It all started…
Two years back when I came into the field of UX design after discovering its potential to deliver social impact and innovation at scale. I believe in the potential of design and technology to address society's challenging issues and to adopt an inclusive approach to problem-solving.
Before stepping into this field, I worked for 4+ years in grassroots non-profits and international development where I worked in community development, creative facilitation and marketing communications. During my time in the social sector, I worked with stakeholders on many global and local issues related to sustainable development. More specifically, I worked on projects that impacted education, economic disparity, cultural diversity and environmental sustainability.
My diverse experience shapes me into the strategic and empathetic designer that I am today.
The skills I bring to the (proverbial) table…
This is the part of my job that gets me out of bed excited! I am skilled at understanding complex business systems and simplifying it to help humans (customers) make their lives a little easier. I distill complex information about business models, processes and technology among other things to translate it into solutions that are usable and enjoyable. My biggest strength in to take a systems-approach to problem-spotting and solving.
I take the storytelling approach to UX design. I leverage my experience in the marketing/communications to tell stories through interfaces. Every screen, micro-interaction and message is all about users' context and there is no better way to tap into that than storytelling. To stakeholders, I share stories to ignite empathy for users. And finally, I use storytelling to articulate my design decisions.
I love to combine ideas from users, business leaders and developers to deliver products and experiences that work. My skills also help me gain alignment across teams for design decisions that represent the users. Collaborative design exercises make me tick — be it card sorting, design studios or usability testing. I love it for the process, the coming together of different ideas and the resulting 'aha' moments.
Throughout my career, I have collaborated with and learned from many internal and external stakeholders. Here are a few: young people in schools, educators in Canada and India, the leadership of international development organizations, government agencies of Commonwealth countries, wildfire agencies in Western Canada, and trauma therapists, the list continues. I have learned that the essence of good stakeholder communication is empathy.
My crisscrossed set of skills shape me into the strategic and empathetic designer I am today. But for me learning never stops. To add to my arsenal of tools, I am teaching myself data analysis skills and front-end development. Also, I learn about social innovation and systems-mapping as an SFU RADIUS Fellow and write about design on Medium.