076: User Research? Game On with Steve Bromley

User Defenders podcast
User Research
076: User Research? Game On with Steve Bromley

Steve Bromley shows us how to level up our user research skills. He illuminates the path to getting started as a Games User Researcher. He inspires us to use our user research superpower and insights to make things better for our users. He teaches us techniques he’s used to actually enjoy synthesizing data more. He reveals how many user’s is enough–spoiler alert…it depends. He challenges us ethically to be responsible for the consequences of what we’re designing. He also motivates us to document as we go, but also to be sure and stop to reflect every once in a while.

Steve Bromley is an experienced user researcher. He works with organizations to help them start new user research teams. He writes all about this the book Building User Research Teams. He also works with game studios to help them use insight from players to make games better. Some titles he’s worked on include Horizon: Zero Dawn, No Man’s Sky, SingStar and the PlayStation VR launch lineup. Fun fact: As a child, he was once on the Disney Channel advertising Land Yachting.

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  • Most Important Question (4:40)
  • History + Evolution of Games User Research (6:59)
  • Differences Between Games UR vs. Software UR (16:55)
  • How Do You Measure Delight? (20:30)
  • The Dark Side of Gaming (26:39)
  • Who’s Responsible? (29:59)
  • Recommended Path to Games UR (37:42)
  • The Light Side of Gaming (42:21)
  • How Can We Enjoy Synthesizing Data More? (46:00)
  • How Many Users is Enough? (49:59)
  • What’s Your Why? (53:32)
  • What’s Your UX Superpower? (55:30)
  • What’s Your UX Kryptonite? (57:35)
  • What’s Your UX Superhero Name? (60:00)
  • Habit of Success (60:33)
  • Invincible Resource (61:24)
  • Best Advice for Aspiring Games UR’s (62:09)
  • Connect & Keep Up (63:00)

Continue reading 076: User Research? Game On with Steve Bromley

075: You Belong Here with Jessica Gaddis

User Defenders podcast
Land a Job in UX
075: You Belong Here with Jessica Gaddis

Jessica Gaddis motivates us to realize that we belong here. Not only in the field of design, but in this often painful and perplexing world we call home. Why? Because somewhere, sometime, somehow…someone needs us. She inspires us to find our community because they’re already out there, searching for us and waiting for us to connect with them and even lead them. She reveals how she was able to on a very limited budget go all in and learn UX and go on to get her foot in the door as a Product Designer. From 0 to Netflix, and now Twitter. She touches on the unwelcome voice in many of our heads known as imposter syndrome, and reveals how she’s been able to successfully combat it. She also shares with us how advocating for black women in design by opening up her calendar as a mentor has been one of the most rewarding and impactful design decisions she’s ever made.

Jessica Gaddis is a Midwest transplant living in the Bay Area. Her mission is to create more thoughtful user experiences and to bridge the gap between usability and accessibility. She has a background in journalism and PR and her love for storytelling is at the heart of every experience she makes. She’s passionate about designing products that solve problems and creating moments that excite. Fun Fact: When she was a freshman in college she got an internship at a TV station back home in Detroit. Towards the end of her internship she had the opportunity to do an on-air spot about a museum exhibit. She was terrified and not very good but it was a great experience that taught her how much she did not want to be a reporter!

  • Origin Story (5:05)
  • Growing Up In a Techie Home (8:48)
  • Journalism + UX? (11:42)
  • The UX of Learning UX (18:21)
  • Teaching Should Be Every Company’s Core Value (32:15)
  • Have You Overcome Imposter Syndrome? (44:14)
  • How Do We Find Community? (50:00)
  • The Deep Value of Mentoring (57:59)
  • What Do You Want On Your Headstone? (70:13)
  • UX Superpower? (74:09)
  • UX Kryptonite? (75:37)
  • UX Superhero Name (77:38)
  • Habit of Success? (78:02)
UX Resource or Tool (81:04)
  • Recommended Book (83:11)
  • Best Advice (84:56)
  • Connect & Keep Up with Jessica Gaddis (87:21)

Continue reading 075: You Belong Here with Jessica Gaddis

074: Designers, Mind Your Business with Pek Pongpaet

User Defenders podcast
074: Designers, Mind Your Business with Pek Pongpaet

Pek Pongpaet teaches us how to be business-minded designers. He reveals how designers with business knowledge and more tools in their tool belt will get hired more often than ones without and with less. He shows us how to get a seat at the table while challenging us to count the costs of actually having one. He motivates us to measure and quantify our designs. He also inspires us to get out of our comfort zones and talk to other disciplines and become consumers of information in the area(s) we desire growth in.

Pek Pongpaet is the Managing Partner at Chicago-based studio imPekable. He crafts outstanding mobile and web products for clients that include Google, HP, Motorola and Groupon to name a few. He’s quite the ninja…literally. He’s an actual motion capture model in the Mortal Kombat games. He’s one of the rare and coveted breeds we would call a unicorn, but he would call a Diviner (Developer/Designer). One of the things you may not see on his resume is his experience working as a stock photography model.

  • Why Should We Listen to Pek? (05:04)
  • Why Should Designers Understand Business More? (7:07)
  • How Do I Begin to Care More About Business? (11:05)
  • How Do I Learn More About the Business Model? Who Do I Talk To? (14:22)
  • How Can Designers Influence Product/Business Strategy and Quantify Their Work? (16:52)
  • How Do I Know That Something I Designed Achieved Its Business Goal? (20:18)
  • What Do You Look For In a Designer When Hiring? (24:50)
  • Why You Should be Best Friends with Your Analytics Person/Team (26:20)
  • How Can Designers do a Better Job Communicating the Business Value of Design to Non-Believing Stakeholders? (30:21)
  • How Does a Designer Get a Seat at the Round Table? (33:29)
  • What’s Your Best Advice for Designers Wanting to Grow in Business Side of Design? (40:45)
  • Best Way to Connect and Keep Up? (45:45)

Continue reading 074: Designers, Mind Your Business with Pek Pongpaet

073: The Unstoppable Designer with Jeff Gothelf

User Defenders podcast
Product Management
073: The Unstoppable Designer with Jeff Gothelf

Jeff Gothelf tells us how to be unstoppable designers. He debunks the mythical creature known as Phase 2. He shows us what a designer effectively working in Agile looks like, and enlightens us to how new UX teams can show immediate value. He articulates the need to differentiate between outputs and outcomes. He also motivates us to stay humble and curious since you can teach anyone technical skills, but you can’t teach someone humility and curiosity.

Jeff helps organizations build better products and executives build the cultures that build better products. He is the co-author of the award-winning book Lean UX and the Harvard Business Review Press book Sense & Respond and just recently Forever Employable. Jeff works as a coach, consultant and keynote speaker helping companies bridge the gaps between business agility, digital transformation, product management and human-centered design. Most recently Jeff co-founded Sense & Respond Press, a publishing house for practical business books for busy executives. Fun fact: Jeff’s first job was in a traveling circus.

  • How do Designers Most Efficiently Integrate into Agile? (6:43)
  • Why is it Important to be a Facilitator? (16:32)
  • Phase 2: Reality or Myth? (20:45)
  • How Do You Convince ENGINEERS to Get Out of the Software is Done Mindset? (28:06)
  • How Do You Convince DESIGNERS to Get Out of the Software is Done Mindset? (31:15)
  • Why is MVP the Most Bastardized Phrase in Software Development? (33:49)
  • Why Designers are Scientists Long Before We’re Pixel-Pushers (37:34)
  • How Does a New UX Team Show Immediate Value? (41:17)
  • What’s Your Why? (46:40)
  • What’s Your UX Superpower? (48:23)
  • What’s Your UX Kryptonite? (48:52)
  • What’s Your UX Superhero Name? (49:34)
  • Invincible UX Tool or Resource? (50:52)
  • Recommended Books? (51:55)
  • Best Advice for Aspiring UX Superheroes? (52:45)
  • Best Way to Connect? (53:45)

Continue reading 073: The Unstoppable Designer with Jeff Gothelf

072: Everyone’s a UX Designer with Jared Spool

User Defenders podcast
Land a Job in UX
072: Everyone's a UX Designer with Jared Spool

Jared Spool has been doing and defining UX long before many of us existed and/or even knew what it was. He invites us in to hear his fascinating yet seldom discussed UX origin story. He reveals how and why we’re all UX designers. He demystifies the arduous and often frustrating process of landing a job in UX. He articulates what it means to learn how to learn. He addresses the important, but oft-forgotten business part of the design business. He also inspires us to be great design leaders by illustrating what one actually looks like.

Jared M. Spool is a Maker of Awesomeness at Center Centre – UIE. Center Centre is the school he started with Leslie Jensen-Inman to create industry-ready User Experience Designers. UIE is Center Centre’s professional development arm, dedicated to understanding what it takes for organizations to produce competitively great products and services.

In the 43 years he’s been in the tech field, he’s worked with hundreds of organizations, written two books, published hundreds of articles and podcasts, and tours the world speaking to audiences everywhere. When he can, he does his laundry in Andover, Massachusetts.

A little known fact about Jared is he didn’t graduate high school or go to college, yet now he runs one of the leading schools for UX designers. He’s also an amateur magician.

  • Jared’s Compelling UX Origin Story (5:56)
  • How Do You See the UX Job Landscape Evolving? (14:50)
  • UX’ers Have to Do What We Promised (17:31)
  • Is Everyone a UX Designer? (24:57)
  • If Design is a Team Sport, How Does the Team Win? (35:30)
  • What Makes a Great Design Leader? (38:40)
  • The Most Important Thing Designers Should be Learning (46:22)
  • Best Advice for Designers Trying to Break In and Getting Rejected? (52:10)
  • UX Superhero Name (1:09:23)

Continue reading 072: Everyone’s a UX Designer with Jared Spool