Namita Mohandas (23) studied graphic design at Rachna Sansad College of Applied Art and Craft, Prabhadevi, and is now a user experience designer with Mumbai-based virtual world solutions provider Indusgeeks.
What exactly does a user experience designer do?
The first iteration of the Internet was information-based. That was Web 1.0. Then came the social connectivity aspect, which was Web 2.0.
Now, there is a move towards greater interactivity between the user and the website he’s surfing, which is what Web 3.0 is all about.
A company like Indusgeeks creates virtual spaces — something like Second Life — where clients can meet in the virtual space to hold conferences. I’m working on a project for a client who wants to create a virtual emergency room so that medical students can hone their knowledge on virtual patients. My job is to figure out the best possible way in which that virtual space can seem as real as possible to the user.
What does that involve?
Everything from figuring out where to place dialogue boxes to deciding what needs to be told to the user and when.
How is what you do different from web designing?
I know how to create websites, but a user experience designer’s job is all about making sure the user has the best possible experience by visualising the website from his point of view.
It involves knowing how to visualise data (as they have in Farmville) and creating simulations, serious games and seamless virtual worlds.
I am the translator between the 3D graphic designers, who are the architects of the 3D space and the characters, and the software developers who do the programming.
I’ve picked up basic programming like HTML and CSS so I can work more closely with designers and developers.