Can technology help the non-technology savvy elderly to stay healthy?

Atlanta Campbell Stone Assisted Living, Georgia Tech | team project | field studies, observation, interview, wizard-of-oz
Learned working with elderly, building trust and user centered design

By 2040, the elderly will constitute 1/5th of the total U.S. population. Despite these numbers, comparatively lesser innovations are built for them. My team and I wondered if we could do something for them. To understand their needs, we conducted field studies at Campbell Stone Assisted Living Community in Atlanta. Based on their health needs, we created and user evaluated a gesture controlled exercise game concept. This project is very close to my heart because it is my first user centered design project and as with any first had a lot of failures and learning. Read more about process, failures and learning.

How can we create STEM awareness in younger children through the informal settings of museums?

Atlanta Children's museum, Georgia Tech | individual project | ethnography, fly-on-the-wall observation, interview, literature review
Learned conducting interviews with stimuli and entertaining children

Not enough people in the US are pursuing STEM careers to meet the high demand. Atlanta Children's Museum, Georgia Tech and National Science Foundation were tackling this problem and exploring ways to inculcate STEM awareness in children through museums. For this effort, I conducted observations and interviews with parents and children to understand how they interact and learn from the museum exhibits. I learned that STEM exhibits were tricky because parents couldn't easily make connections between the exhibits and real life. These findings helped shape a design concept (for making those connections) and a larger out-in-the wild research study. Read more about the process, eureka moments and working in a museum.

Is there a new business opportunity for Amazon Kindle?

Georgia Tech | individual project | market research, interview, survey, video storytelling
Learned basic market research and persuasive storytelling

Amazon Kindle leads in the e-readers and digital books space. However, its biggest competitors are physical books; accounting for 75% of the market share. I wondered if there were areas where digital books were better and if those opportunities could be better utilized. After interviewing and surveying kindle and non-kindle users, I discovered that Kindle might offer a better reading experience for academic books. I ideated a solution in which Kindle could guide users in learning an academic topic and enabling them to buy exactly what they need for learning that topic (buying chapters instead of books). Read more about my process, eureka moments and use of video to tell a story.

How can the chaotic experience of Georgia Tech's Career Fair be improved?

Georgia Tech | team project | field studies, observation, interview
Learned researching and designing for multiple user groups

Georgia Tech's career fair offers invaluable opportunities to around 5000 students and 400 companies. However, this experience is not perfect; yet. Being the recipient of this experience, my team and I wondered if this experience could be improved for the students? Our field studies helped us understand that the experience is equally frustrating for the other two stakeholders - recruiters and career fair management team. We realized that managing data and time were crucial for all stakeholders and we iterated our design concepts trying to marry the best parts of online and in-person interactions in a career fair. Read about our field studies and how we married the best parts of online and in-person interactions.

How can complex workflows of managing virtual infrastructure be simplified?

VMware | interview, focus group, concept testing, workflows, brainstorming
learning infrastructure virtualization, working with technical users, applying UCD process in an industry setting, mentoring

Infrastructure admins have to deal with complex workflows and multiple tools for providing reliable infrastructure to their developers. My challenge is to understand their needs and simplify their workflows and experiences in collaboration with PMs, devs and other UXer's. This has been a learning opportunity in many terms; applying UCD in a constrained industry setting, finding new ways to learn about users, starting an insights repository, initiating telemetry data collection for UX decisions, mentoring an intern, evangelizing UX amongst other things.

How can Autodesk Footwear Suite better meet the needs of footwear designers?

Autodesk | interviews, desk research, journey map, workflow
learned the creative process of footwear design and got to design one!

Autodesk footwear digital design tools help designers rapidly iterate their designs saving time and resources. But were there opportunities to do better? To explore this question, I spoke with footwear designers (including a really angry one), designed a footwear, did some creative desk research, played around with competitor’s products and visited a museum to learn more about the history of footwear design. I discovered opportunities to improve the user experience of managing design files, designing intricate patterns and, collaborating with remote teams. I conveyed these opportunities through low fidelity workflow diagrams; few of them were considered for the next release!

How can Women Who Code better help women to excel in technical roles?

women who code | survey, interview, brainstorming, recruiting
learned working in a consultation mode and listened to many tales of persistence, hardships, failures, and successes in a tech career

Women Who Code's mission is to inspire women to excel in technology careers. Being a woman in tech myself, this cause is close to my heart. Hence I decided to do some volunteer user research focused on growth in technical roles (engineering, data analysis, QA). I spoke with women around the globe, who were or aspired to be in these roles. In order to help the team figure out the focus areas and next steps, I conveyed insights through a brainstorming session. This project was a humbling experience; listening to so many stories of persistence, hardships, failures and successes.

More about me

I'm a curious person whose favorite words are why, how and what. I often satiate my curiosity by asking questions, meeting new people, changing cities (6 so far) and at times even changing my career (once so far). My latest quest of being a HCI grad student at Georgia Tech, transformed me from being a tech centered engineer to a user centered problem solver.

Some of the best moments in my career have been when I got opportunities to connect with and understand different people (children, elderly, footwear designers, IT admins) and got opportunities to think about problems in education and career, sustainability, B2B products and immersive tech.

I love categorizing, listening and telling stories, retrospecting, and teaching. I also attempt eat healthy, practice yoga, serve community & write every day (which I often fail at).

That's my story! I would like to listen to your's now. :)