Bahana Saikia

MA 22/23

As a service designer dedicated to driving social impact, I possess a unique blend of skills as a product and UX expert. My mission is to assist organisations in overcoming challenges and attaining their objectives through thoughtful design solutions.

Throughout my professional journey, I have collaborated with a diverse array of startups, ranging from nascent ventures to established enterprises. Notable accomplishments include managing the design function for impactful products and consulting projects such as, Hybrid.Chat, and Objective.Earth. These experiences have allowed me to refine my skills and apply my expertise in service product design to deliver meaningful outcomes.

What truly fuels my passion is social design, particularly initiatives that make a significant difference in areas such as adult social care, probation services, hygiene and sanitation, and risk mitigation for sex workers. By employing design thinking methodologies, I have cultivated a keen ability to uncover user needs and bridge the divide between product design and service design. This approach empowers me to create user-centric solutions that drive tangible impact and foster innovation.

At the core of my practice lies an unwavering sense of curiosity, propelling me to constantly explore, adapt, and grow both as a designer and as an individual, while also facilitating growth in others.

For me, design is a calling. It holds a similar allure to that of a captivating mystery novel, where each challenge presents a new puzzle to solve. The fusion of creativity and problem-solving transforms design into an enchanting interplay of logic and usability.

The ability to transform abstract ideas into tangible solutions is nothing short of magical. To nurture a seed of an idea through sketches, blueprints, prototypes, and witness its evolution into a fully-fledged product that can touch lives—this is why I am passionate about design.

What truly ignites a fire within me is the end user. Witnessing how my designs can make someone's day a little easier validates the late nights and caffeine-fuelled brainstorming sessions. The knowledge that I can play a modest role in enhancing someone's interaction with a product or service, making it more enjoyable, efficient, or simply more human, is the greatest reward I could ask for.

Previous experience:

  • Smarter.Codes: Product Designer - Led design and development of B2B products (CRM, social inbox, chatbot, social network, e-commerce platform) released in June 2022, driving 15% customer engagement increase and 20% revenue boost.
  • Beyond Design Studio: Chief Innovation Officer - Led design and development studio, resulting in 10% revenue increase and 20% customer satisfaction boost.
  • Teach2Educate: UX/UI Designer - Contributed to mobile app design for underprivileged students, leading to 30% increase in student engagement and 40% user satisfaction improvement.
  • DaurCom: Design and Experience Analyst - Led team to deliver client websites and applications, achieving 20% increase in client satisfaction.
  • ATOM: Product Management Intern - Conducted user interviews, analysed app content, and improved UX resulting in 15% app retention increase.

Public Event 2023

On top of violence, harassment and stigma associated with the job, sex workers live in fear everyday of being discovered. Hence, all sex workers use one or more aliases to communicate with clients, service providers (healthcare, banking etc), friends and family. It becomes really difficult for them to remain anonymous, and at the same time be safe and access a wide range of services (Eg. when a sex worker goes missing, friends and family cannot contact local authorities since they don't know their legal name). 

1. A privacy-centric platform

A privacy-centric platform that allows sex workers to sign up for services privately, giving them control over the data they choose to share and with whom. This solution leverages blockchain technology to ensure secure and confidential transactions, empowering sex workers to maintain their privacy while accessing necessary services. Additionally, they can selectively share information with trusted individuals, such as friends and family, using private passwords.

2.  Integrating private details onto existing identification systems

An alternative approach involves integrating private details onto existing identification systems, such as NFC-enabled passports or driving licenses. This solution enables sex workers to visit service providers who can securely access and manage their data during interactions. Once the service is completed, the updated information is loaded back onto the passport, ensuring data integrity and erasing any trace of the transaction from the system.

We are currently exploring both these solutions, weighing the pros and cons and figuring which one to take further. By developing a practical solution, we aim to enhance their safety and well-being in a meaningful and impactful way.

WIP project 2022