Product Design Leader and Mentor


I am a UX design leader with over 20 years of global industry experience. I believe remarkable things can happen when empathy for users plays a key role in solving a design problem. I have designed consumer and enterprise products for a wide range of industries and leading global brands.

As a design leader, I have hired global design talent, managed and mentored a 600+ member multi-disciplinary design team. I have directed large-scale design programs and managed key client relationships. I’m experienced in facilitating design thinking workshops with product teams and also while co-innovating with customers. I have been a visiting faculty and jury member at top design schools in India. I routinely volunteer to mentor high-school students on a career in design and conduct design-thinking workshops for young students.

As a designer, my experience spans across the full lifecycle of User-Centered Design. I have extensive hands-on experience conducting design research, personas and journey mapping, information architecture, storyboarding, wireframing, visual design, prototyping, and design specifications. I have designed solutions for all form factors.

My in-depth understanding of design methodology has enabled me to play a critical role in product ideation, conceptualization, validation, and implementation. I have worked closely with agile product engineering teams to manage design tradeoffs and ensure pixel-perfect implementation. I have developed UI pattern libraries and established design systems to ensure a consistent product experience.

Core Competencies

Design Talent Management l Mentoring l Design Operations l Design Program Management l Ideation and Conceptualization l Design Thinking l Design Research, User Testing and Insights l Interaction Design and Wireframing l Creative Direction and Visual Design l Rapid Prototyping l Design System, Pattern Library and Specifications


Director of Product Design
San Francisco Bay Area
Oct 2016 – Present

As a design leader, I have diverse responsibilities that encompass managing and guiding teams toward success, leading product innovation as a lead designer, envisioning end-to-end enterprise user experience for Service, Sales, and Commerce cloud users, and collaborating effectively with a talented group of engineers, product managers, and designers. I drive user experience for new technologies such as AI/ML and Web3 across the CX portfolio to create experiences that boost user productivity and efficiency in their daily work.

User Experience Design Lead
San Francisco Bay Area
Feb 2016 – Oct 2016

As a design lead, my key responsibility was to create a product experience that enhances the productivity and success of salespeople and LinkedIn business partners.

Experience Design Director
San Francisco Bay Area/India
Sept 2008 – Feb 2016

As the Global Design Practice Leader at Cognizant Technology Solutions, I orchestrated the growth of an industry-leading design team from 150 designers to 600+ Interaction Designers and Visual Designers located in different countries. I managed several large-scale digital design programs and maintained key client relationships by traveling to customer locations across the globe, offering expert insights on user experience and creative design to both clients and Cognizant engineering teams. Working collaboratively with business consultants, front-end architects, and product teams, we delivered over 100 consumer and enterprise projects. I also played a crucial role in leading numerous client pitches, resulting in the acquisition of a new business for Cognizant.

Group Creative Director
India / US
Apr 2000 – Jul 2008

As a creative director, I played a key role in establishing and expanding HFI’s design office in Mumbai, India, where I led the growth of a 40-member creative design team that supported global design consulting projects. Throughout my tenure, I directed and managed over 100 design projects for Fortune 100 customers in industries ranging from financial services and telecom to healthcare, mobile, technology, ERP, automotive, and e-commerce. My expertise includes designing User Interfaces for a diverse range of platforms, including Desktop apps, Web, hand-held devices, mobile phones, and kiosks.

Animator and Graphic Designer for multiple leading animation studios and design houses
May 1995 – Mar 2000

Guest Faculty and Jury Member for User Experience Design Post Graduate and Undergraduate students.
2009 -2013


Bachelor’s in Applied Arts
University of Mumbai, India


Certified Usability Analyst – Certified Usability Analyst by Human Factors International (HFI)

Conscious Business Academy Certification – Conscious Business Certification focuses on Fred Kofman’s fundamental principles of Conscious Business

Enterprise Design Thinking Practitioner – Certification focuses on applying design thinking to complex teams, problems, and organizations.

Enterprise Design Thinking – Team Essentials for AI – Certification focuses on applying Enterprise Design Thinking concepts and activities to design responsible artificial intelligence systems with intention and a focus on people.


Honors & Awards

Emerging Leader of the Year 2012
Cognizant Interactive Design Practice
Dec 2012 

Associate of the Year in supporting role 2010
For performing beyond expectations to support various business initiatives.
Cognizant Interactive Design Practice
Dec 2010 

The project of the year 2010
Cognizant Interactive Design Practice
Dec 2010 

Special Recognition
For holding HFI’s graphical world together with creativity and leadership in the year 2004
Human Factors International
Dec 2004  


Applying Scoring Systems using an Auto-Machine Learning Classification Approach
Filed Nov 16, 2018  
us 16/194,157

SAP Hero

Recognition by SAP as one of the top 50 employees who made a difference in their communities outside of SAP’s volunteer and community engagement offerings. She was acknowledged for her work with Sewa International’s ‘Design to Lead’ Youth Engagement Program, where she mentored high school students on Stanford University’s Design Thinking methodology. Through this program, Riya helped students gain creative confidence, embrace failure, and understand the value of collaboration and feedback.
Issued by SAP · Dec 2022