This is the last episode of 2021. After nearly two years of outlining the content for this episode and nearly two months (at time of writing) of recording & editing, here’s everything I know (so far) on landing a job in UX. I hope this content is not only useful to you and anyone you know looking to land their first (or next) job in UX, but I sincerely hope this episode is greatly inspirational and even life-changing for you. I forgot to say it at the end of the episode, so Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Joyous New Year dear Defenders! Take care of yourself and each other, and I’ll see you on the other side of this year with more amazing UX/Design content! 👊 Jason Ogle
Jason Ogle is human, not dancer. He’s a growth-minded, avid reader and listener whose vehicle is a rolling university. He’s an innovative and strategic design leader focused on product creation, growth and conversion. He’s a passionate user defender who fights for the users who are victims of bad design decisions. He’s an influential podcaster who uses the enchanting magic of audio to inspire and equip an audience of hungry and ambitious designers. He’s an evocative (often contrarian) writer who believeth in the power of the written word. He’s a confident, highly self-aware servant-leader who believes that humans are so much more than resources. He’s a loving husband (22 yrs and counting) and father of six here on earth (which speaks to his leadership abilities), and one already in heaven (which speaks to his deep capacity for empathy).
Fun facts: He once had to get a manicure to be a hand-model for a tech ad, got his uvula surgically removed while recovering from ankle surgery, and has a rare essay titled “Altars of Satan” given to him and signed by Eldridge Cleaver.
Here’s a fun treat I’ve never done before. In this episode I shine the spotlight on listeners Jordan Burke + Joel Ryerson who recently landed their first job in UX! Hear them tell their inspiring stories of their journey getting here while gaining some valuable insights on how you can too! I was blown away at the depth, insight, authenticity and value they both added with their motivational and entertaining stories of struggle and ultimately triumph!
Bob Baxley, a Silicon Valley pioneer, takes us back in time through the history of Silicon Valley and gives us a glimpse into the future of it. Spoiler alert: He’s got concerns. He reveals how every little interaction matters and motivates us to be proud enough of the work we do to want to show our friends and family…otherwise, we’ve got more work to do. He challenges us to challenge the status quo and constantly be looking for ways to improve our work by asking, ‘How could this be better?’. He also likens our work to building sandcastles on the beach, causing us to reflect on the brevity and temporal nature of it, and inspires us to make everything we make with our friends (for others) count.
Bob Baxley is a design executive, advisor, mentor, and advocate that has built, managed, and led UX teams at some of Silicon Valley’s most respected companies. With a career spanning three decades, Bob’s work at Apple, Pinterest, Yahoo!, and elsewhere has touched hundreds of millions of users around the world. Currently, Bob serves as the Senior Vice-President of Design at ThoughtSpot, a business intelligence and data analytics platform. An advisor to Project Invent, Bob is committed to recruiting and inspiring the next generation of designers by mentoring individuals and advising organizations that are working to improve the profession and practice of digital product design. When he was a kid, he was attacked by a baby goat at a petting zoo and to this day he can’t stand goats.
Crash Course History of Silicon Valley (7:52)
Love at First Byte: (Re)Discovering the Magic of Computing (14:17)
The Beautiful ‘Burden’ of Doing Great Work That We’re Proud Of (21:11)
The Question Steve Jobs Was Known to Ask In Design Reviews (24:55)
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)
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)