Saibal Datta

Founder & Design Director, GAIA Digital Design

Saibal specialises in Strategic Thinking, User Experience & Visual Design. He recently started an UX/UI Design Studio called “GAIA Digital Design”, prior to this, he worked as a Design Manager at Adobe India and has past experience of working as UX Designer with Grameenphone (Dhaka) & Infosys CDG. He is a design graduate from Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune and loves to work at a Product Thinking level to connect the dots.

“You cannot solve everything with design”

What do you do?

I run a UX Design Studio named “GAIA Digital Design” based in Delhi NCR. We work with Startups & Large Companies and provide them design consulting & design driven product incubation services. My role in the studio is to drive UX projects and work more like UX Manager, who understands the requirement from Business & Users side and then create a path towards UX by putting a roadmap for the product.

Can you tell us about the path you took to get where you are now?

I chose my path as a self learned designer and then evolved as a professional after completing formal education in design from Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune. I have worked in agency environment, independent consultant role to in-house design teams in corporates like Infosys, Grameenphone (Dhaka) & Adobe India. After working in across industries like e-commerce, digital advertising, banking, telecommunications & software products(desktop/mobile app) and having past experiences of founding two ventures in design & media, I found myself excited and encouraged to start an exclusive UX/UI Design studio in Delhi NCR.

How do you stay up to date with trends in the field of UX and in the industry you are in?

Mostly through online resources like blogs, tweets, articles and meeting fellow enthusiast about UX.

Top 5 applications or tools that you use as part of work.

Tools — Paper, Pen/Pencil, Whiteboard & Post-It. Apps — Google Docs, CloudMagic, Trello, Evernote, Sunrise, Slack, Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop.

What does your workspace look like?

Saibal and his team at GAIA Digital Design

What does your typical day look like? How do you structure it?

I start my day with checking mails and creating tasks for my team using Trello App. Then I usually get involved in meetings with my clients on product thinking and help them with UX strategy or sit with my team to do brainstorming for next UI screen or feature design of the product. Lot of my time is also on calls with my client to understand new requirements & making sure the project is on track.

Why do you do what you do? What makes everything worth it?

We are living in an Experience Economy now, where every product / service is evaluated based on its experience, I feel great to be someone who can design that experience. Due to easy accessibility to high quality technology and with solid UX Design, you can innovate so much now.

What is the greatest piece of advice /wisdom you ever received?

“You cannot solve everything with design”

What advice would you give to a junior designer or someone aspiring to become a UX Designer?

Apart from your design skills, also focus on articulation of your thoughts & communication of your ideas. And yes, be receptive towards feedback.

Which phone do you use and what are your favorite mobile apps?

I recently switched to Mi4i by Xiaomi. My Favourite Mobile Apps — Evernote, Trello, Slack, Sunrise.

What Indian website/app or service do you think is well designed and why?

These days, we see lot of well designed Indian apps/websites.

I still use Cleartrip website for its design, and for apps I find Zomato & Commonfloor are good.

Who would you like to see featured on IndianUX’er?

Would love to hear Jay Dutta & Sharad Chauhan’s views.

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