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Enhancing Sustainability: UX Strategies in Digital Oil and Gas Landscape

Pragya's expertise in UX design has significantly advanced sustainability in digital oil and gas products.

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Enhancing Sustainability: UX Strategies in Digital Oil and Gas Landscape
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In the rapidly evolving world of digital design, few professionals have successfully bridged the gap between physical architecture and user experience (UX) design as effectively as Pragya Srivastava, a Senior User Experience Designer. With a decade of diverse design experience and a five-year bachelor's degree in Architecture, she has become a leading figure in the intersection of architecture and UX, particularly within the oil and gas industry.

Beginning as a design professional in 2014, the former Architect co-founded Yugen Space Design in 2017, where the initial dive into digital design sparked a curiosity that led to a seamless transition into UX. Currently, a Senior UX Designer in Occidental Petroleum, a fortune 500 Oil and Gas company, Pragya spearheads the User Experience design and research of enterprise products that leverage IoT, Machine learning, and AI to enhance operational efficiency and improve production. "My background in architecture and Entrepreneurship has made me more empathetic to user needs and equipped me with exceptional skills in collaboration, communication, research and understanding business goals," Pragya explains.

Sustainable UX Solutions in Oil and Gas

Pragya's expertise in UX design has significantly advanced sustainability in digital oil and gas products. By leading the design of innovative IoT products and mobile apps, she has not only improved employee efficiency in digital applications but also contributed to substantial environmental benefits.

1. Gas Lift Optimization: The Gas Lift Optimization product, designed by Pragya, increases well uptime and improves production while mitigating flare. Implemented across networks containing approximately 2,000 wells, this product has freed up a remarkable number of work hours per engineer each month. "By designing intuitive dashboards and conducting thorough UX research, we streamlined workflows and significantly reduced the digital carbon footprint," says Pragya.

2. Methane Emission Detection App: Sustainability is at the core of the methane emission detection app, which uses sensors and cameras to identify emissions early. This app reduces the need for routine monitoring visits, cutting down on emissions from travel. "Integrating AI for anomaly detection and providing accessible data through trends and snapshots has made a notable impact on reducing downtime and catching emissions early on," Pragya notes.

3. Task Management App: The redesign of a mobile App used by Production Techs addressed both functionality and user experience, with a strong focus on sustainability. The introduction of dark mode adhering to strict WCAG accessibility guidelines led to an increased user satisfaction score. "The dark mode not only enhances usability for night shift employees but also conserves battery life, contributing to energy efficiency," Pragya explains.

Additionally, significant improvements were made to the app's information architecture and navigation. "By redoing the information architecture and removing unused features, we made the app leaner and more effective, "Pragya states. Streamlining the app reduces its digital carbon footprint by minimizing server load and data processing requirements. Enhanced navigation ensures that users can access the information they need more quickly and efficiently, further reducing energy consumption associated with prolonged app usage.

These products exemplify how thoughtful UX design can drive sustainability by reducing drive times for maintenance, early emission detection, optimizing operational processes, and improving the digital carbon footprint. "Our goal is to create user-friendly solutions that also promote environmental sustainability," Pragya emphasizes.

Advocating for UX Practices and Mentorship

Beyond project-specific contributions, Pragya is a staunch advocate for advancing UX practices within the organization. By conducting UX research workshops, co-authoring a UX design playbook, and collaborating closely with stakeholders, SMEs, product owners, and developers, the UX Designer fosters a culture of design excellence.

In addition to internal advocacy, Pragya is committed to giving back to the design community. As an award-winning design mentor on ADPList, she provides guidance and support to aspiring designers. "Mentorship is about sharing knowledge and experiences to help others grow. It’s incredibly rewarding," says Pragya.

Moreover, as the President of the IxDA local chapter and a judge for international hackathons, Pragya actively engages with the global design community, contributing to the advancement of UX in various fields.

Enhancing Cross-Functional Collaboration Through Effective Design Strategy

A key aspect of Pragya's role as a Senior UX Designer is acting as a liaison between business stakeholders, users, and the development team. This cross-functional collaboration ensures that the final product not only meets business objectives but also provides a seamless and intuitive user experience.

"Effective UX design is about more than just creating beautiful interfaces—it's about facilitating clear communication and collaboration between all parties involved," Pragya asserts. To achieve this, she conducts several key activities:

1. Whiteboarding Sessions: Whiteboarding sessions are essential for aligning the vision of all stakeholders. During these sessions, Pragya brings together business leaders, developers, and users to brainstorm and map out the product's design and functionality. "These sessions foster a collaborative environment where everyone's input is valued, ensuring that we create solutions that are both innovative and practical," explains Pragya

2. UX Research Activities: Pragya employs a variety of UX research methods to gather insights directly from users. This includes usability testing, surveys, and think-aloud sessions, often condensed into comprehensive mixed-method sessions to maximize efficiency. "By understanding the users' needs and pain points, we can design products that truly resonate with them," the Senior UX lead notes. The findings from these research activities are then shared with the development team and stakeholders to inform design decisions.

3. Developer Handoff: To ensure a smooth transition from design to development, Pragya places a strong emphasis on the developer handoff process. This involves detailed pre-handoff meetings where the design intent is clearly explained, and any potential challenges are addressed. "It’s crucial to have open lines of communication with developers. Regular check-ins and detailed handoff documentation help prevent misunderstandings and ensure that the final product aligns with the design vision," says Pragya.

By integrating these practices into the agile workflow, the former Arc enhances not just the UX of the products but also the overall efficiency and satisfaction of the agile teams. This holistic approach to design and collaboration ensures that all team members are on the same page and working towards a common goal.

Personal Philosophy and Professional Insights

For Pragya, proactive integration of User Experience design from the start of a project is paramount. "UX should be a part of the conversation from the beginning, not just an afterthought," the UX Designer strongly advises. This approach ensures that user needs are prioritized throughout the project lifecycle.

Furthermore, Pragya underscores the importance of data-driven design decisions. "Validating your design with solid metrics is crucial in a field where everyone speaks the language of data," she points out. This methodology not only strengthens the credibility of the design team but also aligns UX goals with business objectives, facilitating smoother project approvals and stakeholder buy-in.

Conclusion

From the architectural drafting tables to the digital dashboards of UX design, Pragya has navigated a remarkable path, bridging two distinct worlds with expertise and vision. In doing so, she has not only advanced the practice of UX design within the oil and gas industry but also set a benchmark for how design can transform traditional industries. As Pragya continues to innovate and inspire, the impact of her work is set to resonate for years to come, proving that good design is not just about aesthetics—it’s about making life better, one user experience at a time.

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