DiscoverUX & Growth Podcast
UX & Growth Podcast

UX & Growth Podcast

Author: Austin Knight

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Stories, debates and advice. Austin Knight, a designer at Google (formerly HubSpot), sits down with friends from around the world to discuss User Experience and Growth tactics.

This show is entirely non-profit and independent, to ensure that the content is always of the highest quality. It does not have ads, is not associated with any business or organization, and does not accept donations. It is privately funded by the host.

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40 Episodes
What factors breed innovation? How do you take a product from zero to one, launching and iterating quickly? What does it mean to create sustainable growth? In this episode, Cambria Davies (Product Manager at Ro) tells us the story of launching one of HubSpot's flagship products from scratch, and all of the critical steps her team took along the way. We dive into jobs-to-be-done, activation metrics, and the significance of sustainable growth. Plus, Cambria gives us a peek into her new role at Ro, and some of their recent fast-paced COVID-19 launches. "For those who might not be familiar with the Jobs-to-be-Done framework, the basic premise is that people hire products to fulfill jobs for them. So in the morning when I wake up, I have a job of waking up as efficiently as possible and I can either hire a cup of coffee to perform that job for me, or I could hire a green juice. So, you really shift the way that you think about competition and how people explore solutions to their problems, which is rooted in acute pain points or problems they have, as opposed to it being this generalizable demographic that will always drink coffee in the mornings." — Cambria at 12:29 Cambria's site: Cambria's blog: Cambria on Twitter: Ro: (P.S. They're hiring. Ping Cambria if you're interested.) Book about JTBD: When Coffee and Kale Compete by Alan Klement Book about error reduction: The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande Austin on Twitter: More about the show and host:
So you've started a podcast. Now, how do you book guests? What about sponsors and affiliates? Where should you be promoting your show? In this episode, I sit down with Jason Ogle (Host of User Defenders) to discuss the intricacies of being a podcast host. This episode was originally recorded in April of 2017 and we didn't release it. So now, it's being brought to you as a bonus episode. The recording may be a bit dated, but the information isn't. Enjoy! User Defenders Community: User Defenders Podcast: Jason on Twitter: John Lee Dumas' guide to podcast sponsorships: Austin on Twitter: More about me and the show:
What are the key pieces of a great portfolio? What are the best tools for building and launching one? And what are the pitfalls to avoid? In this episode, Martijn van den Broeck (Designer at Google) joins me to talk about the art and science of design portfolios. For years, Martijn has closely studied portfolios, developing expertise in everything from the ideal number of case studies to the right way to handle an NDA and beyond. He shares a comprehensive approach to building, launching, and leveraging a portfolio. "I'm surprised by how few people actually have read their NDA and tried to understand it. One thing I did was write an article about what I learned while interning at IDEO. So I couldn't go into the specifics of projects, but I could still say, 'Hey, I went to IDEO and I learned all these amazing things' that weren't NDA protected." — Martijn at 22:56 Martijn's portfolio guide: Martijn on Twitter: Martijn's portfolio: Austin on Twitter: More about me and the show:
What are the basic steps to take when starting a podcast? And how do you grow it? In this episode, Matt, Geoff and I recap what we've done to run the UX & Growth Podcast. We talk format, guests, equipment, hosting, distribution, promotion and more. From the best mics to the most unexpected growth channels, these are the big things we've learned while running our small show. This episode was originally recorded in April of 2017 and we didn't release it. So now, it's being brought to you as a bonus episode. The recording may be a bit dated, but the information isn't. Enjoy! Microphones: ATR-2100 (USB/XLR), AKG P220 (XLR) Software: Audacity, Garageband & Auphonic Self-hosting on Wordpress: Submitting a podcast to iTunes: Austin on Twitter: Geoff on Twitter: Matt on Twitter:
How do side projects impact a designer's career? What are the incremental growth tools that can turn a side project into something bigger? In this episode, I sit down with Lee Munroe (Director of Design at OneSignal) to talk about his numerous side projects, the various growth tools that he's used, and why personal growth (not revenue) was always his goal. We also discuss his role at OneSignal, where he's growing a product and a team simultaneously. I've discussed OneSignal (and their unique revenue model) several times in the past, and Lee brings some new insights on that topic throughout our discussion - including how they decided to pivot their revenue model recently. Plus, we dive into a space that OneSignal and Chrome share responsibility for: notifications on the web. "I started a company called Lookaly, which was like the Yelp of Ireland. I thought what we needed to do was create a really good user experience and we didn't focus at all on customer development. We got to a point where the website was doing really well from a consumer point of view. It got lots of traffic. But when we tried to monetize it and make money, we didn't know who the customer was. We didn't know what persona was going to pay for the product. I definitely learned a lot from that experience. You have to try and find product-market fit and be more focused on that side of things, rather than just creating something beautiful." — Lee at 14:47 Learn more about OneSignal: Join Lee's team: Learn about Google's Digital Wellbeing efforts: Lee's website: Lee on Twitter: HTML Email: Codeshare: Austin on Twitter: More about me and the show:
The UX & Growth Podcast is back, and we’re kicking things off right. In this episode, I sit down with Hannah Lee (Designer at Google) to discuss how she audited Chrome’s entire UI and introduced a new design system in time for its tenth birthday, reducing the application size by megabytes in the process. When rolled out across Chrome’s more than 2 billion users, this represented a material impact on global device memory and data usage. From discovering 98 different shades of grey, to designing for obsolete operating systems, to open sourcing Chrome’s design system, we cover all of the epiphanies, lessons and downright hilarious moments in Hannah’s quest to design at planet scale. Hannah on Twitter: Hannah on Medium: Unboxing Chrome: Austin on Twitter:
How do companies like Dropbox, Spotify, Slack, and HubSpot leverage freemium strategies to grow? What are the different approaches to freemium, and when should (or shouldn't) they be used? In this episode, I sit down with Dexter Zhuang (Growth & Monetization Manager at Dropbox) to take a deep dive on freemium growth. From acquiring free users, to converting them to paid customers, to reinvesting that money into acquiring more free users, we cover it all and give you a glimpse at examples where it’s all gone right, and a few where it’s gone terribly wrong. "Spotify has 40 million paid subscribers out of over 100 million monthly active users. The active user to paid subscriber conversion rate is somewhere between 25-40%, which is unheard of. This is an astronomical conversion rate. 80% of all users on Spotify use it multiple times per week. Multiple times per week." — Dexter at 19:30 Dexter on Twitter: Check out Dropbox: Email us: Austin on Twitter:
WebVR is Virtual Reality that runs in the browser, on anything from a smartphone, to a laptop, to an HTC Vive. And it's much easier to build for than you'd think. In this episode, I sit down with Casey Yee (UX Engineer at Mozilla and one of the early pioneers of WebVR) to talk about the future of the web. We cover everything from getting started in WebVR, to unique use cases that we've seen, to ways that forward-thinking businesses are already leveraging it. "We started to feel like we were trying to paint a painting while still designing the paintbrush. It's like you're creating in a medium that's still being created. And this is important because this is our opportunity to define this medium. This is a massive technological revolution that is happening before our eyes, similar to the likeness of the transition from print to digital." — Austin at 42:50 Check out A-Frame: Learn more about WebVR: Casey on Twitter: Casey's personal site: A-Frame on Twitter: Mozilla VR on Twitter: Meet the team behind Mozilla VR: Email us: Austin on Twitter:
Emerging economies are expected to contribute up to 70% of global GDP growth between now and 2025. The opportunities to internationalize have never been better. But how do you select the right market to enter? And once you do, how should your design and growth strategies change? In this episode, I sit down with Daniel Patiño (Co-founder of Digifianz) to take a deep dive on emerging markets. "We know that developing countries are fast becoming the driver of the overwhelming majority of global growth. In fact, emerging economies are expected to grow 2-3 times faster than developed nations like the US." — Austin at 9:50 Watch in 360º VR: Check out Digifianz: Digifianz on Twitter: Dan on Twitter: Dan on LinkedIn: Email us: Austin on Twitter:
What is the best way to define churn and how should this affect your retention techniques? What are the right and the wrong ways to re-engage users? In this episode, we get serious about understanding what churn actually is, and determining the best tactics to bring users back into an app. Plus, an important announcement from your hosts. "You're always going to have a healthy number of users that churn, whether it be due to something completely unrelated to your product, or something related to your product, but not something that you should be paying attention to. You're not going to be able to please every user." — Austin at 15:25 Episode with Anum Hussain: Email us: Austin on Twitter: Geoff on Twitter: Matt on Twitter:
Is remote work possible in design? How can designers transition to remote work, and what are the pros and cons of doing so? In this episode, we cover the statistics around remote work, the potential pitfalls for companies and employees, the types of individuals that do best with remote work, and why it’s so important for companies to be open to this growing movement. "Aetna has 14,500 out of 35,000 employees that work remote. When they switched to this, they shed 2.7 million square feet of office space, which saved them around $78 million. American Express did the same thing and reported an annual savings of $15 million, just thanks to their remote worker options." — Austin at 24:31 Essay on remote work and creativity: Email us: Austin on Twitter: Geoff on Twitter: Matt on Twitter:
What is the relationship between design and conversion? Is one more important than the other? Is it possible to quantify the aesthetics of a design? In this episode, we sit down with Dr. David Darmanin (CEO of Hotjar) to discuss these difficult problems, and ultimately rethink everything we’ve ever known about them. “I think conversion is actually a bad thing to be good at if you want to be an entrepreneur. Because the thing is, an entrepreneur should never be an optimizer. It’s different with design though. I don’t think you can be a successful entrepreneur or build a successful organization without a true appreciation of design. And design, to me, is not pixel design. It’s having that mindset of, if the user has a problem, it’s always our fault.” — Dr. David Darmanin at 8:23 Get Hotjar: Dr. Darmanin's CRO Action Plan: Dr. Darmanin on Twitter: Hotjar on Twitter: Email us: Austin on Twitter: Geoff on Twitter: Matt on Twitter:
What is delight, beyond the buzzword? How should it really be used and can it be measured? In this episode, we examine how delight fits into the hierarchy of user needs and where it should sit in a product roadmap. "The best way to delight your users is to deliver on the core value that you promised them. Why are they using your product in the first place? If you can't deliver on that in a functional and reliable way, then you aren't delighting them. And you loose every opportunity to delight them." — Matt at 2:25 Thoughts on delight: Email us: Austin on Twitter: Geoff on Twitter: Matt on Twitter:
What should you do if your experiments are regularly failing? How can you turn every experiment into a success and scale those benefits across all of your company? In this episode, we talk about the importance of paying less attention to quantitative results and more attention to core learnings, and how experiment results should be documented. "Let's say that you have a modal where you're going to test a newsletter subscription on a blog page. And let's say that adding the modal improves your subscription rate by 1%. Are you learning that adding this modal improves conversion rate by 1% or are you learning that 99% of people on that page don't want the modal?" — Matt at 9:15 Episode with Brian Balfour: Email us: Austin on Twitter: Geoff on Twitter: Matt on Twitter:
What are Technical Debt and Design Debt, and why they so important in the experimental process? What can we do to identify and combat them? In this episode, we discuss the critical experimentation downfall that they don’t mention in the A/B testing handbook. "Having a cohesive and consistent experience is really important in design. So, going through the process of recognizing when your design has gone through a lot of experiments and it's become a different version of itself, and taking those learnings and compiling them back together in a single and cohesive design, is the best way to approach that. But unfortunately, in the iterative mindset, a lot of the time we forget to do that last step." — Austin at 8:11 Design Debt essay: Email us: Austin on Twitter: Geoff on Twitter: Matt on Twitter:
What does it mean to build a strong UX team and when should a company look to do that? With no formal education path, how should designers be cultivating their abilities? In this episode, Austin sits down with Aarron Walter (VP of Design Education at InVision) to discuss what it was like to build the UX Team at MailChimp and what his vision is for the future of education in design. "A lot of times, designers want to refine. They want to change the typeface, adjust the kerning, or tweak the button color. A lot of engineers will see that and think that's self-indulgent. That's another thing that designers really struggle with. And I'll be honest, designers kind of just suck at talking about the value of their work." — Aarron at 29:30 Aarron on Twitter: Aarron's Website: Check out InVision: Email us: Austin on Twitter: Geoff on Twitter: Matt on Twitter:
With the dawn of VR, AR, and IoT, how will things change for designers? What opportunities could lie within these emerging technologies? In this episode, we speculate on the possibilities and implications that the changing technological landscape could bring. "I think that there are a lot of parallels or things that we're doing well in the digital space that aren't being solved in the physical space, with appliances or anything else. But what we're going to find with something like Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality is that we can start merging the two together." — Geoff at 40:36 Google Cardboard: An Internet without screens: Virtual science lab: Email us: Austin on Twitter: Geoff on Twitter: Matt on Twitter:
What are the important qualities that go into design leadership? What can design leaders do to help their teams collaborate and grow? In this episode, we sit down with Tim Merrill (Director of Product Design at HubSpot) to discuss the unexpected intricacies and challenges of leading a design team. "When you're doing design critiques, which are ultra important to growth as a designer, you have to have that kind of trust and understanding that you're both coming from a place of wanting to make things better. Not from a place of ego or trying to show that you know what you're talking about and somebody else doesn't." — Tim at 10:30 Tim on Twitter: Tim on LinkedIn: Email us: Austin on Twitter: Geoff on Twitter: Matt on Twitter:
What is Accessibility and why should businesses care about it? How difficult is it to design for disabled audiences? In this episode, we discuss the myths and misconceptions around Accessibility, why it’s so important to incorporate it into products (and the unexpected benefits that come from doing so), and how designers can do that with ease. "When I first really started to work with Accessibility Standards, my initial reaction to it was 'I don't have time for this. Why would I try and add this extra bit of work into my workflow to serve a small demographic? Is it worth the time and energy to do it?'" — Matt at 1:35 Sim Daltonism: Tota11y: W3C Accessibility Evaluation Tools: W3C Accessibility Guidelines: Section 508: and Accessibility Inspector for Mac: aXe: Web Accessibility Toolbar: Email us: Austin on Twitter: Geoff on Twitter: Matt on Twitter:
What makes for an effective design review? And how should designers be preparing for them? In this episode, we sit down with Tom Greever (Author of Articulating Design Decisions) to take a deep dive on the components of design meetings, and how designers should communicate their decisions. "I've heard it likened to a Rubiks Cube, where our job as designers is to solve for all sides of the cube, but the problem that we face is that we have that developer who comes in and is like 'Oh, I want this side to be red'. We bear the responsibility of making all these parties come together and realize that, by twisting one side, it messes up the other side. And we have to work together to solve the whole cube." — Tom at 34:03 Tom’s website: Read Articulating Design Decisions: Tom on Twitter: Email us: Austin on Twitter: Geoff on Twitter: Matt on Twitter:
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