We are excited to announce a new addition to the UX department. Maithilee Nargundkar is joining us as a Quantitative User Experience Specialist this fall.
Maithilee is currently pursuing her master’s in Social & Consumer Psychology at NYU. With her quantitative analytical experience and psychology training she brings a new perspective and value to our UX work for NYU Libraries.
You have a very global background, born in Nairobi, growing up in Mumbai, and now living in NYC. How to do feel this has impacted your perspective on technology and user experience?
Technology use is catching up really fast in India, the scenario is changing so quickly and is likely to speed up in the near future. There are going to be really interesting products that cater to the local needs. In areas like agriculture and healthcare, social technology is having a big impact as it is being used to connect rural communities where they share expertise to help each out. For example, women can now access and exchange information about healthcare and family planning via social technology tools.
In the UX field we always love creative technology designs that are user centric, any examples of this you want to share?
An interesting way design and technology can be used to include people who have so far been excluded due to issues of accessibility of data, literacy, or technology is Mobile Vaani. It is a voice-based social networking site in started in Jharkhand, India to connect rural population who may not be literate and do not have access to data. The system is based on intelligent IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system that allows people to make free calls on a number and leave their messages. This is an interesting example of making newer experiences available to people who were so far excluded.
Why do you think UX is important?
I believe that for products to be successful, you need to take care of users just as you would take care of your guests. Interaction problems can be avoided by checking with your users if they are doing fine. (Here the NYPD motto makes sense, if taken seriously: Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect!)
Once you’re aware of user experience as a concept, it’s hard not to evaluate the designs we interact with in our daily lives from a UX perspective.
What designs have you recently encountered that were frustrating or fun?
Favorite UX Pet Peeve: I absolutely hate to see people struggling everyday at subway ticket vending machines (esp. the ones in D.C) to understand how to use them. Don’t you hate when you have to click a button 3 times just to sign in to your email account (Hint: The “next” button introduced by Gmail!).
Best Current Apps: Splitwise (an app that helps roommates keep track of their expenses and to split them between roommates). It’s professional (i.e., does what it promises to do), courteous (simple and mindful of your comfort), and it’s respectful of your needs and privacy. There you go!
Meet & Greet is an on-going series introducing our team members and their passions for the practice of UX.