063: Mindset & Learning How to Learn with Jessica Ivins

Personal Growth
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

Land a Job in UX
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

060: Improv & UX?! Yes, and… with Mike Gorgone

060: Improv & UX?! Yes, and... with Mike Gorgone

Mike Gorgone unleashes his impromptu playbook to rescue us from our most unwelcome critic…ourselves. He teaches us how marrying the two seemingly disparate concepts of improv & UX, can help us break free from the crippling self-doubt that keeps us from our best collaborations. Yes, and he shows us how fun kills fear. He also reveals how even the “bad ideas” can lead us to great ones while building a fantastic UX punchline worthy of a standing ovation.

Mike Gorgone is someone who loves being part of a creative, supportive and collaborative design team that builds engaging experiences for digital products at a company that fosters a culture that values design thinking and makes it a priority in how the company runs and solves problems. He currently gets to do all of the above in the Experience Design (XD) Group at EY. He discovered Improv when he lived in Chicago and started taking classes at Second City and iO (formerly improvOlympic). Improv taught him how to be present and more aware of the moment as well as how to listen and absorb information instead of just listening to respond. I also learned (and frequently witnessed) that a group can create more amazing and incredible work when collaborating together in a non-judgmental and supportive manner than any of those individuals could have created working alone.

  • What Got You into Improv? (3:47)
  • What Was the Aha Moment That Inspired You to Combine Improv with UX? (7:43)
  • Are You Also Presenting at These Workshops? (9:44)
  • Are You Writing a Book on This Topic? (10:09)
  • Workshop Topics (11:09)
  • Where Does Improv Fit in the Design Process? (18:01)
  • How Does the Yes And Exercise Work? (20:57)
  • Coaching Through the Fears of Doing Improv (26:47)
  • Feeling Safe About Ideas in the Workplace (32:36)
  • What Can Help to Make You Better at Improv? (38:56)
  • How Can We Use This in the Field? (42:09)
  • Final Thoughts (51:50)

Continue reading 060: Improv & UX?! Yes, and… with Mike Gorgone

059: Writing for Designers with Scott Kubie

UX Writing
UX Writing
059: Writing for Designers with Scott Kubie

Writing for Designers with Scott Kubie on User Defenders

Scott Kubie shows us how writing is designing with words. He reminds us that someone has to be the writer, and it’s our job to know who that person is. He calls on us to take up the task of writing when nobody else can, and warns of what leaving it till the end will do. He also shares some neat tricks to spur momentum and overcome those intimidating blank pages.

Scott Kubie is the Lead Content Strategist at Brain Traffic, and the author of Writing for Designers from A Book Apart. He can be found online at kubie.co, and in person at various grungy rock clubs around the Twin Cities. Since 2010, Scott has delivered over sixty public talks and workshops on writing, content strategy, and user experience design to audiences of designers, developers, artists, makers, and more. His academic career was marked by several superlatives for “Best Hair”.

  • Why Do We Forget About Writing? (6:30)
  • What’s Wrong with Lorem Ipsum? (9:36)
  • Present the Problem Before the Visuals (12:57)
  • Are Designers Expected to Be Writers? (15:55)
  • The Rough-In Process (20:08)
  • Getting Approval Through Stakeholder Participation (24:11)
  • Putting It All Together (30:12)
  • IKEA Instructions with Words (37:43)
  • Edit Yourself Later (41:49)
  • How to Level Up (47:10)

Continue reading 059: Writing for Designers with Scott Kubie

058: Finding the Right Cultural Fit with Justin Dauer

Land a Job in UX
Land a Job in UX
058: Finding the Right Cultural Fit with Justin Dauer

Justin Dauer implores us never settle in our important quest to find the right cultural fit. He reminds us that being human-centered doesn’t just affect our users, but especially the humans we interact with. He encourages us to think hard about where we choose to hang our hat, & understand what the ramifications of the wrong decision may be. He also reveals the maze of signals to watch out for in our search for the culture that will foster our creativity, & empower our passion to produce what could be our greatest work…yet.

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.

  • Cultivating-A-Creative-Culture-by-Justin-Dauer-Book
  • Buy the Book

    Buy Justin’s great book through my Amazon affiliate link, and help User Defenders at no additional cost to you. Win/win!

    Buy the Book

  • What Does It Mean to Say “The Right Cultural Fit”? (5:07)
  • Why It’s Vital to Find That Fit (7:28)
  • What Are the Reasons You Made This Your Life Mission? (8:55)
  • Is It a Good Plan to Apply for Jobs Everywhere? (17:13)
  • The Best Ways to Vet a Company’s Culture (22:47)
  • Is It Worth Jumping into an Undesirable Culture to Gain Experience? (31:57)
  • Before Heading into an Interview (34:25)
  • Thoughts on Interview Questions (40:32)
  • Advice for Listeners Who Feel Stuck (44:35)

Continue reading 058: Finding the Right Cultural Fit with Justin Dauer