already dreaming of monsoons. 

However, there's still time for us to smell the sweet petrichor and most of us are happy staying indoors and reading.

In March, the product and design teams shared a lot of interesting articles on various topics. Here are some that we really liked. 

1. We read about how to pair typefaces and learnt how to categorise them into six major categories.


2. We dug the concept library where a bunch of concepts were showcased for easy direction.


3. We played around with Emblem that takes a brand name and pushes out logotypes. It just feels neat to see your products visualised in different logotypes.


4. We played around with a new prototyping tool in the market, Kite


5. Algolia launched a cool library of UI widgets and we <3 it


6. Perhaps march was the month of new launches. We also tried this CAD-inspired design tool focused on the unique constraints of UX/UI design.


7. We read the Tactical Design Critique, a method of design critique at Medium and did our every first TDC for one of our products this month.


8. Font awesome did a pretty neat video on Kickstarter and we fell in love with it.

9. Smashing Magazine is launching a redesign and it didn't go unnoticed by us.

10. And we learnt a bit on how to take better breaks.

Finally, although we don't use them much here, it never hurts to watch the birth of a fresh new dugout canoe!

The Birth Of A Dugout Canoe by Northmen from Northmen on Vimeo.

Want to meet us?

We are all here --> https://dribbble.com/wingify 

February's reading list from the design team at Wingify

These are the links that the design team at Wingify found interesting in the month of February

1. Seeing Theory, a project designed and created by Daniel Kunin with support from Brown University's Royce Fellowship Program and National Science Foundation group STATS4STEM. The goal of the project is to make statistics more accessible to a wider range of students through interactive visualizations. We loved the visualisation. 


2. Stack Overflow redid their top navigation and we appreciated the insights shared by their team.


3. A 4-minute video on Futura, the font that escaped the Nazis

4. We read and shared about Sketch and how to get the pixels right

5. Nick Babich, a software developer wrote about the nice to have states in mobile apps in a well-informing post and we loved it.

6. https://www.danrodney.com/blog/sketch-bootstrap-grid/

7. We loved this playlist

8. We shared the new product for others to try 

9. We shared the design trends for 2017 from Behance

10. And of course, one can never get enough of the little big details

11. A golden article from Jared spool making a case on why consistency in design is the wrong approach

And one more thing, Netflix has a new series on design, called Abstract. Sheer <3

What did you find inspiring this month? 

- With love from the Design team at Wingify

Pushcrew goes Khandala!

19 years ago, in 1998, a Bollywood song had spread like wildfire, making this quaint little hill station in western ghats of India very popular. 

Amir Khan had led the movement to Khandala back then with this cheeky little stunt. 

The Pushcrew team decided to hop over to this 90's destination for a weekend and boy was it beautiful! 

We played cricket, lounged around, ate like there's no tomorrow and revisited so many of our childhood games. As the evening was setting, we reluctantly agreed for an hour long zoomba class and left with sore muscles after breaking out into a punjabi number. 

I think the best part of the trip was the night where all of us were jam packed into a single room, sharing our best childhood memories. 

I've personally lost count of the number of people who received an electric shock when they were children! 

Here's to more stories together! 

Biblio: Wingify Bookclub Edition. 01

Wingify loves to read and there's no two ways about it. Neil Gaiman, gave a deeply thoughtful lecture on ''Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming." 

Books are the way that we communicate with the dead. The way that we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over. There are tales that are older than most countries, tales that have long outlasted the cultures and the buildings in which they were first told.

Since most of us were fairly convinced or already at the point of no return from the love of books, we decided to form a book club. 

Our bookclub is called Biblio and is presided by someone who is currently writing a book and has a beautiful list of books that he read in 2016.

In our first meeting, all of us got together and discussed about the kind of books we like to read and our preferences for future books. 

We picked our first reading for the month as Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto.

Set in Bombay during the last decades of the twentieth century, Em and The Big Hoom tells the compelling story of the Mendeses mother, father, daughter and son. Between Em, the beedi - smoking, hyperactive mother, driven frequently to hospital by her mania and failed suicide attempts, and The Big Hoom, the rock-solid, dependable father, trying to hold things together as best he can, they are an extraordinary family. Filled with endearing and eccentric characters, and marked by sparkling dialogue and restrained emotion, this is one of the most powerful and moving novels to be published in India in a long time.

Our next meeting will be in a month and all of us are excited to read this book! 

*drumroll* We have a *neeew* office in Pune!

So this Diwali, we moved to a new office in Pune.

It is big.

It is airy.

It overlooks a good patch of green.

Yes, you can see cows grazing.

Don't mean to boast, but three times a day, you can spot and hear the sweet melody of a beautiful blue train snaking through the terminal right behind.

Ofcourse, we plan to convert it to a mini forest.

Pets are allowed? Why? That's not even a question! 

Yes, it has a balcony. 

TT table now travels with us, wherever we go. 

Oh, the huge white wall? Let's just say we HAD to make a Friday Movie Club just because. 

So yeah, we had our Diwali party in this space and let's just say we were overboard with happiness


Diwali Mela 2016 - Grand celebrations at Wingify Delhi

Wingify Diwali celebrations 2016 this time were fun and splendid. The artsy décor, on the theme of the mela was an instant hit with everyone. So were the arrangements for food and snacks. Though there weren’t too many games this time, unlike the last Diwali, everyone participated and had a fun time. The pictures tell rest of the story of an artsy décor, chatori gali, and some crazy games. 

Food and snacks were truly Indian (with the exception of pasta) and totally yum. Mouthwatering street food – golgappas, samosa chat, papri chat and more, kept everyone going back for more. 

The enthusiasm that everyone showed to participate in the games was commendable. Whether it was TT relay, Bucket Race, or Jingles, people gave their best shot. 

 Taking forward the values that Wingify appreciates, we decided on giving the ‘gift of reading’ to all with a Kindle and the book ‘Beginning of Infinity’. Sparsh handed over the gifts to everyone, personally. We’ve captured some smiling faces receiving their gifts.

Wingify Sales team soaring above the clouds

Our Sales team at Wingify has a certain affinity towards making the ‘not so happening locations’ memorable and worthwhile. This time it was Lansdowne’s turn!! Now, one would think, what could they do at a small, quaint place like Lansdowne? Our answer- A lot! Yeah, it sounds a bit rhetorical but that’s what we did.

The journey started with minimalistic planning and hasty procurement of trip essentials (yes, that includes the booze ;) ). While most of our teammates are usually inclined towards driving their own cars, we hired a bus for this one. Surprisingly, everyone was on time to reach the boarding point and we kicked off at the scheduled time (5AM – still better than 4AM for the Corbett trip). Our resident DJ’s Anmol and Rohit (with the equipment brought in by Himanshu and Arjun) did not let a single second pass by without an interesting track playing in the background. With all the music playing around, not everyone could forget the tiring week which went by before the trip and this gave Shashankh and his new (smart)phone the opportunity to click selfies with unsuspecting sleepy heads.

However, all the fatigue vanished the moment we entered the hills. The view was simply mesmerizing with the clouds floating amongst the pines and occasionally drifting on the road alongside the bus. None of us remembered to check our phones for signals once we reached the resort. Well, that’s particularly because the resort is built near an army camp and there is hardly any network coverage in the area but with a view like that, no one really cared. Everyone checked in to the rooms and relaxed for a bit. The rest of the day was spent in exploring the resort grounds and clicking pictures (which was the only thing our phones could do there

As the dusk approached, we got to what we do best – DRINK! Not to miss the amazing ability to create clouds within a room, our hookah experts – Kushal, Rohit and Varunesh huddled up to concoct their own recipes on the only hookah we had. But this time too many cooks did not spoil the broth(hookah)! Nobody kept a track of time amidst the endless conversations and an occasional clink of bottles being knocked down by Deepak, Himanshu and Aayushi :D .

We had no clue what to do the next day (yeah the trip was planned on a short notice) and suddenly Vibhuti came up with the idea of going for a small trek/walk for as long as we could walk. The team that treks together stays together! I will let pictures do the talking.

After the short but tiring trek, all of us were in for some pampering at the Spa in the resort. Deepak made the most out of the Jacuzzi but sadly enough we couldn’t get a picture of him enjoying the bubble bath which surely reminded us of the Lux ads aired in the 90’s. The Spa is located at an immensely beautiful point. Again a picture is worth a thousand words:

We left for Delhi next morning, taking beautiful memories, learnings and motivation to do better- every day!

New Girl in New York

Almost eEverything I have ever wished for, has come to me in a platter, presented neatly with sides (New York is the part of sides here :)). Never at that same moment but at the time when I have completely forgotten ever wishing for it and least expecting it to happen.

I always like to start with a bit of history. Connecting dots between the various chapters of my life as they have unfolded and formed neat patterns without me realising it.

April, 2015: I was working in the marketing department of Visual Website Optimizer.  As part of my job role, I had subscribed to tens of newsletters from all sorts of conversion optimization blogs, gurus, and courses. One fine day when I was skimming through my inbox, I found an email with a subject line, “Win a pass to email marketing conference in Vegas”. I hadn’t still opened the email when I had fantasized myself standing in Vegas. I was sure I was going to win this competition. I had checked how was the weather going to be in Vegas when I land there, which clothes would I be carrying, where all would I go shopping, what all restaurants and cafes I had to check out and even my Facebook statuses. This particular conference was supposed to happen in a resort called Aria in Vegas. I looked through the pictures on the web and visualized myself standing at the terrace pool and lounge of Aria.

I had thoroughly prepared for a trip that didn’t happen. Then.

Fast forward one year and few days from all of this, I was standing at the terrace pool and lounge of Aria. This was 17th of May, 2016.

12,000 kms away from home, on a solo trip, this was a big deal for me!

Now coming to the recent history, in April 2016, while we were deciding to attend couple of conferences and showcase PushCrew, I got the opportunity to represent PushCrew at Conversion Conversion, Vegas.

I got a one line email that said, “Taruna - you should consider attending.” At times like this, I want to hit the pause button on my imaginary remote control and shout out, “One moment please; I need a dance break!”

The conference in Las Vegas was for 3 days, bang in the middle of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday). I decided to extend my trip to add the two weekends, and do a personal trip to New York.

From the date I got a confirmation that I was attending a work conference in Vegas to me landing back in India, every single day could feature as an important one in my biography. I spent 3, quite literal, sleepless nights before my US VISA was approved. My family must have heard me saying, “What if they reject my VISA application?” at least a gazillion times in those 3 days. Between the dates I got my VISA and my flight date, I read up hundreds of articles on “What if I lose my passport with a US VISA 10 days before my trip to US?” Big deal. Big deal.

A lot of work, added to it this freak behavior of mine, I don’t remember sleeping properly a single night for weeks before my trip. Finally when I boarded the plane, I slept in a jiffy. All the music, and the books (over-packed) for this time were also sleeping along. After 14 hours of some wonderful sleep, I landed in New York.

Normal people in a new country look for a cab, hand over the address, sit back, relax, and reach their destination. I was advised against it. I was told to change 3 different trains with 60kgs of myself and 20kgs of my luggage, go up and down a flight of stairs (New York subways don’t have escalators), and ask around for each next step. I didn’t have a phone, I didn’t have internet.

Not very surprisingly, I was lost (Instead of reaching 8th street NY, my destination, I reached 8th avenue) and found my way back too. After much struggle and lot of walking (by my Indian walking standards), I reached my destination at Mark Street. For the next 7 days of my stay at NY, I had my colleague’s apartment to myself and I viewed and savored New York like a localite. I would wake up, get dressed, lock my temporary residence, throw the keys in my hand bag and start walking. Randomly. While randomly walking like this, I saw everything that form part of all the must-see lists in New York. Times Square, Wall Street, Trump Towers, Central Park, Rockefeller Building, Empire State Building, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, World Trade Centre, Brooklyn Bridge, 6D movies, Madam Tussauds, so much art on streets, great breakfast places, supermarkets that sold a hundred different varieties of bread, Statue of Liberty -- I saw it all. Discovering them randomly while I would go on my 20km long walks each day in a randomly chosen direction. Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Maps, became my faithful companions.


On the day I had to board my flight to Las Vegas, I went through the same routine - getting lost, changing 3 trains, 60kgs of myself and some kgs of my luggage. No cab again. New Yorkers don’t do cabs. They walk. They take subways. (But they don’t get lost.)

The view from the plane when I was about to land in Vegas was breath-taking. It was the most stunning view I have ever seen. 9:30 PM at night, all I could see when I looked out from my window was lights. Lights of hundreds of different colors, forming different patterns. Not an inch of Las Vegas was not lit up. The airport itself looked like a huge, colorfully lit, casino.


I reached pretty late and my other colleagues from VWO, US who were also participating in the conference came in even late in night. I had slept in my hotel room by then. We stayed in Rio Grand Hotel and Suites. The next morning after setting up our booth and money-board (in Vegas, we had our own version of a betting game. People had to exchange their business cards for a $2 bill. Some of them got lucky and won a $50 bill. Conference attendees thoroughly enjoyed this gig of ours), we headed to the streets of Vegas. We had some nice feisty lunch and went to some really grand and expensive places. Nothing like I had ever seen in India. In the evening we attended a networking party at another resort, Aria, thrown by one of the companies who had a conference on email marketing.



I have never been able to small talk. In a group of people, I am the listener types. I can talk and feel comfortable sharing my stories only with a handful of people. But in that networking party, I decided to do what I had gone there for -- to network. I walked up to many different people shared PushCrew’s story, heard their story, exchanged cards and learnt something new and exciting. To start off a conversation, I chose topics ranging from Tinder (yes! :D), my experience in New York, of the stark cultural differences between New York and India, of my first time outside of home, and if nothing else, food! That resonated with almost every body. I soon realized that Americans loved to talk, and theatrically! I learnt how their pitch would go up and down, how they would move their hands, and how each word would be expressed with a different action. It seemed like I was part of an animated movie. So many times, I would just forget listening and be mesmerized in their expressions. (To top that, so many American men were so good-looking!) In a span of the hour and half we stayed there, I managed to talk to 7 different people. Gathering up the courage to walk to them myself. To one of the very good looking men, I even said, “I am new to all this small-talking and networking business.” “Me too!”, he replied and we ended up chatting for good 20 minutes. In my head, I was also thinking business and politely excused myself after setting up a good base for a conversation that I could take up on emails once I was back at work. All this was to prepare myself for the two days at conference.


After the networking party, I had loosened up a bit. I drummed just one fact in my head, “no one’s judging. If you screw up, nothing will change.”

Next day at conference, I talked to a lot many people who came by our booth. I also opened conversations myself with people who I saw at food and coffee tables and invited them over to our booth. When bored, I would start walking in the sponsor's area and chat up with other sponsors (while also collecting the cool swag :D). The personal biggest achievement was getting a company up and running with PushCrew after the conference had ended. Sweet ending! Here’s a video of them saying nice things about PushCrew and me saying something in my squeaky tone. I always fast-forward that bit. You should too.

During the conference, I talked to around 70 different people. To all the people I approached myself, I would always start with something completely different and then direct the conversation towards PushCrew. One leverage that PushCrew had over other sponsors was that most sponsors’ products had something to do with email marketing. In that crowd, PushCrew naturally stood out. I capitalized on that in almost every conversation I had. I also took a stroll to all other booths, heard their pitches, listened to the questions, and comments the event attendees posed to them and when these same attendees came to visit the PushCrew booth, I already had some context for the conversation.


During those 2 days at the conference, I absorbed in as much knowledge and insights as I could. Right in front of our booth was a booth of another email marketing solution. The guy from the booth would look at the name of the attendees from the pass hung around their neck, add to it some context of the workshop / session that was happening, and would seamlessly open a conversation with every other person who passed by our booths. With the same statement. Each time. It would go like, “Hey Steve, so how’s Goward’s session going on? Liking it? The guy has some great conversion optimization experience. No?” The most interesting thing was absolutely each person would stop, acknowledge the question, and begin a conversation.

The next morning, I started doing the same! :D

This was one of the many striking things I remember and learnt during those 2 days at conference.

While New York was a culture shock, a liberating experience, Vegas (unlike how it should have been) was full of learnings, insights, and helped me become a better professional. At both these places, I discovered something about me that I didn’t know I was capable of. I came back a more confident person and with a galore of stories for my near and dear ones. Those 10 days in New York were some of the best days of my life so far. I loved each moment of it and I learnt so much. Thanks to Wingify for allowing me to tick off two grand things from my bucket list: A solo trip AND A trip to New York. <3

P.S. No, I didn’t gamble in Vegas. Yes, I did go to a Strip Club.

What are they doing when they are not making stuff? They are making stuff at Hackathons!

Two hackers from Wingify attended the ITC 2016 Hackathon. This is their blog about their experience. 

I attended ITC iTech 2015 and had a pretty good experience (and food :P ). The theme was Internet of Things and they gave away a Raspberry Pi to each team. Also, they clearly mentioned that the idea entirely belongs to the team (unlike the Bosch Hackathon, which made us to sign an agreement paper that the idea entirely belongs to them and they weren’t even giving away the kit). 

As expected ITC announced their second annual hackathon - iTech 2016. This year the theme was to build VR/AR prototype/product. Little disappointed with the topic, as the scope is much into software, we started braining storming ideas where VR and AR can be integrated with any hardware product.

After a few brainstorming sessions with Sanjay and two of our friends in Chennai, we finalized OmniPresence Robot as final idea to submit. We took a short video explaining our idea and registered for the hackathon. Few days before the hackathon we received a reply from ITC about our selection for the hackathon along with 40 other teams. 

The idea of the OmniPresence Robot is to mount a camera on the top of the robot. It should be streaming the video feed to the VR headset over wifi and as the user who is wearing the VR headset moves his head, the camera will move on the same direction. Since the video is on the VR headset, it will give an immersive feel and the user will see what the robot see. In an ideal case, the robot can be placed at any remote location with good internet access and the user can sit at his home and pan around the area. To enhanced the experience further, a kinect camera will be kept at the front of the user and as the user moves, the robot will move in the same direction. So the camera in the Omnipresence robot will act as the eyes and the motors will act legs. The control signals are captured based on the movement of head (for the camera) and movement of the body (for the wheels).

On the day of hackathon, the bus reached 4.5 hours late. Sanjay and I reached the campus by 11.45pm but two of our friends already registered for the team. The base of the robot was build in Chennai Makerspace and it has been used for various purposes. Sibi and Karthick, our friends from chennai brought the bot base and they were early. So we had no problem with the registration. The first thing to do with the hackathon was to pitch the idea to the jury panel (which wasn’t there in the previous edition). After that the hackathon started. The hackspace was familiar for me since it was the exact same place as the last year. The place is little congested but it was manageable. You get unlimited coffee, cool drinks, biscuits and chips (limited to ITC products :P).

We divided our work into two parts. Karthick and I started to work on camera motor control and Sibi and Sanjay started to work on wheel control based on body movement. We used HyperIMU app to understand how different sensors on the mobile phone works. It has a very neat features to set the sample rate and UDP protocols. We planned to use Intel Galileo board instead of Raspberry Pi since the logic level of Galileo is 5V which is required for the motor driver. For some reason Galileo stopped working in the while connecting wires. The same happened in the previous hackathon for my friends. Finally we ended up using the Raspberry Pi with logic level converter. We used Gyroscope’s Y axis value to calculate the Yaw of the head. Initially we were trying to calculate the slope (differentiating) and peak to calculate the speed and angle of rotation. Later we realized that the Gyroscope’s reading are angular velocity readings and differentiating it would simply gives acceleration not angular displacement. So we integrated the readings to get the angular displacement. The speed of the head rotation and camera motor speed were not in exact sync since there were some delay and losses in sending the data. There were some drifting (like a steady state error) but that didn’t affect the experience much. This was around 3 o clock I guess. By the same time Sanjay and Sibi almost finished the body tracking with kinect and it was great. Stepping one step forward will move the robot forward.

We had a good lunch the next day. And then starts the judging and so the unexpected problems. Suddenly the smoothness in the camera motor was not there when people started using it. Also we were sitting near the window and the sunlight started affecting the kinect. As a bonus to all these problem, people at the start were moving a lot and the kinect started tracking all of them. As a rule of thumb, we didn’t edit the code to correct these problem, but we tried to fix it by avoiding these disturbance (and we couldn’t). We demoed the prototype to the jury panel and it went ok.

After that they were having startup showdown before announcing the result. It was lengthy and (boring) so we played foosball and slept most of the time. And then the results were announced. They selected top 5 teams to present their ideas on the stage (we weren’t one of them). After that they announced that they will be giving away 25k for some teams which had good ideas. And the first team was us. Some money to compensate the travel cost :P They were also giving away goodies like last year but little less this time. Sure, I will attend the hackathon next year. Still one of the best hackathons.