Live Recording at An Event Apart Denver with Luke Wroblewski, Cassie McDaniel and Chris Coyier

User Defenders podcast

Live Recording at An Event Apart Denver with Luke Wroblewski, Cassie McDaniel and Chris Coyier
Special Episodes

00:00 / 63:55

Prefer to watch the video?

I was so delighted when at the beginning of 2017, Eric Meyer + Jeffrey Zeldman asked me if I wanted to record a live episode at my favorite design conference–An Event Apart.

Welcome to this very special episode where I felt like I needed to give a radio intro in front of a live audience! Lol, you’ll see what I mean.

Thankful to my hero Chris Coyier for saving the day and pulling me out of broadcast mode, into live mode. First time for everything!

I’m still in awe at my panel of bad design Avengers consisting of Cassie McDaniel, Chris Coyier, and Luke Wroblewski who each added so much value to the episode and attendees.

Oh, did I mention this session took place right after “Happy Hour”?

Please enjoy this very special, first-ever live broadcast of User Defender podcast!

Continue reading Live Recording at An Event Apart Denver with Luke Wroblewski, Cassie McDaniel and Chris Coyier

047: The Web is Neither Good or Bad…nor is it Neutral. It’s an Amplifier with Jeremy Keith

User Defenders podcast

047: The Web is Neither Good or Bad…nor is it Neutral. It’s an Amplifier with Jeremy Keith
Web Design

00:00 / 1:23:35

Jeremy Keith reveals how the web is neither good or bad, nor neutral, but an amplifier. He inspires us to not let the future be just something that happens to us, but rather something we make with the small things we do today. He encourages us to build software ethically with our users’ psychological vulnerabilities in mind. He motivates us to not build on rented land, but to publish using the superpower of our own URLs. He also shows us how looking to the past is just as important as looking to the future.

Jeremy Keith lives in Brighton, England where he makes websites with the splendid design agency Clearleft. You may know him from such books as DOM Scripting, Bulletproof Ajax, HTML5 For Web Designers, and most recently Resilient Web Design. He curated the dConstruct conference for a number of years as well as Brighton SF, and he organised the world’s first Science Hack Day. He also made the website Huffduffer to allow people to make podcasts of found sounds—it’s like Instapaper for audio files. Hailing from Erin’s green shores, Jeremy maintains his link to Irish traditional music running the community site The Session. He also indulges a darker side of his bouzouki-playing in the band Salter Cane. Jeremy spends most of his time goofing off on the internet, documenting his time-wasting on, where he has been writing for over fifteen years. A photograph he took appears in the film Iron Man.

  • Iron Man Photo Story (4:43)
  • On Net Neutrality (13:31)
  • What’s “Adactio”? (20:44)
  • Is the Internet Good or Evil? (24:41)
  • Hippocratic Oath for Software Designers (35:51)
  • Resilient Web Design (49:06)
  • Why do you Love the Web so Much? (54:26)
  • The Power and Generosity of the Community (63:05)
  • What Comes Next? (71:34)
  • Listener Question? (73:44)
  • Last Words to the Builders of the Web (74:18)
  • Contact Info (80:15)

Continue reading 047: The Web is Neither Good or Bad…nor is it Neutral. It’s an Amplifier with Jeremy Keith

046: Good Design Favors the Curious with Joe Johnston

User Defenders podcast

046: Good Design Favors the Curious with Joe Johnston

00:00 / 1:08:12

Joe Johnston inspires us to embrace the superpowers of curiosity and empathy for our users and business owners. He motivates us to always stay curious, and ask why to get to the heart of the problem faster. He encourages us to make sure we use the shiny objects available to us to actually solve a problem.

Joe Johnston has over 18 years of digital experience with extensive knowledge creating digital and physical experiences. His skill set focuses on the user experience and the creation of these experiences to help clients quickly test & validate soultions. He’s adept at navigating the rapidly evolving and shifting technological landscape, making intuitive decisions amidst information-abundance, where sparse facts mingle loosely with data-drenched opinions. He’s completed a wide variety of projects, performing duties that include Experience Director/Advisor/Consultant, Digital Strategy, Experience Design,Service Design and front end development. He believes experience design is driven by moments of engagement, or touch points, between people, brands, ideas, emotions and memories that these moments create. My experience design philosophy is holistic in nature and takes into account all components required to create engaging and emotive experiences. Little known fact about Joe: He grew up on a farm, raising sheep during the day and hacking on a Commodore 64 at night.

  • “Merhl” Backstory (7:40)
  • Secret Identity (11:38)
  • Origin Story (13:46)
  • Empathy is Still Important (18:52)
  • Biggest Failure (24:46)
  • Design Leadership/Culture (28:41)
  • Awkward Testing Story (33:24)
  • Design Superpower (41:50)
  • Shiny Objects Syndrome (44:12)
  • UX of Ambient-Driven Experiences (50:46)
  • UX Superhero Name (56:14)
  • Habit of Success (57:11)
  • Invincible Resource (60:05)
  • Best Advice (61:00)
  • Contact Info (63:34)

Continue reading 046: Good Design Favors the Curious with Joe Johnston

Designing for Designers: Building InVision Studio with Tom Giannattasio

User Defenders podcast

Designing for Designers: Building InVision Studio with Tom Giannattasio
Special Episodes

00:00 / 50:24

Building InVision Studio. Tom Giannattasio on User Defenders podcast

“Designers are the architects of human behavior. With a consolidated tool like Studio, designers are going to be able to focus a lot more on designing…as they should.” — Tom Giannattasio

In this very special episode, I had the great privilege of talking to Studio mastermind Tom Giannattasio all about what went into building what’s being touted as “the world’ most powerful screen design tool”. Tom has an interesting designer origin story. In this interview, you’ll hear how his past experiences have really shaped him into the toolmaker superhero that he’s become.

In this compelling interview with Tom, you’ll hear him answer my questions such as:

  • What is Studio, and what makes it “the world’s most powerful screen design tool”?
  • Do designers really need another tool? What makes Studio different than all the others?
  • What lessons did you learn from Macaw that you’ve applied to Studio?
  • What’s it like designing for designers? What are the inherent challenges? What have been the rewards?
  • Much more!


  • Designing with colorblindness (2:30)
  • What is Macaw? (7:09)
  • What is Studio? (16:37)
  • Do we need another design tool? (22:08)
  • Where does Studio leave Craft & InVision tools? (27:30)
  • Lessons learned from Macaw in making of Studio (31:14)
  • What’s it like designing for designers? (34:44)
  • Coolest things you’ve seen folks do with Studio so far? (37:51)
  • How much does Studio cost? (41:17)
  • When is Studio available? (42:08)
  • Designers are becoming the architects of human behavior (43:35)
  • When we build (45:51)

Continue reading Designing for Designers: Building InVision Studio with Tom Giannattasio

045: Criticize by Creating with Alexa Roman

User Defenders podcast

045: Criticize by Creating with Alexa Roman
Product Design

00:00 / 1:20:36

Alexa Roman motivates us to prove the value of design and contribute to it every single day. She encourages us to always be learning new things since designers work across many different fields. She inspires us to get more excited about analytics and measuring our designs. She also challenges us to think about what we want on our tombstones…while we’re still this side up.

Alexa Roman is a Lead Product Designer at Burner, an app for creating on-demand, smart phone numbers. At Burner, she works on product and growth initiatives. Customer development, experiments and analytics are core to her design work. Previously, she was at Carbon Five where she worked on growth projects with teams at Nissan, Prosper and Joyable. In her spare time, Alexa volunteers with the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles, the Violence Intervention Program and resisterhoodLA.

Fun fact about Alexa is that when she worked in the Art Department for the TV show The Office, she became the resident IT person and would often be called to set to show the actors how to use their on-screen UI. When you see UI in a TV show, it’s nearly always a file that’s been programmed and you have to know the shortcuts to operate it. I did not, however, design that UI and it was terribly out of date even for the time we shot that show.

  • Secret Identity (7:49)
  • Origin Story (12:42)
  • What Will Your Tombstone Say? (19:25)
  • Biggest Failure (21:50)
  • Design Superpower (29:40)
  • How Important is Aesthetics? (35:52)
  • Awkward Testing Story (48:49)
  • Design Kryptonite (55:23)
  • UX Superhero Name (63:59)
  • Designing with Data (64:30)
  • Habit of Success (70:09)
  • Invincible Resource (71:39)
  • Recommended Book (73:28)
  • Best Advice (74:48)

Continue reading 045: Criticize by Creating with Alexa Roman