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MEX Design Talk

Technology Podcasts

Interviews with UX pioneers, hosted by Marek Pawlowski, the founder of MEX. Each episode features a guest talking to Marek about their career story, design interests and their hopes for how technology will shape the future. Part of the MEX initiative for enhancing digital user experience.


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Interviews with UX pioneers, hosted by Marek Pawlowski, the founder of MEX. Each episode features a guest talking to Marek about their career story, design interests and their hopes for how technology will shape the future. Part of the MEX initiative for enhancing digital user experience.






Digitally sustainable; Mirren Fischer, Founder, Brilliant Product Design

Mirren Fischer is someone who finds herself at the confluence of some really big challenges: creating a sustainable future and leveraging the new methods which have caused such an acceleration in the role of digital experiences. She talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about applying that approach to problems and places which have deep, physical roots - like construction projects which need to think on 100 year timescales. Part of her response to this brave new world is Brilliant Product...


Our future towns; Dan Phillips, Royal College of Art

Poetry and place...listening and lockdowns...Dan Phillips, who led the Royal College of Art's (RCA) work on 'Our Future Towns' talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about how the research led to a different understanding of connectivity, mobility and transportation in our communities. It is a conversation with draws on Dan's breadth of design and research experience - crossing industry boundaries from engineering to telecoms - and reflects on the role of this kind of diverse knowledge in...


Agency values; Mark Baldino, co-founder, Fuzzy Math

Mark Baldino’s path to co-founding a Chicago-based design agency wends its way from a degree in theology and working at non-profits in Washington DC to reading an early edition of ‘Information Architecture for the World Wide Web’ and a job as a late 90s web designer he claims he was totally unqualified for. What shines through today is a continuing commitment to bringing a certain set of values to the agency’s UX work in healthcare and other sectors. Mark talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski...


Paul Campbell, Chief Product Officer, Centaur Robotics

Paul Campbell, a former chief designer at Ford, is now re-imagining the wheelchair at Centaur Robotics. In this conversation with MEX founder Marek Pawlowski, he shares the life experiences and human-centred insights which have shaped Centaur's new approach to personal, connected mobility. The discussion also explores Paul's deep experience of car design and design studio culture, going right back to the early inspirations which have continued to shape Paul's approach to realising new...


Placeful computing, Jared Ficklin, Chief Creative Technologist & Founding Partner, argodesign

Jared Ficklin’s approach of ‘think by making’ has led him to produce remarkable digital design work, often at the forefront of exploring new computing metaphors, from smartphones to spatial interfaces. In his conversation with MEX founder Marek Pawlowski, Jared gets to one of the big truths of the digital age: the major expansions in computing occur when a significant change in UI metaphor resonates with users. The discussion goes deeper, exploring everything from what it means to sustain...


Robert Fabricant, Partner, Dalberg Design & co-author, ‘User Friendly’

The conversation between Robert Fabricant and Marek Pawlowski spans a wide arc, from Robert's childhood design influences growing up in New York City to the multi-year journey of co-authoring (with Cliff Kuang) the acclaimed book 'User Friendly - How the Hidden Rules of Design are Changing the way we Live, Work & Play'. Along the way they explore Robert's mid-career move from frog Design to co-found Dalberg Design, increasing his focus on the role of design in addressing global challenges...


Designing AI; Jennifer Sukis, Director of Design for AI Transformation, IBM

Jennifer Sukis returns to the podcast to discuss changes in her own role at the intersection of artificial intelligence and design, as well as IBM's growing focus on this area for its big enterprise clients. The chat with MEX founder Marek Pawlowski ranges from approaches to user research when designing AI-powered systems, how AI may influence future education requirements for designers and striking the right balance when surfacing the wealth of additional data AI can make available to...


Post-pandemic design strategy; Samar Héchaimé, co-founder, Agora Envisioning

Samar Héchaimé joins MEX founder Marek Pawlowski for a special discussion - recorded with a live web audience - exploring how we might transform our post-pandemic systems and organisations by putting people at the heart of future strategy. Drawing on deep cross-cultural experience – from the Middle East to the United States – and disciplines from architecture and digital services to consulting and innovation, Samar’s career has given her a unique perspective on balancing collective and...


Located in context; John Fagan, CTO, Axon Vibe

John Fagan is building technology to enhance the user experience of public transport through a better understanding of human behaviour. He talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about how smartphone sensor data can be combined with real-time transport infrastructure feeds to deliver more contextually relevant digital services. John draws on his deep experience in this field, from being an early member of the Multimap team in the dotcom era to hands-on GIS work in Namibia. The conversation...


Heart of the home; Ashton Snook, Head of Design, Hive

Ashton Snook, Head of Design for Digital & Physical Products at Hive, joins MEX founder Marek Pawlowski to share how Hive is approaching the complex, multi-touchpoint challenge of delivering good customer experience for its smart home products. Ashton talks about the user research and product design aspects, as well as the organisational journey he's been on to build collaboration between teams and keep the customer at the heart of the conversation. The discussion expands to some of the user...


Future arriving; Kwame Nyanning, CXO, Arrival

Kwame Nyanning discusses the challenge of creating the experience office at Arrival, a technology company working on next generation electric vehicles, which hit the headlines earlier this year with an EUR 100m funding round from Hyundai and Kia. With an initial order of 10,000 vehicles from UPS (also an investor in the company), Kwame explains the complexity of experience design when it spans the multiple touchpoints of commercial vehicle deployment. His conversation with MEX founder Marek...


Robot relations; Ben Scott-Robinson, co-founder, Small Robot Company

Ben Scott-Robinson is designing the next generation of robot relations. Small Robot Company, the start-up he co-founded, must solve both the technical challenge of deploying rugged, autonomous robots on farms and the nuanced complexities of serving multiple users - from individual farmers to the animals the machines may encounter in the field. Ben talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about how his deep experience in user-centred design, across both agencies and in-house teams, prepared him...


The future is in the air; Mark Rolston, co-founder, argodesign

Mark Rolston is working on the future, from mixed reality delivered via digital eyewear for the likes of Magic Leap, to experimental projects exploring how projected interfaces might materialise in the physical world. Mark talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about his long career at frog design, where he led global creative after a 20 year tenure, and the co-founding of his own agency - argodesign - in 2014. The conversation ranges from the possibilities of emerging, next generation...


Agency foundations; Tom Wood, co-founder, Foolproof

Tom Wood, co-founder of Foolproof, joins Marek Pawlowski to talk about what it takes to build a user-centred design agency, from the initial inspiration 17 years ago during his time as Head of Advertising at Virgin Money, to setting a course for the future through an acquisition. The conversation ranges from the nuances of structuring design teams for ongoing skills development to how it feels to be on both sides of the table during design agency mergers. Tom and Marek also talk about their...


Multi-touchpoint revisited; Jason DaPonte, Strategy Principal, ustwo

Jason DaPonte has been at the cutting edge of digital experience design since the late 90s and shares some of the insights gained along the way with MEX founder Marek Pawlowski. They talk about Jason's current strategy role at design agency ustwo, as well as revisiting the evolution of multi-touchpoint experience design. The conversation expands to anecdotes from working on the earliest versions of the Washington Post's web-site to Jason's time at BBC Mobile and running his own agency...


Well travelled; Gavin Edwards, Director of Product Design & Research, Skyscanner

Gavin Edwards directs product design and research for Skyscanner, a travel search platform serving 90 million users a month. He talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about applying research insights at scale, the cultural nuances of users' travel behaviours and his own journey through design agency work to leading in-house teams. Along the way, the conversations touches on design education, Gavin's love of engineering and tinkering, as well as hiring for large-scale design teams of 50+...


Nurturing design culture; Anna Bäck, CEO, Kivra

Anna Bäck has seen user-centred design from all angles: spending time as managing director of a small specialist agency, playing a leadership role at a larger agency as it became part of McKinsey and most recently as CEO of an expanding digital platform where she is nurturing a strong design culture throughout the organisation. She talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about her formative experiences travelling the globe, her background in telecoms and engineering, as well as what kind of...


Research focus; Lada Gorlenko, Director of Experience Research, Smartsheet

In-depth user research has been a touchstone throughout Lada Gorlenko's fascinating career. She talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about her current role leading experience research for work management platform Smartsheet, as well as everything from her background in cognitive science, working in prisons and her time working on Microsoft's mobile ambitions in the late 2000s. The conversation expands to explore the ingredients for effective conferences and the skills Lada looks for when...


Automotive experience; Sam Livingstone, Director, Car Design Research

From debuting concept cars in computer games to re-imagining autonomous vehicles as luxurious overnight sleeping cabins, Sam Livingstone has been advising the automotive industry on customer-led design strategy for over 20 years. He talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about the opportunities for vehicle manufacturers to embrace digital experience design, the potential for re-imagining car brands and the nuances of understanding the next generation's attitudes to mobility. The conversation...


Fostering the global creative economy; Fiona Myles, Kin Branding

Fiona Myles runs her own agency, Kin Branding, working at the intersection of brand strategy and design thinking. In addition, she works all over the world delivering workshops and education programmes to foster a design-led, creative economy with organisations like Nesta and the British Council. She shares the story of her career with MEX founder Marek Pawlowski, touching on everything from user-centred design to the nuances of encouraging entrepreneurs to embrace design in different...