Ideas change the world — and this is not an advertising slogan

Ideas change the world — and this is not an advertising slogan

Why is design a verb? Why is little design good? Why make five variants of a CV? At the master class “What is design? Basic principles of design” from Sistema JSFC and RUDN University, Alexey Chupin, Head of the MTS design center, showed how design solves business problems.

April 20, 40 RUDN students — from architects to ecologists — talked with Alexey Chupin, who designs the main products of MTS: from MTS Library to retailers’ interiors.

“A designer is both a psychologist, a marketer and a researcher. It is a sort of human Swiss knife, who is supposed to understand a little bit of everything, and, if necessary, dive deeper. Competences alter all the time. Today, product design is the basics of front-end development, psychology, marketing, advertising and PR, as well as sociology,” says Alexey Chupin, Head of the MTS design center.


“To be the best you have to learn from the best.” Following this principle, the expert shared the rules of designer Dieter Rams, the Braun company. His radio receiver served as a model for the design of the first Apple iPod. Rams thinks that good design has the following features:

  1. It is innovative. It should push the industry forward.
  2. It makes the product useful. It is made for people.
  3. It is aesthetic. Design is about beauty.
  4. It helps the product to be understood. A person must understand how to interact with the product.
  5. It is unobtrusive.
  6. It is honest.
  7. It is durable
  8. It is very well thought out.
  9. It is in harmony with the environment and is environmentally friendly.
  10. Good design is as little design as possible. If a person hasn’t noticed elaborate design, then a designer did his job well.

“How to do good design? Design can be communicational, industrial, service, architectural, interior, product ... Each has its own goal, but they all start with research. Before switching on creativity, you need to do some research,” says Alexey Chupin.

Design process:

  1. Research.
  2. User story — customer’s story, which depends on our product and the context of its consumption.
  3. CustDev — Customer Development or problem interview. At this stage, we ask the client who has a user story how he solves his problem.
  4. CJM — Customer Journey Map, a table recording certain points — client’s actions on the way to solving the problem, and ideas on how to improve them to achieve the goal.
  5. Design or CJM to be. We remove unnecessary steps from CJM and draw a graphical interface.
  6. Test — we are testing out our solution. At this stage, an invention that seems “brilliant” to designers may turn out to be completely unsuitable for people. The prototype is tested on the same or different people with the same user story.
  7. Produce & Release — we produce the product and launch it.
  8. Analyze — after launching, for example, an application update, analysts closely monitor statistics. If the statistics deteriorate, it means that the update could be the reason, and then it is withdrawn and the previous version is returned.

“Then the cycle closes and new ideas start coming up. Whoever goes through this cycle faster wins the market. Therefore, each cycle is held under the auspices of slogan ‘Repeat! FAST!’, which is the law of the jungle of the XXI century.

Anything can be improved, even the most perfect thing. It’s an endless process. If we do not move forward, we will go against nature — this is counter-evolutionary. In the digital world, if you stopped to have some rest today, tomorrow you already lag behind. The competition is crazy, everything is changing so rapidly,” says Alexey Chupin.

“In CVs I get, I first look at the portfolio, whether there is something beautiful, functional, so to say ‘tasty’ in the work results. I always notice a person’s burning eyes. You can immediately understand when people are passionate and enthusiastic. They will definitely help the company reach the goal. Everything else can be taught,” says Alexey Chupin.

Alexey specified the difference between the Personas method and the statistical Job To Be Done method, which are also used at the research stage.

The expert shared a case when design helped solve a global problem. When using an MTS application, 28% users could not log in, as they entered the wrong username, password or authentication code. MTS replaced the “login”, “password” and code with authorization using a mobile phone (enter your number and receive an SMS code), reducing incorrect logins by 9 times — to just 3%.

The master class was attended not only by RUDN University students who are planning to do design, but also those whose profession at first glance is far from it, but they are looking for ways to collaborate with this sphere:

“As a future PR specialist, I am familiar with design, I even made landing pages. At the master class, I was especially impressed by the main feature of good design from Dieter Rams — as little design as possible. Alexey Chupin is an ideological inspirer. After such events, you are really full of ideas,” said Maria Stepanova, 1st- year student of Advertising and Public Relations, Faculty of Philology.

“Design accompanies us throughout our lives, every day we come across it. It’s great when visual communication is not only pleasing to the eye, but also helps solve business problems. I am a beginner in the field of design and I am sure that it can be associated with absolutely any direction,” noted Daniil Shishov, 2nd-year student of Ecology and Nature Management, Faculty of Ecology

“Today I came to see with my own eyes how a person works in practice. I think that the university can give an opportunity to students, for example, future architects, to grow professionally while still studying, like giving them premises where they could do design as their graduation projects. I was very impressed by the story of how a student of the Engineering Academy designed coworking space” said Zikrullo Yuldashev, 1st-year student of International Tourism, Institute of Hotel Business and Tourism

Alexey advises to follow:

  • Updates on the site, where you can find design internships and join a real product team.
  • MTS Teta Summer School, where MTS employees and authors of projects teach.
  • “Bēhance” Service, where designers and illustrators from all over the world publish their works and projects. MTS has already published a redesign case for MTS Library applications on the platform.
  • MTS design team account on Instagram.
  • Him on Facebook.

For reference

  • April 17-24, at the “Week of Success of Sistema JSFC and RUDN University”, 130 students of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia met the experts of Sistema JSFC and learned about the intricacies of the work of top managers in the field of HR, design, investment and stress management.
  • In 2020, Sistema JSFC and RUDN University announced launching comprehensive collaboration in the field of telecommunications, agronomy, medicine, pharmaceuticals and career tracks elaboration. Joint projects are launched with 5 assets of Sistema: PJSC MTS, JSC Medsi, LLC Aeromax, STEPPE Agroholding, and the pharmaceutical holding of the Corporation.
  • Sistema is a major private investor into the real sector of economy. The corporation’s diversified portfolio of assets mainly consists of Russian companies representing various industries, including telecommunications, retail, wood processing, agriculture high-tech, financial services, real estate, medicine and hospitality.
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