Priyanka Sanghavi

Apprentice, UX Research

Priyanka Sanghavi
Meet Priyanka Sanghavi: UX Researcher

DIA Design Guild is excited to introduce Priyanka as the first apprentice/intern from Claremont Graduate University.

Grace met Priyanka Sanghavi at World Usability Day Los Angeles in November 2019 and they connected afterwards over LinkedIn, coffee, and her search for UX internships. In September 2020, Priyanka joined officially as an apprentice/intern researcher and started working on +HospitalRun.

DIA Design Guild is excited to introduce Priyanka as the first apprentice/intern from Claremont Graduate University.

How did you get into the field of UX? How did your journey through UX lead you here?

When I was an undergraduate studying cognitive science at the University of California, Davis, I joined my campus’s chapter of Design for America, a club that teaches students about problem-solving via human-centered design. I also spent three years conducting research with a psychology professor. When I first found out about Claremont Graduate University’s Master’s program in Applied Cognitive Psychology with a focus on User Experience, I realized that this program would allow me to combine these skills I learned in my undergraduate years in a way that would set me up for a fulfilling career. I enrolled in this program and then started checking out local networking events, which eventually got me in touch with DIA Design Guild!

How did you first learn about DIA Design Guild?

A couple months into my Master’s program, one of my peers invited me to World Usability Day Los Angeles, where she introduced me to Grace Lau, one of the founders of DIA Design Guild. In a later coffee chat, Grace told me about +HospitalRun, which is an open-source electronic health record project that is collaborating with DIA Design Guild for its UX needs. I immediately admired the socially conscious mission of +HospitalRun, which was to provide necessary healthcare software to under-resourced medical facilities around the world. I decided to join +HospitalRun to get practical UX experience.

What has your apprenticeship experience been like?

I’ve learned a ton from doing projects under DIA Design Guild! The users I’ve talked to are doctors and healthcare technology professionals who are doing such important work, and it really motivated me to make sure that +HospitalRun was serving them in the best possible way. As I wrapped up my generative research interviews project, it was an empowering experience when I delivered my case study to the lead programmers of +HospitalRun, and they replied to me with a renewed resolve to make improvements to the product. That’s not something that I get to experience as a student, where the final audience of my hard work is a course instructor.

What career goals do you have and how has your apprenticeship with DIA helped you with those goals?

My career goal is to be a user experience researcher at a mission-driven organization. First, DIA has helped me by connecting me to Grace, who has been a fantastic advocate for me through this career journey. Second, even though I have done some user experience projects in school, my DIA Design Guild apprenticeship gave me a better feel for what it will be like to do this job in a professional setting because I got to assess the needs of +HospitalRun and complete projects that would actually influence real-world design and programming decisions. All this has given me compelling stories to tell in job application materials and interviews.

What advice do you have for anyone else looking to join the community?

The more you contribute to your DIA Design Guild project, the more you’ll get out of this community! This is especially important for UX novices to consider as they try to break that annoying catch-22 of “You need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job”—let the great causes championed by DIA Design Guild give you the experience you need to impress your next hiring manager!

How can people get in touch with you?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/priyanka-sanghavi-a21b84127/