April 26, 2015

Success Story : Anjana Mahalakshmi (Interaction Design at IDC)

Hello everyone,
I am so happy to write about my experience of getting selected for Interaction Design at IDC. One day writing my story in this blog was as much a dream, as was getting selected to IDC. I have been working as a graphic designer now for almost 3 years after graduating as an engineer in 2012. I had to choose between engineering and architecture back then after class 12. I took up engineering, but continued designing all through college by being part of the arts and design team of my college (Sastra university). This blog and Prasanna have been of tremendous help in my entire process.

CEED Exam
I appeared twice for the exam, once for CEED 2014 and then 2015. I cleared CEED both times but this time had a better rank and score. I was working and prepared for the exam side by side. Just started observing logos, icons, cars on road. Started sketching whenever I got time. Working as a designer helped me to be in touch with this field. But for people who need so time off, consider taking a few months to prepare. Or just prepare everyday for a few hours without straining yourself. 
Please note its about enjoying, not proving yourself to anyone. 

Tips for Cracking CEED, Part A
  • Solve previous 10 years papers for an idea first.
  • There is no syllabus or prescribed book.
  • There is also no set method to prepare for CEED.
  • One needs to be aware and look at everyday activity and things with a design perspective and increase observational skills.
  • Please enjoy the process of preparation for the exam. Make it a fun activity, sketch daily, try making neat and fast sketches.
  • Do not join any coaching classes.
  • Identify your convenient style of sketching(be it cartooning, detailed sketching, painting…) and practice it whenever possible
  • Start drawing just about anything you see or can imagine (auto, horse, eagle, man, duck, bucket, flask, cup, spoon, …)
  • Slowly improve your perspective drawing.
  • Draw exploded view of day to day objects like scissors, mender, Swiss knife etc.

Few Topics to cover while preparing
  • Screen resolution concepts
  • Image formats
  • Video formats
  • Indian animation films and film makers
  • Indian Artists (also all time famous international artists)
  • Aspect ratio
  • Famous comic Strips(newspaper, magazines)
  • Car designs(start observing cars on road)
  • FONTS
  • Pictogram (sports, logo, recent event)
  • Reflection concepts (concave, convex)
  • Lens, Mirror
  • Basic photography(shutter speed, motion capture etc)
  • Surface area problems(shapes, formula)
  • Identifying animals, birds from distinctive features
  • Indian geography to an extent
  • Indian festivals, dance forms, dressing styles, music
  • Musical instruments (indian mainly)
  • Evolution of things(camera, telescope, periscope, car, cycle)
  • Different types of vehicles
  • LOGO(banks, recent speculation, cars, famous products)
  • Animal skin textures, Tail, foot prints, horns
  • Material science(basic manufacturing process)
  • Recent film and direction
  • Famous designers
  • Famous monuments
  • Basic aptitude problems 
  • Recent news

*This section has negative marking. Hence attempt only questions you are perfectly sure of. It is completely ok if you answered only a few, you just need to clear the cut off. 

Links that were helpful
http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/top-10-fonts-designers-love/
http://www.infibeam.com/Books/indian-authors-writers-a.html
http://maverickmonk.hubpages.com/hub/Top-100-Brands-of-India
http://logopond.com/ (for inspiration)
http://www.flipkart.com/seeds-ceed-english/p/itmd93b5zkzdvrzk (the book is really helpful for material science and basic concepts) 

Part B
This section requires one to draw real quick. Every year the pattern changes. The paper is for 100 marks generally. It has questions for product design, animation, interaction design… Thinking out of the box, with a little sense of humour and swiftly sketching it down is the key. Any medium is accepted. I used only pencil. From my 2014 test experience, I had decided in advance to attempt the 50 marks question first to manage time. So we get 2 hours for this section, and I answered the 50 marker in the first hour and the remaining questions (adding to 50 marks) in the next hour. It was easier this way. 
*Set timers while solving the previous year ceed papers, and work on the areas you feel you are slow.
*Answer questions you feel you are comfortable with first and finish in that order. Do not waste time thinking or looking at the big set of colors the other candidate is using.
*explanations to a few questions can also be written in pencil.

The Application Form
After getting your rank and score start applying to IITs for the courses you want. It is highly recommended to decide what your preference is before attempting CEED. The form itself is like a test. Take it seriously, for people have missed being called for the interview due to negligence. Once again enjoy the process, do not keep it for last minute and do the assignments with full commitment and sed it to IDC. 
I being a graphic designer in an IT firm, applied for Visual Communication and Interaction Design at IDC. Fortunately when the list for interview and DAT was displayed, I had my names in both. I already had a portfolio. I took 5 days to update it. But it is essential to start making your portfolio immediately after writing CEED. 

DAT(Design Aptitude Test)
Like mentioned by other candidates, DAT is similar to part B of CEED. The test duration is 1.5 hours for 100 marks. Here also the medium of design does not matter. What matters is the approach to the problem with the time given. After reading the question, think for sometime, come up with a solution that could be different from other solutions and clearly present the same. 

The Interview

VISUAL COMMUNICATION:
I had both my visual communication and Ixd interview on the first day’s afternoon slot. My turn was also pretty close for both these. Finally when my turn came for Visual communication, I was called for the Ixd panel also. I requested them to wait and rushed in for visual communication interview. There were 2 panels. My panel had really friendly people. One person mainly interviewed me, while the other 2 members scrutinised my application form, and DAT solution paper. I had taken a 10 page book that I had designed, illustrated and printed along with my digital portfolio. The portfolio had working gif animations. videos and stuff that I had done. They were pretty impressed with all my works and asked for more when I showed the websites I had designed(I had connected to their wifi before the interview). I also maintain a blog and write poems occasionally. They were interested in all that since I had included snippets in my portfolio. They finally asked me what other interviews I was appearing for. When I said Ixd, one of them told me I would fit Ixd perfectly. He asked me for choice and I said Ixd. They wished me luck and I left with a smile. 

INTERACTION DESIGN:
After visual communication interview I rushed to meet the Ixd’s waiting panel. They smiled and said hello Anjana with such enthusiasm that all my tension vanished. It was a smooth interview, rather discussion of my portfolio. The first page of my portfolio was a logo branding I created for myself and if one is capable of capturing the attention of the panel in the first 5 mins then they are interested to see more if your work. They were more interested in the websites, its coding, responsive views of it and the wire framing. Since I was working in this field they asked me questions based on website designing mainly. Then they asked about the font I had used in my portfolio(Papyrus). They asked how my visual communication interview went and asked me for my choice. I said Ixd, They said good and asked me to leave. I thanked them and was about to leave when the usher came and asked me to wait, since the other panel also wanted to see me. I walked in with confidence and a smile by now. This panel had 2 senior members who were very chilled out. They saw the portfolio and discussed about specific pages from y website and after a while started speaking about coffee, dosas and hotels in Chennai(me being form Chennai). They said good job and I left. 


I had an amazing interview luckily and had such a wonderful experience through out my CEED exam process because I had decided to enjoy it :)

All the best everyone. 

April 20, 2015

Success Story : Divyanshu Thakur (MVD at IDC IITB)


Hello everyone,

I am Divyanshu Thakur. I studied automobile engineering and always wanted to design cars and bikes since I was a kindergarten student. I also do cartooning and you can see my work at facebook and twitter. I had sincerely practiced for the CEED exam and got a good rank at the first attempt itself. Then I was called for interview at IDC and I got selected for Mobility and Vehicle Design, the only stream which I opted for.


Some quick tips:
  • Do not spend money on coaching classes. It is not necessary at all.
  • Keep practicing sketches every day, focus more on basic sketching.
  • Many people will post ‘mind blowing’ sketches on the CEED group. Don’t be deterred by them.
  • Make sure the sketch you made today looks better than the one you made yesterday.
  • Read newspapers and blogs regularly.
  • Do not use colours in the exam at all unless instructed. It will waste your time.
  • For the interview, be honest with the panel and accept if you don’t know something.
  • Portfolio is the most important component of your interview.

How did I prepare?

For Part A this blog itself was enough. In addition to this I also looked up for several articles related to the posts in this blog. I was also a part of a facebook group called ‘CEED 2015’ which was indeed very helpful. Make sure you find the appropriate group and stay updated with everyone.

For Part B sketch very basic things like lines, circles, squares, diagonal lines, etc. Do not sketch cars and complicated objects all the time. Although I recommend for every 3 hours of basic sketching you can spend another hour to sketch what you want to. It is important that you diligently practise every day if you are serious about getting a good rank and not just ‘getting through’.


During the exam:

Part A had negative marking scheme hence I had to be careful. I chose not to attempt any question at all which I even had the slightest doubt about. This is also where you can get clever and use the tools around you to solve some questions.

For eg; there was a question which had a silhouette image and in the options were four rotated views of it and I had to select the correct one. Instead of twisting my head I quickly traced the image on a paper and matched it with the options given. Saved a lot of time.

Part B surprisingly had 5 questions this time instead of the usual four. Time management became a serious priority here. I chose to attempt the questions with the highest weightage first and the decision paid off.


After the exam:

I did not wait for one minute. Right from December till the second week of March I continuously worked on my portfolio. I decided that I will present my design in a maximum of 15 pages. Out of all the sketches and designs I made, roughly 25% of it went into the portfolio. But I kept all the discarded designs in a separate folder. During this timeframe I also learned photoshop and rendering 3d models. They helped a lot. I had worked day and night sometimes just to get the smallest details to perfection, I am not exaggerating.


The DAT:

I was asked to sketch a tractor in front three quarter view. The second question had an image of a 3d shape which resembled an extruded parallelogram with the dimensions marked out. I was asked to make the shape out of card paper. I had not carried any sort of scale or cutting tools with me, but the IDC staff were very co-operative in providing the tools. The emphasis was on craftsmanship and finishing of the product. I had a lot of experience working in my college lab cutting metal tubes and grinding them to perfection, so this task was not that difficult for me. Here also, timing is important. Make sure you run with the clock if not ahead of it.


The Interview:

My panel consisted of three highly experienced professors. First I was asked about where I was from and where did I study, why I am studying engineering, why didn’t I apply for NID et. al. Then I was also asked if I knew AutoCAD, I did not know anything more than 2D drafting so I just said I know the basics but not proficient with 3D modelling. Which is when they said how can you do engineering when you don’t know AutoCAD. That made me silent and they commented that I must learn it. I nodded in affirmation. One of the senior most panelist asked me what is first hand projection and what is third hand projection, which I had no idea about. Then they pointed out a mistake which I made in my application form. I wrote 1.2 billion = 1200 crores as the population of India (It is 120 crores if you’re wondering.) I was asked to write the figure with all the zeroes in it and they told me to count it in crores which is when I realized my mistake and I laughed at myself, the room burst into laughter looking at my mistake. Then they wanted to know which is my favorite Indian car and why do I like it. Then I was asked about how a gudgeon pin is fitted inside a piston and was asked to sketch it. The other question was what material is used to make the pistons. Then I was asked to explain how the tubes in a race car chassis is cut to shape. I explained them how it is formed using weldments. Next they went a little too technical by asking about welding processes, thankfully I knew all that from first-hand experience. They also asked what is the relation between the current provided for welding to the amount of heat generated. I had completely forgot about the equation “Q=I2R” which they told me in the end. Next I was asked what Kirchhoff’s law is. And again I said I do not know. They questioned me whether I had been taught electrical theory in college? I said yes and also added that I forgot all that since it was taught in the second year. They mentioned that I have quite a few bikes designs in my portfolio and questioned whether I like bikes or cars more. I had presented the design of an electric bike and they asked me which kind of bike you think is suitable for Indian roads. I said naked bikes work well than faired bikes. Then they tossed a question that you simply just remove the fairings and make it a naked bike, can’t you? I had to explain that there are ergonomic differences between the two and that the latter is only suited for the race track. They wanted to know what my dream project was. I answered that. They asked why you did engineering if you wanted to become a designer since your childhood. I asserted that I wanted to understand how a vehicle works from within, only then I believe I would be able to design something that is practical. That’s why I went for engineering first. They were also intrigued about some of my designs and how I rendered it, I explained the process and that’s when I presented them with my sketchbook which they went through.

It was a really good interview experience. I could not answer most of their questions but I stood confident and assertive.


I have attached some of the designs from my portfolio.

You can contact me at facebook. I would love to help you :)







 







March 25, 2015

IIT-B IDC DAT 2015 papers


This year IDC gave out printouts of their DAT papers and studio tests!
We are grateful to the people who shared those with us for publication on this blog :)
IDC Interaction Design DAT paper (Thanks to Anjana Mahalaxmi)



IDC Visual Communication DAT paper (Thanks to Bigyani)

IDC Animation DAT paper (Thanks to Bigyani)

IDC Mobility and Vehicle Design DAT paper (Thanks to Suyog Dhanawade) 
IDC Product Design DAT paper (Thanks to Suyog Dhanawade)


We regret the poor quality of the images. They are the best copies available to us. Please do send us better photos if you happen to have them

We are still looking for Interaction Design DAT paper, if anyone has the same we request you to mail us the same. We have obtained the paper thanks to Anjana Mahalaxmi. Apparently people who helped by submitting the papers made it to IDC :P

Related posts

Tips for DAT and interview

March 22, 2015

CEED paper says so much about their expectations!

Here is a guest post by Rohan Dinde.
Following are his thoughts in his own words



I have selected carefully and have copied the following text from CEED 2015 Question Paper.

It tells us what exactly they are looking for…

·        Identify problems.
·        Different illustration styles
·        Thumbnail sketches
·        A layout of the information
·        Final illustration/s and its sequence
·        Use text minimally or preferably not at all
·        Appropriate views and representation styles to illustrate objects as well as actions
·        Quality of visual renderings
·        Effectiveness of presentation in minimal space
·        Clarity in the structure and sequencing of information



Roshan Kove's experience of IDC Mobility and Industrial Design interview

Here is Roshan's experience of Mobility and Vehicle Design interview at IDC


Mobility - i feel they ignored me as i am from CSE background.. They only ask few basic questions why you want to join dis course?.. U r doing job or not..?? bla bla!! Then they said to show portfolio ..i added some concept n rendering work hoping they may ask something about portfolio but they just look over..and said how was your NID exam?.. You like earthen pot question which we added? They are cool with me. And they told me to explain and draw CEED part B earthen pot question..so i drew and explained the concept. Thats all..time near about 10-12 min 

Industrial design - i was late when i went to idc peon calling my name..and said they are waiting for you just go..i had portfolio bag and documents, was tensed i didn't get time to think anything n went to interview.. There were 5 people seated in a row.. They r very friendly.. They asked me about studio test solution they had my answer sheet n said why you choose dis type of design n which factors you considered? Dis is appealing design? I explained them all factors..i made nice presentation but messed up with paper model..i couldn't make it good  
Then they asked about my passion,said y u choose product design why not interaction ? Then two people from corner asked questions on portfolio which material you used n how you generate this concept? I answer them what i prepared..then they asked me question on task which i send with the application so they asked some question on them..i added some rendering work which i made in Photoshop n CATIA..they said its nice you are from CS and learned this software..interview was cool n friendly..they said ok good..u can go..they asked so many questions within 5-6 min..  enjoyed the interview 

IDC and iit campus is awesome..i meet with many creative people from CEED 2015 group..and its awesome memories..enjoy a lot  thnx


March 10, 2015

Tips for DAT and interview

Hello,

The following tips were published on CEED help group on Facebook. I am publishing them here for benefit of the aspirants :)



some quick tips for the benefit of aspirants :

-The written aptitude test would be pertaining to the stream you have applied for, unlike the CEED exam which had more diverse topics.... while preparing be stream specific


-the written test is important as most often they act as a baseline on which your interview questions are asked


-while making portfolio- believe in quality and not quantity!!! add 4-5 stream specific works ( which are your best works) and few miscellaneous works (like sketches, photographs, etc).


-try carrying a hard/soft copy of your portfolio, as your interview panel will have 2-3 profs.. (that way u can keep them engaged with your portfolio, while the other questions you)

-Lastly,there are on an average close to ~100 ppl being called! what ever you do, do it creatively and stand out among others

ping me/ add comments if you guys hav any further doubts!!!

Best wishes
Believe!!! it happens  


January 02, 2015

How to practice for CEED and NID entrance exams


CEED and NID entrance exams seem difficult to crack and most people feel the time crunch right when they face these important papers.

There are two ways to score well in these exams:
1. Think really innovative ideas that no one might be able to think.
To master this method you need to practice using attributemethod or any other equivalent method that you like. This way, even if your sketching is not up to the mark, you can score well by virtue of your creativity
2. Practice sketching really fast
If you can generate great ideas but can’t express them in the short time, your ideas will never be seen by the examiner; therefore practice of rapid sketching is very important.
The fail-proof approach is the one that combines these two!

A common factor to both these approaches is regular practice. You might be a born artist or have already an excellent mind for generating creative ideas in a short time, but still you need to keep these skills well oiled!

Regular practice tips

Most people start learning sketching or idea generation skills too late. Don’t be one of them. Regular practice is not hard to do. Here are some methods which I have tried and worked with many aspirants:
1. Keep a simple check-list : I know it’s simple, but you hold yourself accountable each day using this method. Just ask yourself “Have I practiced today?” If yes, then put a tick-mark on today’s day
2. 10-minutes a day : Just go ahead and sketch or ideate for only 10 minutes. Not too much, not too less, but you can get it done with bare minimum! But, in those 10 minutes, do nothing but sketching at your full speed!
3. Sketch something you love : Don’t like sketching vacuum cleaners? Just sketch flowers! Then a flower can evolve into a vacuum cleaner. Make the chore fun!
4. Set a reminder at a set time : Just set the 10 minutes reminder to sketch right after your dinner, in that free time.
5. Don’t do large sketches at a go : Since you will be working in pieces, you can work only on one part at a time, but do this rapidly.
6. Form your group of sketchers : Forming a group makes sketching fun and you will compete with one another to sketch faster, making it a win-win situation
7. set a routine : With the reminder and calendar in place, as written above, you will be able to find that sweet spot in your schedule, where you can only sketch

Schedule:

CEED is held in first week of December, so accordingly, your practice should begin somewhere in June to speed up sketching and idea generation process. 
 June - Just learn to sketch the three basic strokes with a simple HB pencil - Straight lines, circles and freehand curves along with basic shading. Books like 'Drawing Made Easy' by Subodh Narvekar will be particularly useful
July - Learn to draw simple objects like cup, glasses, tables, flower pot, etc. from your imagination as seen from different angles
August - Learn to 'modify'; these basic products to something you have imagined. As an example, you have drawn a vacuum cleaner, now imagine and sketch a vacuum cleaner of a flower shape.
September - Try to create even more radical ideas and sketch in detail them using products you sketched in last month. For example, you have already sketched a flower shaped vacuum cleaner, now try to think how a will work? Will it have a motor inside or should it be driven by something radical like steam generated vacuum? 
October - Till now you have focused only on improving your skills, but not actual design. October onwards, start finding real life problems, such as how will you design a crate that will carry more eggs safely on a bicycle or how will you create an info-graphics that will show literacy rates in different states. 
November - CEED is just a month away. This month solve the old CEED papers with realistic timing. It will give you feel of actual exam. If you feel you lack some skills like the ellipses you sketch need a bit of more practice, this is right time to do it. Solve the papers again of you have done it once. Try to think different ideas than you have done the previous time

With these tips, we are pretty sure you will be able to score well in CEED. The same skill set can be used for NID entrance as well

All the best to all aspirants. :)

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