068: People May be the Most Important Thing You Build as a Designer with Braden Kowitz

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)

Continue reading 068: People May be the Most Important Thing You Build as a Designer with Braden Kowitz

063: Mindset & Learning How to Learn with Jessica Ivins

User Defenders podcast
Personal Growth
063: Mindset & Learning How to Learn with Jessica Ivins

Jessica Ivins schools us on the critical value of a growth mindset in UX Design. She teaches us how to learn how to learn. She enlightens us as to why it’s always better to generalize before specializing. She reminds us introverts that we can only truly succeed by extroverting. She also reveals how the best tool recommendations can only come when it’s clear what one is trying to learn.

Jessica Ivins is a user experience (UX) designer and faculty member at Center Centre, the UX design school in Chattanooga, TN, where she prepares students to be industry-ready UX designers.

Jessica dedicates much of her time to the UX community. She founded the Chattanooga UX Design Meetup, the first community organization for UX design in Chattanooga. She speaks internationally at conferences such as SXSW, Midwest UX, IA Summit, and UX Cambridge (UK). She publishes UX articles on her blog and on Medium. She’s also a voracious reader of design books, business books, and novels.

Before joining Center Centre, Jessica worked in the Philadelphia area as a senior experience designer at Happy Cog and the lead UX designer at AWeber. While in Philadelphia, she spoke at dozens of meetups and local events. She taught classes for Girl Develop It, led UX Book Club, and served on the board of Philadelphia’s UX community, PhillyCHI.

Fun fact: She’s loved unicorns since she was a small child, long before they were hipster cool. 🙂

  • Personal Passions (5:18)
  • Origin Story (6:28)
  • Biggest Failure (12:52)
  • Introvert or Extrovert (17:10)
  • Awkward Testing Story (18:30)
  • Design Superpower (24:46)
  • Design Kryptonite (31:14)
  • Secret Identity (33:09)
  • Fights for Users (34:41)
  • Habit of Success (35:27)
  • Best Tips (37:15)
  • Invincible Resource (42:10)
  • Generalize Vs Specialize (44:18)
  • Recommended Book (47:36)
  • Your Why (51:57)
  • Best Advice (53:13)

Continue reading 063: Mindset & Learning How to Learn with Jessica Ivins

062: UX School of No B.S. with Joe Natoli

User Defenders podcast
Land a Job in UX
062: UX School of No B.S. with Joe Natoli

Welcome to Joe Natoli’s UX School of No B.S. Class is now in session. Joe reveals that there’s no limit to how far any UX’er with a healthy dose of grit and resilience can go. He puts jargon in a choke-hold, then proceeds to drop-kick it in the privates! He inspires us to be like Tom Hanks in “Big”…never afraid to ask questions for the betterment of the people and project. He motivates us to apply for any job we truly want, especially when we feel unqualified for it. He also teaches us how leaving a legacy should never start with one foot in the grave, it starts right here…right now!

Joe Natoli is a UX consultant, author and speaker. Everything he does is born from nearly three decades of consulting with and training the UX, design and product development teams of some of the world’s largest organizations. Every aspect of his training and consulting approach revolves around one single, critical idea: Great UX isn’t the result of what you do with your hands — it’s the result of how you use what’s between your ears. Change the way you THINK about the design and development decisions you make and you take the first step to infusing great UX into everything you do. Joe delivers practical advice delivered in clear, jargon-free language. Methods and advice that work in the messy reality of the real world, where we don’t always have the time, budget or approval we’d like. Fun-fact about Joe: He has nearly 2,000 hours of unreleased instrumental compositions, including classical music,that he still hasn’t worked up the courage to release into the world.

  • What Do You Like to Do When You’re Not Working? (7:42)
  • What Inspired You to Pursue a Career in This Field? (10:34)
  • How Do You Get an Entry Level Job That Requires 3-5 Years of Experience? (34:28)
  • What Is It About Jargon That Drives You Nuts? (47:31)
  • One Definition of What UX Is (1:01:15)
  • What Value Do Older UXers Bring to the Table? (1:08:16)
  • UX Advice for Juniors in the Field (1:13:15)
  • The One Thing You Wish You Knew When You Started (1:17:32)
  • If You Had One Word for Folks Trying to Get into UX, What Would That Be? (1:20:16)

Continue reading 062: UX School of No B.S. with Joe Natoli

Help me keep User Defenders: Podcast on the air…

User Defenders podcast
User Defenders: Podcast – UX Design & Personal Growth
Help me keep User Defenders: Podcast on the air...

Support User Defenders on Patreon

Help me keep User Defenders: Podcast on the air…and help yourself to some amazing, exclusive perks!

Creating and running a podcast like User Defenders is not only a ton of work, but also very expensive.

Each episode costs $200-300 to put into the world, not to mention the recurring monthly/annual costs for software, hosting, CDN, Web dev, and more I won’t bore you with.

Sponsors are what have made this show possible and kept the lights on since 2015, but sponsor dollars are scarce and unreliable.

I also don’t want to just keep the lights on, but continue to grow the show (what got you here, won’t get you there). I am envisioning some amazing things to continue happen and branch out from this purposeful, mission-minded entity. In addition to continuing to release the best UX podcast content in the Universe, organizing & running UD Community (and all the ongoing special training/events happening there), I’m currently trying to get a UD Mentors program off the ground, as well as even thinking about organizing a UD Conference one day.

Making these exciting things a reality, in addition to keeping the lights on on the podcast, will only be truly possible with your consistent support.

In exchange, I’ll give you some pretty marvelous/exclusive things in return such as:

  • A personal thank you mention from me on a future episode
  • Access to the exclusive patron-only feed
  • Early ad-free access to future podcast episodes including an exclusive RSS feed
  • Invite to membership at the exclusive (and thriving) UD Community
  • Exclusive UD logo and symbol stickers mailed to you
  • 20% off coupon code to the store for UD merch
  • Monthly group live streams and/or one on one video chats with me

After you commit to a monthly pledge, consider yourself a valued member of this exclusive club! I encourage you to check out the Patreon page.

I encourage you to check out the Patreon page (https://www.userdefenders.com/support) where you can read the complete story of why I launched this support campaign, see a video from me, and learn more about the reward tiers you can receive, as you consider tangibly supporting this show for whatever amount you’re comfortably able to contribute each month.

You’re why I do this, and would like to continue to…

Fight on my friends!

Jason Ogle
Your host and friend

054: UX Research on a Budget with Becca Kennedy

User Defenders podcast
054: UX Research on a Budget with Becca Kennedy

Becca Kennedy teaches us how to do UX research on a budget. She encourages newer designers to demonstrate their problem-solving superpowers by redesigning sub-par experiences they use regularly. She reminds us that users are human before they’re users. She also shows us how we can have anything in life we want, if we will just help others get what they want.

Becca Kennedy is a Human Factors Psychologist and a UX Researcher/Designer. After an academic career designing and evaluating healthcare training technology, she turned independent and co-founded a UX consulting company called Kennason in 2015 out of Albany, NY. Currently, Becca is the UX Designer for Agrilyst, an agriculture-tech startup based in Brooklyn. She also keeps busy with consulting projects and volunteering with organizations like AIGA Upstate New York. She was recently recognized by the Albany Business Review as a 40 Under 40 awardee. Fun Fact: She has three tattoos, and all are kind of nerdy: a symbolic nod to getting through a PhD program, a subtle Star Wars X-Wing, and a piece of the original Epcot branding in Walt Disney World.

  • Becca’s Tattoo’s Origin Story (5:31)
  • Why Psychology? (6:26)
  • What is Human Factors? (11:43)
  • How do we find research subjects? (24:06)
  • The Law of Diminishing Returns (31:16)
  • Awkward Testing Story (32:57)
  • Design Superpower (39:14)
  • Design Kryptonite (40:48)
  • Coping with Imposter Syndrome (44:49)
  • UX Superhero Name (49:10)
  • Should we Call Them Users? (53:45)
  • Fights for Users (56:33)
  • Habit of Success (59:11)
  • Invincible Resource (61:54)
  • Recommended Book (63:54)
  • Best Advice (66:09)
  • Contact Info (70:07)

Continue reading 054: UX Research on a Budget with Becca Kennedy