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April 20, 2016

Beyond Pixels

Posted by April Wang (View Profile | View All Posts) at 4:56 AM

I'm a designer here at Infosys.

Most people who think about designers picture someone working on computers, designing screens, working with pixels, colors, and text. Of course I do these things, but that's not necessarily what a designer does. For example, one of the projects we are working on at the moment is about trying to build sensors to gather data from plant growth. We are using machine learning to figure out the different variables - such as pH value, nutrients, and watering schedule -- to see what the optimal values for all components are. Based on that we are changing the schedule and automating the plant care process.

Ever since I was a little kid I liked making things. When I was in first grade, I started my first circuit by soldering things together. I used a breadboard, turning on LED lights, and I made a little present for my first grade teacher. I also liked making very feminine things like stitching, sewing, knitting, and crochet. In elementary school I was knitting my first scarf and other things for my friends and relatives. I had different phases of making and learning, whether it was making jewelry, doing woodwork, building furniture, or even twisting balloons for kids. I guess I was always into making things, and design in the broader sense is just that - problem solving and making.

I am passionate about my job because design is really what I'm interested in, and I just can't stop myself from designing things and making things. I think everyone should be following his or her passion and that's what I did. Why would anyone not be passionate about something? It's almost like asking why do we exist in this world?  If you exist in the world, there must be something that's driving you. For me, that's designing and making stuff.

About creating change at Infosys,I bring the design approach to every project, including our CEO's client engagements. When he is supposed to meet with the CXOs of our top clients, I will come up with a special design to make the meeting memorable and meaningful. Not long ago, Vishal was meeting an executive from a cosmetics company.  We repackaged makeup foundation and on the packaging we talked about Infosys offering platform as a service and our IP and other things, which mapped their product, the foundation and our platform as a foundation. That's something we haven't been doing before, something quite new to us and we got a lot of positive feedback from our clients.

I wish that we would be able to change people's perception of Infosys as an Indian outsourcing company. We are global, we are offering IT as a service, we're a consulting company, and we're here to help our customers and be their partner in IT. I'm trying to contribute to this change of perception by executing projects like prototyping agriculture in digital space, and showing our clients that we are innovative thinkers about the future of digital technology and that we have creativity and innovative spirit.

A woman in technology who inspires me is Ada Lovelace, a 19th century mathematician said to be the first programmer. I like that programming, or the first computer in the world actually came from a weaving machine, something that's considered very traditional and feminine, turning to a computer, which is considered the masculine kind of object and model.


Never really thought about the different aspects of design! Very interesting article!

I really enjoyed hearing your perspective on design. Great article.

Did some of my own research on Ada Lovelace and she was so interesting! Love this post!

Really enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for your unique perspective!

Great post! Really enjoyed the read!

I love this post! Shared it with a few of my colleagues :)

Great article. I too, love Lovelace!

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