Richa Sarabhai is an Associate Design Director at Nagarro with over 16 years of premium industry experience in driving creative strategy and developing innovative and sharply focused design solutions across various media. Through these years she has handled every part of the design business by working closely for Communication/Brand Design, Visual Design, Creative Strategy, Product Design, and spearheaded design teams for some prominent market leaders like Sapient, Adobe & Publicis Digitas.
Richa also loves to paint in her free time, a habit that’s been a part of her life since childhood; which eventually became a Bachelor of Fine Art degree education and a career in the field of design. Richa has painted mural walls in many of her offices and loves to do hands-on creative decor for homes and design studios.
How are you planning to celebrate Women’s Day this year?
The way Women’s Day is celebrated has changed a lot over the years. On the personal front, it’s a “thank you for being there” peck on a cheek by my spouse and son! But professionally, it’s gone from getting Women’s Day cards and gifts to celebrating gender equality in many different ways.
At Nagarro this year, we are extending the theme of the International Women’s Day to our celebrations and both men and women of Nagarro are posting our pictures in the #ChooseToChallenge gender discrimination pose on our social handles.
Would you say there is an under-representation of women in UI/UX design?
What are some personality traits of women that make them better (or worse) UX designers?
We talk about empathy day in and day out in the design context and conversations and I believe women are very empathetic. This quality in itself is the greatest tool for a designer and one that gives an edge to the women in the field of design.
The other one I can think of is perseverance or resilience.
Who are some design leaders (male or female) you look up to?
Milton Glaser and Paula Scher – Old school, passionate, real, and a tad bit eccentric. I believe if you don’t have a shred of madness and passion for something, you’re not truly committed to it!
As a woman, what’s the greatest challenge you’ve had to face as a designer?
I haven’t faced any direct repercussions for anything as a result of being a woman, but I think in general, a work culture that only rewards masculine traits such as competitiveness and dominance and understate feminine traits such as compassion and not being so ‘out-there’ is definitely a hurdle.
What, in your opinion, could we UI/UX designers do, as a relatively young and collaborative fraternity, to solve the problem of gender inequality?
Many a times we have tried to look at an organisational problem through the design thinking lens. It is a very human problem and one that many of us encounter, directly or indirectly. We might all know women in technology who took a break in their careers to get married or have a baby and after a few years not understanding how to step back in the industry because the technology landscape has changed completely or women who are not a part of the “boy’s club” at work and lose out on opportunities.
I think as designers, we can help in defining processes that can help curb gender inequality. Perhaps, more diverse interview panels, fair compensation practices and even capturing and learning from the exit interviews to determine why more women leave at or after a certain level.
Your message to young women looking to make their careers in UI/UX?
My advice to anyone starting out in the field of design is to trust in themselves. As designers, we have a tendency to doubt and underestimate ourselves, women moreso! No one knows everything, we only get better with time and how much better, depends on your thirst to learn and absorb.
This article was last updated on November 26, 2023; Originally published on March 4, 2021