Nice to Meet You

I’m Darshan Gajara – a product designer & maker living in Berlin. I currently head design at GraphCMS and run Product Disrupt. I also write stories about design & travel, interview creators, mentor designers and curate design resources.

I grew up in a very small town in India and moved to Mumbai in 2009 to pursue higher education. I studied Computer Engineering at Somaiya Vidyavihar and taught myself to design from the internet.

Making websites is what got me into design in the first place. I can never forget the sheer joy of putting something on the internet while I was still in college.

My professional journey as a designer started with my first job after college at BookMyShow, where I learned about different disciplines of design like graphics, print, web, interaction and product design.

I worked full-time at startups in India for 2 years and then became a freelancer to take control of my time and travel the world while working. During 3 years of working as a freelancer, I had the opportunity to work with big and small clients from countries like the US, UK, UAE, Canada, Australia and of course, India. I also traveled to over 10+ countries in Asia & Europe during this time. I've written about some of these stories on my blog.

In 2019, I accepted a full-time job and moved to Berlin. I've been working and living here since.

When I'm not designing, I'm either working on my side-projects (mostly Product Disrupt) or planning my next travel. I'm a simple man that way :)

Values

I have a few values that guide me to be the best version of myself. When we're doing so much, it's easier to get consumed by our own work and forget why even we do something that we do. These values help me stay grounded and on track.

01

Consistency outplays talent

Talent can only give us a head start but it's the consistency that helps us grow and stand out from the crowd. I've abided by this learning since the time I started working and have always benefited from being consistent.

02

Listen carefully and don't jump to conclusions

Almost nothing in life is as objective as it seems. It's easier to make assumptions and jump to false conclusions. Avoid doing that and seek for context.

03

Be real and useful

Emotions aren't a bug, they're a feature. Stay authentic and give without expectations.

04

Appreciate in open, critique in private

When you like someone's work, let them know in public. You might make their day. When you don't like someone's work, let them know in private so they can improve. They'll mostly appreciate it.

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Around the Web

Some places on the internet where my work has been featured, a list of interviews and speaking engagements.

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Interviews

Speaking

  • Online • Feb 2021
  • Online • Feb 2021
  • Mumbai • Sep 2019
  • Doha • Apr 2019
  • Online • Mar 2018
  • Rourkela • Apr 2017
  • Mumbai • Jan 2017
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“Darshan worked for us on a recent project that required broad market research and deep & thoughtful design.

I was impressed both by his focus on details, his maturity of thought, and his diligent, earnest efforts in making sure that we got a great product.

He worked closely with us and with tremendous initiative to complete the project successfully. Our experience working with him has been nothing short of delightful.”

Anup Anthony

CTO & Co-founder at Sapaad

“We had a mobile app that was doing good but to make it great, we needed it to be consumer oriented and focus more on user experience. We were fortunate enough to have Darshan on board to achieve this.

We were the happiest with the end product and we couldn’t have expected any better. Darshan’s feedback also helped us a lot in pivoting/preserving some features.

The qualities I appreciate the most in him is his honesty, dedication and passion for the task. Surely looking forward to working with him again.”

Hardik Somaiya

Business Head at Lazy Bone Publications

“Darshan consulted for our SAAS web app project in early 2017. We had an 'engineering' version of the app ready and we brought in Darshan to make it 'consumer' friendly.

His process of requirements gathering, wireframing, UI designing, iterations and collaboration were exactly what we were looking for. He listened patiently, asked relevant questions from an end-user perspective and pushed back when he thought we were off track.

He simplified designs and interactions with his forward thinking and innovative approach while ensuring that business objectives were being met. I could not recommend Darshan more highly and I know we will be working with him again.”

Vishal Rupani

CEO & Co-founder at mCanvas

“We got Darshan on board as a freelance product designer in 2018, and since then he has worked on creating and improving the entire user flow and product design for Studysid.

He is an ingenious designer who strives to be more creative in his designs and more efficient with each task.

His sense of design, understanding of production and technical proficiency were essential to building our website.

His responsibilities also included managing a team of freelance designers by delegating tasks and reviewing the same. I can affirm he has great leadership instincts too.

His creativity and ability to meet and exceed expectations make him the ideal product designer for any organisation.”

Parth Shah

Director & Co-founder at Studysid

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Photography

I like to take pictures when I travel and give them away on Unsplash for free use. Here's a selection of my most popular photos.

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St. Bernard

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Free download
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