WHAT DO YOU DO?
I talk to people to understand how they behave and what they need, and talk to businesses about what they need and what they can provide - and then facilitate a solution that benefits both. I make complicated information easier to understand, and technical tasks easier to complete.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I started with fine art and illustration - I was drawing every chance I got since before I can remember. I studied Advertising in college and started to learn how to think strategically about my design decisions, and then learned about the world of Product Design by interning at a digital product studio called Chaotic Moon. From there, I’ve worked with large and small clients at agencies as well as in house and freelancing - starting with visual design and then expanding to end-to-end product design. I’ve done user research in shipping warehouses in Mumbai, designed interaction for enterprise logistics tools, and illustrated assets for a mobile game. It was important for me to focus on learning as much as possible early in my career, so I can be a better collaborator when I’m working in more of a specialized role.
How do you stand out in your field?
The first thing people tend to notice when they see my work is my illustration - particularly as a UX/UI designer. The thing that makes me stand out that I’m most proud of, however, is my broad range of skills - I love to learn and I love challenges. I will also be completely honest when I am not an expert on something - and my plan for how I’m going to figure it out.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
As I fill out this profile, I am freelancing - I have recently worked with a (web based) e-commerce platform and a (mobile) dating app startup. I have also started focusing more on my personal side hustle, creating prints, enamel pins, and other small, cute things.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
For Product Design I think this question is a little different - my perspective is that I am the best designer when I am working on a product where I am not the audience. It makes me think more clearly and be less biased when I speak to and learn from users. To make a truly user centered product, I should be focused on visual craft from a technical perspective - but my job is not to design aesthetics, its to design tools. For each client, I need to dive in and understand the business and the users as deeply as possible.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I’ve been mostly focused on UX/UI design in my career, but I would love to do more illustration work. I’ve never actually had the chance to take an art class - so I’m going back to basics right now and taking a foundational drawing course so I can learn fundamentals like form, perspective and color theory.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Organizing my time properly to where I can maintain working in depth on client work, but also can pursue more personal art projects.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I would love to have someone who could help me with the things that feel tedious and difficult for my personality type - a lot of that is pitching my skills for new work, and also taking care of logistics like tracking finances more carefully.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I would have started writing and speaking publicly sooner. I think these are very valuable skills as a designer who often needs to facilitate difficult conversations between conflicting stakeholders.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I would love to talk in depth and learn from behavioral psychologists - there is so much potential with technology that being missed. Where the internet could open up communication between cultures and give information access to people they could never have otherwise - we are instead getting sucked deeper into bubbles too much of the time. I want to make sure that the product decisions I make are not contributing to that kind of thing.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I am most interested in projects where the product is functioning outside of the bubble of the digital space. I love transcending into the real world, whether that’s through hardware (like working with Bird scooters) or through software made for “real world” tasks - like a project I did for Fedex shipping software, visiting shipping warehouses and talking to workers there.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
Two dream projects of mine are
1) Working on an educational app for children that involves a lot of illustration. I am fascinated by how our brains develop and what concepts are easiest to learn at different stages.
2) Software for medical equipment used by doctors, nurses, and technicians.
In general, my dream collaboration is simply working with clients who have complicated problems and are both excellent listeners, and deliberate with their own words and actions.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
There are a lot of factors that go into my pricing - like if a project is almost entirely Visual UI on top of really specific requirements, vs. if a lot of UX research and product strategy is needed. I am also always willing to negotiate based on the project. I’m happy to discuss if you reach out about a project.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with an intro to yourself or your company, an overview of the project needs, when you need to get started and any hard deadlines, and your budget.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Curiosity about details, how things work
This member profile was originally published in September 2019.