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by Emerson Welch  |  January 3, 2024

Getting to Know Arun Bharti, Director of R&D at Quark

Quark has been at the forefront for decades delivering desktop publishing software capabilities that help designers push their creative boundaries and deliver stunning content that captivates their audiences. A key influencer driving the strategic vision for QuarkXPress to ensure a steady cadence of innovate features and capabilities address today’s modern designer’s most pressing needs is Arun Bharti, Director of R&D at Quark.

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Arun is an early user and advocate of Quark’s flagship digital publishing software solution, QuarkXPress. It was at this time he found his passion for design through practice and learning. He joined Quark several years ago and held developer, engineering and product design roles for QuarkXPress. With a passion for software development, innovation and design, Arun for the past three years has led a team of engineers and developers dedicated to implementing innovative, feature-rich capabilities to support customers emerging digital publishing needs.

We recently sat down with Arun to learn more about the role emerging technologies play when strategizing the R&D roadmap for QuarkXPress, the value of customer input, and what customers can expect from QuarkXPress in the future.

How do you keep pace with emerging technologies and determine which should be part of the R&D roadmap for QuarkXPress?

The strategic vision for QuarkXPress is designed through the lens of the customer. Customer satisfaction is at the heart of driving the investments we make. We do two new releases of QuarkXPress each year and the features and capabilities align to not just support our business goals, but importantly, address the emerging needs of our customers.

External market factors can affect a product roadmap in any industry and the digital publishing industry isn’t immune to unforeseen market shifts. Staying up to date with market movements and 3rd party vendors allows us to mitigate surprises. Also, multiple features are delivered in QuarkXPress across our 2-phase release approach over the course of a year, giving us the flexibility to make adjustments without impacting the value we deliver to customers. graphic design

What do you see as the opportunities for emerging technology across QuarkXPress?

Assistive technologies like AI will give designers more guidance in creating more compelling designs. There are so many universal rules and tasks in the digital design world, such as font and color selection to name a couple. We will invest in the tools to help any designer choose the right color palette and fonts to best represent their design goal.

It’s important to reiterate leveraging assistant technologies will not take away from the individual’s design craftmanship and knowledge designers acquire over the years. It will simply augment their skillset. Also, leveraging automation technologies is another opportunity to address our customers’ needs as it streamlines tedious and time-consuming publishing duties so they can concentrate on imparting their creative skillset.

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What role does customer feedback play in the R&D roadmap for QuarkXPress?

We actively listen to customers and respect both the good and not-so-good feedback. This feedback helps us shape the direction we want to take with the software and better identify the features and capabilities we want to deliver.

To get even closer to the customers, we tap a pool of experts in advance of our annual premier release and invite them to participate in a closed beta program. The feedback received during this beta program also helps us make smarter decisions on where we should focus our product innovation.

How does your leadership style influence your approach to leading and fostering innovation across the team?

I take a situational leadership approach because my primary job is to translate the vision for QuarkXPress into specific product goals that my team members can own. There is a broad range of domain knowledge across my team and it’s important to motivate every member, get them excited and promote individual strengths. I am extremely conscious about creating future leaders and feel it’s important that my team is comfortable with asking questions, is respectful of one another, and views a challenge as an opportunity for success.

Tell me a bit about yourself outside of work. How do you like to spend your free time?

I consider myself a very artistic person, I love to sketch and do Calligraphy (Copperplate). I also am a collector of fountain pens and have accumulated over 200. Fun fact, I’m an avid ping-pong player and have competed at the national level.

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