Steelcase Technology Solutions Projects 

Led user experience research to understand the work experiences of employees in the smart and connected workplace 

Ology with ActiveTouch

As part of a cross-functional product development team, we tested the ActiveTouch desk controller and "Rise" mobile app which allows end-users to carry their profile and preferences to any smart desk for posture change reminders and sit-stand activity tracking at a connected office. I conducted UX research, crafted personas, and internal usability of an intelligent height-adjustable desk, which led to the launch of Ology with ActiveTouch controller and "Rise" app by Steelcase Inc. 

FrameOne Bench 

Together with Steelcase researchers, I uncovered four unique end-user profiles - nomad, resident, project team, and functional group. I led a global user-centered design research study that revealed the mobility and collaboration activities of workers are increasing in the corporate workplace. We translated user-centric design principles into a diverse set of bench workstation applications that promoted collaboration and mobility in the open plan and modern workplace. 

"Ritu is a knowledgeable and creative individual, as demonstrated by her quick instinct to intellectually engage in problem-solving.  She focuses her natural intellectual curiosity through her application of well-honed analytical skills that demonstrate the use and mastery of her graduate education in User-Centered Design. Ritu is rapid to read, analyze, and find solutions to and, more importantly, with the customer or user."

Terence D. West, (Retired) Director, WorkSpace Futures Research, Steelcase Inc.

Turnstone, A Steelcase Brand Strategy Projects 

Led user research to understand the startup mindsets and values that foster innovation in the creative spaces

Personality & Authenticity In The Workplace

As part of turnstone product development and research team, we conducted contextual interviews, user observations, a video ethnography and secondary research to uncover user experience insights of the founder-led culture - passion, personality, authenticity, and agilityI led a research project along with turnstone marketing and product development teams to understand the entrepreneurial ecosystem. I discovered the customer values framework and the founder's approach to space, reflecting a startup mindset to attract and retain creative talent.  

Bassline Tables - Design Inspiration 

The startup culture research insights informed a series of customer-facing workshops, sales tools and product design inspirations to turnstone design and brand marketing teams at Steelcase Inc. The user research insights helped grow the business revenue and earned the design team an innovation award for the Bassline Table at neocon 2016, a Contract Furniture Industry Trade Show. The Bassline Table offers customization to the clients where they can put their personality on display by co-designing the tabletop to tell a unique story of their team culture. vvv

Ritu’s continued leadership unearthed additional ideas about the reinvention, and disruption-minded leaders face in larger organizations, and how they use space to accelerate innovation. The ensuring insights informed a series of customer-facing workshops, sales tools, and product design that would eventually help grow the business at an incredible rate, and earn the team design accolades for some of the new products (an example of which is the Innovation Award at our industry’s trade show for the Bassline Table).

Brian Shapland , General Manager at turnstone, A Steelcase Brand at Steelcase Inc.

"I have facilitated Human-Centered Design Thinking workshops for UX research and product design with cross-functional teams at Steelcase."

"I have led Usability testing of low fidelity and high fidelity prototypes with the end-users in the internal labs and the external client sites."

Microsoft Corporation

Led user experience research to create personas for Microsoft Enterprise software.

Troubleshooting Features and UI of BackOffice Server 5.0

As part of the BackOffice Interaction Design Group, I conducted user research, arranged meetings with all key players in the troubleshooting area, at the end of each phase: analysis, concepts, solutions. The User Experience (UX) research involved persona and scenario development for structuring and framing of the problem space. I communicated several alternatives tailored to specific sets of users and implementation platforms and presented UX research requirements for the troubleshooting features and User Interface (UI) design of BackOffice Server 5.0.

 Steelcase Education Solutions Projects 

Led ethnographic user research to understand the learning experiences of students in the active learning spaces 

An Active Learning Experience With Node 

As part of Steelcase Education Solutions product development team, we conducted a video ethnography, contextual interviews, a qualitative survey, and beta testing to discover flexible, student-centered classroom layouts for the final iteration of the node chair prototype. I facilitated a pre-post occupancy evaluation of an active learning classroom with node chairs at the University of Michigan along with other WorkSpace Futures Researchers, IDEO designers, and Steelcase Education Solutions marketing lead. 

An Active Learning Experience With Verb 

As part of a cross-functional product development team, we conducted iterative testing of Verb Table prototypes, a survey and contextual interviews for user feedback on scorecards to enhance collaboration, flexibility, and multi-modal learning experiences. I facilitated several rounds of behavioral prototypes and usability testing during the product development process of classroom furniture along with other WorkSpace Futures Researchers, IDEO designers, and Steelcase Education Solutions design engineers. 

Steelcase Healthcare Solutions Projects 

Led ethnographic user research to understand the healing experiences of patients and caregivers in healthcare spaces

Environment For Cancer Care With Sonata

As part of the Steelcase Health (Nurture) research team, I conducted extensive user research to understand patient's, caregiver's and care partner's needs in the oncology environments and their journey to the cancer care experience. We uncovered insights and design principles for cancer care - we are family, see me heal me,  holistic care, and details for comfort and dignity.  Along with Nurture designers, we launched Sonata, which is a modular storage unit for oncology patients, families, and clinicians in the chemotherapy and infusion treatment areas.

Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion CHCWM 

The Cancer and Hematology Centers of West Michigan and the Steelcase Health (Nurture) research teams implemented patient-centric insights and design principles for the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I collaborated with the architects and interior designers to implement Sonata for the chemotherapy and infusion areas and for the caregiver's and patient's holistic care experience. Designers provided a connection to nature and comfortable seating arrangements for families and partners at the welcome spaces of the Oncology.