In this series of interviews, you will get to know more about Prasanna Gadkari as a person. I had kept this interview in three sections -Q&A,This or That, and a Rapid Fire to make it more fun and interactive.
Meet Prasanna, He did his master's in product design and has been helping the design community for a while. He works for Amazon these days as a UX designer and holds a degree in product design from the Indian Institute of Science. He is a beautiful soul and an amazing mentor. He had helped 120+ strangers in a month during COVID-19 which is really commendable (you can check the article about the same here).
I have known Prasanna for a while and I was fortunate enough to get mentorship from him. I found him to be a very calm, humble, and approachable person. Recently, I got a chance to have an insightful conversation with him. Here are some highlights of our conversation.
I’m solving people's problems, creating more designers in the field by helping people through platforms like ADPList, and also making an impact on the business itself in a way by helping companies like amazon who are catering to a lot of people.
I go for runs these days. I used to go earlier as well but because of the pandemic I think I’m doing it more frequently and with more enthusiasm, another is I have started reading books( Not necessarily design books but mostly novels) which I had stopped reading a while back.
I do find my inspiration in my work itself. So the people I work with are the best in the industry and they inspire me most of the time. Let’s say my boss gives me some really difficult assignments to work on or the colleagues which give me advice or a critique which are very spot on. So things like this make me inspired to do things better than what I’m doing.
There are different categories of questions that mentees generally ask. The most frequently asked question would be “how do I make a transition in design, specifically in UX design?” Another thing people generally ask (generally who are already in the design field for many years) is “how do you hone your design skills and actually become a better designer?” And the third most asked question would be “what is the typical way to get into FAANG companies ( Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google).
Yes, there are a few. Most significant would be when mentees are not very open to taking suggestions. Let's say if some mentee comes for a portfolio review and if I tell them that this persona doesn't necessarily work for this particular problem, they get offended and some of the mentees even need validations but don’t take criticism positively. Some mentees don’t come prepared so it becomes difficult to channel or focus the conversation as they don’t have any structured questions which I feel will not really help them whereas few are not really used to the remote style of taking feedback like not being used to sharing screens and doing stuff like that, so it kind of becomes difficult at times to give them feedback.
I have had a couple of mentors in my life and my most recent mentor is a person called Ko Nakatsu. He used to be head of Amazon pay, Japan and currently working as head of service transformation design at Salesforce. I have actually connected with him a few times and would usually go with some set of questions but what I noticed is he would always be a step ahead of me and would tell me something which I never asked(which I should have) and that's what I feel makes him an amazing mentor and it makes you feel that he cares about you.
You should stay one step ahead of your users as a designer (it could be any designer for that matter), like the way we have to be one step ahead of our opponent while playing chess. In this way, you can amaze your users and make them feel like you actually care about them and know their problems without them telling you.
I think there are three reasons I have seen people being on ADPList. The first reason is to help others, which is my reason as well. Second, I think people feel good when they hear the praises which kind of gives them an ego boost which is partially true for me as well. And the third reason would be for publicity. Let’s say they want to promote any courses which they might want others to join or maybe something else which is also fine. So yea, these are the factors I think might attract Mentors to Join ADPList.
I feel it is a well-integrated platform. What I mean by that is, it has really good Mentees and Mentors, it has got its own calendaring system and has its own message section which is very convenient. And in today's world of remote working, ADPList has really grown up which is amazing.
1. Cats Or Dogs >> Dogs 🐶
2. TV or Movies >> Movies 🎬
3. Paper Books or eBooks >> eBooks 📑
4. Summer or Winter? >> Winter ⛄
5. Country or City? >> City 🏡🚗
6. Beach or Mountain? >> Mountain 🗻
7. Instagram or LinkedIn? >> LinkedIn
8. Work from Home or office? >> From Office 💼🏢
9. Coffee or Tea? >> Coffee ☕
10. Marvel or DC?? ?? Tough one, but will go with Marvel 😉
1. Favorite book?📖
2. Fav song? 🎧
Faded by Alan walker
3. Fav Movie? 🎥
The Thin Red Line
4. Who is your inspiration? Name anyone 👤
My mentor - Mr. Ko Nakatsu
5. Advice to your younger self? 👦
Be more ambitious and don't fall into a hole for a long time.
6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?📍
Where I am right now - Vancouver, Canada.
7. Fav family vacation destination? 🌄🌁🌊
8. Fav thing about your job? 💼
Talking with the users
9. Cheat meals? 🍧🍰🍩
Masala Dosa 😋
10. What motivates you to work hard? 💪
Smiles on the user's face( Especially when they use my design because they like it and not because they find something funny in it) 😊😁
Thanks for reading this article! I hope this will serve as a useful resource for mentees who are looking and getting to know their mentors on our platform. Be sure to follow us on ADPList, to get the latest news from us.
📅 You can book a session with Prasanna on ADPList: Link here
👉 You can also follow him on LinkedIn : Link here