- The history and evolution of UX
- How to present UX and design work
- Empathy for stakeholders and customers/users
- Using stakeholder expertise to improve your UX design and research
- Being an orchestrator and not a hero UX pro
This is the Aurelius podcast episode 55, with Donna Spencer, I’m Zach Naylor co-founder at Aurelius in your host for the podcast, where we discuss, all things, ux research and product, in this episode, we have Donna Spencer. She’s been doing ux for 20-plus years before we were even calling it user experience design. Donna has a new book out where she talks about presenting design work as well as many other writings in her past Don. And I talked about her new book and how to present design
work where she shares some tips on how to do that, effectively for both designers and researchers. Additionally, we had an awesome chat about where the field of ux is how the industry has changed and Donna’s observations on where we’ve been and where we’re going next. She has a ton of experience in the field. As a practitioner coach and writer. You don’t want to miss this one, not to mention, it was just a flat-out, fun conversation. This podcast is brought to you by Aurelius the powerful research repository and insights platform. Aurelius is an
And one space for researchers to organize and analyze data capture insights and share outcomes with your team transcribe. Audio visualize themes, capture findings and have report created for you automatically, which you can share with anyone in moments. Check us out at arraylist lab.com. That’s aureliuslab.com. Okay, let’s get to it.
Hey Zack, how are you? I am just fine about yourself, pretty good. Yeah. We we said it’s a bit of a reservation in there.
That’s what I was gonna say. We’re talking about that a little bit, just before we started recording here, that seems things of spiked a little bit where you’re from, and so just managing that, huh? Yeah. Yeah. And it’s eight o’clock in the morning and I’ve had a half a complete. So pretty good. Is a solid good, really? Yeah, pretty good. Being a solid good is definitely will definitely take that to do this. And we do win certainly appreciate you jumping on taking the time to chat. I’m excited to do so and been following your work for a little while. I know you have some some new writings and things like that, too.
Looking to chat with you about all of that. But even before we do, maybe for folks listening, if maybe aren’t already familiar with your work, and who you are, could you give some background? Introduce yourself, of course. So my name is Donna. Spencer, these are things that sometimes I forget to do like actually tell people my whole name. I am just as much known as Madonna with two A’s one day, the other Madonna will answer be on social media and it will be amazing, but still hasn’t happened. That’s where I can be found pretty easily still. I’m not sure how to describe myself, but I’ve been doing
the user experience design things for 20, odd years. So before we were really calling it user experience, design and I said, Lucy like that because I tend to go through chunks where I do like different stuff for a year. So the last year I have been head down in the weeds with a really complex classification, doing information architecture work a year before that. I spent a year basically facilitating design thinking workshops over and over you before that. I was
Helping teens learn how to do Agile. So I do these things in chunks and it’s really good because I like variety and I like that changeable nurse, but it makes it hard for me to pigeonhole myself and it makes it exceptionally hard for people to figure out what they should hire me for, that’s totally fair. Actually, I love that. It sounds a lot, like how I sort of bounced around in that before I landed on what we do now and sort of getting Aurelius. But yeah, I’ve been very much was like, I do front end in visual design and then I do interaction design and then
I do research and strategy and workshops. Yeah, actually now I’m doing product manager, he said comes just like full spectrum, right? It keeps things interesting because I also managed, you know, and ran a Comforts, nine years in there as well just and now I’m learning millinery just for good measure as well. Like making. Oh okay. Okay I will interesting. Alright awesome. It’s just for some variety. That is something I know nothing about so I know. I know little bet I have
Have some nice new hats, that’s awesome. That’s so awesome that you can make your new at your own two hats. Now, one of the things that I want to ask you because you’ve been doing this for a while is just with somebody with so much experience. How have you seen the industry really change? And what’s your kind of impression of where we are today? And what ux really means I’ve seen it change dramatically and of course a period of twenty odd years, you’re going to see it change anyway. But when I started in it, we were mostly kind of usability people.
I would do usability testing and kind of make tweaks and designers. A thing wasn’t necessarily, I mean, clearly people were designing stuff, it always happened, but we had that kind of focus. And then literally, through early in my career, we were a lot of us will focus on information architecture and then they kind of start of user experience design. And then designed exploded, I think the design thinking and the Double Diamond and shorter sharper design.
Nobody can do design kind of approaches and that happens. And now what I’m seeing is something that doesn’t even look like the industry that I used to working in that, and I’m not quite sure the causes, but in that I seem more ux/ui than anything with it being primarily you, I and that primarily being, let’s design every screen at High Fidelity slow. And when I see this happening in a team, I’m working with
Whatever. I’m like, is that how we do it? How did you think about like the structure of this thing? How does it hang together? When did you do your like content analysis, or data analysis? How does this relate to that? How do you understand? What, actually can go on a page and a lot of designers that I’m working. They don’t send this negative, but it’s a fact. I like, oh, I do not know and what they do is string, I feel really screens in a row without
Lee understanding like a bigger picture and I think some of this is triggered by working agile because in working in short periods, you like okay, what can we do? We’ll do these screens. What can we do? Next, will do these screens will do this flow and some of it is boot camp style training that focuses on. What can be taught and you can teach people how to string screens together in a flow. And some of it is like feature driven product development. So we’re going to make these
This feature. Now, next couple of Springs and the thing that I’m seeing missing is an underpinning thinking about like Concepts as a whole like a system as a set of data and interactions and user behaviors that mush together into something that works. They do most of the stuff I work on is fairly complex so I completely understand this approach if you’re doing that with a couple of screens but when you then try to dive into something,
Where the data is complex, or the user behaviors need to be unpicked. All you’ve got really novice users, I just don’t think this works. Super well. I think I keep saying, designers, really tripping over their feet in expanding, beyond the initial set of screens that they’ve done and I Ponder a lot on why it is like it is. And is that okay? And am I just being a grumpy old lady or did would really lose something? I’m 10 there. Definitely is some of the I can be a grumpy old lady.
It’s totally fair but actually started going into that. I was going to ask, why? I mean, why do you feel like you’ve seen this? I would agree a for what it’s worth that. I’ve seen a heavy focus on sort of the, the spit and polish of. Yeah. Design. And almost an industrialization of that of referred to his that term before where there’s a lot of tools and a lot of processes that kind of, and just technology that came up, that allowed that to happen. Fast actually tooling helped it happen. Yeah. Yeah. And I too asked
Myself why? And I don’t know that I have a great answer to that but I’ll ask, you know, why do you think that’s the case? Well, I think it’s the case for a bunch of those reasons. Like well the increase in presence and prominence in of Designing projects as well. Like we spent a long time saying designers need to be more involved and then companies hire them. Okay. What do we do with all these people? Okay, they can do screens so think there’s a bunch of reasons. I think I Ponder more is. Does it matter? Does it matter? Is it okay if
Just like, is it okay? If this is how we design, just because it isn’t how I used to design, I like I would have and still do design in a much more kind of abstract way where I might design a certainly designing wireframe form, not in high, fidelity form until it needs to be done. But I’m much more likely to say, okay, I need this kind of thing. I need this kind of template and this template will work in these situations. And in this situation it does that and in that situation it does that. And when these things interact
Each other, it does these things so much more kind of abstract rules based ways how I design and to almost think about whether I’m, whether that’s okay, I do worry about Landing in a client who expects me to just churn out. Two screens and flows though, but actually, I haven’t been caught in that one. Yeah, I would agree. That’s a very wise question to ask, does it matter where are you? Rather than trying to figure out why? It is the case, does it matter because? Because it’s interesting, I think there’s a lot of people who would probably say
Well, it’s getting done as well as it used to be. I don’t know if that’s true or not, I would actually be really curious to hear your opinion on that. But in my experience and of course this is only on projects that I’ve seen worked with been around. I don’t think it is getting done as well as it could be. I have witnessed projects that I think could have been done a lot quicker with fewer design resources and I’ve witnessed things that need to be redone because without studying it
Something closer to the beginning and like, thinking through the big bowl of mess, we’re dealing with you get part way along. And then you realize that your Lego doesn’t fit together and go ahead of the focal idea I’ve witnessed and this is this maybe always happened folks popping things on screens and stakeholders getting very excited about those things on screens and the concepts Etc and then and then they realize that it’s impossible. Like that the data doesn’t exist or the day.
ETA can’t exist or it doesn’t have the relationships built into it to work that way or there’s like just other super, super crazily, complex things that mean that the sketches and amazing Concepts that came through something like a workshop or or some good idea. Generation can’t be done and so I think there are consequences in that you’ve shown something to stakeholders and they’re like, that’s amazing. We would love that. That would be great. And then you have to go back later and say, oh sorry, it was impossible. So,
This is my information architecture card ahead, always talking at me. I cannot ever start something until I understand the content of data I’m working with and how it relates and what it has and what its categories are and how its costed and what’s naturally good about it and what isn’t only then can I go? Okay, cool. I can now start putting some Concepts together because I’m always really grounded in this is doable and of you know, that might be a failing in itself in that.
I’m always grounded and really practical and other people are like. Well let’s not let’s light. Try to actually bust out of that but that’s my bias is. I want to do things that actually can be done at a probably limits. Mike meet my creativity a bit, but I probably also deliver. That’s awesome. That’s a really awesome answer. It made me think about the another response to that is perhaps, well, we’re able to do High Fidelity designs faster. So we’re actually able to make those changes faster and so the cost is lower and that’s fair.
I think true and fair, but on the flip side of what, definitely, what I’m taking away, from what you said is, absolutely the case of where you put this in front of somebody, and there were a certain event set of expectations laid out and then changing that, however, easy doesn’t actually matter as much because they were expectations at this was the thing. It looked a lot more finished than perhaps it was and maybe some of where you didn’t say this directly. But I’m pulling this out some of the some of what we showed you. Maybe was at a place where we didn’t fully understand the problem to be solved. Yeah, we solved it.
Prom. That was cool but it wasn’t the right one. Yeah. Or it wasn’t or solution that will solve the right problem and he’s actually just impossible because data doesn’t exist or content doesn’t exist, whatever kind of style of stuff you’re working on. That’s underpinning it, that still has to be there yourself, to be able to generate the things that go into driving a system that. So, sometimes a great concept solves a real problem, but then people start saying, okay, so where does the data come from?
How we going to build that? What are the business rules around it and it’ll start going? Oh, I don’t know what the data people will do that. Yeah, let’s not. If you’ve got a fully polished design in your asking. That question, you’re probably dug yourself into a trench somehow. Yep. My, the current folks, I’m working with, don’t listen to this and think. Oh, she’s talking about us, I’m talking about it. Having seen it across a bunch of projects. I reckon probably for easily five years, every everything I’ve done in the last five years. I’ve seen this on. So,
I’m not having a dig at anybody, who I am currently working with very, very well done. Just got disclaimer there. So, you know, a lot of this, I think very much kind of Falls in line into some of your recent writings and particularly one of the early, perhaps your most recent book presenting design work, right? And so maybe talk a little bit about that, I have to suspect that just all the experience you’ve got and doing this led you to say. I think we need a book that talks about this in a different way.
Right? So maybe talk a little bit about how you came up with that idea and in the general overview of that book. Yeah, the reason I wrote that little book and as I’ve got another one in production at the moment called facilitating design, thinking workshops and I’ll talk about them together in that kind of, where did they come from? I was, I had a gap in between putting a job and figure out what I did next time. What should I do with myself? And like, I know a lot of stuff and a lot of experience doing things and I’m good at
Some stuff are good at, and I’m like, I’m good at presenting. I’m really good at facilitating, I’m really good at wrangling groups and I’m good at all kinds of other things, as well. But some of those I’ve written down and I was trying to think about what I’m good at that is probably under addressed and needed and that’s where both of these things came from. And luckily, like both are super skinny books, they like ten thousand words. So, they were like, 10,000 words to me is pretty achievable pretty easily. And what needed to happen in both cases was.
Needed to unpick what I did. That made me good at these things fairly naturally without both like presenting and facilitating a things that I do without training. Like I don’t do them very deliberately. I am a natural at it. I have been my mum. My parents made me, do a Stanford. I don’t know if it’s dead. Food is a known thing. But instead for these like you get onstage and you do stuff, you do like poetry and the plays and P. So they maybe do a Stanford when I was like 6 to 12 because I was super shy but it means that I’ve been on stage in front of people since I
I was six it’s not a very super shy period through my team’s. So in both cases, I wanted to unpick what I did that. I knew I did well and do it in a way that wasn’t I hate just really shallow trivial kind of work. I hate stuff that’s just seems like self-help and normal so I really want to see what my difference was and in the presenting design work, I want to really focused on something. I learned in a workshop from Mike Montero.
And something that I’d never seen until I do this workshop with Mike, which was how do you teach your stakeholders to give good feedback because mostly your stakeholders have never done this thing before? They’ve never worked on a tech project. They don’t know how to interpret design. They don’t know what to say. When you say to them, what do you think they don’t have a structure for that? So I started from that. How do we teach? And I’ve always done this well and I do it well because I probably am
both eyes and work with my stakeholders. Better than I do user base Timothy, I really do care to listen to understand, like where they’re coming from or what their previous experiences are and what they have to add to the whole design process in a way that makes them not feel stupid. And so this like probably also has leaked into my head from Kathy Sierra’s old work around making your users Rock. I don’t make my stakeholders don’t have to make them feel like they are able
To add value to this thing that affects them. And so then also they like in thinking about the writing about facilitation, I took that same approach and so I thought I’d talk to you about together and in that I spend a lot of time kind of thinking about and writing about. So you’re in this situation, you’re in a room with a bunch of people. Again they often your stakeholders and users and customers you’ve got a mixed group of people in a, in a design thinking workshop. And most of them have never done anything like this before and you want to use their time you want.
To use their expertise. That’s why you put them there. It’s not meant to be just like to make you look better or to pretend that you had an activity meant to be using their import. So how do we get them from the beginning of that Workshop, activity to the end and use their skills right throughout in a way that they go? I rocket? This I’m amazing. I need a drawing. I had an idea. That was super cool. I feel good about myself and so that they don’t feel like, oh crap, the
Just ask me to sketch. I can’t draw and close down which is what I see a lot. And so similarly with presenting design work it’s about making sure that when you’re presenting to people you say, okay I know who you are and I know what your expertise is in this room. So I know why you’re here and today I’m going to show you a theme and I want you to focus on this and I want you to focus on that and I want you to check if I’ve done the right things here and really get people.
To understand what their expertise is in that process and lend that expert and then and then show them through something and then asking questions, related to what they already know. So does this work for our current customers is this technically feasible and not just so. What do you think? Do you like it? Because if you ask what do you think and do you like it? You’re going to get random answers. That people feel like they must contribute because surely they’re in the room for a reason. That’s where you get the. I think the button should be a bit bigger. Can you change that shape of
The color of blue blue can be shaped as far as I’m concerned. Absolutely, it’s certainly the shaking my head. No, this is fantastic. This is fantastic stuff, particularly that last part. One of the things that I have told people as well, is if you ask somebody a question, you’re going to get an answer. So if you ask what do you think they’re going to tell you what they think and to your point again I’m just distilling it down. What you’re saying trying to ship back is they’re going to answer based on the level of expertise they have and it’s not their job to know how to give great
Fine feedback. It’s not their job to go to speak our language. It’s your sort of a reverse. They were some really good things that I pulled out of what you were saying. I love that you went back to Kathy Sierra and making stakeholders Rock, making users Rock. I really need to rate her stuff. She’s amazing. Yeah, so I mean, that’s really great to in the point that you made off of that that stuck with me, is with stakeholders in presenting with them and getting feedback from them. Really the point of using them in their skills and experience as an advantage to your process. Not you.
Look at this is a speed bump. I think a lot of people, yes, researchers. Whoever it might be presenting their work. They look at this as a speed bump. They look at it as a challenge. They clam up. That’s something that they just have to do. And get out of the way of what you’re really saying is use this as an opportunity. This can enrich your work and I love that. I think that’s absolutely true. Well, it not only can, It should enrich your work like those people have? I feel my I did my job as a designer is not to be any kind of rock star designer and save teldar. Look what I came up with.
My job is to get all the best brains available to contribute to making something together and I happened to be the person who knows how to bridge between all those good brains and the technology or bridge between those good brains and the data or bridge between those good brains and their users. I know how to do that but it’s usually not my product at somebody else’s it’s their thing so they should
Contributing a lot and I’m just doing a translation job. Beautifully said I love analogies, it’s no secret. I use them all the time. On the show, I use them all the time when talking with people in the one that just popped in ahead. And to my head is based off of what you said is almost made me think of a conductor. Yes, Symphony. You’re not necessarily the one that has to be great at playing the violin or the cello or percussion but you are absolutely the person that’s a can say, here’s the folks that we ought to have playing these instruments. Here’s the tune that we can play.
And I can help coordinate that to put on a beautiful show. Yeah, that’s a great analogy. I’m not terribly good at analogies because super well, well, I love analogy. It’s like my favorite thing and that’s part of what if it’s absolutely my job on this is to very much like you said, not be the expert on this but rather bring folks like yourself and try to translate that back out to folks who are listening and hopefully, add some value that way. So I’m glad to hear that. I am that, I got that one on the money. The end to ask all the questions to say. So tell me violin player.
How does this work? Like how does your stuff contribute? How like, what’s the kind of technology and data, and content and Concepts? He explained that? Yeah, absolutely quite so well and violin bit. Absolutely well. So getting back to the book and what you wrote there if somebody were to come up and just say all right give me the 40 thousand foot view. What is that book? All about? How would you answer them 20,000 foot view is, it’s a tea.
Anyway, any practical book that you can read fast and walk away, reading to be better at presentations week focuses like I said, a moment ago on helping stakeholders understand how to give good feedback and one of the key points in it is to not present your process but to present the thing you came up with so that the people on the other side, understand what you’re recommending because they don’t really care about what you did in between.
I’m really daytime really practical 40,000. BP is a hard for me. That’s okay. That’s okay. Because you did some extra credit, I was going to ask you that. Anyway, security answer. The next question I was going to ask and I just have to comment on that too because that is so important for work that I’ve done and how I’ve spoken to people as well. But particularly as sort of where I am now to I mean in the more the research strategy and of things but now actually running a company, I could not agree more and I tell people this especially newer to the field. Nobody cares about your process. They don’t care.
Out the tools you used. They don’t actually care about any of that they want a specifically. Speaking of, let’s say when you presenting research, the thing I’ve always told people is they want an answer to their question. Yeah. Right now, there are going to be people and this is great. Actually, it’s a good sign. When people are when they questioned how you got there, or they question the data that backs up that answer to the question and be prepared for that. Yes. Spend your time and energy on. Getting the answer to the question and helping kill that story really well. Okay, I’m always going to ask a researcher what they method.
G was because when they present that information, it comes out of a context. And if they then tell me like a methodology and I’m like, yeah, well you cause you got that answer because your methodology was like led to it be, I don’t want to hear that up front. I don’t want a, I don’t want to read an academic paper. I want to hear what they did and what came out of it, and what was cool? What’s really interesting? And then when I asked or as a, you know, back up, by the way, this is how we collected this. And therefore we know that it’s valid.
Yeah, and the same goes with presenting your designs, our stakeholders all want to understand what we came up with, and if they have questions about how you got there, or did you try other things? They will ask them, but they’re better to ask them in the context of what you came up with what your final, kind of recommendation solution, sketches whatever our because then, that makes sense to them. If you run through your process, like I did this. And then
Did that. And then we did some other stuff and that didn’t work. And then we tried this and this is what we landed on. You’ve, by the time you get to the point, they’re lost. Now I don’t know. Which thing is showing me. See ya. Even the answer? Yeah. Yeah. And then, explain anything that needs to be explained around it. It’s actually a principal in just a good rating and storytelling. I think, in general and one of the is really great story that I have to share because we’re talking about this from the journalist Nora.
Ron. And so she recounts in her, High School journalism class. The teacher was trying to teach a lesson and make a point instead. I want everybody to sort of write the lead of this article, and I’m gonna dictate the facts to you because that’s typically how journalism works, right? And so, the teacher goes on, to talk about all these things saying, okay? So next Thursday, such and such high school is going to send all of its teachers to this Symposium to learn new teaching methods. It’s going to discuss this and this. And so he goes on for about a paragraph describing this stuff, right? And she describes this, the setting of everybody in the class would,
Get down all these facts and collecting these things and turning the papers in. And everybody, of course, is essentially just regurgitating, the fact. Yeah, and he takes them on basic. He sits with the trash and goes the lead of the story is not those facts. The lead is there will be no school next Thursday, of course right. And that it’s a funny example. It’s absolutely. A funny story. Like how well delivered is the point there. Yeah. Where people don’t need to hear you repeat the thing I just told you they want to know what’s the point. Yeah.
Yeah, the best like crime, novels and TV shows show you what happened first? And then you watch the investigators figure it out, they show you some of what happened. Like, you don’t just go investigate the sitting at their desk. He is, they have a phone call. They go out and learn stuff. You always know something that they don’t, you know, the answer. And then everything else that they learned all the red herrings are in context of that you can.
Idol together and we’re doing the same. He is the answer. It’s not a crime novel, we’re not trying to figure out what happens. Here’s the answer. Now, I can tell you about all the red herrings that I went through finding to. Yeah. You care about the answer to that. You care about the ending. Yeah. And if you’ve become invested in that there are times when people say, well, how did you arrive at that? Is there anything on the periphery and learn more about dig into and understand how we arrived at that place? Yeah. And often the stakeholders will say why didn’t you do it like such and such or
Or did you think about such and such? And you can tell them the answer then you can say yeah I did do that. I tried it. The reason it didn’t work is this and this or yes, that I we, I did go through that process. I think about those things and the reason it’s not here is because but if you start telling them that it’s like saying I’m going to tell you that I ignored your stuff straight away rather than here’s what we did. And yes, I did actually pay a lot of attention to your stuff. Yeah, totally. So in discussing all of
This makes me think of the question then in presenting design work. I mean, do the principles. You have in that book apply to people who are presenting research work as well. Or would you have perhaps different advice for people who are presenting findings from research? Yeah. Look, I think people presenting research can read the book and get a lot out of it. In the, this Five Points in the book. They can certainly get a lot out of the part where I tell them to understand who’s in the room and to get people to give deliberately
feedback on their expertise and they certainly can get some good stuff out of understanding, how to teach stakeholders to give feedback the part that doesn’t relate to read. Research is like, I guess, as long as they can stretch their analogy, to showing the result before you show the process. But the other point that I covering the book is, is show a person. Doing a thing, not do a real estate to it, because designers often will say, he’s a screen, there’s the logo, here’s some navigation, there’s some filter, there’s some, there’s
Our cell was a button and instead of that, I suggest that designers say. So this is the example in the book, Norton wants to buy clothing for his three-year-old, who is growing very fast? He likes buying clothing from second hand shops, he wants to find out. If there are clothing, stores secondhand clothing stores in his area that have children’s clothes and that might also buy clothes. He goes to this thing that he knows about for some reason. This thing exists, he checks close by him because he’d
like to walk, he finds a place that has children’s clothing and will buy children’s clothing and decides to go there next week. He also checks if it has parking in case he wants to drive. So there’s a story and then what I say is, do that again. So tell the story once showing the screens as you go backwards and tell the story again because the first pass people are trying to take all that in the trying to understand Norton and his three-year-old and what’s on the screen and it’s really fast and I think there’s a combination
Principal, I don’t know the name of but the first time you do something, it seems really slow. And the second time you do it it’s really quick. So you go over and do it again. You might change the details, a bit so you don’t feel like you’re exactly repeating yourself but the second time stakeholders can go. Okay, I’ve got the story in my head, I can start watching out for bits and pieces and then you do use that approach for anything you’re showing. And if you need this is I mean this is still similar to show the answer and then dig into details if then you need to go talk about a filter and the categories in the filter or exactly how the
Map works. And how you would set your radius? You can do that. After again, you’re talking about it in context. I think that I haven’t quite found a bridge to that and research work, but the rest of the book without that chapter, I didn’t write it deliberately for researchers and I didn’t try to shoehorn two things into one. I was being very careful to say, this is one thing, it’s one skinny thing and it’s on point and it doesn’t try to be anything else. But yet there’s definitely, I mean, I hope
That there is good advice there generally and researchers do other things as well. Yeah, for sure. Well, based on what you’ve just shared with us here, I mean that’s certainly tracks for me, and so I think that’s applicable without question but also made me think of something. I personally learned from Edward tufte a long time ago and very well known of course, for his book on the books on data visualizations but also world renowned for how. Excellent. A presenter. He’s been and he talks about this in one of his principles, I believe it was him as so if I’m
Operating this, I apologize. But I heard it from him and he said, you know, when you start a presentation, tell people what you’re going to tell them. Yeah, tell them that thing, and then remind them that you told them that thing, and it was, as you were describing, that makes that makes perfect sense. It’s not, it might seem repetitive, but for maximum retention of this thing, especially when it’s new, you can’t see me. They’re gonna know everything that you’ve shared with them. That it took, you two weeks to come up with that story and everything that backs it up and all the work that went into it, right? Yeah. Yeah, you really need like an overview. There’s a story.
And then go back and look at it again because otherwise it’s too much stuff too fast. Just watching any kind of presentation is too quick so it’s nice, watching movies at home. You can go hang on what happened there? Well, now we can write back in the day, that was a little. I was a lot harder. We either had to go and re-watch the whole thing, or we had to Hope shaped in a VCR for, oh, my goodness. I can imagine there’s people listening to this going. I’ve never operated a VCR before and I don’t know what that means, but yeah, absolutely.
So one of the things that I want to ask to, we know, in writing the book and as you think about doing this work, what’s the one big gotcha in presenting design work? What’s the one thing you would? Maybe, you know, give somebody advice on to say avoid this at all costs. It is not about you. That’s fantastic advice. Honestly, it is a SMS. Give it a shot answer ever. It seems like such a simple thing, but let that marinate for a bit and unpack it and it’s, that’s such a huge deal and we recently had Vivian Castillo on the show. Oh yeah.
And one of the things she said I’m gonna try to quote this exactly. As she said, something to the effect of one of the biggest occupational hazards in ux is ego. Absolutely. And it’s so true. As soon as you hear somebody say that, it’s just, I mean, the impact that has, I think that you all everybody doesn’t matter how sort of objective you think or imagine yourself to be take that into consideration. And as you said, it’s not about you. Yeah, yeah, I really think Kathy, Sierras was writing this stuff a fair while ago, really think?
A lot of that landed in my head right at the right time as a designer really to think about making other people Rock like, really to make other people shine and be amazing. I think it was a good time for me to land in my head. Otherwise I certainly have some ego. That’s all I think. I’m pretty good at some stuff. It’s been a very much try to make it about other people. Yeah, I’m game. Mastering Dungeons and Dragons game at the moment and it’s super fun because
Cause I get to make other people Rock, I get them to make their stories, I get them to figure out how they’re going to react, and I just nudge them along a path, and it’s so fun. Not me not being about me. Yeah, I think that’s fine, right? Like I think everybody is going to have a certain amount of ego but the real catch the Fine Line you walk, is being aware of that and acknowledging that or not. And just being well as opposed to maybe saying I have no ego. It’s so it’s not just about the design. It’s well actually almost think that’s the antithesis I think.
Probably have more ego than the Imagine and that can be dangerous as both you and Vivian and other guests have said so I messes Amigo. Yeah. Just to learned not to go. Don’t you know who I am? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well that would be all man. I mean, because that’s, it’s very true. It’s this. And I think I have seen us come out of this a bit as an industry that there was absolutely a period of this idea of a hero designer, this Chief design officer, that’s just going to have all the answers this way.
Been like a former like, Jony Ive type person. Yeah, that if we just bring that on organization, we’re going to get all these things solved. And that’s not the case. I mean, you said it yourself, oil in our conversation. The job is not to have the answers for this stuff, but rather to sort of orchestrate those people find an act on those answers together. Yeah, awesome, awesome. Well, we are coming up to the end of our time and I have to be respectful of that for you especially since you’re starting your day and you have other things to get to, I’m quite sure. One of the things odds
Spreadsheet waiting for me. Well I don’t want it I don’t want to hold you back from that pain. A diner at piece of data analysis. Yeah well that actually is interesting if it’s thought it was maybe just a regular boring speech. You know, I’m really hard piece of data analysis so that we can figure out what we can actually put into a system. Yeah, fantastic. So, I’m way into that, I’m way into that for obvious reasons, but one of the things that I do on every episode is I say if somebody hit me on the head and I have temporary Amnesia and then came up to you and said, well,
You talk about what was that podcast about? How would you answer that in summarize it for folks, we talked about respecting the people you work with and they’re excellent. Amazing skills and knowledge and being an orchestrator, not a hero, awesome, you give another shooting answer. That was a great summary and essentially one sentence. So awesome. So, is there anything that you want to share with folks that we didn’t get a chance to talk about and cover today about my mama? Oh I tell you what should also share with folks. So a while ago, I wrote a
A book on information architecture and recently my distributor decided that they didn’t want to distribute it anymore with no notice and took it off their website. So I put it on my website for free until I rewrite it, that was a couple of months ago. So right now there is a practical guide to information architecture for free sometimes. Send people say oh that was amazing. How can I throw you a couple of dollars? And I say by one of my other books, so if you can have practical guide to information,
For free and they die by the presenting design book. It’s only it’s not very much. I can’t remember much how much it’s skinny and shape so you may have two for one. Awesome. Well, we’re going to have links to that stuff in this. Yeah. I’ll send you a link. Yeah. And we and those are on your site. So we can link to those and you will check this out for folks listening to, on our page, where we’ve got this listed, keep an eye out for that. That’s awesome. And I believe, I read that book way back. When it came out, I’d have to double-check and may even be also while ago, it’s like 2010. Yeah, that sounds about, right? It’s
Still a really good book. That’s why I like it still really good. I wrote it just before mobile navigation. So it doesn’t have any mobile stuff in it, but the foundational information architecture stuff in it is really good and I do intend to rewrite it, I’ve got all the research done, I just need to buckle down and do some other things and then stick my head in a Word document. I’m personally very excited about that because I don’t see a lot of people talking about I a really anymore especially not to that depth. And yeah, very, I’ll be very curious to see what you come up with and rewriting
I’ll talk to you in a year. Okay, it’s a deal. Awesome. Okay, well done, I really appreciate you taking the time. This was a fun chat and I know that we could do a lot longer, but I don’t want to stand in the way of your data analysis. And so will let go. And I was just simply say, thank you again for coming on and chatting with me. Great, thank you very much for having me. This is a really good and, well, moderated. Orchestration of my random thoughts, awesome. I appreciate you saying that. All right, everybody, we will see you next time.
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