Nature inspires Deepali Nayar in ways that words cannot describe. Right from her childhood through her growing years and now in her professional life as a designer, she has always looked to nature for energy and inspiration; for answers to the most puzzling questions. She has never had a seat in a closed space. She loves sitting by a window, looking up at the sky, and experiencing the infinite freedom it bestows. And that’s exactly what she loves about design too – the liberty and joy in it!
Had Deepali not been a designer, she would have most certainly been a pilot!
How are you planning to celebrate Women’s Day this year?
Every day is our day, isn’t it? We create something new, learn a trick or two, and become a better version of ourselves.
Having said that, we do have an interesting line-up of talks planned this year. I’m particularly looking forward to attending one that’ll showcase how women in design are going beyond conventional boundaries and making a mark for themselves.
Not only is it a great time to be a “woman in design”, but the future looks very promising too. Women are acing their multi-tasking game, raising the bar every day and having fun doing it their way!
Would you say there is an under-representation of women in UI/UX design?
Women are under-represented in most professional fields, not just in UI/UX design. And while gender barriers do exist, there are also numerous women who have shattered such stereotypes and exceled in their respective fields.
We should draw inspiration from such “sheroes” and take that essential first step to break the mental barriers we have created for ourselves.
The design community is certainly becoming more inclusive and there’s never been a more opportune time to take charge, evolve and inspire.
What are some personality traits of women that make them better (or worse) UX designers?
Women are creators. We are creatures of logic and evaluate all the pros and cons before arriving at a solution. This gives us an edge in life and in art. Our advocacy for “beauty” is backed by our endorsement of “rationale” and that’s what a great “user experience” is also all about.
Who are some design leaders (male or female) you look up to?
Molly Scannell, Dina Amin, Barry Fiske, Wendy Johansson, David Carson and John Maeda.
As a woman, what’s the greatest challenge you’ve had to face as a designer?
Not as a woman designer per se, but simply as a design professional with over 16 years of experience working with global teams and clients, breaking the stereotype of “we know what our customers/users want” is a big challenge that I continue to face. That’s work-wise.
At a personal level, I want the world to stop looking at India as a design production hub. Bringing talented Indian designers to the forefront and getting them the acceptance and acknowledgment they deserve from the global design fraternity has been a strife. The mindset change has been slow, but our designers are creating award-winning work and people are beginning to take notice.
What, in your opinion, could we UI/UX designers do, as a relatively young and collaborative fraternity, to solve the problem of gender inequality?
Truly imbibe the spirit of “liberty, equality and fraternity”. Have an open and learning mindset and respect people for the value they create, not the gender they identify with. Borrow from each other’s strengths and unique life experiences.
Your message to young women looking to make their careers in UI/UX?
You’ve got it in you girl. Go, conquer the world!
This article was last updated on November 26, 2023; Originally published on March 3, 2021