WhatsApp is to India what WeChat is to China — the preferred mode of communication, among many other things. About a decade ago, my home country of billions was introduced to the world of mobile computing, with more affordable smartphone handsets in the market every year, and internet plans becoming more affordable in tandem. Since then, WhatsApp became the preferred communication choice because it was free (in the communication sense), easy to use and met most of the communication needs that cut across generations and classes in the population. We share jokes, send good morning messages, share news, and pretty…

How can designers help solve some challenging problems in ML/AI systems?

I recently started working and understanding what it means to design for an AI powered system. I want to illustrate some use-cases that in my opinion are very challenging design problems and could use a designer’s expertise in making these systems not only easy to use but also more robust. I am not an expert in machine learning and this article is not going into the basics of it. In addition, I am not discussing a more known role designers play at creating the experiences “around” an AI-system (e.g., a voice agent or a chat bot). My goal is to…

and researchers design

I started as a user researcher in a large company back in 2015 and quickly realized that my insights were getting lost in translation as they passed through the ears of several products managers and designers. Was I doing a terrible job at it? May be! But the itch to implement my learnings from users into meaningful product ideas was real. I switched roles to a designer position and as fate would have it, I didn’t have a researcher on the team, and thus, was doing some remote usability studies along with improving my design chops.

Since then, call it…

My second D-school and notes for my younger self.

It was 2017 and I was at a point in my career where I was looking for my next professional challenge. Around the same time, I married my long-time partner. We had been long distancing for more than three years. He was in Boston where he was completing his Ph.D. and is still as I write this post :D.

Getting a work visa outside India is complicated and I was eager to try something exciting in a very supportive environment. The next best option was to join grad school. …

A comprehensive review of the history, measurement methods, and visualization patterns of our migratory flying friends

Fig 1. National Geographic’s interactive map illustrating migration patterns for birds in the American continent. From ‘Billions of Birds Migrate-Where do they go?’ (borrowed from: www.nationalgeographic.com (https://goo.gl/cHbW4H) Accessed on: 6:00 PM (EST), December 2, 2018)

Long post alert! But this was about birds so felt totally worth it. 🐦 🐤📊 📉


Bird migration is the annual, large scale movement of birds from locations of lower food and nesting resources to locations with higher resources. Bird migration is important to study because it gives us insights on bird movements, their behavior, and relevant concepts such as bird evolution, climate change, habitat, and species conservation. Bird migration charts are tools to visualize these complex bird movements across the globe which are…

Gestalt principles or laws are rules that describe how the human eye perceives visual elements. These principles aim to show how complex scenes can be reduced to more simple shapes. They also aim to explain how the eyes perceive the shapes as a single, united form rather than the separate simpler elements involved.

“Gestalt” refers to “shape” or “form” in German; the principles — originally developed by Max Wertheimer (1880–1943), an Austro-Hungarian-born psychologist. — were improved later by Wolfgang Köhler (1929), Kurt Koffka (1935), and Wolfgang Metzger (1936).

Researchers have integrated all of these theories to show how people unconsciously…

Theory of Design by Jay Doblin

These are visual notes from the essay A Short Grandiose Theory of Design by Jay Doblin. This was created as a part of the ARTG 6110: Information Design Theory and Critical Thinking class by Hugh Dubberly.

Icons in the poster are from the noun project.

Adapting to the ever-evolving field of design

Last month (on Feb 13th to be precise) I had the opportunity to speak at a Women Who UX, Boston event called Women Talk Design. I can’t express how wonderful this experience was. This blog post summarizes the key arguments I was trying to make.

A little background about me. I was a Geeky-Artsy child who studied Engineering in India. However, I wanted to explore my creative side and got through a “D-school” where I specialized in User Experience Design. I interned at Samsung, India and worked at Microsoft, India as UX researcher for a year before transitioning into a…

Illustrating children' stories

This fall (August-December 2018), I had a unique experience of working as an illustrator for children’ stories for an application being developed by the Wellness Technology Lab at Northeastern University, Boston, MA. This app is designed by Ph.D. student Herman Saksono under the guidance of Prof. Andrea Parker. The app focuses on low SES families in the United States and encourages them to lead a healthy lifestyle. Although the stories are created for children, they are meant for a family experience where a parent could be as involved as the child/children. …

Arushi Singh

Data . Design . Stories and more at https://www.arushisingh.net/

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