078: There and Back (and Forward) Again with Bob Baxley

Design Leadership
Design Leadership
078: There and Back (and Forward) Again with Bob Baxley
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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)
  • Technology: Wonderful Servant, Terrible Master (26:53)
  • Employing Analogue Tools for Deeper Creativity (34:10)
  • There Are No Rolling Credits for Interaction Designers (52:51)
  • We Need More Designers and Less Roadblocks (54:45)
  • Is There a Growth Trajectory for IC’s Besides Mgmnt? (1:10:01)
  • What’s Your Recommended Path for Design Leadership? (1:21:54)
  • Where is Silicon Valley Going? Do You Have Concerns? (1:27:35)
  • What’s Your Design Superpower? (1:34:28)
  • What’s Your Design Kryptonite? (1:35:19)
  • What’s Your UX Superhero Name? (1:37:41)
  • Habit of Success? (1:38:23)
  • Invincible Resource or Tool? (1:42:37)
  • Recommended Books (1:45:25)
  • What’s the Best Lesson You Learned From Steve Jobs? (1:48:30)
  • Best Advice? (1:53:44)
  • Connect & Keep Up (2:03:16)

Continue reading 078: There and Back (and Forward) Again with Bob Baxley

075: You Belong Here with Jessica Gaddis

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

036: No Designer Left Behind with Nick Finck

User Defenders podcast
Mentorship
Mentorship
036: No Designer Left Behind with Nick Finck
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User Defenders "UX-Toreador" Nick Finck

Nick Finck teaches us the value of being a connector, and mentoring other designers. He gives us a really compelling, dare I say accurate look into the future of UX. He inspires us to make sure we unplug every once in a while. He also motivates us to find the sweet spot between users, the business, and technology.

Nick Finck at the time of this interview was the Product Design Manager at Facebook. Now, he’s a User Experience Design Immersive Instructor at General Assembly. Prior to Facebook, he was Head of User Experience at Amazon Web Services. He’s been working on the web for two decades solving complex problems for Fortune 500 companies such as Adobe, Intel, REI, Boeing, Google, and Oprah.com. He spent one of those decades also running one of our community’s leading blogs in the early days called Digital Web Magazine. He’s been an active speaker since 2001, who’s spoken at many of our esteemed conferences. He recently started a really exciting project called “UX for Change” with a two-fold goal: to bridge the experience gap many designers have after graduation, and address the mentor deficiency. He also happens to be runner up for Seattle’s Sexiest Geek thwarted by none other than “The Oatmeal’s” Matthew Inman.

  • Secret Identity/Origin Story (4:13)
  • What Inspired Your Career? (6:12)
  • Biggest Superhero (11:20)
  • Second Career Choice (14:00)
  • Biggest Failure (15:33)
  • What Do You Look For When Hiring? (20:40)
  • Awkward Testing Story (26:44)
  • Design Superpower / Superhero Name (33:23)
  • Design Kryptonite (36:56)
  • Fight For Users (41:28)
  • Future Of UX Design (46:58)
  • Rise Against The Machines? (54:28)
  • Habit Of Success (58:22)
  • UX For Change (62:13)
  • Book Recommendation (70:54)
  • Invincible Resource (73:12)
  • Best Advice (74:40)
  • Contact Info (77:35)

LINKS
Nick’s Twitter
Nick’s Facebook
Nick’s Website
UX for Change
We Make Seattle
[RESOURCE] People
[BOOKS] Design Is a JobA Project Guide to UX Design

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Continue reading 036: No Designer Left Behind with Nick Finck

023: Good Design is Humble with Austin Knight

User Defenders podcast
Mentorship
Mentorship
023: Good Design is Humble with Austin Knight
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User Defenders "Mentor Man" Austin Knight

Austin Knight motivates us to just start making things. He encourages us to keep designing, even if it isn’t our job yet. He teaches us how the future of UX is all about expansion and that there’s never been a better time to be a designer. He also inspires us to not only fight for the user, but the stakeholder, the company and the client.

Austin also was a very special guest in Mixed Reality & the Future of Design (special two-part series).

Austin Knight (Mentor Man) is a Senior UX Designer at Hubspot where his work impacts more than 8 million visitors per month. He’s an international speaker and author. He’s a fellow podcaster co-hosting the UX & Growth podcast. He serves as a UX and IxD mentor at Columbia University and General Assembly. He also has a popular UX Design blog and newsletter at AustinKnight.com. Fun fact about Austin: He’s terrified of flying. Even though he flew 150,000 miles last year and has willingly jumped out of three planes skydiving…he has yet to overcome that fear.

  • Secret Identity/Origin Story (2:41)
  • Biggest Superhero (8:20)
  • Second Career Choice (10:42)
  • Biggest Failure (12:06)
  • Awkward Testing Story (21:32)
  • Design Superpower (28:51)
  • Design Kryptonite (31:19)
  • Successful Culture Building (34:07)
  • Design Superhero Name (40:47)
  • Fight For Users (41:13)
  • Should designers get a BA (45:43)
  • Future Of UX Design (47:44)
  • Habit Of Success (50:10)
  • Invincible Resource (52:42)
  • Book Recommendation (55:08)
  • Best Advice (57:26)
  • Most Excited About (1:00:11)
  • Contact Info (1:03:50)

Continue reading 023: Good Design is Humble with Austin Knight

016: Meaning Comes from Making with Alexa Leigh Herasimchuk

User Defenders podcast
Mentorship
Mentorship
016: Meaning Comes from Making with Alexa Leigh Herasimchuk
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User Defenders "Essence" Alexa Leigh Herasimchuk

Alexa Leigh Herasimchuk inspires us to go find our why and to not fear reaching out to people who inspire us. She teaches us that the future of UX should be integrated into our education system. She reminds us that we can’t make people care, but we can build things people care about. She also encourages us to design systems that are helpful (not harmful) to future generations.

Alexa Leigh Herasimchuk is a Product Designer at Yelp where she designs thoughtful ways to connect people to local businesses, and business owners to their communities. She also cares about people…a lot. So much so that she started a really interesting project with her partner called “Practice Happy” where they set out to redefine the understanding of happiness. She created a project called #100DaysOfThinking where she posts inspirational quotes and thoughts each day to help make better sense of the world and to relate with others. She’s a designer because she wants to be a part of crafting something greater than herself and for the world to be better because she was here.

LINKS
@AlexaLeighH
Alexa’s Website
Practice Happy

[RESOURCE] Do something not related to design. Get outside, or listen to interesting podcasts. Find a great mentor.
[RESOURCE] Dear Design Student
[VIDEO] We Are What We Build by Eric Meyer
[BOOK] Just Design
[BOOK] Designing for Social Change


SUBSCRIBE TO AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE NEW EPISODES
Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Pandora | Amazon Music | Stitcher | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS Feed

USE YOUR SUPERPOWER OF SUPPORT
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.

SUPER-CRED
Artwork: Cesar Lemus | Editing: Chris Combs | Prep: Win Goodbody | Music: Wyman Gentry

Continue reading 016: Meaning Comes from Making with Alexa Leigh Herasimchuk