Miranj was founded in early 2011 as a boutique web design and development studio. We were among the earliest ones in India to design in the browser and build responsive websites. Being trained software engineers with an eye for design, we created simple, minimal designs directly in HTML/CSS/JS. Back in the day, minimal responsive designs weren’t quite the norm, and we got recognised for doing such work. Many organisations engaged us for a wide range of work — from single-purpose conference websites (for HasGeek) to UX for web products such as Mobikwik and YourCabs.
We’ve remained laser-focused on the web throughout our journey — no mobile/native apps, no product design, no trying to imitate a “full-service agency”. Sometime around 2015, we drafted our purpose to put it explicitly in writing. Ever since, we’ve consciously chosen to primarily tackle websites where our work lies at the intersection of content, design and code. The longevity of work became important to us, and we’ve since been envisioning a 5+ year lifespan for each project. We also actively seek work on meaningful subjects and often work with non-profits and academic organisations as a result.
While we’re at it, let’s draw your attention towards some noteworthy projects that we’ve rolled out in the recent past —
- Azim Premji University is an educational institution based in Bangalore, India. The university was set up in 2010 to address the need for well-qualified professionals in the social sector. It has since become widely known for its focus on education for social change. The last website was withdrawn and a completely new one was created from scratch.
- Obvious is a Bangalore-based digital product and strategy consulting firm, often working with startup “unicorns” in India. We built them a powerful page-builder system that allows them to compose long narrative case studies (with animations and interactive screens) right from within the CMS.
- Guiding Tech is a publisher of explainers, buying guides, analysis and cool technology. Being a high traffic website with a few million visitors each month, the project presented us with many technical and strategic challenges. The website was re-architected using a new CMS and involved the migration of thousands of articles, creation of a brand new web design and tweaking the server setup to perform under heavy loads.
- IndiaBioscience is a non-profit program responsible for evangelising the growing academic opportunities in biology and life sciences in the country. This project was one of our largest information organisation challenges.
- Vahura is India’s leading legal search and consulting firm. We helped with the website strategy, provided close guidance to the design process and further went on to execute the website.
Today we offer turnkey services for creating robust websites which includes Website Strategy, Design, Development, Support and Hosting. A typical project takes about 3 months to execute and involves a week-long project discovery and strategy workshop. In this workshop, we discover and reach an understanding of all the requirements, goals, and priorities. We also brainstorm the information architecture, content strategy, and create a work plan. During the execution phase, we work in rapid weekly cycles i.e. release a working build every single week. Our clients test the builds on different browsers and devices and provide us feedback. Their feedback helps us align in the subsequent weeks. We’re typically bang on with our time commitments. Once a website launches we continue to provide technical support and hosting services to our clients.
Ideologically speaking, we always hold ourselves accountable to the spirit of the web and ensure that our work is future-friendly. We keep ourselves up to date on the most novel practices in the world of the web, through publications like A List Apart and CSS Tricks, and following thought leaders like Jeffry Zeldman, Ethan Marcotte, Brad Frost, Jeremy Keith, Frank Chimero, Addy Osmani, Alex Russel, Scott Jehl, Dave Rupert, Chris Coiyer, Adam Wathan, Andy Budd, and more. We’ve been on top of practices such as mobile-first, responsive, progressive enhancement, and modular design systems before they become industry buzzwords. We tirelessly work to make our websites inclusive, accessible, ceaseless, clear and performant. With each passing year, we want to keep getting better at our craft as we look up to organisations like iA, Paravel, Clearleft, Upstatement, Filament Group, Pentagram, Fictive Kin, etc.
We’re also active in the web and UI/UX communities. We participate in conferences around the world — few notable ones are Meta Refresh and JSFoo in Bangalore, CSSConf.Asia in Singapore, Peers Conference in Seattle, and Dot All. We’ve been speakers at conferences such as Dot all 2018 (Berlin), Dot All 2019 (Montréal), JSFoo, Meta Refresh (multiple editions), ReactFoo, and Hillhacks to name a few. We have also served on the editorial panels of some of those events. Such participation has helped us meet new people, evaluate our standing against the international web community and continuously pushed us to improve. We continue investing in and organising community initiatives such as World IA Day – (New Delhi) and the Content Web series. Most recently we’ve started hosting Two Studio Heads Walk into a Bar.
Behind the curtains, Miranj’s culture is quite unlike traditional 9 – 5 office jobs. Throughout our existence, we’ve embraced the remotely by default working philosophy — which means even when we worked out of a cool office, we trained ourselves to minimise in-person interactions and make use of tools like Slack and Asana. This behaviour made remote-working second nature for us so that our work is not hindered when we’re not co-located, or when collaborating with folks in a different city, or on the odd day when we worked from home. In turn, this meant that we were better prepared to handle the Work-From-Home switch over during the pandemic. In fact, we’ve now transitioned ourselves to a fully remote organisation and have even added a core team member from a different timezone (Cambodia).
Culture-wise, we’ve never had dress codes, time-keeping or unnecessary rules. As a remote team, we convene for a catchup every morning. Beyond that, each of us set our own rules, make our own commitments and coordinate work over Slack/Asana. We do weekly Townhalls where we try to push our skills and team learning, and one monthly Chill-Session to unwind on a Friday evening. Being conscious about maintaining a healthy balance between work and life, we expect weekends to be off and are generous about leaves. Decisions are arrived at through careful deliberation (and not democratically), and differences are resolved amicably through extended reasoning. Being small, lean and flexible is our strength. About the only thing we are rigid about is our value system, which includes things like: reason and debate over authority; respect and empathy for people — users, clients, peers, colleagues; autonomy over control; slow and considered over fast and hasty, and a few more that are yet to achieve clear articulation.
Miranj is currently a team of five. We’ve consciously remained small throughout our journey. We often collaborate with other individuals and freelancers who bring in complementary (sometimes supplementary) skills to the project, such as branding, graphic design, illustrations, etc. When not at work, our team members spend time exploring live music, food and culture events, hiking and camping, or just watching TV shows. You might want to take a look at our half-yearly newsletters or our Twitter profile to know know what we’re up to.