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012: You Can Only Keep What You Have if You’re Willing to Give it Away with KaL MichaeL

User Defenders podcast
User Defenders podcast
012: You Can Only Keep What You Have if You’re Willing to Give it Away with KaL MichaeL

User Defenders KaL MichaeL

KaL MichaeL teaches us that empathy is less of something we practice and more of a result of patience and perseverance. He challenges us to remain humble enough to know that we do not know everything, and what we don’t know will always far surpass what we do know. He also encourages us to own our skill sets and to not do anything blindly like following trends for the sake of trends.

KaL is a passionate UI and Experience Designer and has been affecting change and improving lives through his design work for the past 14 years. Five and a half of those years were spent as Lead Creative at Apple improving the retail corporate site experience and building internal sites for enhanced communications. He’s utilized his expertise in iOS and Mac design solutions through his design of the award-winning PDF Expert app. He also has a meticulous attention to detail always remains open and teachable in advancing the tech industry. One way he’s doing that is through his work as a Mentor with Cascade SF.

KaL’s Website
KaL’s Twitter
Plaaying for Mac

[RESOURCE] Draw everything.
[BOOK] What Customers Want

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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 Apple Podcasts? I’d also be willing to remove my cloak of invisibility from your inbox if you’d subscribe to the newsletter for superguest announcements and more, occasionally.

Artwork by Cesar Lemus | Editing by Chris Combs | Music by Wyman Gentry

When I was doing design, UX didn’t really exist yet. When it became a thing, I realized what I do could be something that’s really useful and my obsession with history, storytelling, time-travel and fighting for the user can actually be something that can impact product. I don’t have a back up plan. I’ve been doing this close to half my life in the next couple years. I’ve done stuff before in the past that’s taken me to this point, but this is it for me. Practice makes progress. What do you love to do? Don’t get caught up in titles. What do you really love to do? What do you want to be doing? Let’s see where that falls.

We grow by our willingness to rectify errors and convert them into assets. Don’t let your ego get the best of you. Nobody benefits from it and it will hold you back from success. You can only keep what you have if you’re willing to give it away. Fear is the number one enemy to confidence. Don’t do anything blindly, don’t follow trends for the sake of trends. Doing things blindly is definitely an enemy to our field. Anytime I don’t challenge the user experience is a failure.

Work/life balance.

Empathy. I really don’t see empathy as something you practice, I see it as a result, and one of patience and perseverance.

UX has more become a buzzword than anything and unfortunately it’s aligned with the idea of somebody being a unicorn. Everybody’s in charge of the UX. If you are making a product and you’re part of a team, you are in and establishing that user experience. There’s gonna be a separation of “the men from the boys”, a parting of the sea. Those who align with a specific strategy and who are able to properly articulate and practice their skill sets are the ones who are going to be left.

If you want what somebody has, you do what they do. Most importantly, own your skill sets. If you’re somebody who really loves production work or measuring out pixels, being crafty in Illustrator, etc. Own it. Market it. Market yourself around it. Nobody’s perfect at everything. Painting any other picture is boring because it’s not sincere. If you’re not happy with what you do, is it really worth it?