Cultivating a Creative Culture with Justin Dauer

User Defenders: Podcast – UX Design & Personal Growth
User Defenders: Podcast – UX Design & Personal Growth
Cultivating a Creative Culture with Justin Dauer
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Cultivating a Creative Culture with Justin Dauer

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“We create human-centered interactions and experiences in our field. Empathetic purpose drives our every decision. Mobile First? In reality, it’s humans first. This same mentality, turned inward, forms the cornerstone of something amazing: a creative culture.

Whether in a leadership role or as a member of the team, it’s a fact: a happy and well-supported employee is a fueled, charged, inspired creator.” – Excerpt from Cultivating a Creative Culture

Justin and I dive deep into the problems with creative cultures today. He answers important questions like:

  • What problems are you seeing in creative workplace cultures today?
  • What are the best questions you’ve found to ask to get a strong feel of the culture in an interview?
  • What are some clear indicators that it’s time to leave?
  • Can a creative not in senior leadership working in an awful culture actually affect change in their workplace?
  • Much more…

Where we hang our hat every day is one of the most important decisions in life. Unless we’re remote, we’ll spend more time at work than at home with our loved ones. If we find ourselves in a place that doesn’t trust, or value us or our contributions, and in fact may even be abusive in dealings with us–the stress could actually eventually kill us.

I’m very proud of this episode. If it helps even one of you Defenders avoid the pain of an unhealthy culture, and pushes you to as Justin says, “never settle” in your quest to find the culture that helps you thrive as a creative person–then whatever level of discomfort it may bring listening, was all worth it.

As Justin says in his essential book, “The passion for doing your best work is too precious to be extinguished by an unhealthy culture.”


LINKS
Justin’s Website
Justin’s Twitter
[ARTICLE] Resetting Agency Culture
[ARTICLE] Don’t Be Culture-Clubbed

BROUGHT TO YOU BY
Adobe XD
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ABOUT JUSTIN
Justin Dauer is a passionate user advocate, designer, writer, and denim elitist from Chicago. Through bloodshot tunnel vision, he’s drawn from career experiences across agency side, client side, design studio, and pure tech to foster healthy, dynamic, supportive creative cultures. Crafting as the Vice President of UX & Development for bswift by day, his personal creative outlet by night (and day) is pseudoroom which also happens to be his Twitter handle. He eats a bowl of cereal every night before bed. Every. Night.


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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
Editing by Chris Combs

020: Stay Enchanted with Jeffrey Zeldman (Part II)

User Defenders: Podcast – UX Design & Personal Growth
User Defenders: Podcast – UX Design & Personal Growth
020: Stay Enchanted with Jeffrey Zeldman (Part II)
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User Defenders "Zeld Man" Jeffrey Zeldman

Don’t miss Part I of this unforgettable interview with Jeffrey Zeldman.

Jeffrey Zeldman inspires us to not underestimate our users by always testing our assumptions–because we’re often wrong. He reminds us of the tremendous value of writing and synthesizing our thoughts. He teaches us to never underrate our gut instincts. He also encourages us to stay enchanted in our work.

Jeffrey Zeldman is the Godfather of Web Design, and unquestionably the greatest friend of the Web. He’s a guy behind highly esteemed Web Design content initiatives such as A List Apart, An Event Apart and A Book Apart. He’s a prolific speaker and heavily influential blogger. He’s the Author of the our industry’s staple: Designing with Web Standards. He’s the host of The Big Web Show. He’s also the founder of renown Web Design studio Happy Cog. Back in the day, he played synth and Casiotone with The Insect Surfers, a DC post-punk techno-surf band.

LINKS
Jeffrey’s Twitter
Jeffrey’s Website

[RESOURCE] I think it’s your brain. Everything else is replaceable. If you’re bored, start learning something new. If you’re bored, you shouldn’t be in this field. If you’re restless and easy easily distracted–that’s good. That means you’ll keep learning.
[BOOK] Don’t Make Me Think

Continue reading 020: Stay Enchanted with Jeffrey Zeldman (Part II)

020: Stay Enchanted with Jeffrey Zeldman (Part I)

User Defenders: Podcast – UX Design & Personal Growth
User Defenders: Podcast – UX Design & Personal Growth
020: Stay Enchanted with Jeffrey Zeldman (Part I)
/

User Defenders "Zeld Man" Jeffrey Zeldman

Don’t miss Part II of this unforgettable interview with Jeffrey Zeldman.

Jeffrey Zeldman dives deep into his origin story to enlighten us on how he got started on the Web. He inspires us to not get caught up in the buzzwords, but to keep it simple and clear. He also gets vulnerable to reveal how overcoming his biggest failure has led to his greatest successes.

Jeffrey Zeldman is the Godfather of Web Design, and unquestionably the greatest friend of the Web. He’s a guy behind highly esteemed Web Design content initiatives such as A List Apart, An Event Apart and A Book Apart. He’s a prolific speaker and heavily influential blogger. He’s the Author of the our industry’s staple: Designing with Web Standards. He’s the host of The Big Web Show. He’s also the founder of renown Web Design studio Happy Cog. Back in the day, he played synth and Casiotone with The Insect Surfers, a DC post-punk techno-surf band.

LINKS
Jeffrey’s Twitter
Jeffrey’s Website


DESIGN SUPERPOWER
I think it’s my ability to talk and communicate. I never learn the buzzwords. As long as I’ve been in this field, I still speak in down-to-earth terms and I think it’s really helpful. I went through a period of extreme pretension in my early 20’s in the way I expressed myself. I wanted everyone to know how smart I was it was…like the one thing about myself that I was proud of I guess–and man it’s a big mistake. I’m able to listen, synthesize and feed-back what seems to be happening in a way that makes sense.

DESIGN KRYPTONITE
Bullying. People can steamroller me. I hire good people, let them do what they do, and try not to interfere. My worst characteristic is that I’m not always strong enough with my people. I’m better with clients. I’m not afraid of clients–it’s mainly people that I’m close to, and I don’t want to confront them.

SUPERHERO NAME
Zeld Man

HOW DO YOU FIGHT FOR YOUR USERS?
It’s a combination of listening, research, testing, and also just gut instinct. I don’t want to underrate gut instinct. I think you have to have a tremendous instinct as a designer, and say I wouldn’t do it this way. And then you have to test those assumptions because you’re often wrong. The longer we’re designers, the more we think differently about other people and therefore the natural way we would do something isn’t the way that everyone else would do it. You have to have a feeling for what things work, and then you have to test. I think we underestimate users a lot.

FUTURE OF UX
I think all the principles we’ve been discussing are going to stay the same. We’re still going to be facilitating people uploading their own content and interacting with their friends’ content. We’re still going to be facilitating people watching professional content, and reading professional content. There’ll be a continual blurring of the the lines between both. More wearables, smaller screens like watches. They’re going to be more things we interact with using part of our bodies. Where we interact without looking at something. There will be many more sensors in place to make people’s lives easier, more convenient and more fulfilling. Those are the challenges. The other challenges are keeping it human. I think we’re going to have to be protecting people, and liberating and empowering, but not enslaving. And that’s always tricky.

HABIT OF SUCCESS
Writing. I would not know what I believed if I didn’t write it down and express it. I wouldn’t have design opinions. I love instincts and working on instincts, but I really need to use words to just step back from the trance of doing design as a physical practice.

BEST ADVICE
Don’t be discouraged. Don’t stop. And don’t settle.


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

013: Practice What You Do with Dan Mall

User Defenders podcast
User Defenders: Podcast – UX Design & Personal Growth
User Defenders: Podcast – UX Design & Personal Growth
013: Practice What You Do with Dan Mall
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User Defenders "Vision" Dan Mall

Dan Mall inspires us to get really good at what we do by constantly practicing it. He reminds us of the importance of work/life balance and setting the right priorities. He also reminds us that there’s a big difference between being a leader and being a boss, and how great leaders are always looking for ways to serve their people. He also shares with us that the future of good UX is the same as it’s always been…invisible.

Dan Mall (Vision) is the founder and Design Director of the magnificent design collaborative “SuperFriendly” based in Philadelphia where he teams up with his own Justice League of top-notch design superheroes such as Josh Clark (a.k.a. Dr. Touch) and Brad Frost. He’s the author of A Book Apart published “Pricing Design“. He’s been the Design Director at Big Spaceship, Interactive Director at Happy Cog, technical editor for A List Apart, and singer/keyboard player for contemporary-Christian band Four24. He has a passion for playing matchmaker between surprising art direction and intuitive interaction design. His most significant role I’d wager is as an enthralled husband and Dad.

Continue reading 013: Practice What You Do with Dan Mall

008: There’s a Lot of Opportunity for Those Who Are Willing to Take Some Risks with Ben Callahan

User Defenders podcast
User Defenders: Podcast – UX Design & Personal Growth
User Defenders: Podcast – UX Design & Personal Growth
008: There’s a Lot of Opportunity for Those Who Are Willing to Take Some Risks with Ben Callahan
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User Defenders "Mr. Middleman" Ben Callahan

Ben Callahan inspires us to be passionate about the interfaces we design and put ourselves in the shoes of the people who are using them to do amazing things. He shares a really interesting parallel from Jazz music to the work we do. He reminds us to make every day count by first thinking about what’s truly important and impactful for that day. He also encourages us to not be afraid to make stuff and put it out there because we’ll only get better by trying.

Ben Callahan is the president of the insanely talented and nimble web design studio Sparkbox in beautiful Dayton, Ohio. Ben is unquestionably one of today’s foremost experts on Responsive Web Design and building responsibly. He’s an active blogger and TedX speaker who has been invited to speak at pretty much any notable web design conference that exists. He’s also a family man, a fellow coffee snob, and one of the nicest, down-to-earth guys I’ve met in this industry.

LINKS
Ben’s Twitter
Ben’s Website
Ben’s Blog
Sparkbox
Codepen Redesign
[VIDEO] Ben’s TedX Talk

[RESOURCE] UIE Library
[BOOK] On The Run (A Fugitive Life In An American City)


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

Continue reading 008: There’s a Lot of Opportunity for Those Who Are Willing to Take Some Risks with Ben Callahan