My Superpower?Communicating with both non-technical and technical folks in cross-functional environments

One question I’ve been repeatedly asked: why choose a liberal arts school for a computer science degree? Well, one obvious answer is my passion for poetry. The second, more important, point is the variety of classes we’re required to take and the environments we’re exposed to in the process.

Overall, I worked on 23 group projects over 7 semesters with classmates from various majors — Political Science, English Lit, Music, Economics to name a few — in addition to Computer Science. I’ve learnt the importance of contextual research and communication in cross-functional environments.

Let's talk about problem-solving


One of the most crucial aspects of efficient problem-solving? Great research! I like to start by defining research questions and tying them to business and product goals. Whether it’s the way people interact with a product or with each other, I not only ask good questions but am also more sensitive to the subtle, non-verbal cues — a skill I’ve developed through different cross-cultural experiences. I like conducting both qualitative and quantitative research in any project, utilizing skills from my analytical and liberal arts background.


My favorite tools: Adobe XD, Adobe Illustrator.
In college, I starting learning about visual design principles through the graphic design classes. I had always been intrigued by digital interfaces, which eventually brought me to UX design. As a developer on any project, I find great value in being able to speak the design language for better collaboration with designers. I am lightening fast with Adobe XD, so whenever a design proposal is made, I draft it up in XD so that stakeholders can see the ideas visually. Through my classes, I was also introduced to InvisionApp, which is now my go-to tool for medium fidelity prototyping. For high fidelity, I opt for HTML, CSS, JavaScript and find that non-technical people always prefer the prototype to be as close to the real product as I can make.


Languages of choice: Python, SQL.
When working with data — structured or unstructured — I start by asking questions. What would the completed analysis look like? What does the data mean in the given context? What does the entry 0 mean as opposed to a blank entry? Data is crucial to each team — design, development, product management, strategy — and I often deal with data during the research phase of a project. Occasionally, I’ve collected and analyzed data for user testing. I’m excited by the power of data and how it can help organizations deliver great customer experience!

Make it all accessible!

Accessibility is at the heart of my work. While both designing and coding, my main goal is always making the interface ADA compliant. We can drive inclusion by making interfaces — both digital and physical — accessible to all kinds of people. Some of the tools I regularly use are:

Stark Contrast Checker plugin for Adobe XD

WebAIM Contrast Checker