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Interview with Anjali Srikanth

Home > Designer Interviews > Anjali Srikanth

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Anjali Srikanth (AS) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Anjali Srikanth by clicking here.

Interview with Anjali Srikanth at Wednesday 29th of April 2020
Anjali Srikanth
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
AS: As a child I always had a creative streak. My dad was an engineer but he had a passion for painting and drawing. A lot of my inspiration to explore art , the use and application of color came from him. Growing up , I still had an avid passion for painting. I also realized that combining aspects of technology and design could take my interest to the next level. This lead me to pursue product and user experience design as a profession. Today I take my passion to seek for different challenges and come up with creative quirky solutions.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
AS: I work at Capgemini's Digital Interactive group. The experienced leadership and design mentors, have helped to bring out the best in many design professionals. We take our design work as forum to create holistic innovative solutions thereby bridging the gap between business requirements and user goals.

FS: What is "design" for you?
AS: Design is a comprehensive process of problem solving. You come a cross an unmet need and get inspired to come up with solution that brings a difference. It is about creativity with a purpose. It allows you to bring in multiple perspectives when you come across a product, campaign, need or want.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
AS: I like creating products that can bring a change to lives especially for users with special needs. I remember designing a clothing product for quadriplegic patients. The garment made it easier for nurses, especially when it came to the frequent garment changing process for the patients. So it addressed the needs of not only the patients but also the needs of people who took care of them.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
AS: I actually have a couple of them, and the list keeps on growing. Moreover the list is not limited just to user experience design. For interaction design

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
AS: I designed a section of the corporate website as my first assignment. It was a learning process, as I had to take my education skills to a different level, work with experienced team members from different departments and be prepared to take feedback. I learnt that the first iteration was never going to be the best when it came to a design assignment and that each phase is a process of improvements towards the final result.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
AS: When it comes to platforms I am unbiased. Whether it is the iOS or Android each platform has some good points and can complement an application. For me the more platforms and technology types I get to work on, the more exciting the project turns out to be. I cannot be pro one technology, as it limits the design process.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
AS: I feel the most creative in the mornings with a set of fresh positive thoughts. Apart from that traveling and interacting with people, exploring different places, reading books and studying textile arts helps me to stimulate my creativity.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
AS: The aspects I focus the most on designing a product include the user needs and stakeholder requirements. The end user needs to comprehend the application, if an application is brilliant, but cannot be used by the app consumer, then the application is not sustainable. On the other hand the business has a perspective, when the seek out for a product design endeavor. Understanding their concept and the message they want bring out through the application is equally crucial.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
AS: When I am involved in a design endeavor, I feel a sense of ownership, diligence and dedication. There is a sense of purpose and keep an open mind. There is excitement and passion with a sense to be prepared for any situation.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
AS: When my designs are realized there is a sense of accomplishment. It gives insights into how much more I can do as a design professional. It makes me prepared for my upcoming projects and gives me a desire to explore more around me.

FS: What makes a design successful?
AS: Dedication to learn and improve, the yearning to explore beyond boundaries, good team work, research and diligence.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
AS: Whether the design works for the end users, are they able to understand the application, and if the business is able to convey the message through the product or application to their target consumer group.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
AS: A designer should strive the create products and experiences that are sustainable and bring a positive impact in the long run. Design combines art, science and technology, so with such a beautiful skill it should be used for a cause. This brings meaning and a sense of responsibility to our work. Designers need to look at unmet needs and constantly seek out for problems that should be addressed. This makes our work purposeful in the works we live in.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
AS: I think the design field is evolving into a though process that is not just limited to classical artistic pursuits. It is a way of life. The design school of thought is being accommodated as a process business transformation, education, technology and social endeavors. In the future I see this growing to a much bigger level, where design is automatically brought into every process crucial for big enterprises, organizations and institutions. It will be a process to solve challenging problems in an innovative manner.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
AS: I help my last solo exhibition in school for my paintings and textile art pieces. There was a collection of of oil paintings, scarves, stoles and jewelry items using techniques of tie and dye, block printing, embroidery and batik.I do plan to hold an exhibition of my sketches in a few months from now.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
AS: My design inspiration comes from a process of constant exploration. Whether it its for a color palette, a font or product concept, a designer should not limit the inspiration to a set of applications, sites or blogs. Inspiration can come from a print, a service, a good book or movie. Sometimes if I am looking for something new I try to go for a walk and observe my surroundings. At times a good book can help to think of a novel approach to a design challenge.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
AS: As a designer I believe one has to understand the business domain of the project, the users and the stakeholders. I do my prior research on the business and a competitor analysis of similar products. This helps to gain a better perspective about the product thereby enabling the process of efficient user research. Followed by this is the process of problem definition , regular reiterations along with good collaboration to bring out the final product.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
AS: I am from the United States of America, and live in California. I feel in the place I live there is good exposure to different types of culture, art forms and technology. As a designer this has helped to understand that the process of design is limitless, there is a need to have an open mind and a possibility to learn from everyone you meet. The more open you are as a person, the better it is for your work, as it leads to improvement. I hope to continue this process of thought, constantly learn and create a good impact with my work.

FS: How do you work with companies?
AS: In every project , I have to work with teams who have members from different backgrounds. This includes engineering and business teams, to design and marketing teams. The design process is very interactive, a lot of brain storming and collaboration are some of the aspects I see on a regular basis.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
AS: When you select a designer, the selection must be made on the thought process and willingness to learn. While looking at a portfolio there good samples and mediocre samples. However one must look at how the designer has evolved over time and how they can contribute with their design process to the organization

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
AS: I follow a design process understanding the business, the business goals followed by doing research on the target users. This leads to giving a clearer definition to purpose of the product and understanding the start purpose of the project. Followed by this is a process of a problem solving, ideations, prototyping, regular interactions and collaboration to give out the final deliverables.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
AS: My textile collection, the laptop , handicrafts, my self made paintings and some vintage jewelry pieces.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
AS: My day starts with a workout of 30-35 minutes. It can be a mat work out or yoga, followed by some meditation.After which it goes with regular routine of work, if there is time on weekdays I do indulge in some painting and reading. Dinner is a time I like to experiment cooking and trying new recipes

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
AS: To keep an open mind, your design education continues as your work experience grows. Also never be scared of failure, for we only learn from our mistakes. This makes us better designers and decision makers

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
AS: The positives according to me are many as a designer you are a creative problem solver, you bridge the gap between the users and the business through your work and have the ability to make products that change lives. Negatives, can't really think of any, but I have to say you have to be really strong to take criticism well at times.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
AS: Keep learning, the first draft of your design work is not the solution but rather a stepping stone for reiterations till the final product comes through. Be patient and look for ways and methods to improve your craft.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
AS: As a designer you should have to ability to work with different teams, a good collaborator, makes you a good decision maker. Also you need to be strong to face hurdles and challenges at times, the design project you are working on can experience certain obstacles, but one must not give up and learn to look for innovative ways of problem solving.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
AS: As a designer I know tools like adobe photoshop, experience design, after effects, illustrator, sketch, axure, figma, omnigraffle, just-in-mind and invision. However I also try to learn to some of newer tools coming out in the market on a regular basis. I do read a lot about different design thought leaders and also try to practice sketching and coloring techniques as well.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
AS: In any design project one must set the key milestones of a project, planning is key to ensure deliverables are given with due diligence and a timely manner. A designer should therefore also take up project management as a field of study, to be prepared to work with cross functional teams. Regular standup and scrum calls, also help in the process.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
AS: The time duration of a project varies. A lot depends on the project requirements and defined goals. This can range from a few weeks to a couples of months or a year. At time a design endeavor can have multiple phases, you might brought in during the mid stages of the project.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
AS: A lot of people have a misconception that a designer is an artist who just puts color into interfaces. We are more than that we a product creators, product managers and innovators, and have an aspect of creativity, business acumen and technology to our roles

FS: What was your most important job experience?
AS: Every experience in my professional journey has been important so far, and so will future ones as well. I feel with every project, there is something to learn and grow knowledge from.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
AS: I have worked with clients across different domains such as information technology, finance, banking, media, healthcare, retail, analytics, and supply chain infrastructure.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
AS: I enjoy design projects where there is a good cross collaboration process. It is in such projects that you learn a lot not just from the design professionals but also from members from different divisions. This helps to get a holistic perspective of the project thereby enabling you to give your very best in the endeavor.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
AS: In the future I plan to work on designing some applications that can help working professionals with special needs. The space is huge with a lot of untapped potential.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
AS: As a designer you always work with a team. Even if you are the only designer, you need to work with the business and technology team members, brainstorm with them, take user inputs and stakeholder inputs while coming up with the design work.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
AS: Currently apart from my interaction design and user experience design work, I am working on a collection of abstract pen artwork. Hopefully in some time I can exhibit them

FS: How can people contact you?
AS: anjali.srikanth@outlook.com

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
AS: I feel there is not limit to design. As designers we have to ability to discover and create solutions that bring a change.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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