Get to know Shubham Kumar, Senior Product Designer

Shubham Kumar

In his role as a senior product designer for the Healthy Regions & Policies Lab, Shubham Kumar (MSIM '23) uses design to break down complex concepts, visualize information in meaningful ways, and ultimately encourage broader engagement in discussions about health and society. 

Where do you work and what is your role?

I’m a senior product designer at the Healthy Regions & Policies Lab within the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. We integrate innovative GIScience, public health, and statistical approaches to explore, understand, and promote healthy places. My role involves all parts of the design process—from getting to know our users’ needs to creating high-fidelity mockups, and everything in between.

What do you like best about your job?

Design has always been a passion of mine, but to use it for such a meaningful cause like health equity is incredibly special. The chance to bring my design vision to life in a meaningful space each morning is an opportunity for growth—as a designer, professional, and person. It’s also incredibly inspiring to work alongside colleagues and others in the field whose drive to improve health outcomes is so evident.

What do you see as the most important impact of your work?

Health equity can be a complex and nuanced field, which can sometimes make it feel intimidating to discuss. As a designer, my aim is to help make these conversations more accessible. I want to use design to break down complex concepts, visualize information in meaningful ways, and ultimately encourage broader engagement in discussions about health, society, and how we can all play a role.

How did the iSchool at Illinois help you get to where you are today?

I honestly can't overstate the impact. Professor Twidale actually connected me with this position because he thought it would be a perfect fit for my skills and interests, and he was right! Throughout my time in the program, I had amazing professors, courses that put students first, and a supportive environment that encouraged me to find and pursue my own path.

What advice would you like to share with iSchool students?

The iSchool opens up a world of possibilities. If you put in the effort, it will support you in reaching your goals. Explore different paths, find the resources that excite you, and double down on them—it can make all the difference for your future. You might not get this chance again, so make the most of it! The iSchool has an amazing track record, and I’m sure you’ll be another success story.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I have a zeal for running and biking, and I still try to get out and play soccer when I can. My time in the aviation industry left me with a love of flight simulators and learning about all things aviation. Outside of that, I like video games, listening to music, tinkering with home automation projects, and anything tech related. And of course, a relaxing beach trip is always a great way to recharge!

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