Indrani Medhi Thies is a Researcher in the Technology for Emerging Markets Group at Microsoft Research India in Bangalore. Her research interests are in the areas of User Interfaces (UIs), User Experience Design, and Technology for Global Development. Over the years Indrani’s primary work has been in UIs for low-literate and novice technology users. Her recent work is in user experience of conversational agents, mainly chatbots. Indrani has a Ph.D. from the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay, India; a Masters degree in Design from the IIT Institute of Design, Chicago, USA; and a Bachelors degree in Architecture from VNIT, Nagpur, India.
Indrani’s distinctions include the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Social Impact award, the MIT TR35 award, ACM SIGCHI and ACM CSCW best paper honorable mentions, a “Young Indian Leader” award from CNN IBN, and featuring in the list “50 Smartest People in Technology” by Fortune magazine. Indrani has published over 20 refereed research articles in leading conferences and journals. She was a keynote speaker at the 2017 MobileHCI conference. Her Text-Free UIs work has been featured at MoMA the Museum of Modern Art, New York’s “Design and the Elastic Mind” online exhibit.
Fun facts: When not working, Indrani loves to play with her toddler daughter, or watch and write reviews for Indian movies. She has featured in an advertising campaign with Bollywood star Farhan Akhtar. Video here. Being a TEDx speaker in the past, Indrani was in the studio audience of the tv show ‘TED Talks India: Nayi Soch’ on StarPlus, shot at the famed Yashraj Studios, and hosted by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.