Make it intuitive, please!

I simplify and enliven the presentation of complex information and it’s flows, so that it can be intuitively understood. My practice spans the fields of Domain/User Research, Information Architecture, User Experience Design, User Interface Design, Graphic Design, Illustration and Writing.

Professionally, I have held many titles, but I consider myself to be a User Experience Designer, with a strength in Information Design. To summarize my practice, I’d like to quote Peter Merholz (source),

“There is no such thing as ‘UX Design’. Most people, when they use that phrase, mean interaction design + information architecture. Some include research and strategy. Others include visual design and prototyping. Its variable definition only leads to confusion, and does a disservice to those trying to understand how research, strategy, and design contributes to delivering great user experiences.”

A Visual Design beginning

In 2005, after graduating in Communication Design from the National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad, India), I worked at Design Workshop and Dorling Kindersley in New Delhi. My work during this time gave me a foundation in the design of visual systems – through content research, branding and book design projects.

Already an avid fan of the work of Edward Tufte and Richard Saul Wurman, I came across the inspiring interactive process and creations of Ben Fry and Jared Tarbell. Their work revealed the value of interaction in exploration and explanation of content. Thus motivated, I pursued an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design (New York).

Addendum: I recently had the good fortune of attending the first Processing Community Day, and meeting Ben Fry! It was a momentous day, and thus when the Processing Foundation asked the participants regarding their experiences at the event, I was happy to share! You can read my article on the Processing Foundation’s Medium blog. Thanks!

Design and Technology

Since my foray into new media, I have taken diverse projects that have enabled me to enhance content cognition through visual and interactive channels. For the Institute of Play, I developed a games taxonomy, to serve as a teaching aide. At SEED Magazine, I brought online and print articles to life through illustrations. I coordinated the Family of Heroes project for Kognito, while also assisting with content development via user interviews, overseeing and editing voice-actors, conducting research for character development and building product websites. At AT&T, I helped the care assurance team with articulating and implementing the user experience for their enterprise applications.

The Future

In 2014, after working in the design industry for 10 yrs, I began working as a part-time consultant for New York based digital design agency Early Adopter, as part of the team that defined the user experience of Avenues The World School website.

This arrangement has given me the flexibility to attend to my two infants. The older one is now in preschool and the younger one will join within a year. As I phase back into full-time work, I look forward to new projects that challenge me to make products elegant, engaging and easy to use.

Thanks for reading!

Shipra Gupta