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‘My college’s comprehensive approach facilitated my transition to design’

This alumna from Apeejay College of Fine Arts (ACFA) gleefully expresses her college empowered her career choice

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She is on a spree of marking her own niche in the UX world with the help of her credible creativity. In a candid interview, this alumna from Apeejay College of Fine Arts (ACFA) shares how her college laid out a strong foundation for her growth and progress. Meet Swati Choudhary.

Read edited excerpts here.

What are you doing professionally now?

I am a lead UX designer and I have recently relocated from Barcelona to Tokyo. I have transitioned into consulting and freelancing to engage with diverse projects and maximise my creative potential. Most recently, I held the position of Senior UX Lead at HP Inc. in Barcelona. Prior to this, I contributed my expertise to several prominent Indian product companies, including OYO, Times Internet and SplashLearn.

What does your typical work day look like?

As a consultant, my work day is flexible, adapting to client locations and project timelines. However, I maintain a structured approach to ensure productivity and effective collaboration:

Morning Routine: Review emails and team communications, assess ongoing tasks from the previous day, and plan daily objectives

Team Alignment: Participate in daily stand-up meetings with cross-functional teams (designers, developers, QA, and product managers) to share and align on daily action plans

Core Work Activities: Focus on solving user experience (UX) or user interface (UI) challenges, provide guidance, mentoring my team members as needed, and attend project status meetings

Stakeholder Engagement: Regularly dedicate time for user interactions and feedback sessions.

How were the teachers at Apeejay?

My transition from a science background to art was significantly facilitated by the faculty at Apeejay. Their approach was instrumental in establishing a robust foundation for my design career. They provided comprehensive instructions on fundamental design principles and emphasised the importance of standard design rules and practices. The combination of theoretical knowledge, historical context, and practical application provided by Apeejay was crucial in my transition from science to art and design.

What is your advice for future UX designers?

To enter the field of User Experience design, start by mastering the basics of user-centric product design. Read foundational texts like “The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman and utilise online resources to build your knowledge. Develop your skills through personal projects, and seek feedback from industry professionals to refine your work. Build a strong foundation in UX principles, create a portfolio, and gain insights into industry standards, setting you on the path to a successful career in UX design.

PS: When in doubt regarding your career, never hesitate to reach out to some professional. Most of the people are always open to help.

Any nostalgic memories of Apeejay?

My time at Apeejay was filled with enriching experiences that shaped my development as a designer. Key memories include collaborative discussions with peers in the campus canteen, outdoor sketching sessions in the park, hands-on 3D sculpture classes, and annual functions celebrating Indian art and culture. These diverse activities fostered a well-rounded education, combining theoretical knowledge with practical skills and cultural awareness. This blend of experiences has proven invaluable in my professional journey as a UX designer, contributing to my ability to approach design challenges from multiple perspectives.

What is your dream and goal in life?

My goal is to maintain and nurture my passion for user-centric design, using it as a guiding principle throughout my career. By continuously refining my skills and knowledge, I aspire to contribute significantly to the UX design field and eventually become a thought leader. My ongoing professional growth allows me to make meaningful impacts in the design community. Ultimately, I strive to drive positive change in how products and services interact with users, constantly improving myself and my contributions to the field.

Anubha Singh is the Principal Correspondent with Apeejay Newsroom. Having a journalism and mass communication background, she has varied experience with renowned print publications like Hindustan Times, The Pioneer and Deccan Chronicle. Her niche expertise lies in reporting and content creation for different core areas. She can be reached at [email protected] for any communication.

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