Uday Gajendar

Uday Gajendar is Director of User Experience at CloudPhysics, focused on bringing beauty and soul to Big Data for virtualized datacenters.

Lessons from leading design at a startup

Posted: Tue, September 16, 2014 - 10:01:28

In the past 100+ days I’ve led the successful re-invigoration of a fledgling design capability at a 2-year-old startup into a robust, cohesive, solidified practice with vitality to carry it further, with unified executive support. This includes a revitalized visual design language, visionary concepts to provoke innovation, and strategic re-thinking of UX fundamentals core to the product’s functionality. Being my…

Possibilities, probabilities, and sensibilities

Posted: Thu, July 31, 2014 - 11:27:43

Design is an iterative activity involving trajectories of exploration and discovery, of the problem space, the target market, and the solutions, towards making good choices. As the primary designer charged with delivery of an optimal solution, I must contend with such problems of choice, and thus trade-offs. Designing is fundamentally about mediating “choices”: what elements to show on-screen, which pathways…

Three fundamentals for defining a design strategy

Posted: Tue, April 15, 2014 - 11:04:47

The other day I tweeted this out while grasping what I’m trying to accomplish in my new role as Director of UX at a Big Data start-up: "Creating strategy (& vision) is about understanding the essence, exploring the potential & defining the expression, in an integrative way.” I’d like to delve a bit deeper into this spontaneously conveyed moment of…

Pushing pixels (and tools) : The internal dialogue of craft

Posted: Fri, January 10, 2014 - 10:40:56

Even as a principal designer directing design strategy for projects, I still sometimes go deep into the pixels. When I do, I use a complex tool like Adobe Fireworks or Photoshop to vividly, precisely render a concept so it can win executive buy-in, or prepare final assets for delivery to engineers. Getting into the pixels can be very satisfying. I…

The human in HCI: What you can learn from the Bard (and others)

Posted: Tue, July 16, 2013 - 4:32:37

How does one account for the human within human-computer interaction? One approach historically embodied by the HCI field is firmly reductionist, a distillation of functional entities in which a human comprises "information processing systems" and "decision-making agents." It has a quantitative outlook with scientific rigor and statistical significance of data to ensure accurate validations of hypotheses. This grounds everyone in…

Making wearables, umm, bearable

Posted: Fri, April 26, 2013 - 12:19:33

Wearable devices seem to be all the rage lately, from personal monitoring devices (like Nike FuelBand or FitBit) to smartpens (LiveScribe) to Google Glass, and beyond (medical accessories for the iPhone). I would also include the ubiquitous smartphone as a wearable, since we usually carry it on our body, in a jacket or pants pocket. And there's tremendous buzz on…

Magical or creepy? Designing for super-smart devices

Posted: Thu, March 07, 2013 - 9:51:11

We're now living in an era of "super-smart" devices that learn what we prefer (Nest), correlate data to anticipate our needs (Google Now), and quantify our habits for behavior change (Nike FuelBand). What's the role of designers in such situations of designing for anticipation to support human expectations across shifting contexts and devices? Are designers necessarily going to become "anticipation…

Design predictions for 2013

Posted: Tue, January 08, 2013 - 12:03:36

Well, folks, it's that time of the year again, when we peruse the Interwebs and come across list, after list, after list (sigh!), of predictions for what's ahead in the new year: trends, technologies, and buzzwords. So, I thought I'd play this game, too. (I mean, folks are still returning from the holidays, so the office is a running a…

Blog post #1

Posted: Mon, December 17, 2012 - 3:12:07

Hi there! I'm very honored to be one of the new bloggers for ACM interactions online. In particular, I look forward to drafting thought-provoking posts that may raise some eyebrows in intrigue (or skepticism), yet lead to productive debates about emerging opportunities in the field, critical issues confronting our daily practice, and maybe even challenge some good ol' fashioned HCI-oriented…