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Interview with Palak Bhatt

Home > Designer Interviews > Palak Bhatt

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

Interview with Palak Bhatt at Friday 7th of May 2021
Palak Bhatt
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?
PB: As a kid, I was into creativity and expressing myself visually by creating sketches. Being born and brought up in a diverse country like India, a vibrant culture, art, and architecture played a massive influence on my journey towards being a designer. I knew I wanted to be a designer but, I wasn’t sure of what specialization to choose among various design fields. I began my design journey in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Design from Symbiosis International University in Pune, India, where I got a chance to explore graphic design, animation, film and video. After graduating, I gained experience working in a design studio as a graphic designer, and this is where I knew that I wanted to grow more in this field. I moved to San Francisco in early 2014 to earn an MFA in Graphic Design and Digital Media from the Academy of Art University. My ambition to become a designer fueled up more by working for Fortune 100 companies and accelerated my childhood vision to become a designer into reality.

FS: What is "design" for you?
PB: Design is all about change. It is a process if used correctly to solve the right problem; it can change the world for the better by its outcome. Design can function at multiple levels and in different ways. It is all around us, yet it has different meanings to people.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
PB: I enjoy challenging projects and creating meaningful products that are accessible through intuitive design.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
PB: The most important and one of my favorite experiences was to design products on the Civic Engagement team at Facebook for the upcoming International Elections. One of the products I worked on was the Candidate videos tool which helped the candidates running for election upload their videos on Facebook. As people value most is hearing directly from candidates in their own words. This tool showed both information about the candidates as well as videos created by candidates on topics like why they’re running for office, what policy issues they care about, and what they hope to accomplish if elected. The tool helped the candidate connect directly to the people and was launched for the 2018 Brazil General Election, 2018 US Midterms, and the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections in India.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
PB: The first thing I designed for a company was Ice cream packaging.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
PB: I have used pen and paper to express my ideas since the beginning, and I still prefer it. But when it comes to technology, it has become a complete package for expressing my design thinking.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
PB: I am a morning person, and that is when I have the most energy and like to get my creative juices flowing.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
PB: While working from the concept to the execution stage, I am focused between the user, technology, and business while creating useful, meaningful, and successful product outcomes.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
PB: No matter what design stage I am in, I am always passionate about the work I do.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
PB: After the design is realized, I re-review my journey with the design. Create knowledge repositories and prepare for the next project.

FS: What makes a design successful?
PB: When it is planned, developed, and executed well.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
PB: I look at the overall interface and how I can interact with the product. I also give credits if the design is visually focused. It shows that extra efforts were taken into investing in the products. Besides solving the problems, it also makes it easier for users from different backgrounds to understand them, making a frictionless experience.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
PB: Design should be the solution to the problem. It should improve on every instance to communicate the message and finding the right solutions by creating a harmonious society.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
PB: Design is all about change and is constantly evolving. It responds to a changing world. Extensive involvement of different technologies is also playing a vital role in design evolvement, including the realization of Artificial Intelligence.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
PB: My design inspiration comes from everyday life. It comes from my surroundings or the middle of a conversation that ignites a spark or through exploring different cultures, people, and their experiences.

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?
PB: I work with many clients, so I have to be adaptive to different styles. I focus on the company’s defined design system for the best design efficiency while maintaining consistency and creating frictionless experiences throughout the products.

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?
PB: I was born and brought up in a diverse country like India, where a vibrant culture, art, and architecture played a massive influence on my journey towards being a designer. Now I live in San Francisco, and there is a good design culture here. My interaction with diverse people and tech giants constantly evolves and sharpens my design thinking.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
PB: Garden, meditation space, tea-cup collection, work desk, and artworks.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
PB: Most of my time in the day I spend designing, followed by cooking, and FaceTime with family and friends.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
PB: Find your calling rather than going with what other people are doing. Build a connection with people with common design interests that will help you grow. Be persistent and have patience.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
PB: Exploration— Paper and WhiteBoard. Wireframes and High Fidelity Mocks— Figma and Sketch. Prototype— InVision and Framer. Presentation—Keynote. Illustration—Adobe Illustrator. Animation—Adobe After Effects. Layouts—Adobe Indesign. Edits—Photoshop and Lightroom.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
PB: Pandemic has changed my working style for good. Before, I used to find myself complaining of not having enough time while working on site. Now I take the opportunity of working from home as a blessing and keep a good work-life balance. Keeping a to-do list of my daily, weekly, and monthly tasks has helped me while working on multiple projects simultaneously. As a designer, one should not feel overworked but be flexible and enjoy the process.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
PB: There are a lot of decisions to consider before defining the duration of the project from concept to execution. Different types of design have different turnaround timings. The client's timeline and budget are equally important in this case. Typically, it can take from a few weeks to a month to a year long.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
PB: I get frequently asked by a beginner who wants to start a career in design and move to the US to pursue higher studies. Graduate students are interested to know the interview process and how they can get hired by fortune 100 companies. As I have been fortunate to have mentors in my design journey, I take this opportunity to give back to the design community by helping beginners to get their foot in the design world and help them succeed in their chosen profession.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
PB: I have worked across several industries and verticals from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, including; social media, civic engagement, hospitality, healthcare, telecommunication, and real estate.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
PB: I am self-motivated and work independently but equally enjoy working in a collaborative environment with cross-functional partners like product managers, engineers, content strategists, marketing, etc.

FS: How can people contact you?
PB: You can reach me through LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/palak-bhatt


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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