Ariba Jahan

As an immigrant Bengali woman that discovered her profound hearing loss at age eight, Ariba focuses on advocating for diverse, marginalized voices that are often overlooked and ensuring we bring humanity into tech. After a varied background including Biomechancial Engineering, engineering research publications, and a stint at medical school, Ariba lead operations and product management for industry-shifting startups. This work and her passion for social impact brought her to the Ad Council as the Director of Innovation, where she’s charged with scaling design thinking and agile practices, creating digital products to create measurable social impact, and exploring future-forward technology for the organization. With over 10 years of experience in user-focused product design and leading workshops for entrepreneurs in global cities, she’s leveraging her life experiences, startup mindset, and scientific approach to create digital products for social good and organizational change, and empower an innovative culture.

RRS '19 Talk

Who’s not in the room? Build better products by engaging hard to reach users

As technologists, one of the hardest things to remember is that we’re not our users and our assumptions can easily extend into our work. If we aren’t careful, we can easily end up designing products based on our assumptions and biases rather than insights from the actual audience.

 

If we want to  build better products, we need to include our target audience in the creation process and listen to their feedback every step of the way.  In this talk, I’ll share what my team and I learned from two different projects where we worked directly with our audiences - busy moms who were raising a child with autism and Gen Zs experiencing various forms of bullying. You’ll learn what types of biases to watch out for, how to challenge your own assumptions, how to engage hard-to-reach audiences, and how the user-driven insights we gained uncovered the struggles unique to their community and informed our design decisions and product iterations. Whether or not you work in UX design, this talk will help you create tech solutions that are physically, cognitively and emotionally accessible and ultimately valuable for all humans.

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