Apala Lahiri, Global Chief of Technical Staff at Human Factors International and CEO, Institute of Customer Experience is one of the world’s top experts in cross-cultural design and contextual innovation. Her innovative and pioneering techniques have benefited global giants such as HP Labs, Adidas, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, NCR and Intel, among others.
Apala’s vast array of data-gathering techniques–such as the Bollywood Method, Bizarre Bazaar and Funky Facilitator–help companies understand user experience in diverse cultural and economic environments. The “Ecosystem Chart,” developed by her team, organizes vast amounts of ethnographic data into a coherent model.
Serving with HFI since 1999 as Managing Director, HFI India, and VP, HFI Asia, Apala creates UX strategies for organizations seeking a breakthrough user experience for their customers and other stakeholders. Apala’s writing and classes on contextual innovation, ecosystem research, internationalization and designing for emerging markets have won her acclaim in USA, Canada, Europe, India, and China.
In addition to her usability certifications (CUA and CXA), Apala holds an MSc with distinction in User Interface Design from London Guildhall University. She is also an award-winning designer (recipient of the Audi International Design Award) and a TedX speaker (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiwjplU6kAc).
Apala has co-edited Innovative Solutions: What Designers Need to Know for Today’s Emerging Markets (CRCPress, Taylor and Francis Group, 2010).