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UX Cake

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UX Cake is a podcast for user experience professionals who want to be more effective and happy in their career. Every week we talk to seasoned UX pros and industry insiders for practical advise on building skills to get the best outcomes for our selves, our teams, our users, and our UX careers.

UX Cake is a podcast for user experience professionals who want to be more effective and happy in their career. Every week we talk to seasoned UX pros and industry insiders for practical advise on building skills to get the best outcomes for our selves, our teams, our users, and our UX careers.
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UX Cake is a podcast for user experience professionals who want to be more effective and happy in their career. Every week we talk to seasoned UX pros and industry insiders for practical advise on building skills to get the best outcomes for our selves, our teams, our users, and our UX careers.








Learn UX: Aligning UX Value

Ep. 41: This episode is the second in our special mini-series called Learning UX, hosted by Leo Zhang. In this mini-series, Leo talks in-person with local UX leaders about their careers and topics they’re passionate about. This episode Leo is talking with Kimberly Wiessner, about her career spanning design, creative direction and product strategy, and about bringing teams together to align on UX value. From Leo Zhang: In our second Learn UX episode of the mini-series I wanted to bring on a...


Bias Is The Context We're In

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...


Learn UX: Mentoring and Hiring

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...


Uplevel Your Career With UX Strategy

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...


Collaborative Research

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...


Research Beyond Words

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...


Design For The Future

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...


The Cognitive Diversity Issue in UX

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...


Getting The Work You Want

Ep. #14 (re-run) Much of the work in UX and in our careers requires convincing others, about our ideas, our work, or our ability to do the work we want to do. My guest is Fiz Yazdi, a managing director at cxpartners in London and Bristol, UK. Fiz developed an approach to selling based on what’s called a ‘consultative’ model which Fiz adapted into a simple framework she uses in her own UX practice and has begun sharing it with others. ​​ More about Fiz Yazdi Fiz is an enthusiastic design...


Words Make Experiences Work

Ep #33: This week I’m talking with Torrey Podmajersky about her new book, Strategic Writing for UX - how to drive engagement, conversion, and retention with every word. Torrey is not only an expert at UX Writing, she’s an expert at getting the right words into the experience — which is half the challenge sometimes, even if you’ve determined what the right thing to say where is, getting the rest of the team to see the value can be harder than it should be. So of course, we talk about that....


Negotiate the Salary & Title You Deserve

Ep #32: Welcome back to UX Cake! We took a short break and now we're back on our regular publishing schedule. In this episode I talked with Tamara Adlin, a UX strategy expert, speaker, and author, who was a guest in season 1, episode 10, talking about creating alignment personas. This time we're talking about a really important topic that plagues many of us and that she is really passionate about, she’s been sharing her wisdom in meetups and conferences in Seattle, and I wanted to make this...


Influencing Without Authority

This week's episode was a live recording at the ConveyUX conference in early March with a panel of UX pros talking about Influencing without authority, which is such an important topic and clearly very relevant based on the turn-out - it was standing room only. This episode is almost twice as long as our normal episodes — but you won’t want to miss the second half, where we turned it over to audience members to ask advice about their own situations, kind of mini-mentoring sessions, on a...


When UX and Agile Meet...

This week we’re talking about incorporating UX into an Agile product development process. It’s been a common complaint for the past couple of decades most agile processes don’t allow time for ux research and design. Teams that want the best human-centered design outcomes have to be intentional about that and it means adjusting their agile processes in some way, so they can use ux resources more effectively. But many teams don’t even know they need to do this, or if they do know they have...


Recipe for Effective User Research

Are you committed to doing user research in order to design and build products and services that work well, solve real needs, and create engaging experiences? Chances are pretty good that if you produce user research in your work, at some point you will feel like your research is just not making the impact it should be. Or you may have trouble making a case for doing more research — and the number one way to get your organization on board with doing more research is to make sure the research...


UX Cake Pop: Getting Buy-in

A UX Cake Pop is like a bite-sized piece of UX Cake. In this Cake Pop, we're talking about being more effective through getting buy-in early. We interviewed a few UX pros who were attending the Interaction19 conference while we were there, and got lots of great responses to our question: What's the biggest challenge you've been dealing with in your work lately? We got a great response from Marie Williams, who’s the founder and CEO of Dream Networks CIC in London, about both the difficulty...


Fast and effective - Agile Strategy with Marty Neumeier

In this episode we talk with the renown brand strategist Marty Neuemeier about a strategy framework he calls Agile Strategy. Marty’s written many strategy books - design strategy, brand strategy, business strategy - and his most recent book Scramble has a very unique approach to the business book genre. It’s set as a novel - Marty calls it a ‘business thriller’ I haven’t read any other business book like it. Marty tells us about why agile strategy is more likely to create innovation and bold...


Recovering and Reinvention with John Maeda

Ep #27: I’m really excited to share with you my conversation with John Maeda — about Reinvention. This episode covers a lot of ground John talked about why we should focus on recover fast vs. fail fast, why inclusive design is so important, and why we should be using Anpanman to train our AI platforms. John is well known for so many things, across design, tech, and business worlds. He wrote one of my favorite books, titled “The Laws of Simplicity.” He’s also written extensively on design,...


Designing The Impossible with Nelly Ben Hayoun

Ep #26: This week we are talking about designing the impossible, with Dr. Nelly Ben Hyoun, founder and experience designer of Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios in London. They create large scale, extreme experiences like being an astronaut, or erupting volcanos, or recreating natural disasters, for organizations as diverse as Nasa, the European Space Agency, Google, Mattel, Nike, Lego, the list goes on and on. So designing impossible things is just part of every day for Nelly and her teams — and even...


Changing the Disability Design Narrative

Ep. #25: This week we’re talking about designing withdisability, rather than fordisability, with my guest Liz Jackson. Liz is a disability advocate who is trying to shift the disability narrative. We talked about how the way we currently approach disability in design can actually cause more problems that solutions for people with disabilities, and how language - phrases we commonly use in design, like accessibility and inclusion, and even design thinking methodology - makes disabled people...


Design a Better World, with Don Norman

Ep. #24: Welcome to season 2! We are kicking the season off with a fascinating conversation about changing the world with design, with Don Norman. Don Norman has been a well-known name in the design field for over 30 years, and is currently Director of Design Lab at UC San Diego, where he spoke to us from, in between trips around the world spreading the practice of design to change the world. You might know Don from his book The Design of Everyday Things, or maybe you know him as a...