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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.








Work Together Better to Design Great Products

Ep. #19: Most of the time we like to work independently, maybe because of work environment, preference, or pride. And yet we know there are great benefits and advantages to working as a team and collaborating with other people. This week’s episode is a re-edit of episode 3, one of my favorite episodes, when I spoke with David and Mary Sherwin, co-founders of Ask the Sherwins, about doing the impactful work we want to do, through improved collaboration and effective teams. David and Mary...


Designer-founded startups

Ep. #18: Over the past few years we’ve seen a growing trend of designer founded startups. There are a few really notable designer-founded startups like — Airbnb, Kickstarter and Lynda.com have paved the way… and in general startups are realize the value of user-centered design as a competitive differentiator, so there’s definitely more value placed on design and user experience. But the designer as founder is still not the norm for startups. This week I’m talking with designer-founder Will...


Outcome-focused Design - Tarot Cards for Tech

Ep. #17: Using tarot cards to create outcomes-focused designis a very out-of-the-box approach, and yet it's actually really simple and approachable. In this episode I talked with Sheryl Cababa, an executive creative director at Artifact Group design agency, about their Tarot Cards of Tech. It's a card deck of prompts for team discussions, a fun product that's meant to be playful, but with a serious purpose – to get teams thinking differently about their strategy and design. In this fun...


Shark-proofing Your UX Presentations

Ep. #16: This special episode of uxcake was a panel discussion recorded live in front of an audience in Seattle on June 28. If you’ve been in ux design or research for awhile, it's almost certain you’ve been involved in a review of your work, or your team’s work, and chances are you’ve experienced a review that goes off the rails, or that causes chaos after the fact, or you just don't get the feedback you really need. In this episode we discuss lessons learned and techniques you can use to...


Understanding Client Dynamics

Ep. #15: Have you ever had a meeting with a stakeholder or client who you thought you were in alignment with, and afterward thought “What the heck just happened in there?” Well it happened often enough to Morag Johnston and her team that she’s created a website and blog dedicated to the problem of understanding client dynamics, called understandingclients.com. Morag is a digital strategist and leadership coach at Effective by Design in Toronto, Canada, and she joined me for a conversation...


Getting More of The Work You Want to Do

Ep. #14: Besides needing strong technical skills, 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 partner 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. Fiz Yazdi is generously...


Design & Dev: How to create solutions together

Ep. #13: No one would argue about the relationship between UX and development being a critical one, but it’s not easy. Join us for a conversation with Jaime Lopez, an experienced developer and co-host of the More Than Just Code podcast (www.mtjc.fm) about the UX and developer relationship, creating solutions together, and increasing collaboration and communication. Jaime is an experienced software developer with a focus on iOS development. He led the iOS development team at OfferUp where...


Going Independent, part 2 – Making it work for you

Ep. #12: Part 2 of Leigh & Laura's conversation about freelancing. In this episode we focus on ways to be more effective in your freelance career, from finding and managing clients to managing balance, and continuing to grow in your career. If freelancing is something you’re considering, or maybe you’ve been doing it for awhile and wondering what other people do, or what mistakes other people make, then listening to our experiences might fill in some blanks. And for lots more online...


Going independent – is it for you?

Ep. #11: In this episode, Leigh and Laura discuss being an independent UX pro — contract, freelance, or consulting. The flexibility is what draws a lot of people to independent work, whether it's to have more time to travel or more time for family or a hobby, but of course there are drawbacks as well. Is there a personality type that works better for independent work? What are the benefits and drawbacks during different parts of your career? How does it affect your career over the long...


Creating Personas That Align Stakeholders

Ep. #10: We’re talking with Tamara Adlin, a persona pioneer, about a process for creating personas that not only aligns executives and stakeholders, but that also actually gets those personas used. Tamara’s honed this process over the last decade, and she shares with us what "alignment personas" are, how and why she creates them, and how you can create them too. Plus, how to navigate this potentially political process that is fraught with danger!


Transitions in UX - AR/VR

Ep. #9: Many UX practitioners are interested in transitioning into emerging technology but aren’t sure where to start, or what that path looks like. In this episode we’re talking about the practical aspects of getting into augmented, virtual, or mixed reality, with Di Dang, who’s a UX specialist in AR/VR, and leads an emerging tech department at POP agency in Seattle.


Overcoming Mentoring Challenges

Ep. #8: Mentoring is one of the most powerful tools for developing talent and leadership… it’s also often taken for granted as something anyone who’s been working for awhile can do. So we end up with senior practitioners going into a managerial track with no management training, and no real mentoring experience. And yet, think about how important managers have been in the jobs you've had, whether they've been good, or bad. Mentorship is part of management, but it's also a practice unto...


Transitioning in UX: Voice Design

How people interface with technology is constantly evolving, but we’re seeing big changes in the technolgy platforms themselves, and that means big changes in the UX field. This week is the beginning of an occasional series on UX careers in transition, starting with voice design, talking with Cheryl Platz, a principal designer at Microsoft. Cheryl has worked on high profile voice platforms including Cortana and Alexa, and she has also moved between voice-based design and visual-based...


Augmented Humanity & Our Changing Reality

Ep #6: Technology is changing the way we perceive reality — whether you have some kind of headset on or not… and it’s much more than pokeman go. In this episode we hear from Galit Ariel, self-proclaimed ‘digital hippy’ and author of Augmenting Alice, and Chirryl-Lee Ryan, a trans-disciplanary design leader, two brilliant multi-disciplinary UX experts, on two different sides of the globe, about augmented reality, the minister of loneliness, and experience design as the ‘muse’ of product...


Adding To Your Creative Toolbox

Ep #5: Generating, sustaining, and selling creative ideas requires a lot more than inspiration.There is process and structure - which doesn't sound or even always 'feel' creative. It isn’t always easy or straightforward. As author Scott Berkun says, it’s a dance, which he talks about in his latest book, The Dance of The Possible. In this episode we talk about some of the tools you can use for staying creative, selling creative ideas, or motivating your teams' creativity. Which may or may...


004: Improv for Empathy & Make Better Products

When you're designing products for people, having empathy for those specific people (aka users) is critical. Yep, you know that, but how can you increase empathy for the users from the entire team, and stakeholders too? In this episode, Karen Reilly, UX Director at Iterate in Dublin, Ireland, shares insights and techniques inspired by her work in improv for developing more empathy, not only for users but within our teams as well. Karen is an expert both at creating user-centered products,...


003: Making Better Cake With The Sherwins

Collaborating across teams is hard, and it doesn't happen without intention, and some structure. But the benefits for your product, wow - it's like the difference between a beautiful chocolate soufflé and... just a mess on your kitchen counter. In this episode we talk with experts in team collaboration (and design & innovation) David and Mary Sherwin of Ask The Sherwins, about how to make a better cake... er, better teams (sorry, we really like cake metaphors). David and Mary bring insight...


002: Executive Buy-in for UX

We know showing the business value of UX is the way to any MBA's heart/wallet, but it's often still a struggle. In this episode we get practical advice and techniques from former Amazon executive and UX champion, Eva Manolis.


001: UX Mentor Masters

Exploring the benefits of being a UX mentor with Rachelle Kauffman, UX Designer at Zillow. The benefits can be surprising, including improving your own design and research skills, increasing confidence, and upleveling your career in user experience or product design.


000 Introducing UX Cake

Learn a little about Leigh and Laura who make Amplify Alliance, the producer of UX Cake, and hear about what this podcast is about, why we're making it, and what's in store. 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 experienced 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. We'll hear stories...