Sankar Venkatanarayanan, Specialist Manager UI/UX

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Sankar Venkatanarayanan

Specialist Manager, UI/UX

T: +91 124 4611999

My job

I have been working in user experience design and strategy for a career spanning more than two decades. I am passionate about design thinking and creating an unparalleled user experience for clients.  

Why Ramboll

I joined Ramboll's Digital Development Centre (DDC) in 2019 as a Specialist Manager leading the UI/UX design activities. My role involves design research, strategy, roadmap, and architecture for significant clients apart from mentoring and managing in-house designers. Working in DDC has been an enriching experience for me as I got the opportunity to work with senior leadership and build a competent UI/UX team from scratch.

Passion for design

I have always been fascinated by innovative designs and architecture, and they often created a sense of wonder. When I was young, I took a keen interest in museums, buildings, highways, etc., observing their design meticulously for hours. I was intrigued by the digital revolution in the late 90s and further fuelled my passion for design. It was only a matter of time before I ventured into graphic designing, which was the only design profession available at the time. I always kept track of the latest trends in design and updated my knowledge regularly. I decided to be a designer, and I am thrilled I chose this path. 

The fascination with design continues even today. The history of the cave paintings at Lascaux (France) makes me proud of my profession. The cave paintings of Lascaux date back over 20,000 years. There were no records to support the existence of the languages at the time. We, humans, were visual communicators before we were vocal communicators. As a designer, I am pleased to use the oldest method of communication.

The Design Evolution

It was the dot-com boom when I started my professional journey. We were kept busy by a specific software that catered to "Y2K" problems and websites. We designed icons, high-level information architecture (often dictated by clients), websites, and applications. Designers primarily worked with HTML, CSS, flash, and a few visuals. User Experience was considered a luxury item. When user experience first became a part of product development, I was one of the early adopters. These days every company requires efficient UI/UX designers to stand out from the crowd.

The Technology thrust 

I believe technology will holistically impact the way we work, and I am very upbeat about it. I work differently today than I did I was ten years ago. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will make judgments on behalf of customers. There will be more customized versions of applications. The future will not be the same, but I am confident that industries and individuals will adapt to change. 
Customer satisfaction is paramount in design; therefore, we must constantly monitor changing user needs. The core principles of user experience will remain the same, such as understanding the user needs, bridging the gap between user needs and business goals, identifying challenges, and co-creating solutions. At the same time, technology will change the way we deliver solutions.

Suppose you want to become a competent UI/UX designer. In that case, you must work on user research, collaboration, visual communication, interaction design, information architecture, analytical, and last but certainly not the least: user empathy. I find it challenging to separate activity from the entire process and say that this is my favorite part. Every action has a purpose, planned meticulously. I would say the whole process of design creation is exciting.

This is how my workday looks: First and foremost, I attempt to address the issues requiring immediate attention. I set aside some time for administration, mentoring, meetings, and projects, among other things. I also encourage informal meetings and quick discussions, which help solve many ongoing issues. 

As a UX design professional, it gives me immense satisfaction to solve user problems. I talk to users to learn about their needs and build digital solutions based on the user's needs and the business's objectives. To develop digital solutions, we use the collaborative design approach at Ramboll. I enjoy doing every aspect of my job.

My mantra for work-life balance

The pandemic-induced work from home has a silver lining as it helps me save at least three hours of commuting time. It enables me to focus my energy on other productive tasks. I prefer to do one job at a time, whether at home or work, as it allows me to focus on things better. 

Purpose is key

My advice to budding designers- before you start designing, figure out its purpose and business goals. And keep evolving yourself by staying on top of the latest technologies and trends. 

Digital Development Centre at Ramboll creates cutting-edge, world-class design solutions for its clients, so if you are looking to further your career in UX/UI design, look no further than Ramboll.