created by Uday Gajendar, Principal UX Designer in Silicon Valley CA • via Adobe Spark
It is time to move beyond velocity-driven sprint metrics and short-term UX/UI fixes.
we need to answer questions about creating long-term value for customers – through Strategic design.
This transcends UX/UI, buttons & icons, wireframes, or Sketch files. Instead, what is the shape, structure, and pattern of the journey, service, or interaction being offered? How are marketing comms & tech features tied across channels and devices in support of customer moments? How do they enable a benefit that will be enjoyed – ensuring satisfaction or fulfillment – over the long run? Is your organization set up for supporting this? This is about intentional change for positive outcomes through discovery: molding critical frameworks + systems, guiding process + strategy with impact on culture. There are no JIRA tickets or burndown charts for this kind of design work – it's truly at the meta level. But it's vital for any business that values satisfied, returning customers.
metadesign is the designing that needs to happen before the design itself. it's Defining a foundation that can flex and scale.
From large corporate design groups to early/growth-stage startups, I bring a wealth of expertise benefitting any team.
Hi, I'm Uday Gajendar. With 15+ years of corporate & consulting experience in Silicon Valley tackling complexity & ambiguity, I am a design leader focused on innovation for strategic value. I am a proven catalyst for design-led innovation, defining next-generation concepts & coaching start-ups on UX fundamentals. My specialities include creating visionary concepts for new business models, leading collaborations with engineering & product, and shaping a progressive design culture. I bring versatile expertise, for enterprise to consumer, desktop to mobile, and beyond (AI, VR/AR, IoT).
My design philosophy & methods are gratefully informed by various design schools and books.
My process involves cycles of learning via customer interviews & disposable artifacts that anchor crucial dialogues with stakeholders.
There is no easy formula for good design! Instead, it's based upon cycles of learning: understanding your users, modeling the problems, and visualizing possible solutions – all powered by creative, iterative thinking in a deliberate yet efficient way. Sure, this all sounds theoretical...until you ask Adobe, LinkedIn, Netflix, Google, AirBnB, Square, Uber – who all apply this proven model in their own unique ways. Not so theoretical anymore, is it? Read more about why I can't design without research > (and neither should you!)
ON Design Leadership
Being a design leader is a dynamic, multi-faceted pursuit – for a team and the industry.
What does it mean to be a design leader? I believe there are multiple facets which evolve over time per priority & context. The four facets of design leadership shown here amplify each other, fostering a cycle of optimism grounded upon coaching or sharing knowledge & passion, transmitting that value through impact, influence, and inspiration, whether working with startups, organizing conferences, or envisioning concepts. Leading by example is very much a big aspect, role modeling best practices for teams to embody.
Themes Across my career
Having delivered designs for web/mobile/desktop apps for 15+ years, certain themes emerge that exemplify my strengths & passions.
There are four key themes that summarize the arc of my design career thus far...
Sketching: I am unabashedly an artist at heart, so I thrive on pen & paper sketching — fast and gestural — as my primary means of problem exploration & solution generation. Plus, anyone can do it! I can teach you how.
Sketching: pen & paper, whiteboard, and scenarios.
Systems Thinking: No matter what kind of problem I’m given, I always seek to understand the parts and wholes, the pathways and elements, how they all relate. Diagrams are fantastic storytelling devices to get cross-team alignment & agreement for the most complex products. I print them out large for maximum engagement!
Systems thinking: sensing & revealing the relationships among objects, actions, and screens.
Enterprise UX: My path organically swept across many companies bent towards large-scale software rich with complexity & ambiguity, deep into business productivity arenas. I find this problem space intellectually rewarding and rich with untapped design potential. Read more on why I design for Enterprise UX > And be sure to register for the upcoming Enterprise UX 2018 conference which I help organize. (use UDAY15 for a 15% discount)
Enterprise UX: designing for business / IT productivity apps and scalable features.
Next-Gen Concepts: Naturally provoking speculative concepts to shift the design direction and motivate new business models, that’s a vital theme as well in my work.
Next-gen concepts: visually provocative speculations to inspire new products.
Speaking about Design
For well over a decade, I have spoken about design topics at a range of popular industry conferences & corporate events around the world, from Austin to Bangalore to Sydney. It's my way of sharing professional insights, and learning through active dialogue with like-minded peers, all seeking to elevate our field.
Want to get in touch about these topics? For speaking/workshop requests, please email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
My design Services
As an architect / principal-level UX consultant, I provide strategic design value for my clients, who maximize the expertise I bring to the table for solving complex customer-centric problems. I provide UX coaching, promote "Design IQ" within teams, deliver rapid expert design in a collaborative manner, and create innovative concepts for future or alternative business models.
Want to get in touch for one of these services? For consulting inquiries, please email me – email@example.com
There are many good books I've found valuable as references to guide me in various situations.
If you like what you see and read, please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org