VoltSafe Blog Team – June 6, 2023

Get To Know: Tash 2.0 - VoltSafe’s UX Design Lead, Happy Husband and Imaginative Creator

A lot has happened since we spoke to Tashfiq Alam last year. VoltSafe’s UX Design Lead is now a married man with an app that is making a splash with the marine industry. Marinas are reaching out to VoltSafe after seeing the app in action at trade shows. In fact, corporations not connected to the marine industry have been so impressed by the VoltSafe Marine User Interface that they have approached both Tash and VoltSafe asking if they could purchase the platform on its own. Not bad for someone with four publicly unveiled apps under his belt. 

Tash’s debut app VoltSafe Winter is one he is proud of. However, as he has matured as a designer both technically and psychologically, he looks back on the VoltSafe Winter app with a critical eye. It has helped him improve on his design skills while working on other projects which have been pivotal in showing off VoltSafe’s technology at CES and in investor meetings. His current project, the VoltSafe Marine User Interface, will reach pilot testers soon.

VoltSafe Marine is taking a high-level approach to design, prioritizing a strong internal foundation before adding aesthetic elements. By focusing on the internal structure of the product, the design team can ensure that the product is not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly functional and efficient. This approach allows for a more thoughtful and deliberate design process that takes into consideration all aspects of the product’s use and functionality. By prioritizing the internal foundation, VoltSafe Marine is able to create a product that is not only visually appealing but also highly reliable and effective. VoltSafe Marine is being designed taking a high level overview. This means removing any complexities of a  design that may constrain the creative process and designing the app from the inside out. Focusing on how the app makes the users feel, helped him understand what the customer would experience when interacting with the app. 

The positive reactions of attendees at marine trade shows to the VoltSafe Marine User Interface asking how they can get the product onto their marinas have our business development team scrambling to figure out the logistics of executing the project. Tash’s first taste of praise for his work dates back to the time when he interviewed one of VoltSafe Winter’s first customers named Bronwyn who happened to be a survivor of a hemorrhagic stroke. She expressed to Tash how grateful she was for the product and the app. She also expressed how it had changed her life. It put into perspective what was at stake and how imperative it was to continue designing products to help others. Fast-forward to January of this year at the Consumer Electronics Show, when a former designer at Apple who came up with patents for MagSafe dropped by VoltSafe’s booth to marvel at how VoltSafe created a product he once hoped to bring to life. He did it in a way that incorporated excellent aesthetic and functional design.

This was definitely a result of his designer growth. He admits that his very first designs files appeared chaotic and showcased his initial approach to design at the time. His current work on the other hand while being more complex can be explained easily in three minutes. He learned that starting with  granular components and building up  helped. He explains that in UI design there’s a concept called “atomic” design. This is where you start from an atomic level, let’s say starting with buttons and then build a “molecule” like a text field , then create an “organism” like a form , then from there build templates such as an identifier and field for entering a complaint or feedback. These steps have helped with communication flow and conveying the design to developers. He reiterated something from his first interview with us which was his growth from an artist to a designer. He feels that in order to design well, you need to empathize with your customers and in a world that is talking about A.I. taking over jobs in the artistic and creative field, he has no fear of losing his job as there is one thing that A.I. can’t do which is recreate empathy or the human touch or inspiration needed to create a piece of art that can evoke emotions. Tash believes that A.I. has a place but more as a creative assistant tool and to remove creative blocks. 

While VoltSafe Winter was designed for general public customers, VoltSafe Marine is aimed at marinas. The designs for each app draws on Tash’s different skill sets. For example, with industrial designs, such as VoltSafe Marine, the focus eventually narrows down to things like cutting down costs and increasing revenue for the company. In contrast, those designed for the general public focus on ease of use and helping them with their daily lives. He is looking to do more work in the latter due to the fact that his first interaction with Bronwyn left an impression on him. He knows that he helped change her life. He has been “chasing that dragon” so to speak in terms of finding ways to make our products easy to use especially for those with accessibility concerns.

Tash’s wife, Shaolin, has also contributed to his design work by providing feedback on how some of VoltSafe’s apps could be more accessible for mobility issues. In fact, he credits her with some details of designs that made it to the app. Her ability to empathize with those who live with accessibility challenges, and her communication style and patience, has made for a great “in house tester” scenario for him. You can tell from the way he talks about her that she has brought not just love to his life, but also an invaluable partnership with life lessons and a perspective that he is extremely grateful for. He shares that their collaboration goes back to their Nikkah ceremony. While he brought his ideas to the table, he beams about how her ability to organize things in a graceful way made their plans work together so perfectly.

So what about his family away from home at VoltSafe? He is blown away by how much his team in fact, the entire company has grown in a few short years. Think about how they came up from a small office in Gastown, Vancouver, working off a kitchen table and sleeping on a mattress in the shower. They spoke to big names in the tech industry and established partnerships that will skyrocket our trajectory to becoming a big name in tech ourselves.

If you would like to see Tash’s work, follow us on social media and check out our VoltSafe Marine website. If you are a marina operator and are interested in testing VoltSafe Marine this summer, email us at marine@voltsafe.com or CONTACT US.

About VoltSafe Inc.

VoltSafe Inc. is changing the way people connect to power. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, the Canadian tech startup has reinvented the electrical plug by eliminating prongs, adding magnets and an “electrical fingerprint”. Using patented technology, VoltSafe has created the world’s safest, simplest, and smartest plug design since electricity came into homes more than 140 years ago. The company’s product pipeline includes magnetic plug replacement solutions for household, commercial, industrial, marine, electric and autonomous vehicles, emergency services, data centres and more.