UX Designer




Cortana is Microsoft's personal digital assistant. When Cortana was to be launched in India, it was already an established product in other markets like the US. My role as a UX Designer was to identify market-specific scenarios and design POCs, which would make Cortana stand out in the India market at launch.

Apart from these challenges, I also had to understand and adopt the design framework on which information in Cortana was designed. The Cortana framework consisted of a canvas, which could be reactive or proactive, based on the scenario or user query. The information was conveyed using cards and the whole canvas was layered to display information when a user deep dives into a particular piece.

To identify the market scenarios, I was involved in brainstorms and idea session with the PM counterparts. With feedback from market research and 3rd party feasibility, we decided to go ahead with these two scenarios, Bill payments, and Trains.

Bill Payments

For context, in 2015 India was moving quickly into a digital era, and the way people managed bills and payments was changing drastically. Agencies for electricity, telecom, cellular, gas etc were using different mediums like emails and SMS to deliver bills to their subscribers. There was also a surge in virtual wallets that let users make payments to these bills. With so many options and mediums, there was an opportunity to deliver a centralized place to manage all bills and make payments.

The first step in designing the experience was identifying the critical and most important information that would be displayed on a card and the actions that a user would take based on the information and state.

After identifying this information, the next step was to design the scenarios and flows that would help users to manage their bills and payments.

Proactive scenarios
Reactive scenarios


Indian Railways are an integral part of millions of Indians that use trains to travel for work or leisure. Indian Railways transports almost 25 million passengers daily. That’s nearly the total population of New Zealand, Australia and Tasmania put together. Trains are an experience in themselves. A train journey can last for a few minutes to a couple of days. Cortana had the potential to help users plan, manage and book their train journeys and get help while they are traveling.

Planning the journey
Before the journey
During the journey

After I designed the first version of POC, it was tested with a set of users and I made some iterations based on the user feedback. One thing that stood out was the design of the train icon, which was perceived as bus or trams as it resembled European trains so I redesigned the icon to make it look familiar to Indian trains. Finally, The design was used as proof of concepts by the product and marketing teams to onboard partners and get feedback from users and leadership.