- Artwork by Eli Jorgensen
Braden Kowitz reveals how human-centered design has everything to do with the humans we design and build with every day. He advocates for a genuinely supportive environment where it’s okay to be who you are, and where you’re encouraged to speak up, and openly share how you’re truly feeling. He reminds us to acknowledge that life isn’t perfect, and neither are we…and that’s also okay. He articulates the origin story and evolution of design patterns and explains why ‘ugly’ may sometimes appear to win. He also challenges us to consider how the metrics we typically depend on, may not be telling us the complete story.
Braden is a Product Designer and Co-Founder at Range Labs, where he makes software that helps teams work better together. Prior to starting Range, Braden was a design partner at Google Ventures, where he founded the first design team at a venture capital fund and co-developed the Design Sprint process. Braden was also an early designer at Google and led the design of several products including Gmail, GSuite, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Trends. He’s really into bicycle advocacy lately.
- Free Time (7:49)
- Grounding Techniques (8:36)
- Mindful Techniques (9:26)
- Origin Story (16:25)
- Form, Function, and Balance (19:38)
- Managing Design Ambiguity (26:50)
- Establishing Design Patterns (37:57)
- What Have You Been Up To? (47:05)
- From Designer to Co-Founder (49:09)
- Dealing with Tradeoffs (52:02)
- Creative Side Hustles (52:41)
- Who Is This Product For? (53:47)
- Design Superpower (57:00)
- Design Kryptonite (58:15)
- UX Superhero Name (59:45)
- Habit of Success (1:01:03)
- Recommended Book (1:02:59)
- Best Advice (1:04:13)
- Tips on Culture (1:05:11)
An Everyone Culture
Jason Ogle: Braden Kowitz is a product designer and he’s a cofounder at “Range Labs.” And we’re going to learn a lot more about what that means, which I think may explain why he sort of disappeared for a few years. I think when I was doing some research I found that there was a point where some of the talks and things he did stop like around 2013, 2014. I was like, “That makes a lot of sense.” He just built a really big enterprise level product. So, I’m excited to learn more about that.
But let’s see what else? Braden, he’s probably most well known for being a design partner at “Google Ventures” where he co founded the first design team at “Venture Capital Fund ” and he co-developed the design sprint process. So, I think you probably are best known for those things. Here’s this fun fact, which I really like a lot. He’s really into bicycle advocacy lately. [Laughs] so, I need to learn more about that.
But Braden, I want to officially say welcome to ‘User Defenders’. I am super excited to have you on the show today.
Braden Kowitz: Thank you so much. I’m also very excited to be here. You mentioned bicycle advocacy. I bike around San Francisco to get to work and that’s been just a huge part of my life lately is thinking about how we can all be safer and apply, honestly, some of the design principles we have for products into the built city environment. So that’s been capturing my attention when I’m not busy working on my startup or are other things in life.
Jason Ogle: Okay. Well, that’s interesting. And I thought you were going to say perhaps because some dude like nearly opened his door on you?
Braden Kowitz: Oh no, I got doored like a month ago. So…
Jason Ogle: [laughs] oh man. So, somebody actually finally did get you?
Braden Kowitz: Yes! They got me. I was okay though. [Laughs]
Jason Ogle: So, I actually did that once on the 405 freeway in California. I used to live in Orange County and my friend and I, we were corporate lease drivers. So, I nearly did it to a motorcycle cop.
Braden Kowitz: Oh no.
Jason Ogle: And we were on the freeway. We were just dead stop, deadlocked. And I didn’t even think about it. I was like my buddy and I – I was kind of tired, so I was trying to switch places with them and so I actually opened my door and there was a cop that nearly took the door off, a motorcycle cop. And it’s legal, perfectly legal to split lanes in California. It is not in Colorado where I live now.
So, I’m going to tell you that I have never heard such colorful language in my life. Like, sailor couldn’t even top what I heard this cop say to me. He was so angry. Rightfully so.
Braden Kowitz: Right.
Jason Ogle: Rightfully so. [Laughs]
Braden Kowitz: Think about it. From the user perspective, right? We usually say “The user is never wrong.” Right? And so, in this situation, like “Where you wrong for opening your door?” A lot of bicycle advocates would say, “Yes, you should always look.” And “Yes! Please do always look.” On the other hand, there’s a way that we can design the built world such that you don’t have to look. That there are safe places for bicycles to ride, that if people forget to check before they open their door, it doesn’t lead to a death. So, that’s the thing I’m actually most excited about is, is changing the built world to make it safer even when we’re just being human and forget sometimes.
Jason Ogle: It’s just one of those user problems where I totally – it was unintentional. Like I wasn’t even thinking. Like it wasn’t top of mind. Right? And I think maybe that’s kind of what happens. Like this person that finally got you with the door, I think one of them narrowly missed you, but this person that finally got you, they probably were in a hurry. They probably weren’t thinking. Chances are they were on their dating phone.
Braden Kowitz: It reminds me of this quote that “Humans are bad at vigilance tasks.” And I think I learned that around the time when we didn’t have a cloud software and you had to hit Apple save all the time. Remember that in Photoshop? And then Photoshop will crash and then you forgot, “Oh, I haven’t hit Apple. Save.” And like three hours. And there goes my whole afternoon. Like we as humans, we’re bad at that type of work. And so, thank God we have auto save now. But…
Jason Ogle: Yes! I love to see some innovations around door openings. I know that on your Twitter feed, it was something about this reach, the Norwegian, the Dutch reach or whatever it is. Yes!
Braden Kowitz: It sounds kind of funky. But you just take whatever hand that’s closest to the door. You take the other one and you use it to open the door and that just forces your body so that you can see oncoming bikes. But it’s another thing to remember. It’s a vigilance task. You have to remember it until you kind of build it into muscle memory and then it becomes automatic.
Jason Ogle: Yes! And unfortunately, we may lose a few bikers until we all learn this. It’s sort of like texting and driving. It’s like, “Why haven’t we learned that? That we can’t do these things?” But I like the Dutch reach far better than the Dutch oven.
Braden Kowitz: [laughs] fair enough.
Jason Ogle: This has been a fun little intro here. Can you tell us about what you’d like to do when you’re not working?
Braden Kowitz: I really like backpacking. And it’s one of the things I’ve been very busy with this startup range over the past two and a half years. And I have not been getting out to backpack as much as I would like, but I just love getting out of the cities and up into the mountains and getting away from the internet and the phones. And just spending the time walking with friends. It’s something that connects me to the people around me and to the world in a really nice way. And I always come back from those three day or four-day trips, just incredibly relaxed but more importantly energized and ready to jump back into my job. And I haven’t found any other type of vacation that is quite as relaxing, even though it can be physically demanding as well.
Jason Ogle: Do you ever do the grounding techniques where you’re like barefoot out there? There’s like a lot of research around this. Like when you’re barefoot or like, you know, feeling the textures under your feet? Like on the earth and out in the wild? There’s something kind of cathartic about that. Have you done any research on that or have you done some of that?
Braden Kowitz: I don’t do that backpacking usually. I’m glad to get my hiking boots off at the end of the day, but I…
Jason Ogle: Yes, sure.
Braden Kowitz: I do think about that. And I tried to practice mindfulness in my life. And particularly in meetings when I find my mind drifting, I try to ground myself, feel myself in my seat, feel my feet on the floor, feel my fingers. And that really quickly brings me back to the room and the people in the room and the conversation. So, yes, that is a technique that I use, but mostly when I find my mind wandering in meetings,
Jason Ogle: Oh, I like that. What are some techniques we can apply to be better at being more mindful? Like especially in meetings like interviews even? There’s a lot of newer designers listening, trying to get their foot in the door and you know really nervous. Maybe lacking confidence. Like do you have any tips for like practicing mindfulness or what are your favorite ways to do that that we can glean from?
Braden Kowitz: I think there’s a couple of ways to look at it. One is that in a big meeting it’s very often if you find it boring. It’s easy to step back and to say, “I just won’t pay attention. I’ll let my mind wander or I’ll open my laptop or I’ll look at my phone.” That I considered just like a bad habit that when I see myself leaning towards I just have to jump on and stop. I have to engage in the room and make the meeting good or decide the meeting is like not useful for me and then excuse myself or decide not to go and in future iterations of the meeting. But disengaging, but still having my body in the room is not respectful to the other people that are there trying to work together. So that’s one way to think about it.
The other might be, you know, if you’re going into a meeting with a lot of nerves, how to calm those nerves. I mean, there’s lots of things to do around exercise and meditation. A thing I’ve been doing a little more lately is trying to connect with my fears. So, if I’m going into a meeting, let’s say, to raise money for you know, my start up, like, “What is the fear?” You know, the fear is that I’ll look stupid maybe. Or that they won’t think we’re doing a good job of running the business. Or that, maybe we won’t get money and we won’t be able to continue. Those are all very real fears.
But the more I can think through like, “Well, what does it really mean if those things happen and are they things that I couldn’t live with?” And then the more I get kind of comfortable and habituated to what those fears might be, I can better separate out, “What are the things that I really should be concerned about and then I should let drive my action?” So yes, it would be a big deal, you know, if this meeting didn’t go well, so I do have to prepare. And it’s great when your nerves force you into action and help you prepare and perform better.
But then there may be some other things like maybe they think I’m stupid. I’m like, “Well, that doesn’t necessarily help me in any way. It’s more noise than signal.” And so, for those types of anxieties, the more I kind of exposed myself to them, the more I realized they’re just noise, they’re just chatter and they’re kind of silly and I should just let them go.
Jason Ogle: I like what Seth Godin says too. He says “Dance with the fear.”
Braden Kowitz: Yes! That’s a good way to put it.
Jason Ogle: Right? Isn’t that good?
Braden Kowitz: Yes!
Jason Ogle: Just dance with it. Face it. Like you said, “Braden face the fear and then dance with it.” And then, because I really – I’ll be honest you. And this is kind of like, this is me being vulnerable. Like it took me about 40 years of my life before I actually started dancing with the fear. Before I started, like embracing the fear. And that’s hard to admit and it’s a little embarrassing too. Frankly. I didn’t have any confidence in myself until I was like approaching 40. I had very little, I should say. And I felt like I was kind of hiding and I just didn’t have a lot to kind of believe in, I guess. And a lot of that had to do with just choices that I’ve made in my life. I had made some really negative choices in the past, especially in my youth that kind of have just haunted me and kind of hung around.
So, even though I had changed, like, you know, a long time ago, I changed my decisions, I changed my outlook and I found my faith and everything. And so, it still took me a long time before I actually really did start dancing with my fear. And it’s like once I started doing that, like it’s amazing how many, like things started happening in my life. Like good things. And I would have never found these things. I would have never opened the doors if I hadn’t done that. And so, I feel like that’s a really, really good. Good advice for us. Thank you!
Braden Kowitz: Yes! Absolutely. I mean, honestly, it’s a thing that lots and lots of people struggle with. And I think too often in the worlds of design or startups, like we all try to tell everyone that we’re doing great all the time. And what it does. I think that does a disservice to the community that people should know that there’s other people out there struggling, struggling to find jobs, struggling to feel like they’re good at what they do. All of that is real. Even for the people that you might look up to. Yes! It’s real.
Jason Ogle: Yes! And I appreciate that. I think we all do a disservice to each other as humans and to our design community, our wonderful design community when we aren’t real in that way. I’ve even made it a personal challenge to actually, when people ask me how I’m doing because it’s sort of like a rote thing, we just do that. It’s a kind of a courtesy.
Braden Kowitz: Yes!
Jason Ogle: I’ve actually made it a challenge, a personal challenge to actually, when somebody asked me that to stop for a moment and actually pause and reflect, to think about how I’m doing. And actually, respond with an honest answer.
Braden Kowitz: Yes!
Jason Ogle: Some people actually maybe regret asking me that.
Braden Kowitz: Yes! One of the things we do at “Range” to start every meeting as a check-in round, which is essentially the answer to that question, “How are you, how are you doing?” And it may sound a little silly and you might fear that everyone’s just going to say “I’m fine.” And in fact, it might start that way that people just say “I’m fine” or “I’m okay” but kind of the repetition of it helps people open up.
And just like you mentioned, it’s like a mindfulness technique. When someone asks you how you are to really pause and think how you’re experiencing the world right now. But it’s also extremely helpful to understand how other people experiencing the world. My co-founder might say, “You know, I was up all night with my daughter” or someone else might say like, “My mind is on these like million tasks that I have to do.” And that colors their view of what’s going on in the meeting and it helps me understand where they might be coming from.
Jason Ogle: The other thing I really like about that is it invites the other party to actually feel safe to share what they’re going through as well. It’s like, “Let’s go first.” Right? Like “As leaders.” Like “We need to go first.”
And so, I think that’s a really, really great technique and a great practice. I’d love to see every, especially creative oriented agency and organization. I’d love to see every one of us apply that in our meetings and be genuine about it.
Braden Kowitz: I think it’s so important because I mean when you think about – I mean what we’re talking about is essentially psychological safety. It’s the ability to be vulnerable in front of each other and say that we’re not 100% perfect all the time. And that our work is not a hundred percent perfect. And it’s so important to have that with your team, particularly in design when critique is such a huge part of it. Because if you’re worried about appearing perfect all the time, you’re not going to be in a place where you can listen to feedback. You’re probably not in a great place to even give feedback, honestly.
Jason Ogle: That’s so true. Oh, I love this. Braden, tell us your origin story. What inspired you to pursue a career in this exciting, challenging and every evolving field?
Braden Kowitz: Like a lot of people, I got into design sort of by accident. So, I was studying Computer Science at University of Illinois and I sort of got into user interfaces and working in a lab that did a lot of early virtual reality work. And we actually built a bunch of simulators for psychologists.
So, if you’ve ever been in a car where you turn on the turn signal and then it beeps at you, because someone’s in your blind spot. That was work that we did. Where we like took the Saturn and took it into a basement and hooked it up with lights and buzzers and seat vibrators and localize sound. And you know, the psychologist then we’re studying “What’s the right way to alert a driver when someone’s in their blind spot?”
So, I got to build that, you know, some of that technology for the psychologist. And I started to understand like the service aspect of what it means to make things through that work. And then when I kind of – I failed out of grad school in Computer Science. It was, I don’t really to this day don’t quite know why it all of a sudden because I loved it and then it just got really hard like a wall. So, either I’m not smart enough to do it or I made a couple of bad class suggestions but I was doing really poorly in that grad program. And at the same time, I realized that Carnegie Mellon had rolling admissions to their HCI program. And to me that was like a little bit of engineering, a little bit of psychology, cognitive psychology, which I was interested in and a little bit of design. And the design seemed kind of new and interesting to me.
So, I signed up for that and did that a grad program in a year. And then like surprising to me. I got a job at Google after that. And that’s really where my design education started. But it was all a total accident. You know, looking back at it though, the thing that I’ve appreciated the most, I think it has to be the diversity of backgrounds that people have. So, my journey was a total accident, but a lot of other people too.
And when I was studying engineering, it just felt to me that a lot of the people that I was studying with, and it might’ve just been because it was in Midwest public school, but they had all been like me. Like nerdy kids who like physics and math and like ended up here. And a lot of our backgrounds were very similar. It was hard to learn from each other. And I found that once I moved into the world of design there were people with art backgrounds and storytelling backgrounds. Just a huge diverse set of experiences. And I found immediately that I started to learn from the people around me in a strikingly different way. And I think that’s what got me mostly hooked was not only the real ability to make things in service of other people, but also just how much I can learn from the community.
Jason Ogle: It seems like some of the best products are created when you take a bunch of really different people and put them together to try to solve a problem.
Braden Kowitz: Yes! Totally, Yes!
Jason Ogle: So, you strike me Braden and as somebody who really places a lot of emphasis on the visual side of design, like especially with UI and things. But you also have built products. You’ve built and shipped a lot of products for a lot of startups. I’m curious, like how have you been able to find a balance between form and function? Like do you have some thoughts on that? I have a feeling you do.
Braden Kowitz: Yes! I mean honestly, I’m not very tied into the visual aspect of design. My background was an engineering and I’ve, you know, I’ve, gotten steadily better at the visual aspects over the years to a point where I feel comfortable, but I might by no means good. Like, I mean I do what other people do. I look at patterns. And I go, “That pattern applies here.” And I can execute that pattern in this context. But something like brand design where it’s really deeply about how do you create a vocative visuals and tone that connects with people. I’ve really admired designers who can do that because I do not do that well.
I am much more through my experience watching a lot of user studies. The stuff I think matters more when people get into use the product is how it works and how they understand and learn how the product works. That is usually where I start. And then as we’re looking at distribution, like how people discover and decide they want to try to invest time in this product. Then I think as the time to think more about brand. Apart from that I suppose, is it just general fit and finish and polish and quality. And quality is a fantastic topic. Like so times designers push very hard on quality. And I think it’s the the same type of thing. You don’t always need quality turned up to 11. Sometimes turning quality up to three or four is fine to delight your customers.
What we’ve been seeing over the past decade is that the quality bar that customers expect is raising and raising. And what that means is that as designers, we have to push our teams to at least reach that bar of quality, otherwise customers are going to be disappointed. But it’s very context dependent. So, if you go and build enterprise software, most enterprise software is pretty bad. So, you can get away with like a medium quality bar and people are like, “This is a great product. And if you’re building a game, right? Like ” Why do people use games?” It’s delightful. They’re coming for the delight. So, like almost all of it is the fit and finish. And so, you really, really deeply have to work on the fit and finish if you’re building a game.
So, I think there’s no right answer here. It just depends on either the tools of the trade and then we can use them to build products when it’s appropriate.
Jason Ogle: I’ve always been so perplexed as a visual designer and I’d say even frustrated, it might even be a better word. When I’ve tried to compete with – and this has happened to me, this is a true story where I’ve been tasked with designing a newer, updated look on a control, like say it’s like a conversion page control. I’ve been tasked with bringing it into the 20th century, right? And not like it was a brutalist design of the early two thousands. And I’ve done that. I’ve risen to the challenge and I’ve designed something that was far, far better looking. And not just because I felt like it, it was a consensus from a lot of my peers and even the leadership.
And so, it was like I redesigned this thing. We put it out there as an AB test against this ugly thing. And then this thing that I created that was so much better and you know what? Ugly won.
Braden Kowitz: Yes!
Jason Ogle: What the heck?
Braden Kowitz: And for some definition of win, right? So, I think metrics often get away from us in business that you know, there’s a world out there, some of it is easy to measure and some of it is not easy to measure. So, how many people click that button? That’s an easy thing to measure.
Jason Ogle: Yes!
Braden Kowitz: But let’s say that button said, “You know, this will be the best product ever. Click it.” And then they click that and they don’t have a good time with your product that you know, they’re probably going to bad mouth you to a bunch of other people. That means the button was clicked a lot, right? The conversion rate is high, but there are latent negative impacts to your business because of that experience. And those latent diffuse negative impacts, really hard to measure. You could do like a satisfaction metric and measure it, but you still wouldn’t know why satisfaction necessarily was going down unless you do qualitative research. And even then, like of the 20 things that your app did wrong, would that button stand out as one of them? Probably not. So, I think it’s important for us to, this feels a little weird to say, but like you have to have faith that building quality into your product will help you long term even if you can’t measure it. Because in many cases you won’t be able to measure it.
And so, I don’t know the particular situation of what you were working on, if that page is core to the business, flow and the new like design trend did not indicate to people that they could click on the button, that might be a real problem. Maybe you can find a middle ground. But I think metrics have gotten a little bit too much away from us lately in some aspects of design. But in other aspects it’s incredibly helpful to understand behaviorally what people are doing in your product and whether they’re doing the things you expect them to.
Jason Ogle: That’s so fascinating and very insightful too. I love that you said that Braden. And I’m just trying to think about this from a – like this is the struggle. This is the designer’s struggle, right? Because especially with the emergence of growth design, which I love seeing that. I love seeing designers being a lot more invested in the business metrics of what they’re doing. I’m late to the party. But I’m diving in a lot more myself and I guess it’s like, oh, it’s such a tug of war, right? Like, especially if you appreciate and you know, that a good UI, like a beautiful design and clean kind of aesthetic and everything. You know, that that’s going to be better in the long run. But if there’s metrics that say there’s more clicks on this ugly piece of crap or whatever, then no matter what, even with what you just said, which was so enlightening about metrics don’t always matter in the way we think they might. Especially with brand recall and with the stuff that’s harder to measure, like delight and things. So, it’s like, how have you been able to kind of manage that and what’s your advice to us in like kind of like managing up so to speak in some of those decisions as designers?
Braden Kowitz: Yes, I agree. I mean it is very hard and I haven’t had to deal with it as much as many other people have. I do remember a time in my career, I was designing the checkout with “Google” button many years ago when that was a thing. And the stakeholders around me just kept saying “Make it more clickable, make it more clickable.” And I mean, as a design challenge, it was like, “Well, it has to have the Google logo, it has to be in color, the button has to be blue, it has to be clickable as hell. ” And I was like, “Those things don’t all…” Like, “How do you put a colored logo on a bloop bag?” I was like, it was a challenge.
Jason Ogle: I have your answer. Bevel emboss baby. Bevel, emboss, drop shadow.
Braden Kowitz: I mean, there was a lot of drop shadow on that button. But my friend at the time, he recommended, he was like, “You know, you should just put flames on the button. And say like, ‘Check out now chance to win free iPod.” And I thought that I laughed because I was like, that is the most clickable button. But then I actually mocked it up and brought it to the team. and I said like, “I think this is the most clickable button.” And they all laughed. But then I said, “No, really. Like if that is the only principal we have then this would be the button. Right?” And it started a good conversation about what other principles that we have for a button like that. Like it should embody the brand. It shouldn’t over promise. It shouldn’t cheapen the experience that you’re about to go through. There are a lot of things that we care about that maybe aren’t entirely like clickable miss. And once we’re able to articulate what those are, then we can make a balanced decision about how these visual assets should look to embody those values. And some of those values we’ll be able to measure like click ability and they’re very important values and other values we’ll have to use our own judgment for.
So, I think sometimes in arguments, thinking through the, the end points, the extremes are very, very important. What if it wasn’t clickable at all, what would that look like? And what if it was the most clickable thing ever? What would that look like?
Jason Ogle: Yes! Make it pop.
Braden Kowitz: Yes! Make it pop, right?
Jason Ogle: [laughs] oh, it’s fascinating. And I don’t know why I thought of this, but Lings Cars is still online after 20 years.
Braden Kowitz: What is it?
Jason Ogle: Linkgcars.com. Have you ever visited Link cars?
Braden Kowitz: No.
Jason Ogle: Lingcars.com
Braden Kowitz: Should I bring it up?
Jason Ogle: Go ahead.
Braden Kowitz: All right.
Braden Kowitz: Oh, this is a pretty solid website.
Jason Ogle: [laughs]
Braden Kowitz: You know, this reminds me like, have you ever been to the Berkshire Hathaway website?
Jason Ogle: [laughs] I have not, but I’m curious.
Braden Kowitz: It’s amazing because it has such incredible content on it. And it looks like something that I would’ve built as my first website before I really understood CSS or anything. And I’ve always appreciated that they haven’t gone overboard or changed anything. It’s kind of one of my favorite websites on the internet. I just wish it was more mobile capable. Like if I had the chance to work on any projects on the web, I might pick the Berkshire Hathaway website. Not to change much of it, just to like bring it ever so slightly up to web standards and just respect it for what it is. Because it’s kind of great.
Jason Ogle: Oh my Gosh, I just landed there. I am at a loss, I am at a lost for words. I kind of, I’m in the midst of trying to figure out how to redesign my website and I may very well take some inspiration from this even just for the inside joke of it.
Braden Kowitz: Well, Yes! And it comes back to what I was saying before around like what really matters in it in a design? Is it the visual design or is it, in this case, the information architecture and the content? And if those two things are right, and that’s where people get their value, the rest doesn’t matter. People go to that site to read all the investment letters and they’re great. We’re onto something here. There’s something really interesting about this. And I’m looking at the copyright, and this is sort of a fun joke in itself. It says copyright 1978 to 2019. Now obviously that means the company has been around since 1978 but you could almost say that the website was actually created in 1978 folks.
Braden Kowitz: Unlikely. [laughs]
Jason Ogle: But it works. It works now. And likely that’s true. But it works. And there’s something to be said for that.
Braden Kowitz: Yes!
Jason Ogle: So, it’s not always about the UI. It’s not always about the sex appeal of the product. I hate to say that because it’s so important and there’s a lot of people who have a really good jobs that prove that point that it is important. So, it’s just so subjective and I hate. I hate that because I don’t have control over it. I don’t have control over the way human beings respond to what I make. I think that’s one of the hardest parts about being a designer. Right?
Braden Kowitz: Yes! Yes, I find that so hard because the audience you’re designing for is ever changing. And that means that whatever you’ve learned in your career about how they might behave is not going to be true tomorrow. Like, I remember very clearly having done some user research over an action button in the upper right. So, like, I have Dropbox paper in front of me. It has this big blue invite button in the upper right, a bunch of sites do it. But at the time we had done some user research and we found that like users just don’t see that thing. And so, I went into a design meeting with someone. I was like, “You can’t put an action button in the upper right. Like I’ve studied it. Users don’t see that thing.” And then they talked me into it and we did another user study and lo and behold, users saw that thing.
Jason Ogle: [laughs]
Braden Kowitz: You know, it’s just like, I mean the way I think about this honestly is this kind of collection of patterns that we create and put out there in the world. And then our customers learn that pattern language about how to interact with the tools that we’re making. So be that like the hamburger menu or pull down to refresh or even simple modals or checkboxes like they all are an interface pattern. And when they were introduced, people had no idea what those things were and had to spend a lot of time learning them. It’s a language of interaction. And as we go, it’s sort of Darwinian. The patterns that are sort of a little bit more intuitive or are used more often, then they become part of the lexicon and our customers understand them better. And so, there’s this constant – I mean, sort of like developing a language that we’re doing right now. This is the constant dance back and forth between us as designers creating elements and putting them out there in the world and our audience increasingly understanding what those elements mean and being able to build more sophisticated interactions with that language that we have at our disposal.
Jason Ogle: There’s a few things I’m thinking about it in response to that. One is Defenders don’t design something like a UI element or pattern and say, “I did this because “Google” or “Facebook” or “Microsoft” did it.” And they obviously have a lot of people visiting, right? Yes, that’s one way that, I mean, “Facebook” introduced the hamburger menu to you know, billion, you know, or 500 million, whatever older folks. Like they introduced that pattern, but then they just abandoned it when all of us were kind of like adding the hamburger menu to our website because Facebook did it. Like they abandoned it because it wasn’t a good experience. Like Luke W. says, “Obvious always wins.” Right?
Braden Kowitz: Yes!
Jason Ogle: So, I want to just encourage us to not – because I’m in a situation right now at work, even where I’m building a product and I’m working with the UI designer and I love this guy so much. He’s awesome. We’re bumping heads on this design pattern that makes no sense. And it makes no sense because I’ve used a lot of websites and then, no other websites and no users are used to doing it this way. And so, we’re bumping heads on that. But the reason was because, well, “Microsoft” does that. “Microsoft” does it that way. Well they probably have a specific reason and context for doing it that way. And then lo and behold, we tested into it and 99.9% of our participants validated my assumption.
So, it’s just one of those things, it’s just like, don’t do it just because somebody else does it. Even if they are behemoths, even if they have a lot of users, they have certain context and certain business models that may align differently than yours does.
Braden Kowitz: Right.
Jason Ogle: Right?
Braden Kowitz: I mean like back to the linguistic metaphor. I mean, I would kind of think of it like that. Like if you have the audience of “Facebook,” you can invent a new word and use it and everyone will pick it up because you just have such distribution. So, you can invent a hamburger menu and it may not like be the perfect thing for your metrics, but people you know will understand what it means and then like eventually that will become part of the broader lexicon. The question then is “Microsoft” was using this word, this concept of pattern. Like is your audience overlapping with that audience? And does their audience actually know that word from interacting with that product or is it something they don’t use much? And so, if the answer is like people don’t use that much in that product and our audiences don’t overlap, then I wouldn’t expect that pattern. that word, that concept to move into our product without a lot of training.
Jason Ogle: Linguistics, that’s an interesting way to put that. I mean design is communication and that’s really the bottom line of it. And just like language, we have to understand each other in order to communicate effectively, we have to understand that language. And so, like when I think about design patterns, like there’s things that like any of us can try something and if we don’t have a billion users on our website, there’s a chance that that’s not going to catch on. It could be the best solution in the world, but there’s a chance that it’s going to be an uphill battle to get that design pattern established. Like how do we establish design patterns?
Braden Kowitz: I mean, I think they solve a problem within a context. So, in this case there was navigation, there’s a small screen hamburger menu, you know, pretty decent way to to solve that. Some of it. You know, they get established when our customers start to learn them and recognize them and then we can pick them up and use them. But it’s very, very hard to create a new pattern. I remember working on a Gmail chat, which was that little window that opened in the lower right with a chat interface in it. And like that’s everywhere on the web today, right? It’s like a pattern. It’s like, Oh yes, this little chat down there. It’s Intercom. It’s, you know, like, “What are we working on this that did not – like no one knew how to put chat on top of an app.”
And so, we mostly, my friend Chad Thorton, but I had just kind of joined the team then. We’re are like looking at how to do that. And I remember very clearly the user studies that you know, we would bring in people who use Gmail and then we’d have a confederate in the other room like sending them messages. And so, the first time it popped up in the bottom corner, they just like, “Hi, how are you?” And we were like, “Yes, why don’t you chat back to that person?” And they typed in their message, “I’m fine, thanks.” And then they just stared at it. It’s like “What are you doing? Press the enter key.”
Braden Kowitz: They are so confused. And then we realized that almost every other instant messenger at the time had a send a button next to that text field. And so, they were looking for the send button. I hadn’t really realized that they could hit the enter key to send the message. Experts would know how to do that. Like the whole Gmail team is using this thing. They were fine, like using it just fine. But a lot of the users just, they didn’t know to press the enter key.
So, then you know, you feel like a real doofus having designed something that didn’t work for people. So, we put a big banner below it that says “Press enter to send.” And then we’ll make that banner go away after they’ve like done it once or twice. And so, we felt like really excited to go into the next user study. And you know, the person sat down, we sent them a message from the other room and they closed the window. Like “What the hell?” So, we sent them another message that popped up, they just closed the window. Like, “What in the world’s going on?”
And so, our researcher at the time asked them like, “What’s that thing down in the corner?” And they said, “Oh, I hate those popup ads.”
Jason Ogle: [laughs]
Braden Kowitz: We made the message to send angelic. So salient and bright that the whole window kind of read more like a pop ad
Jason Ogle: Yes!
Braden Kowitz: So, then eventually we like use that idea of reminding people to press “Enter” but then really toned it down so they could see it when they needed it. And then finally it worked. But like that’s the kind of work that’s required when you try to make a new pattern and make it really work and be intuitive for people. Where’s honestly so much of the other stuff I do in my job today is like taking a pattern off the shelf and going like, “Yes, this people are pretty familiar with this.” And then thinking about how it applies to our specific product and how to support the tasks that the people need to do with the patterns that they are familiar with.
Jason Ogle: You know, I want to talk about failure. And you know, it’s one of the things I didn’t realize when I kind of mentioned that I may ask you about this. I didn’t realize that you did a talk, I think it was at “Airbnb” in like 2012 or something, that I your talk was kind of like centralize around quote unquote failure in design. But basically, I think your point was just that it takes failure to achieve success quite often in design, especially,
Braden Kowitz: I think that all designers kind of go through this. Maybe a lot of people just in broadly in their career kind of move through these phases of like, at first you just want a job, you know? Like, “Someone pay me, please, I’ll do whatever. I’ll do whatever needs to be done. You want to make that button with flames? Here you go.” And then there’s like kind of the next level, which is around wanting to be seen as good at your job.
Jason Ogle: Yes!
Braden Kowitz: I think that’s a huge part of the of world of design to say like, “I’ve done well here. The things that I’m making fit with the trend that exists out there in design.” And other designers would just look at my work and not even know about the context or the metrics. They would just look at it and say, “I’m a good designer.”
And I think there’s something to that. That sense of belonging, that’s important at that level. And that often kind of people start to see their work as more in service. And this is like the name of your podcast, right? “User Defenders.” It’s, I am serving the user. Like all of you greedy people are trying to make money. I’m on the side of the customers.” And the light side of that is, service as an incredibly important part of design and an important part of life to do things for the benefit of others. You know, the dark side of that is it can drive a wedge between you and the people around you that you’re working with in unproductive ways.
And then you, you sort of move on from that and you start to see this sense of a give and take that happens in a business. Like how to make a business sustainable so that you can accomplish your mission. You can’t just give everything away to customers cause she won’t have a business left. You have to also create something of value but capture value back. And then that softens that wall between the User Defenders, you know, and like other people in the business that are also trying to bring good to the world but have to focus more on how they capture value from customers.
And I think you go even further and you start to see that the people around you and the team that you’re making makes all of that possible. And by building psychological safety, by like running great critiques, by putting great people around you, it helps you accomplish the goals all the way down that stack. It helps you build a sustainable business. It helps you serve the customers. And in the end it helps you know, serve you, so you feel a sense of belonging with your community and you get paid. So, I think when I look back at that time of my life, I have had this view now from building a company where it’s very clear to me that it is about the people and the team. And that is by far the most important thing that I’m making as a designer is how we all work together to build things. And then all the rest comes through it.
And I look back at that time in my career and I re I realized I did not have that perspective back then. And I think because of that lack of perspective, I didn’t see that opportunity in front of me.
Jason Ogle: Thank you for sharing that Braden. I really appreciate your vulnerability.
Braden Kowitz: Of course. Yes!
Jason Ogle: So, as I mentioned in the outset, introducing you Braden, you kind of disappeared. You kind of fell off the grid from like 2014 or something, maybe 2015 on. And then I realized, it’s not because you’ve been like bingeing breaking bad or something. Like you’ve been building a product and really committing a lot of emotional labor into building this. And can you talk about that? Like I want to spend the next few minutes just talking about what you’ve been up to these past few years in building “Range.” And what is “Range”?
Braden Kowitz: Yes! “Range” is a tool that helps teams work better together. You know, we started at thinking about how difficult it is to get alignment as organizations grow. And the tools that we would have to be in place to help organizations, large organizations kind of function as effectively and efficiently as as a small startup. So, you know, that led us down this path of looking at – I mean at “Google” there was a system called snippets where everyone was expected to write down what they did every week and then put it into a transparent system so that anyone around the company could see it. That was a total inspiration because it, it broke down silos within the company and it helps you understand what your manager was doing. It helped other people understand what you were doing. It was just really helpful and beneficial.
And then also the, the agile community is very used to this kind of daily stand up ritual of talking about what you did yesterday, what you plan to do today and what blockers are ahead of you. But then we saw all these challenges that teams had doing those types of behaviors that they create so much benefit but they’re getting more difficult. Like, one of the major forces, honestly is distributed teams. Like we’re often in different time zones or like you and I were not in the same place. We can still work together, but a lot of the ways that you would like a in-person stand up, just sort of start to break down in that way.
So, we wanted to build kind of a daily habit for people that both helped make them more productive and planning their day. And thinking about what they really want to focus on, but also helped kind of stitch together the team and help the team know what each other are working on. And so yes, that’s what we’ve done. It’s been a great journey and it’s been so much fun to see people and companies like “Coursera” and “Twitter,” like pick up our product and start to use it and watch it spread throughout the organization. It’s been really good
Jason Ogle: What has that been like for you. going from being a designer to now being like, I don’t know, CEO or whatever. You know, like basically like the leader, you’ve basically taken this idea and you’ve turned it into a business. Like what does that journey been like for you? What have you learned along the way?
Braden Kowitz: Well, Mike, my co-founder, Dan is the CEO and I’m grateful for that because he’s phenomenal at that role. I think the thing, I mean, I’ll be honest, like when I get to do design work is a moment where I go, “Oh my God, something I know how to do. Thank God.” And because I’m pretty good at it, I get it done fast and then it’s, you know, maybe a half a day or a day a week that I get to actually be a designer. And then it’s back to all the other stuff that’s involved in running a company from thinking about hiring to management to just so many – I mean, the thing that I’ve loved about a startup and the thing that I’ve not always loved about a startup is how hard it pushes you into learning. When you’re really learning, it’s usually not comfortable. Right? It’s hard.
Jason Ogle: Yes!
Braden Kowitz: And I mean, the way I would learn before is I would tackle something hard and then I’d be thinking like, “Oh, I can revel in the idea that I have this new skill and maybe I would rebel for three months or whatever and then pick up the next thing.” And a startup has really forced me to like pick up a new skill and then put it in the common-sense bucket real fast and pick up the next skill. And it doesn’t give you much time to revel in any accomplishment. But on the flip side, the pace of learning is so fast. So, it’s been very hard, but it’s also been a great growth experience for me and one I would want to do again in a heartbeat.
Jason Ogle: Yes! That’s so fascinating, your story, your journey there. And it makes me think too about being a design leader or like a design manager even. Like it seems like in our career trajectory we as designers, like we want to continue to grow. Of course, we want to continue to get a raise is nice always of course. But that often means becoming like a manager or a director or. And there’s that trade-off Defenders.
And so, it’s like if you only love to just get your hands dirty all the time, you may not want to create a product and become a – you may not want to kind of do the exact journey that Braden has done. Because as he touched on, it’s like there’s that part of that time you get to get your hands dirty, but then you’re like, “Okay, I’ve got to focus on the business. I got to focus on the organization.” Like I’m kind of okay like not being the manager of my design team because I still do like to, I kind of like to be in the trenches there. But I’m glad Braden, I’m glad that you get to still, like you said, you get to still design a lot as being a co-founder of this product too. And has that been hard? Has that been hard kind of trading off?
Braden Kowitz: Yes! I mean it is hard to switch contexts so quickly to go from, okay I’m optimizing some advert campaign like snap, I am looking at redoing our information architecture snap. Like okay I’m fixing some CSS on our blog. Like, that has been a little bit hard.
Jason Ogle: Yes! You’re like a genius. [Laughs]
Braden Kowitz: Yes! I think the founder role is, you know, even a design founder, I don’t really think of it as being a designer anymore, I just think of it as being a founder. But I use my…
Jason Ogle: Do you have side hustles? Do you have side hustles that you do to kind of stay sharp creatively and stuff when you start feeling maybe a little stifled?
Braden Kowitz: Yes! I mean I tend to pick up like – we have weird hobbies for like six months to a year. So like bicycle advocacy is the thing I’m really into now. But for like three months there I was really into AM Radio and then I realized like, “Oh, this is not a community I really, really want to be a part of. But like now I have an AM Radio license. I guess”
Jason Ogle: [laughs]
Braden Kowitz: I like learning new things even if I don’t always keep them around as a part of my life.
Jason Ogle: Nice. Didn’t the kid in stranger things have one of those? The…
Braden Kowitz: He did, Yes!
Braden Kowitz: The antennas all wrong.
Jason Ogle: [laughs] he did it wrong, [laughs] but he was still able just to sing the never-ending story to his gal, which was pretty awesome.
Braden Kowitz: Yes! The story was good.
Jason Ogle: [laughs] so, that’s awesome. So, who is this product for Braden really quick before we get to the super six?
Braden Kowitz: Yes, I mean this product works really well for a team of, you know, like five to 20 people. And it scales up. It’s used by a lot of engineering teams, but also product team, sales team, design teams. And so, if you’re in a place where it’s hard to stay in sync and know what other people are doing, “Range” is a pretty good fit. Like the way it works is in the morning it just kind of pings you on Slack and is like, “Hey, what are you doing?” And then you open up “Range” and we hook up to all the integrations that you use. So, we have, like “Range” actually knows a little bit about what you’re doing. So, you can plan your day. You can say like, “Oh, this issue was assigned to me in get hub. Here’s this Dropbox paper document I was working on or this Dropbox sketch file that was in there. Here’s this Google doc I edited.” And it’s really easy to share that stuff with your team so that they know what you’re working on and to make a log of that for yourself. So, come performance review time, you’re like, “Oh yes, here is all the stuff that I’ve done over the past six months.”
And then the other part of it is like, all that stuff makes it easy to share, but it’s not always the most fun thing to do to think about your day in the morning. So, we have another part of the product that helps you get to know your team. There’re these team questions that we designed to help build psychological safety actually. And although that may seem like an impossible thing, like a computer program, like helping you build vulnerability and safety on your team, it actually really works. We looked at a bunch of research on how people actually build vulnerability and trust. And one of the great ways you do it is by asking questions that require a bit more vulnerability over time. So, you start easy and then you get harder.
So, we built in several modules of questions like that that also touched on things like radical candor and growth mindset and all that stuff. So, people get to know what each other are doing on a team. They build a great record of the work that they’ve done and you really get to know your team so you can function better together.
Jason Ogle: Oh, that’s so cool. And I will be honest, I checked it out on the, is it range.co?
Braden Kowitz: Yes! That’s right.
Jason Ogle: Okay. Yes! I checked it out and we’re back to our, I guess kind of call back to our conversation about form and function. Like I can tell you got both in there. Like I’m a UI guy and the UI was brilliant and it looks beautiful. And I haven’t used it, but according to what you’re saying, according to what I saw in the screenshots to. it seems like it really does work beautifully as well. So, check it out if that’s you who Brayden just said that this product is for, just check it out and see if it works for you.
I want to jump into these last few questions, Braden, if you’ve got a few more minutes?
Braden Kowitz: Yes, I do. Yes!
Jason Ogle: Awesome. I call these the super six.
Braden Kowitz: Okay.
Jason Ogle: So, these are questions that really tie in well to the theme of the show. And so, I want to jump through these. And you can give me quick answers if you want or you can dive deep. It’s up to you. What’s your design superpower?
Braden Kowitz: I love interaction design. Like we were talking about patterns and language. and that is totally my jam. Particularly like, if I could work on anything that would give me satisfaction as the designer, it would probably be OS level design because if you’re working on an OS like at “Google” or “Apple” or “Microsoft,” it’s only a couple of companies that can really do, maybe “Facebook” can do like OS level audiences. You can invent new patterns, you have enough audience to do that and you have the need to do so. Because at the OS task level, as people are moving around and trying to do multiple different things, it’s very complex and you often need to create new patterns to help people do that. I love interaction design. You give me a like a tough like in “Range,” like the compose view is one of my favorite places to tinker and think about because there’s all these complicated like, so how do you say you this [inaudible 51:01] task that you did it today but then want to do more of it tomorrow. Like do you copy the tasks? Like how exactly does all that work? That is not just like getting around or visual to light, that’s kind of really deep in the interaction stuff. I love it.
Jason Ogle: Oh, that’s so cool. That’s inspiring man. What’s your design kryptonite adversely?
Braden Kowitz: Yes! I mentioned this earlier. I think it’s got to be brand. Like, you know, my friend Landan Donovan launched this app called “Trash.” I think, “Trash TV” or it’s “Trash app.” It’s like she has such a great sense of tone and voice and brand and visual. Like that that thing looks like I could make and it really speaks to their audience. It’s done so well. And I see that work. I’m like, “Oh there’s no way I could’ve done that. Like even at Google ventures, we worked for the material team to do the new GV logo with kind of the slash in it.
Jason Ogle: Yes! Yes! It looks great.
Braden Kowitz: Yeah. It’s amazing. I had done like a hundred revs of like what AG and V would look like together. And when I saw there as in the first like designer view, I was like, “That’s it. Yep. You knocked it out of the park. I’m an idiot.”
So, that’s something I don’t do well, but I’m also like not sure. Yes! I’m not sure if I want to get better there, there’s other things that I want to get better at.
Jason Ogle: I like how you kind of close that sentence. Because you your growth mindset kicked in.
Braden Kowitz: Yes!
Jason Ogle: You’re like, “You know what? If I really wanted to, I could get really good at branding, but it’s not something I want to focus energy on right now.”
Braden Kowitz: Yes!
Jason Ogle: I feel that same way about learning Java Script.
Braden Kowitz: Fair enough.
Jason Ogle: What would your UX superhero name be?
Braden Kowitz: You know, I’ve had the really good fortune to see a lot of different teams in my career. Both at “Google,” there was this time when I could just like move between teams and essentially had no managerial oversight and I just wandered around. And then at “Google Ventures” I got a chance to just kind of pop in and see a lot of different companies. So, maybe like the traveler or something. Does that make sense?
Jason Ogle: Nice.
Braden Kowitz: Like a wanderer.
Jason Ogle: How about nomad?
Braden Kowitz: That sounds good.
Jason Ogle: [laughs] That sounds kind of superhero?
Braden Kowitz: I know all the connotations of the word nomad.
Jason Ogle: [laughs] serious? “What’s nomad mean? You’re bad. No, let’s see. Nomad. ‘Without a fixed habitation.'”
Braden Kowitz: I think that fits with my backpacking as well, so I’ll go with that.
Jason Ogle: All right. The nomad. The or just Nomad?
Braden Kowitz: You tell me what superheroes should be named…?
Jason Ogle: I like nomad. I like just nomad.
Braden Kowitz: Okay.
Jason Ogle: Yeah. All right. That’s cool. What’s one habit you believe contributes to your success Braden?
Braden Kowitz: I was talking with someone the other day about the thing that founders often have trouble with. And I think to be a venture backed founder, you had to pitch your company to a bunch of venture capitalists and they had to think it was a good idea. So, founders are usually pretty good at pitching and in fact, designers particularly in the agency background are also pretty good at pitching ideas. But once you get through that initial like, “Yes, we’ll builds your design or buyer design. Or yes, here’s a bunch of money to build your company.” You have to switch from pitching to listening. And yes, that’s something that I’ve spent a long time trying to get better at. I remember at “Google” how difficult it was to get consensus to build things. It felt like you had to get the product manager to say Yes! Then you had to get all the engineers to say Yes! And then you had to get all the other designers to say Yes! You are like it just felt like so much of my job was convincing other people. And you would think that that would be about pitching but actually it was much more about listening to what other people needed and the way they saw the world.
And at the time I was working with Joe Kraus and he said to me, “First, seek to understand and then seek to be understood.” Which I later realized is one of the seven habits of highly effective people. But I’ve really liked that phrase and I try and I think it’s helped me a lot in almost every conversation I’ve had.
Jason Ogle: Oh, I love that. Yes, listening is so important. Like, I couldn’t agree more with that, especially as a designer. If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? I would recommend “Sprint” by the way.
Braden Kowitz: I mean the book I’ve read recently that I’ve really enjoyed is “An Everyone Culture.” And it talks a lot about building organizations. And they call it a deliberately developmental organization. A place where people can learn and grow and in fact that the whole system is set up to help them do that. It may feel a little bit out there compared to where your organization is now, but there are many organizations that operate this way. And as designers we can shape digital products, right? But we can also shape, you know, built environments like architects and designers. And we can also shape cultural environments. And that’s what a company organization is.
So, I like that book because it helped me start to see what, what an organization might look like if it was designed that to place it fit more of my values.
Jason Ogle: Sounds really good. I haven’t heard of that yet. I’m going to definitely have to check that out. I’m big on culture. I think it’s critical. This is my last question, Braden and this is one of my favorite ones. And what’s your best advice for aspiring UX superheroes?
Braden Kowitz: Just work with great people. Like life’s too short to work with people that are difficult. In most of what I’ve learned has been from mentors and people around me and most of my happiest times in work has been working with people I really trust and love and admire. And so, there’s a ton of places to work. And it can sometimes feel very daunting to go and find those other places. And sometimes it is daunting. Oftentimes it is. But it’s always something to think about if it’s difficult where you are because the people you work with determine so much of what your experience in life is.
Jason Ogle: Oh, that’s so good. And that’s the one thing too is like, it’s so hard to control. Often, you can’t choose the people you work with when you apply for a job. Do you have tips on how to like really figure out the kind of the culture before you say I do, so to speak? Before you assign the contract? Like do you have some things that you’ve learned through the years that will help us to kind of be a little more choosy or just kind of vet the culture better before we go in?
Braden Kowitz: That’s a good question, I don’t have that a lot. I mean I’ve had a tremendous privilege in my career to be able to kind of float around and just decide to spend more time with the companies or the teams that I could just sense were working better. But I totally understand that not everyone has that situation or privilege. One of the questions I like to ask most in interviewing companies is to ask them how they make decisions? And try to dive in as deep as possible and get them to do some retrospectives on a major decision they made and how it happened. I think that tells a lot about the culture.
Jason Ogle: That is really insightful. I had never thought about that. That’s a great takeaway Defenders. So, as we close Braden, why don’t you tell our audience the best way to connect and to keep up with you?
Braden Kowitz: Oh Yes! I mean, you can follow along with our blog at range.co. You can find me on Twitter@kowitz. I’m on Twitter way more than I should, so you can always find me there.
Jason Ogle: Awesome. Well, Braden, this has been phenomenal. Like I’m so thankful that we got to spend this time together. Like this is something I’ve been wanting to do for while now and I know that you’ve had really good reasons for not being able to do things like this for a while. And like building a product. Building software is hard.
Braden Kowitz: Yes!
Jason Ogle: Right? And you’ve obviously the emotional labor, the effort that you put into “Range” is certainly paying off and is going to continue to pay off. So, kudos there man. Thank you for creating this product to help make teams better and to especially help bring more vulnerability out into our teams and more transparency. Like I feel like that is one of the most important elements to a team and good culture. And so, I’m really, really glad that you’ve taken this time to do this. And thanks for telling us about it.
And again, Defenders check it out. If this is you, if that’s a product that would benefit you and your team. And just thanks for all your contributions sprayed into our field. Like you may not ever realize like how much of an impact that you’ve made just through your generosity and speaking and sharing. And you are a deep individual. And that is really honestly one of the top reasons I wanted to have you on the show. Because I knew just as you delivered, I knew it would be a deep dive and be very real and genuine. And so, I just appreciate you for all you do. And last but not least, man, I just want to say, as always, “Fight on my friend.”
Braden Kowitz: Thank you. And thank you for having me. This has been a great conversation.
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