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for multi-layered UX pros

Helping you become more effective in your UX work and career. We talk with experienced pros and industry leaders to share practical advice on building skills that get the best outcomes for our users, our teams, and our U... More
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2019-12-5

Bias Is The Context We're In

Season 2, Ep. 40

Ep 40: Since I started asking users questions as part of my design process over 20 years ago, I’ve often asked myself, how could I ask better questions. Am I asking the right questions? What bias am I bringing into the interaction? 

As we progress in our research practice and go beyond the 101 lessons like avoiding leading questions, asking questions that are open-ended, leaving silence in the spaces to allow participants to talk more, learning to interpret actions and expressions not just words… those are all important, that’s where we start, but how can we go beyond that. at some point we might begin to look inward as researchers, and the part we as individuals are playing in the outcome, our biases, assumptions, our own values and life experiences.

Who better to have this conversation with, I asked myself, than Steve Portigal, an author and expert on the subject of asking questions. Steve wrote the book Interviewing Users which is a great place to start for those who are newer to asking users questions, and he also wrote Doorbells, danger and dead batteries, with stories from practiced user researchers that deals with some of these questions of bias. We had a great conversation with lots of great advice for researchers at any level.

Linked in https://www.linkedin.com/in/steveportigal/

Medium https://medium.com/@steveportigal

Steve’s Dollars to Donuts podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dollars-to-donuts/id956673263

Twitter https://twitter.com/steveportigal


About Steve Portigal

Steve Portigal helps companies to think and act strategically when innovating with user insights. His work has informed the development of professional audio gear, wine packaging, medical information systems, design systems, videoconferencing technology, and music streaming services. He’s also the host of the Dollars to Donuts podcast, where he interviews people who lead user research in their organizations. Steve is an accomplished presenter who speaks about culture, innovation, and design at companies and conferences across the globe.


STEVE'S BOOKS

Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights


Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories


FROM THE SHOW

Purchase the Cognitive Bias Codex Infographic


Slack channels:

Go to this GREAT list of slack channels for UX including UXR

2019-12-5

Bias Is The Context We're In

Season 2, Ep. 40

Ep 40: Since I started asking users questions as part of my design process over 20 years ago, I’ve often asked myself, how could I ask better questions. Am I asking the right questions? What bias am I bringing into the interaction? 

As we progress in our research practice and go beyond the 101 lessons like avoiding leading questions, asking questions that are open-ended, leaving silence in the spaces to allow participants to talk more, learning to interpret actions and expressions not just words… those are all important, that’s where we start, but how can we go beyond that. at some point we might begin to look inward as researchers, and the part we as individuals are playing in the outcome, our biases, assumptions, our own values and life experiences.

Who better to have this conversation with, I asked myself, than Steve Portigal, an author and expert on the subject of asking questions. Steve wrote the book Interviewing Users which is a great place to start for those who are newer to asking users questions, and he also wrote Doorbells, danger and dead batteries, with stories from practiced user researchers that deals with some of these questions of bias. We had a great conversation with lots of great advice for researchers at any level.

Linked in https://www.linkedin.com/in/steveportigal/

Medium https://medium.com/@steveportigal

Steve’s Dollars to Donuts podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dollars-to-donuts/id956673263

Twitter https://twitter.com/steveportigal


About Steve Portigal

Steve Portigal helps companies to think and act strategically when innovating with user insights. His work has informed the development of professional audio gear, wine packaging, medical information systems, design systems, videoconferencing technology, and music streaming services. He’s also the host of the Dollars to Donuts podcast, where he interviews people who lead user research in their organizations. Steve is an accomplished presenter who speaks about culture, innovation, and design at companies and conferences across the globe.


STEVE'S BOOKS

Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights


Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories


FROM THE SHOW

Purchase the Cognitive Bias Codex Infographic


Slack channels:

Go to this GREAT list of slack channels for UX including UXR

2019-11-20

Learn UX: Mentoring and Hiring

Season 2, Ep. 39

We're introducing a new series, called Learn UX, hosted by Leo Zhang. Leo started a meetup here in Seattle called Learn UX, aimed at UXers in earlier to mid-career, that hosts great speakers like Torry Podmajersky, who we had on our show talking about strategic UX writing back in episode 33. Leo is adapting his content to a podcast format for UX Cake, and we're trying out a three part series of to see how that resonates with our listeners. So we totally want to hear what you think about this! Chat us up on twitter or IG or FB or at uxcake.co (links below)


From Learn UX: To kick off our collaboration with UX Cake, we are starting with a topic that would resonate with both Senior UX professionals as well as those just starting out: mentorship and hiring


Drory Ben-Menachem, currently Director of Product Design at Zonar Systems, has over 25 years experience working in a wide array of UX environments, as well as speaking at UX conference and guest lecturing at prominent schools such as The University of Washington. Throughout his entire career, he has always been passionate about all things revolving around mentorship. He’s written very well-received articles around mentorship such as Mentoring is a Mitzva and Mentoring ‘No-Hire’ Design Candidates. In this episode we talk about some of the lessons he’s learned along the way about both being a receptive mentee as well as being an effective mentor, and how his adventures in mentorship can help people of all levels of experience in our field.

Drory has also been in multiple positions where he has served as a hiring manager, and he talks about how his experiences in mentoring has helped him make more informed UX hiring decisions. In this episode we will cover how fundamentally important mentorship is to grow as a UX professional as well as how it can help both hiring managers as well as job-seekers in the hiring process.

From Leo: I am honored to be a part of UX Cake. It means a lot to me to be able to share my Learn UX community with a wide range of UX professionals from all around the world and I’d like to thank everyone for taking time out of your day to listen to our first collaboration episode!

Leo Zhang, Founder of Learn UX Seattle

About Drory:

Designer, puzzle solver, idea shepherd, creative coach, storyteller, writer, researcher, mentor, data-viz geek, foodie, film buff, gamer, aspiring chef & rally driver.

Born at a very young age, he made Seattle his home in 1991 and has enjoyed time at agencies, high-tech companies, and startups. Sometimes when it rains, he goes outside holding a cocktail umbrella and pretends he's a giant who makes bad decisions.

Hopes one day someone will call him "sir" without adding "you're making a scene".

Around the web:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/droryb/

Medium: https://medium.com/@droryb

2019-10-23

Uplevel Your Career With UX Strategy

Season 2, Ep. 38

Ep. 38: This week I got to talk with Jaime Levy, a UX pioneer, and Author of the book ‘UX Strategy’, about 'moving beyond’ being a designer or researcher in UX, and ‘leveling up’ in your career by moving into UX strategy or digital transformation. We talk about the difference between UX Strategy as a process or workflow vs. UX strategy as a role, and what that takes. Then we talk about Digital Transformation as the next step up in leveling up, from UX Strategy.


There are many different definitions of ux strategy out there, if you google ‘ux strategy’ you’ll get many vague and even conflicting definitions. To set some context in case you haven’t read Jaime book, she defines as the intersection between business strategy and UX design, with a key component being early and continuous validation of the value proposition with customers. It’s a high-level plan of how your product or feature is going to achieve the business goals. 


About Jaime

Jaime Levy is an author, university professor and a user experience strategist. Her best-selling O’Reilly Media book is called UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want. The book presents a solid framework on the practice, which lies at the intersection of UX design and business strategy. For 30 years, Jaime has been an internationally recognized pioneer in the creation of innovative digital products and services. 


Website https://jaimelevy.com/

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaimerlevy/

Medium https://medium.com/@JaimeRLevy

Twitter https://twitter.com/JaimeRLevy


UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want

By Jaime Levy 


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2019-10-9

Collaborative Research

Season 2, Ep. 37

This episode was a live recording for the podcast at the 5th annual Radical Research Summit in Vancouver BC. Our panel topic was collaborative research - Working with people in other disciplines, in other teams, or even in other organizations to produce really impactful research that will get integrated into the experiences we’re creating. The panelists were Ariba Jahan, Innovation Director at Ad Council, Judd Antin, Director of Research at Airbnb, and Komal Faiz, a UX researcher at Zensurince. You’ll get a fuller introduction of them at the beginning of the panel.


This episode is special not only because it was recorded live in front of an audience, it was also different because halfway through the panel the fire alarm went off! And yes, we had to evacuate the building. Although we are laughing about it now, it was not, in the moment, terribly funny. I was just thinking, how are we going to make this into an episode? I wasn’t worried about a fire. We edited it out for the podcast but you can see it unedited on our youtube channel. Fortunately, we were allowed back into the building about 10 minutes later to finish up with one last discussion point and then some really great questions and answers with the audience. About everything from who has the power to make decisions to working in agile ways to discovering and incorporating everyone’s knowledge into the process.


If your organization or conference would like to host a live recording of the ux cake podcast, you can find out more about that by emailing us at team@uxcake.co. This was the 4th live recording ux cake has had and I mentioned I love doing this because there is such a physical sense of the community, and the community is why I and the rest of the volunteer team do this podcast. Also They’re really well- attended and they get great download numbers so it's a great way to spread the news about your organization to a global audience. OUR PANELISTS


Ariba Jahan As an immigrant Bengali woman that discovered her profound hearing loss at age eight, Ariba focuses on advocating for diverse, marginalized voices that are often overlooked and ensuring we bring humanity into tech. After a varied background including Biomechancial Engineering, engineering research publications, and a stint at medical school, Ariba lead operations and product management for industry-shifting startups. This work and her passion for social impact brought her to the Ad Council as the Director of Innovation, where she’s charged with scaling design thinking and agile practices, creating digital products to create measurable social impact, and exploring future-forward technology for the organization.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/aribajahan/

https://twitter.com/aribajahan


Judd Antin is Director of Research at Airbnb, where he leads a global organization of over 100 amazing humans across 6 research functions. Prior to joining Airbnb in 2015, Judd was Research Manager at Facebook. Judd is a leader and grower of high-performing, fulfilled teams, and a strategic product and design thinker and doer. Always a researcher above all, Judd is deeply multi-method, fascinated by people and evidence.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/juddantin/

https://twitter.com/juddantin


Komal Faiz is a UX researcher. She is a global shaper at the World Economic Forum (WEF); founder of Design Pakistan; runs a podcast called ‘South Asian Female Travellers’; and is a member of the 'Design Research Society.' She has a master’s in strategic foresight & innovation from OCADU, Canada. Prior to her current role at Zensurance, she worked as a design researcher for a project on 'women's mobility' funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, UK, in collaboration with Coventry University, University of Malaya, and Design Pakistan.

https://twitter.com/komalfaiz

https://www.linkedin.com/in/komal-faiz


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If you enjoy this podcast and if you think what we’re doing is useful and important, there are some really simple ways you can help us: 

  • follow us on twitter - like and reshare our posts
  • subscribe to the newsletter for updates and bonus content
  • share this episode, or any of our episodes, with a friend. And we would love it if you would rate & review us on Apple Podcast!


Listen Apple | Spotify | Google | Website


Connect with UX Cake!

uxcake.co | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linked In

2019-9-25

Research Beyond Words

Season 2, Ep. 36

Ep 36: Sometimes words just can't get you the research insights you need. This week we’re talking about alternative ways of gathering insights in user research, beyond just verbal and written communication. There are many circumstances when words just aren’t the best way for people to tell us what they’re thinking, feeling, or doing, so being able to use physical or tactile methods can really affect the insights you’re able to gather. My guest today is Anna Macaranas who is a Senior Design Strategist at Digitalist Group & Network, in Vancouver BC. Anna has some great insights and examples for how to get participants to express themselves if words aren’t working.


Anna is an award-winning researcher and strategist at Digitalist, a customer experience innovation company. Forever curious, she loves diving into a complex problem and understanding the context and factors that bring the team closer to the ideal solution. She’s passionate about helping companies build stronger relationships with their customers through organizational change, internal capability building and inclusive processes.


Twitter https://twitter.com/annajlm 

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anna-macaranas/


If you want to help UX Cake, follow us on twitter, and subscribe to the newsletter for updates and bonus content.


Share this episode, or any of our episodes, with a friend. And we would love it if you would rate & review us on Apple Podcast!


Listen Apple | Spotify | Google | Website


Connect with UX Cake!

uxcake.co | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linked In






2019-9-11

Design For The Future

Season 2, Ep. 35

For any experience you’re designing, you want to know what the current trends are, but if you’re looking for innovative solutions, you want to predict what future trends will affect your audiences' needs & motivations & obstacles so you can design for the future. Our topic this episode has a fairly unsexy name but is thoroughly intriguing — innovation-based trend forecasting. This isn’t currently a common methodology in UX today, but it’s something that could definitely be a game-changer for your organization.

My guests are experts in trend forecasting: Lillian Pontius-Goldblatt is a senior strategist and brand storyteller at Carbone Smolan Agency, and Jennifer Passas is a brand strategist at Gensler. In this episode we’re talking about applying trend forecasting to your design practice. And this is not just focused on the design of a digital product though it can include that - but design as it applies to the larger human experience -- built environments, or workplace design, physical or organizational design, systems, services. And it includes all the roles that contribute to the creation of an experience, designers, researchers, PMs, developers and business leaders of all kinds.

Lillian and Jennifer conducted a workshop at this year’s South by southwest about how individual’s and teams can incorporate the practice of innovation-based trend forecasting into their own process. They talk through the process in practice, as well as how they condensed the process into a workshop time-frame. Lillian will be presenting this process at this year's Radical Research Summit in Vancouver, BC, on Sept. 27th. This one-day conference focuses on UX research with a great line-up of speakers and diverse topics, and you can get a 20% discount if you use the promo code UXCAKE!

FREE DOWNLOAD - Download Jennifer & Lillians 2-page guide & resources for creating a practice like this in your own team. Plus they have a list of resources to go to when you're looking for emerging trends!


Lillian Pontius-Goldblatt is an adaptive, creative, and curious storyteller with proven skills in brand strategy, organizational culture, and research-based insights. She works as a senior strategist and brand storyteller at Carbone Smolan Agency where she leads brand projects for corporate and cultural clients, as well as the agency’s trend reporting practice.


LinkedIn  

Website - lillianpontiusgoldblatt.com/ 

Twitter - @Carbone_Smolan 

Medium - @lillianpontiusgoldblatt 

Agency website - carbonesmolan.com


Jennifer Passas is a brand and experience strategist from Vancouver, BC who currently lives in New York City. She has a BA in Art History from the University of Victoria and a Masters in Branding from the School of Visual Arts. Currently a Brand Strategy Lead at Gensler, Jennifer spends her days thinking of ways brands can come to life through analog and digital experiences in the built environment. She has expertise in naming, trend reporting and is a writer for PSFK.


LinkedIn


About the Radical Research Summit 

The Radical Research Summit is an annual one-day event that brings together over 250 researchers, UX practitioners, ethnographers, product managers and businesses. Attendees will connect and learn from thought leaders in user experience research, emerging technology practitioners and world-class academic researchers. The day will provoke and inspire your team with new ideas while gaining practical and actionable insights to be more effective influencers and deliver research that has impact.


Twitter - @radresearchvan

Facebook - radresearchvan


*****

If you enjoy this podcast and if you think what we’re doing is useful and important, there are some really simple ways you can help us. You can follow us on twitter. You can like and reshare our posts. You can subscribe to the newsletter for updates and bonus content. And you can share this episode, or any of our episodes, with a friend. And we would love it if you would rate & review us on Apple Podcast!


Listen on Apple | Spotify | Google | Website

Connect with UX Cake!

Website: uxcake.co 

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Subscribe to our newsletter


Donate to UX Cake to keep the podcast going  

2019-8-27

The Cognitive Diversity Issue in UX

Season 2, Ep. 34

Ep #34: Today’s episode is a conversation with Melanie Polkosky who is a UX Psychologist with a PhD in cognitive psychology and a long history in tech. After Melanie left a 13-year career at IBM, she wrote a book called Uncovering Truffles, a book about the scarcity and value of Women in Stem. And something she wrote about in her book stood out to me as really relevant to many people UX, across genders. In researching her book, Melanie found that certain cognitive styles can make it more difficult to get ahead in tech and leadership, and that contributes to holding many women back in STEM fields.


And here’s the interesting connection to UX. Thinking styles that are more thoughtful, observational, perhaps more empathetic... the people with these cognitive styles can have a hard time fitting into tech teams, and in leadership roles especially. And, ironically, these cognitive styles — largely intuitive, an interest in people and behavior, and highly empathetic, are a common denominator in the discipline of UX, as I mentioned, across genders. So that’s what we’re digging into today - what can someone do if they find themselves in this place - a place where they feel like to they don’t fit in, or they feel undervalued or misunderstood? Fortunately for us, Melanie has great experience and some great advice.


Melanie is a social-cognitive psychologist, a UX executive, and an author. She has deep expertise in speech technology, artificial intelligence and mixed method user research. She also holds the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential from the International Coach Federation. Her coaching practice focuses on career and life coaching. Currently, Melanie leads design and UX as the SVP Customer Experience at Sweepr. 


Follow Melanie on Quora: Early Career UX


Buy Melanie's book

Uncovering Truffles: The Scarcity and Value of Women in STEM


*****

If you enjoy this podcast and if you think what we’re doing is useful and important, there are some really simple ways you can help us. You can follow us on twitter. You can like and reshare our posts. You can subscribe to the newsletter for updates and bonus content. And you can share this episode, or any of our episodes, with a friend. And we would love it if you would rate & review us on Apple Podcast!


Listen on Apple | Spotify | Google | Website

Connect with UX Cake!

Website: uxcake.co 

Facebook 

Twitter 

Instagram 


Subscribe to our newsletter


Donate to UX Cake to keep the podcast going