And they also aren’t human. We’re talking about the online design platform of DesignDodo, that designs, prints and ships graphical content. Imagine a website that offers the ease of drag and drop features plus a huge stock of images, templates and fonts. That is DesignDodo.co.
Last year when Rahul Sinha, a UX designer, was running his own creative studio, he would often attend startup meetups in Delhi. He realised that almost all of his fellow entrepreneurs felt the need to have a strong social media presence but struggled to create good designs to share, email or print.
“For someone who doesn’t have an in-house designer, there are really very few options out there. And none of them have Indian content that we can use”, a friend had said to told him. Rahul always felt uneasy when his founder friends would ask him for ‘discounts’ or ‘cheap but good’ designs. Knowing how difficult entrepreneurship could be, he wondered if there was an easier way to help these people. And this is how he came up with the idea for DesignDodo.
Along with his co-founder Keerti Chowdhry, a recent post grad from IIT Bombay, Rahul built India’s first SaaS based design platform where you can create everything from social media posts to header images to visiting cards and many other items. Empathising with Indian enterprises’ need to update their social media pages and engage their audience on every special occasion, festival, birth anniversary, in this country where every day is a reason to celebrate, the founders made sure that DesignDodo is a fully fledged, ‘desi’ at heart.
DesignDodo raised a round of angel funding from investors at Jaarvis and is now a part of the Jaarvis Accelerator program. Targeting designers as well as non-designers, the platform not only has backgrounds, graphics and fonts, but also ready-made design templates that can be customised. “The idea was to make something simpler than Photoshop but more refined than MSPaint, that gives just enough freedom to a person to be able to translate their thoughts without flooding them with complex options”, says Rahul.
On Similarities With Canva
“Yes, the idea on the surface level does come across as quite Canva-esque but the personas we are making this product for and the cultural scenario we are making it in have hugely influenced the way DesignDodo has shaped up. Our key differentiator is our vision,” says Keerti.
“We surveyed our test users and found the need to incorporate printing facilities into the platform as many people’s problems were not solved by designing alone. They further struggled to connect to good printers and send the designs with correct file extension and correct color mode. With DesignDodo, printing is merely a button away. Furthermore, most users also needed to share Indian content on every special day of the Indian calendar which made us go back to our drawing board and to create ‘desi’ content”.
“Our aim is to make ourselves an end to end design solution in the most seamless way possible. The pain points of our target audience mould our path and this journey is exclusively and uniquely our own”, says Rahul on how DesignDodo and Canva are dissimilar.
What the Future Holds
Looking to introduce automation to the process of design, DesignDodo aims to invent intelligent designing systems.
DesignDodo will soon add a ‘Contributors’ portal to the site, where professional designers will be able upload images and graphics created by themselves, and contribute to the DesignDodo inventory. Not only will this exponentially expand the stocks of graphics offered by the platform, it would also give graphic designers an opportunity to earn an extra buck without having to deal directly with many clients themselves. Future plans also include becoming a one-stop design solution by aggregating freelance graphic designers and curating portfolios, so that users can make their own designs as well as hire designers if their requirements are more complex.
“We’re going make DesignDodo a living, breathing, self-sustaining market-place for design. We’re going to change how this country creates and consumes design”, says Chowdhry.