Over the years, working in many set-ups with very unique and talented people has shaped Sneha Bhadauria’s career and the way she designs. Her journey started as an artist, poetry enthusiast, which slowly moved towards designing digital products. She spent time building her own company and failed at that (she believes that’s probably the best thing that happened to her!). However, she decided to spend more time on her craft and solve bigger design challenges.
Sneha loves design, sharing what she knows, learning what others have to say, and enjoys how dynamic it is. She has formally studied design at Symbiosis Institute of Design, and has ever since worked on multiple projects, across multiple domains with multiple teams.
How are you planning to celebrate Women’s Day this year?
I don’t particularly celebrate the day but I do thank a few important women in my life to have been so strong and resilient. Share my gratitude for being a flag bearer in life instead of pulling me down. I also like to share a few fun notes and messages with my friends to enjoy the day with some pun.
Would you say there is an under-representation of women in UI/UX design?
Yes, I do feel there is an under-representation of women in the design world (as is in most industries). A lot of times it’s due to lack of acceptance, sometimes it’s the work-life balance portrayed as an issue, and a lot of times it just the pure lack of trust that women can lead. Undermining skills over gender-based biases is very common. Lastly and sadly, women don’t have each other’s back, we really need to be each other’s cheerleaders. Men take their bro code pretty seriously, maybe it’s time we learn a thing or two from them.
What are some personality traits of women that make them better (or worse) UX designers?
I personally see designers as designers not men and women. As a community we should focus on bringing in the the right skills to the table. Having said that all designers need to have great observation, appetite to experiment, restart multiple times with the same fire, know the basics of design and have the ability to adapt in a dynamic environment. Anyone with those is welcome to explore the world of design.
Who are some design leaders (male or female) you look up to?
There are a few people who have really inspired me over the years, Bapa, my terracotta teacher, my art teachers Nitish Sir and Ghosh Ma’am, my parents. They are not designers but they sure taught me everything.
I’d like to share a story about why I don’t necessarily look up to people anymore, a while back I was travelling in Europe and met an old lady, we started talking she was well travelled and very Interesting. I asked her, what is that one thing that you have learnt in your life that you’d like to pass on to me.. She said, “Never look up to anyone and never look down on anyone.” It took me some time to understand it but all it means is to be your best version every day.
As a woman, what’s the greatest challenge you’ve had to face as a designer?
As a woman, the biggest challenge was to become a designer. When I started out design was not as popular in India. Most knew the synonym for design being Fashion. It was tough to explain what I wanted to do and why. Especially leaving the known viable, 9 to 5 options like banking or CA or just anything everyone understood.
As a woman in design, I felt the pressure of having to continuously prove myself was much higher compared to my male counterparts. Since acceptance also came from men in leadership roles. However, I feel that’s great because I did push more and more to become a better version of me, my perseverance did pay off.
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. Do not compare yourself with others on any account – work, capability or earnings. Have faith in your competence and uniqueness. Choose your stream and work towards mastering it. And, if you can, help others along the way!
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 4, 2021