An absolute cynic to hopelessly romantic, Neha Saraswat has lived her life in extremes. She finds herself naturally picking things that others find challenging or absurd while she respects others it never crosses her mind that she needs to seek permissions or approvals. Neha lives her life with a loose definition of being good and trust people by default.
How are you planning to celebrate Women’s Day this year?
Driving to Hyderabad with my best friend to find her furniture for her new home.
Would you say there is an under-representation of women in UI/UX design?
Yes and No.
Design for creation is a feminine activity, and women tend to like this field. The corporate culture though is usually the hinderance so we see a lot of designers not making to design leadership. It is not a problem of under-representation. it is a problem of proper channeling of talent.
What are some personality traits of women that make them better (or worse) UX designers?
I dont think anybody’s gender makes them better or worst for any job in the world there is one thing that women bring clearly to workplace, it is perseverance, they keep at it and hold their grounds
Who are some design leaders (male or female) you look up to?
I look up to Indi Young and Donella Meadows. Both of them happen to be women.
As a woman, what’s the greatest challenge you’ve had to face as a designer?
As a designer, I have faced zero challenges pertaining to my gender. As a woman, and a forward looking one, people have found me intimidating, loud, out of place, attractive, always presenting last, always being stopped when talking, never given a stage, demanding, sharp and much more. All of this has worked in mixed manner for me.
Unless women present their own cases they are rarely looked at or considered for next opportunity.
What, in your opinion, could we UI/UX designers do, as a relatively young and collaborative fraternity, to solve the problem of gender inequality?
The young people must form deeper bonds with their other gender partners, exchange ideas, discuss ideas openly and profusely.
Design is a cerebral activity, for it to be inclusive everybody needs to be part of same discussion.
Your message to young women looking to make their careers in UI/UX?
For everyone starting young, they must start by making more – the more we make the better we get. The craft has everything in it, it is out there to help us go beyond the mundane clutter of discrimination. Hone your language and articulation and believe that you can change this world singularly and together. Make friends both men and women and be open with your ideas. There is great power in openness!
This article was last updated on November 26, 2023; Originally published on March 4, 2021