There is no formula to deal with complexity.

It needs a craft such as Design-Research.

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Emergent Users or Next Billion Users
Devanuj

I am a Design Researcher, Practitioner and Educator.

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I help businesses use Design-Research for Strategy and Innovation.

I help them in the following:

  • Understand Design-Research by doing it with their decision-making team.
  • Help them document and communicate the results of the research.
  • Mentor and guide them to use the results for strategy as well as innovation.
  • Establish a Design(-Thinking) capability and culture in their organisation.

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In addition I conduct Design(-Thinking) workshops for industry professionals that included start-up founders, project managers and UX professionals.

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I also teach at different Design Schools subjects like Design-Research, Design-Strategy and UX/HCI Design.

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I have formally studied three different domains of Design—Architecture, Product Design and Human- Computer Interaction. Therefore, I am trained to address the human problems related to habitat and usability.

As a research scholar at IIT Bombay, India, I have attempted to understand and predict digital technology usage in rural and low-literate contexts in India.

I had also worked in the IT industry as a researcher where I attempted to develop approaches to train computers for recognizing human handwriting.

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I am also a student of (traditional) Advaita Vedanta.

Curriculum Vitae


Design-Research (Strategic) Consultant (January 2020-)

My current and prospective clients include companies:

  • Looking for replacing text-input in applications with voice.
  • Wanting to use Augmented-Reality (AR) for education.
  • Working for health delivery in rural areas.

National Institute of Fashion Technology, Mumbai (August 2018 -)

Faculty-member (Visiting)

I have been conducting two courses:

1. Systems-Thinking (B. Des. Vth Semester)

(includes Activity Theory and Delphi Method)

2. Experience Design (M. Des. Ist Semester)

(includes digital and non-digital with a focus on the cognitive issues)

3. Interface Design (M. Des. IInd semester)


Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology (July 2017 - September 2017)

Faculty-member (Visiting)

I had conducted two courses in two different streams—Product Design and Interaction Design. The first pertained to designing for the near future. The other was regarding Design Research.

My emphasis, firstly, had been to sensitise the students about the users’ context. For me, that included both the immediate context of the users and the wider social, economical and political contexts in which they were embedded. Secondly, I had helped students follow the design life-cycle strictly. Students would often drop the mappings between various phases of the life cycle—I had actively helped them avoiding that. Thirdly, I had given equal importance to the artefact and the textual & verbal discourse. Therefore, in both the exercises, the students not only generated detailed design solutions but also presented their research/design formally and wrote research reports and papers.


Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology (July 2009 - July 2013)

(Ph. D. awarded in 2019)

Teaching Assistant (as part of scholarship for full time Ph D) in Human Computer Interaction Design

As a full time research scholar (the Ph. D. was examined in Oct, 2018), I worked as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for which a scholarship was awarded. The tenure of scholarship was 4 years since the time of joining. My duties including assisted my supervisor in teaching and research.

My Ph. D. is about Information and Communication Technology (ICT) usage by the Emergent Users—the ones who have been deprived of ICT but are now `emerging’ to reap its fruit. I try to look beyond the statistics to answer questions such that:

1 - What are the parameters that help an emergent user (a) start using and (b) sustain the usage of a digital technology artefact?

2 - How, in terms of behaviour, the usage could be characterized?

3 - Can a relationship be modelled between the users' parameters (such as age, gender & education-level) and his usage behaviour?

4 - How could such a model be used to design meaningfully for the emergent users?


Tata Consultancy Services/Tata Infotech Ltd. (August 2001 - June 2009)

Researcher

I was embedded into a core Technology Research team. My career at TCS/TIL followed three strands—

Artificial Intelligence/Pattern Recognition/Machine Learning

We attempted to make computers recognize and understand human handwriting. One of the endeavors was to extract a pen’s path from the static image of a signature. This was a useful strategy because the time related information makes the recognition process easier. The other work was to synthesize a person's handwriting so that personalized messages could be generated using computers. The third was to develop a small recognizer that could understand handwritten numbers in words.

Human Computer Interaction

I advised my team regarding various Human-Computer Interaction related issues. I was able to spread a general awareness about Human Centred Design issues. This was particularly useful in m-Krishi project that delivered various services to farmers over their mobile phones.

Speech Databases

In between, I also dealt with speech technology. I played an important role in the development of a Speech Database.

[Speech Databases are needed for training the speech engines, which are special software at the core of speech recognition systems. Their development is a highly complex process and requires a fair level of understanding of speech technology as well as linguistics]

Education

Ph. D. in Human Computer Interaction

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) - 2009 – 2019

Master of Design (M. Des.) in Industrial Design

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) - 1998 – 2000

Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch.)

University of Roorkee (now Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, IITR) - 1993 - 1998