Tell us about how you got interested in an offbeat, unconventional and cool career such as UX ?
I have always been interested and curious about what makes good design. Questions like who is the user? what does he/ she like? why am I designing this product for them? why will they use my product? what will they be feeling and experiencing when they will use my product? These are important things I keep in mind and hope to answer with each of my designs.
Having my background in product design (LAsalle-SIA college of Arts) and design strategy (Domus Academy) it was really challenging to create design that engages the user and keeps him/her excited. My prior work experience in India was to get user research for consumer electronics. Find out why the existing product is failing and how our new design could help solve the problems. Then come back to the table after gathering data and map out user journeys. Thats what got me excited and more interested about User Experience because in the end if your user likes your product and continues using it without complains it is successful.
I was fascinated when I saw the variety of courses being offered at UCLA Extension. I am passionate about creating challenging design that enhances user interactions.
For someone who is new to UX, what should they know about getting started?
They should have an inquisitive mind. Keep questioning themselves why a product/ service/ design out in the market is successful or unsuccessful and how it could be further improved.
Start with ‘Why’. I found Simon Sinek’s TED talk on how leaders inspire actions, starting with a golden circle really good as it states why should always start with “why” we design what we design.
Not feel hesitant about getting feedback for their design. Either from friends/ colleagues or through simple user feedback/ testing. As its important to have several testings done before your product/ service gets launched.
Being updated about new technology and design trends. I get excited with new innovations and how I can possibly use it in my designs.
How have the UCLA Extension classes helped improve your work, and or expanded your professional development in the field?
The DCA program has taught me to be more professional, dedicated and passionate for the art and design industry. To work in a team, generating ideas, presenting in front of them and getting valuable feedback. Showing your enthusiasm by not just delivering what is needed but doing much more that gives it the extra edge.
I was fortunate to get an opportunity to work at the Getty Museum during my study here. Also events with AIGA constantly kept me in contact with other designers and events.
Passionate about design, storytelling and technology, I have a created variety of work in the field of interaction design, visual design and UX. My aim is to create compelling design to enhance user interactions. I thank the DCA faculty and the program for being so diverse.
What was your favorite UCLA Extension class and why?
I have taken lot classes at Extension from Visual to UX to Interaction design. The instructors have been inspiring and motivating me to push my limits. I found design with electronics most fun. Playing with Arduino circuit boards and designing user interactions is the most intriguing. To a UX designer you want to hear from your user/s that your design is purposeful and solves the problem what they previously had.
At the end of the day, I want to combine my prior and new skills towards designing a product/ service that keeps my user/s participative and excited with my design.
Explain the current project with Silicon Beach.
This project called ‘in type 2016’, was in collaboration with AIGA Los Angeles held at Looking design studio. There were 10 students from different schools across Los Angeles. Each of us had to design a typographic poster showcasing a selected neighborhood.
My chosen neighborhood was Silicon Beach. From my initial idea I wanted to achieve the tech feel from Silicon Beach, the motherboard one where the type ‘silicon’ is set. My concept was to show the poster infused with tech and innovation. Materials used were rivets which led to the formation of the the grid structure of 1 inch squares. I used red strings for the type to stand out from the base.
I used materials like rivets, red string, and card paper on a white background.
We had formal photo-shoot of our work done in the photo lab. It was an amazing workshop weekend. Productive for the limited 2 days to finish off the poster.
And we are going to exhibit our work at the A+D museum on Nov 5, 2016.
Tell us about your work in User Research
In 2013, while working in Future Factory in Mumbai my role as a design strategist also included user research and testing. Kitchen Next was such a research project where we immersed ourselves in over 100 kitchens across five cities in India, to map how rapid growth and awareness and exposure are influencing product choices.
In the course of this behavioural study, major shifts in cooking habits and preferences were noted. This deep study projected 6 kitchen trends in Indian households through user research, surveys and interviews.
The study examined various activities at home, from shopping for groceries and chores like washing and cleaning, to cooking meals and entertaining guests. Using specialized observatory design research tools, the Future Factor team lived the lives of 300 Indians to show how food habits have changed, products in the kitchen see different usage, and choices have been impacted. Behaviours related to categories such as appliances, food & beverages, soaps & detergents, utensils and kitchen fittings were investigated and recorded.
What would be your dream job?
My dream job would be designing solutions that have long term impact. Be it digital agencies and design studios where I can keep learning and growing as a designer and focus my skills to enhance better user interactions. I am fascinated by the projects design studios and the focus on building purpose and creating impact is through collaboration, creativity and innovation. If I had to name one company it would be IBM interactive experience and the the job would a visual interaction designer