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Onika Simon; troublemaking, reality checks & innovation under pressure

How does a journey that begins with a degree in philosophy - and a chance conversation with a librarian - lead to a surprise move from Manchester to New York, one of the advertising industry's foremost fellowship programmes and a career-long interest in understanding customer behaviour? Onika Simon shares her story, including awards, working with Cisco and now a new direction where she's trying to make the most of everything she's learned along the way. Get in touch with feedback and...


Design-led start-up; Gil Kahana, co-founder & CEO, ChattyFeet

Gil Kahana is one of a growing number of designers launching their own start-ups. He shares the story with MEX founder Marek Pawlowski, tracing the arc from falling in love with user-centred design at the BBC in the mid-2000s to working agency-side for clients in a wide range of industries. Gil goes on to explain how he has tried to embed user-centricity in his product company, ChattyFeet, and hopes to scale the customer-led approach as his business expands - bringing a little fun to...


Sofia Svanteson, co-founder & CEO, Elsa Science; founder & chairman, Ocean; Health by design

Sofia Svanteson shares how founding and growing her own design agency has helped to shape Elsa, her new life sciences venture which aims to support rheumatoid patients in achieving meaningful self-care. She talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about cultural influences on the early interface design projects which helped establish her agency, Ocean Observations, as one of the pioneers of digital experience design and looks ahead to the challenges in turning data into meaning in healthcare...


Innovating fast & big; Massimo Mercuri, Director of Digital Innovation, AkzoNobel

What does innovation look like at a 300 year old paint and materials company with 40,000 employees? Massimo Mercuri, Director of Digital Innovation at AkzoNobel, sits down for a chat with MEX founder Marek Pawlowski, exploring everything from creative workshop methods to cutting edge experiments with wearables, biometrics and performance analysis on the high seas. Crucially, they talk about how to keep forward thinking activities grounded in the reality of customers' lives and the role of...


Life of a design agency; Warren Hutchison, Founder, Else London

Warren Hutchison, founder of London-based agency Else, talks to Marek Pawlowski about what it means to create, grow and nurture your own design studio. The conversation ranges from Warren's early forays into digital design in the mid-90s to working client-side for the likes of Universal Music and Marek and Warren get deep into the importance of attracting and retaining talented designers, the M&A landscape as design agencies are acquired by big professional services firms and how...


UX of iPhone X; Steve Litchfield, The Phones Show

Just how significant are the user experience changes in iPhone X and what hints do they give us about the future of mobile innovation? Steve Litchfield, technology journalist and one of the world's most experienced reviewers of smartphones, shares his hands-on impressions of Apple's flagship with MEX founder Marek Pawlowski. Drawing on his experiences reviewing more than 200 mobile devices, Steve places iPhone X in the context of 20+ years of touchscreen interfaces. The conversation...


User research & holocracy; Alex Genov, Head of UX Research, Zappos

Alex Genov, head of UX Research at Zappos, talks to Marek Pawlowski, founder of MEX, about designing retail experiences, understanding users as people and emerging user research methods. The conversation covers Genov’s early interest in experimental social psychology and expands into a discussion of how he has applied his knowledge in both financial services and retailers. Genov and Pawlowski also talk about Zappos’ core commitment to customer service and how its adoption of the holocracy...


Wearable experience design; Marek Pawlowski & Alex Guest

Marek Pawlowski and Alex Guest take up Patrizia Bertini's challenge from the last episode and go in search of wearable technology beyond the smartwatch. After questioning the term 'wearable' itself, Marek and Alex cite examples ranging from illuminated clothing to medical implants, before searching for design approaches which might result in products more relevant to users' lives. Marek challenges listeners to abandon the smartphone as the anchor point for wearable products and see whether...


The Friday design inspirations project

In this episode we share 6 digital design inspirations, from a sci-fi film script written by artificial intelligence to a fashion collection influenced by sound waves. Prompted by a move to Basecamp for MEX collaboration, podcast co-host Alex Guest introduced ‘Friday inspirations’, a recurring task for each member of the team to share a weekly ‘find’ with colleagues. Alex and co-host Marek Pawlowski take turns explaining why they picked each inspiration and how it relates to digital...


Experiencing virtual reality & HTC Vive special edition

This special edition of the MEX podcast takes you hands-on with the user experience of virtual reality, with bonus photos and videos. In episode 12 we went in-depth on the design principles of augmented, virtual and mixed reality with Greg Taylor of Tigerspike. When Greg took delivery of his HTC Vive – arguably the most immersive virtual reality experience available to consumers today – he invited Design Talk hosts Marek Pawlowski and Alex Guest to spend an afternoon exploring it in...