User Defenders: Inspiring Interviews with UX Superheroes
Summary: There are scores of inspirational UX Designers out there who are doing outstanding, innovative work and helping to shape the future in their struggle to solve important design problems while fighting for the users. In our highly accelerating world of technology, wearables and the connected life, there's never been a better time to be a great UX Designer. For those more recently diving in and gaining experience, it can be quite daunting to stay inspired and enlightened in this ever-changing/evolving landscape. This podcast is aimed at highlighting those leading the way in their craft by diving deeper into who they are, and what makes them tick/successful, in order to inspire and equip those aspiring to do the same.
You could win a free pass to this inspiring new course by Eric Meyer! All you have to do is leave a rating & review on iTunes between 3/29 – 4/12 to automatically enter! Course Reviews – “Very informative, extremely well-delivered presentation, in keeping with the author’s book.” – “Profound, human centered perspective.” Winner will be selected at random and announced after 4/12. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss it. This pass could be yours! Eric A. Meyer is an internationally-recognized author, speaker, blogger, and sometime teacher and consultant. He is currently technical lead at Rebecca’s Gift and co-founder of An Event Apart with Jeffrey Zeldman. In the course of his lengthy career, Eric has written numerous books and articles about CSS, HTML, and web standards. In his most recent book, Design for Real Life, Eric and his co-author Sara Wachter-Boettcher teach how to design with not just empathy, but compassion. He’s been working on the Web since 1993 and still finds it deeply compelling. SUBSCRIBE Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Android | Subscribe on Google Play | RSS Feed SUPERPOWER OF SUPPORT Here’s your chance to use your superpower of support. Don’t rely on telepathy alone! If you’re enjoying the show, would you take two minutes and leave a rating and review on iTunes? I’d also be willing to remove my cloak of invisibility from your inbox if you’d subscribe to the Bi-Weekly Bugle for my best UX/Personal Growth tips and superguest announcements.
Jonathan teaches us how product managers are the glue between design and engineering. He reminds us that the most important role we can play in the success of a product is being a voice for the customer. He encourages us to never give up on our personal projects. He also motivates us as designers to always stay inspired. Jonathan Pimento is a Product Manager for Adobe XD. He has a deep passion for design, technology and their intersection. In 2009, he had to pick one of his passions to pursue academically so he chose computer engineering at the University Of Mumbai. He’s been a freelancer, worked with a few startups and has taken many small steps up the big ladder. Solving problems and connecting with the end user is what drives this passion. His interests span across design to writing code, and balancing both with research & data. He also enjoys running and swimming on the weekends. This episode is brought to you by Adobe, makers of XD Try XD for Free LINKS Jonathan’s Twitter Jonathan’s Website Signal Noise (Portfolio of James White) [RESOURCES] Dribbble [READING] UserTesting.com, Twitter, Medium, Airbnb Lottie SUBSCRIBE Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Android | Subscribe on Google Play | RSS Feed SUPERPOWER OF SUPPORT Here’s your chance to use your superpower of support. Don’t rely on telepathy alone! If you’re enjoying the show, would you take two minutes and leave a rating and review on iTunes? I’d also be willing to remove my cloak of invisibility from your inbox if you’d subscribe to the Bi-Weekly Bugle for my best UX/Personal Growth tips and superguest announcement
“I saw a study that said speaking in front of a crowd is considered the number one fear of the average person. I found that amazing. Number two, was death. Death is number two? This means, to the average person, if you have to be at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld If you’re a “normal” human being and not a sociopath like Dexter, even the mere thought of public speaking makes you want to crawl under a desk with your favorite blankie and hide. But yet still, the you can’t escape the thought. It nags at you. It beckons you to share what you know. Because you know something in a way others don’t that could really help them on their journey. If that sounds familiar, and you (like me) have been feeling stirred up about public speaking and aren’t sure where to begin or how to overcome your nerves…this special episode is just for you. Exclusive Defenders Discount! Thanks to our great friends at A Book Apart, you can save 15% off using coupon code SUPERSPEAKER at checkout. Buy Book Offer good through through May 31st. (more…)
Andrea Picchi reminds us that the core of design is always about people. He dives deep into the importance of design thinking. He motivates us to embrace ambiguity, and to fail as often as possible without losing the job. He also inspires us to believe in design and to always defend the user’s point of view. Andrea Picchi has 20 years of experience in UX, UI and Product Design. He combines his skills in Cognitive Psychology and Computer Science with his passion for UX and Human-Centered Design to create integrated, multi-device experiences. He believes in design and connecting customer needs to business opportunities. He also practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu, kick-boxing and mixed martial arts. Secret Identity/Origin Story (1:40) Biggest Superhero (7:42) Biggest Failure (12:18) Awkward Testing Story (18:26) Design Superpower (22:48) Design Kryptonite (25:12) Design Superhero Name (30:42) Fight For Users (33:43) Design Thinking (37:09) Habit Of Success (47:06) Invincible Resource (50:25) Book Recommendation (52:08) Best Advice (55:46) Contact Info (60:57) LINKS Andrea’s Website Andrea’s Twitter Andrea’s LinkedIn [RESOURCE] Interviewing people. [BOOK] Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All SUBSCRIBE Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Android | Subscribe on Google Play | RSS Feed SUPERPOWER OF SUPPORT Here’s your chance to use your superpower of support. Don’t rely on telepathy alone! If you’re enjoying the show, would you take two minutes and leave a rating and review on iTunes? I’d also be willing to remove my cloak of invisibility from your inbox if you’d subscribe to the Bi-Weekly Bugle for my best UX/Personal Growth tips and superguest announcements. (more…)
Sarah Doody inspires us to break out of our comfort zones early & often if we want to achieve great things. She teaches us that our drawings should serve more as a communication tool than an art project. She encourages us to tap into our superpowers of using both sides of our brain. She also motivates us to not let anything stand in the way of becoming great at our craft. Sarah Doody is a user experience designer and product strategist based in New York City. She helps product teams create products people need and love. She does this through smart and fast research, prototyping, and experience design. She produces a highly acclaimed weekly newsletter called the UX Notebook. She created and taught General Assembly’s first 12 week User Experience program back in 2011. She was originally going to be a neuroscientist. Secret Identity/Origin Story (4:38) Biggest Superhero (8:48) Biggest Failure (11:26) Awkward Testing Story (16:07) Design Superpower (19:34) Design Kryptonite (23:56) Design Superhero Name (29:32) Fight For Users (34:21) Habit Of Success (36:44) Invincible Resource (43:16) Book Recommendation (45:06) Best Advice (48:11) Contact Info (50:39) LINKS Sarah’s Twitter Sarah’s Newsletter Sarah’s Website Sarah’s User Research Fundamentals Course Sarah’s Morning Routine [VIDEO] Hillman Curtis [VIDEO] Catapulting Chance into your Stupid Head [VIDEO] Greg McKeown: “Essentialism” [RESOURCES] Sketch, InVision, Reddit, LinkedIn [BOOK]
Aaron Gustafson inspires us to build a web for all people. He encourages us to keep an open mind about perspectives that are different than our own. He motivates us to keep focused on context when it comes to the users we’re designing for. He also challenges us to plant seeds of growth in others by making ourselves available and open to new opportunities. Aaron Gustafson is passionate about web standards and accessibility as would be expected from a former manager of the Web Standards Project. In his two decades working on the Web, he’s worked with companies such as Happy Cog, Major League Baseball, McAfee and The New York Times. He joined Microsoft as a web standards advocate to work closely with their browser team. He loves sharing his knowledge through writing. His three-part series on progressive enhancement for A List Apart is a perennial favorite and his seminal book on the subject, Adaptive Web Design, has earned him numerous accolades and honors. When he’s not writing, he’s probably on the road presenting at conferences and running workshops across the globe. He is a longtime member of Rosenfeld Media’s “experts” group and former technical editor for A List Apart. He and his wife also brokered and produced the DVD release of Drawing Flies which was also produced by Kevin Smith (of Clerks fame who also happens to be a fellow comic book nerd). Secret Identity/Origin Story (3:43) Biggest Superhero (10:11) Second Career Choice (15:17) Biggest Failure (20:48) Awkward Testing Story (30:50) Design Superpower (49:37) Design Kryptonite (51:03) Design Superhero Name (51:41) Fight For Users (53:23) Future Of UX Design (55:18) Habit Of Success (60:20) Invincible Resource (63:30) Book Recommendation (66:45) Best Advice (69:31) Most Excited About (74:16) Contact Info (79:55) (more…)
Ling Lim inspires us to be relentless in our pursuit of the person we want to become. She teaches us to create products that connect with our users and their lives by becoming them as much as possible. She challenges us to not sacrifice the sentimental quality of a product when we design for it in the future. She also motivates us to take care of ourselves outside of our work so we can continue to grow in our careers and personal lives. Ling Lim is a Product Designer currently working at Yahoo based in San Francisco by way of Singapore with an award-winning background in architectural design. She is passionate about using design as a tool to highlight and solve social and urban issues. She mentors students, fellow designers and founders at design events including CascadeSF. When she’s not designing, she’s a competitive powerlifter, solo traveler, snowboarder, writer, and speaker. She also lives relentlessly, values integrity…and tight pants. What Got You Into Lifting (2:41) Secret Identity (3:38) Origin Story (4:58) Ways Architecture Influenced Design (8:59) Do Designers Miss The Importance of Research (12:54) Biggest Superhero (16:36) Second Career Choice (19:33) Biggest Failure (20:53) Failure Takeaway (25:53) What Do You Say To Uninspired Designers (29:07) Awkward Testing Story (33:49) Design Superpower (34:26) Design Kryptonite (36:10) Design Superhero Name (38:35) Fight For Users (40:28) Future Of UX Design (41:49) Habit Of Success (46:41) How Do You Stay Inspired (47:58) Invincible Resource (30:34) Book Recommendation (49:14) Best Advice (51:23) Most Excited About (53:50) Contact Info (54:37) (more…)
Chris Coyier teaches us that if we care about succeeding in something, we need to be willing to persist for a long time. He inspires us to grab hold of the joy that comes from building for ourselves, too. He encourages us to not just use a framework because we’re “supposed to”, but to use whatever tool is right for the job. He also enlightens us to the superpower of using SVG in practical ways. Chris Coyier is the founder of everybody’s favorite CSS resource CSS-Tricks, and the author of newly released A Book Apart published “Practical SVG“. He’s a fellow podcaster co-hosting the Shop Talk Show. He co-founded the incredibly innovative web coding playground, CodePen. He loves to share his knowledge as an international speaker and avid blogger. His life goal is to be a banjo player in an old time string band. (more…)
After nearly a year of consistent podcasting, it’s time for me to hit pause… You can also read about this.
I have a listener survey and one of you suggested Nir Eyal as a superguest. Today (thanks to your suggestion) I got to interview the man himself. Nir is the author of the buzz-worthy book Hooked: How To Build Habit-Forming Products. Nir did not disappoint. The guy is a wealth of knowledge and you’ll notice listening to him that he’s definitely got his 10,000 hours focusing on the fascinating topic of behavioral design. How do we design products that hook our users and create healthy habits? Should designers of addictive and potentially unsafe products be a little more vocal about offering help to its users? We touch on these provocative topics and much more in today’s episode! (more…)
Aarron Walter inspires us to always try and see the big picture. He challenges us to produce more grounded work by getting outside our bubbles, and feeling a bit more pain. He shows us how storytelling is central to the human experience and transcends our medium. He also inspires us to maintain plenty of inputs in order to craft more interesting experiences for our users. Aarron Walter (The Falcon) is the VP of Design Education at InVision. Prior to this he founded the UX practice at MailChimp (along many other accomplishments too numerable to mention here). He’s the author of A Book Apart published Designing for Emotion. He’s a frequent speaker at conferences around the world, and his design guidance has helped the White House, the US Department of State, along with dozens of startups and venture capitalists. He’s run with the bulls in Pamplona, met 3 presidents, been blessed by the Pope, and bungee jumped off a 10 story crane. Eat your heart out most interesting man in the world. Secret Identity (2:34) Origin Story (4:47) How Important Is Storytelling To Our Work? (9:49) Has Film Influenced You As A Designer? (13:08) Biggest Superhero (19:45) Second Career Choice (22:37) Biggest Failure (25:38) Awkward Testing Story (33:44) Design Superpower (39:29) Design Kryptonite (40:58) Design Superhero Name (43:50) Fight For Users (44:28) Future Of UX Design (46:39) Habit Of Success (51:45) Invincible Resource (53:02) Book Recommendation (55:25) Best Advice (57:35) Most Excited About (58:16) Contact Info (1:00:16) SUPERPOWER OF SUPPORT Here’s your chance to use your superpower of support. Don’t rely on telepathy alone! If you’re enjoying the show, would you take two minutes and leave a rating and review? I’d also be willing to remove my cloak of invisibility from your inbox if you’d subscribe to the Bi-Weekly Bugle for superguest announcements and my Usable Thoughts. (more…)
Nikkel Blaase reminds us that we are not our users. He encourages us to make time for deep thinking. He teaches us that without failing, there’s no learning. He guides us to not spend too much time figuring out a solution if we don’t know what the problem is. He shows us how creating value for our users creates value for our business. He also motivates us to never stop learning, practice as often as we can…and stay curious. Nikkel Blaase (Deep Thought) is a product and interaction designer from Hamburg, Germany currently working at XING. He’s the founder of “Design Made For You” studio. He’s a fantastic writer who’s published viral articles on Medium, FastCoDesign and InVision. He’s passionate about bringing product thinking to the world of product development in order to as he says build products that people actually want. When he was a teenager, he played guitar in a punk rock band. Secret Identity (2:55) Origin Story (5:18) Biggest Superhero (7:55) What Is Product Thinking (9:26) Second Career Choice (11:10) Biggest Failure (12:08) Do Designers Lack Empathy For Their Businesses? (17:32) Awkward Testing Story (20:45) Design Superpower (24:17) Design Kryptonite (26:42) Design Superhero Name (29:51) Fight For Users (35:46) Future Of UX Design (39:01) Generalist vs. Specialist (44:05) Habit Of Success (44:58 ) Invincible Resource (46:11) Book Recommendation (48:24) Favorite Conference (51:13) Best Advice (52:20) Most Excited About (54:07) Next Big Blog Ideas (55:07) Contact Info (56:00) (more…)
Ashley Karr teaches us that we can’t be exceptional at generalizing. She encourages us to always work with the people for whom we are designing. She motivates us to always trust ourselves and our instincts. She shows us how planning and organization are key contributors to success. She also inspires us to give back by teaching what we know. Ashley Karr is an academically trained human factors engineer and anthropologist focusing on human computer interaction, user experience, research and design. She has her B.A. in anthropology from UCLA and M.S. in human factors and systems engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Included among her many published writings is a behavioral psychology textbook for Oxford University Press. She has worked with organizations, such as: Walmart, Frontier Communications, and The Veteran’s Administration. Currently, she teaches and designs instructional material for User Experience Design Immersive courses with General Assembly and manages all immersive courses at General Assembly Seattle. She is passionate about teaching tech and encouraging creative confidence. She also happens to be a descendant of Kind Edward the 1st and Queen Eleanor of Castille. Secret Identity/Origin Story (2:58/3:58) Has Your Varied Background Helped You? (8:54) Specialize or Generalize (12:05) Biggest Superhero (15:01) Second Career Choice (18:38) Biggest Failure (21:04) Awkward Testing Story (27:37) Design Superpower (32:02) Design Kryptonite (37:41) Design Superhero Name (37:55) Fight For Users (40:41) How To Get Involved (50:37) Future Of UX Design (54:10) Habit Of Success (56:21) Invincible Resource (56:47) Book Recommendation (57:16) Best Advice (57:49) Most Excited About (58:09) Contact Info (58:31) (more…)
Francisco Inchauste teaches us that the best design is invisible. He enlightens us to how we can learn something from anyone, and to appreciate the people who surround us. He reminds us of the importance of validating our work. He also inspires us to always add value to even the smallest things and to not be afraid to take initiative. Francisco Inchauste (Mr. Invisible) has an extensive user experience background, with a focus on interaction design. He’s been involved with the Web industry for almost two decades, leading teams and clients—enterprise to startups—on projects ranging from customer brand experiences to complex software applications. He’s the UX Principal at Universal Mind. He’s co-founder of Simplebots, where he creates apps like Rise. He helped start Smashing Magazine’s UX section and still uses his superpowers to help edit books and review articles. He also used to work for the US Postal Service delivering mail on the weekends. Secret Identity/Origin Story (2:20) Inspiration To Pursue Career In UX (3:43) Biggest Superhero (6:26) What’s Writing Process Like (9:25) Second Career Choice (12:36) Biggest Failure (14:57) Awkward Testing Story (19:43) Design Superpower (22:10) Design Kryptonite (22:48) Design Superhero Name (24:44) Fight For Users (25:38) How To Cope With Imposter Syndrome (30:58) Future Of UX Design (34:36) Habit Of Success (37:27) Invincible Resource (39:23) Book Recommendation (41:44) Best Advice (44:17) Most Excited About (48:11) Contact Info (52:30) (more…)