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Making UX Work with Joe Natoli
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Making UX Work with Joe Natoli

Author: Joe Natoli

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Hello and welcome to making UX work; I’m Joe Natoli. Our focus here is on folks like you doing the tough, often unglamorous UX work in the real world. My guests will share their struggles, their successes, and their journey to and through the trenches of product design, development, and of course, user experience. Before we get into it, I’d like to give a shout out to our sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is that Even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity. Find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit stache.studio to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more.
17 Episodes
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For this first episode of Season 3, I'm breaking my "no rock stars" rule. Because although he would never describe or consider himself as such, Nick Finck is a rock star — in the absolute best sense of the word.For over 25 years, Nick has helped businesses build, grow, train, and support UX teams so they can focus on creating great products. And the core reason he's been so successful at doing so lies in his character, integrity and heart. Anyone who follow Nick on Twitter knows full well just how generous, selfless, supportive and wise he truly is. As you'll hear, Nick was one of the people who, along with Alan and Sue Cooper, had enormous impact on my path as an independent consultant. Had I not stumbled across his example nearly 15 years ago, I think my career would have taken a very different path. I am beyond fortunate to call him my friend — and I am truly honored to share this incredible 1.5 hour conversation with you all.Twitter:@nickfLinkedIn:nickfinckWebsites:CraftAndRigor.comuxseattle.orgIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. 
My guest Rich Harrison has 15 years of design leadership experience, partnering with over 50 organizations. He has served as a UX lead, team leader, and senior designer for higher education, Fortune 500 companies, government, nonprofits, startups, and small businesses. He's spent the last 5 years supporting UXPA Minnesota as a board member and UX mentor and serves on the advisory board for the technical communication program at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Rich's core philosophy is that design is service work; we are in this together! Empathy and relationships come first; as designers, we are responsible to the users we serve. Successful design is evidence-based and outcomes-focused. Twitter:@wakinginfinityLinkedIn:blueskyvisionsIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor,Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity; find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
Helen Arvanotopoulis describes herself as a Design Thinking Preacher, UX Evangelist and Service Design Advocate. She is currently Head of UX for the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Aegon NV, working across Europe, Asia and America helping businesses and teams build and grow their capabilities and transform their organisations. Her passion and belief in collaboration and a multi-disciplinary approach comes through loud in clear in this conversation, and I have no doubt that the organizations and people she’s helped over the last 13+ years have benefitted greatly from that conviction. Helen is a born storyteller whose outgoing personality shines through at every turn.In her own words:"For design to really make an impact it must ultimately serve a purpose, it must also be well researched, ideated, concepted and delivered. This has been my design mantra since stepping into the UX field and one I still proudly resonate with today."So today, my friends, you get TWO preachers for the price of one — enjoy!Twitter:@HelenArvanLinkedIn:helen-arvanitopoulosIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity; find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
My guest today is Hida Behzadi. While she is a graphic designer by trade, she’s also worked as a creative director, a UX strategist, a design lecturer, and continues to work as an art instructor. In addition to her design acumen, Hida is an accomplished fine artist whose beautiful work possesses remarkable emotional and visual depth. And as I think you’ll hear over the course of our 80-minute conversation ( ! ), she approaches all things with a wonderful, positive curiosity, passion and great care.For Hida, any job that is closer to design, to service, to culture and to helping humanity is an ideal job. I couldn't agree more.Twitter:@hidabzLinkedIn:hidabehzadiFacebook:Art & Design with Hida BehzadiInstagram:hida.beWebsites:BehanceIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity; find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
My guest today is Rajeev Subramanian, who describes himself as the "poster child" for continuous career evolution, and after talking to him I agree with that description. From gigs in sales, marketing, software development, entrepreneurship ventures and of course, design, one thing has remained common over his last 16 years: an unrelenting appetite to understand human behavior and leverage that understanding to deliver value to organizations of all shapes and sizes. And as I think you’ll hear, he is a firm believer in rigorous collaboration and a "what have I done for you lately" approach to his daily work.   Here’s my conversation with Rajeev Subramanian — on Making UX Work.Twitter:@rajbajboneLinkedIn:rajeevsubramanianFacebook:rajeev.subramanian.395Instagram:rajbajboneWebsites:InformedXPIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity; find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
My guest today is Jason Ogle, who describes himself as a passionate user defender — fighting for users who are victims of bad design decisions. He's an influential podcaster whose amazing USER DEFENDERS podcast is continuing to inspire and equip an audience of hungry, ambitious designers and UXers. Jason believes in failing early, and learning often. And as you’ll hear, every one of those failures has only pushed him to bigger, better and more incredible things. Jason Ogle, as the podcast title suggests, truly has a gift for turning a mess into a message.  Twitter:@jasonogleLinkedIn:Jason OgleInstagram:highgrownWebsites:User Defenders PodcastUser Defenders Online CommunityIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity; find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
My guest today is Kristin Currier Ludlow, a Digital Designer with over 20 years of helping people shop better online and in stores.In my experience, retail is one of the toughest industries to advocate for and create UX change, but as you'll hear, it's a challenge Kristin has risen to — and overcome.Kristin believes that everything in retail — and life — is user experience. Whether you're resetting a store or an building an online shopping cart, it's the same thing. And as you'll hear, she's applied that belief to every task she's ever tackled. From companies like Office Depot, Home Depot, CompUSA and Levenger to her current gig with a small UX team at City Furniture, Kristin has carried the DIY spirit and positive, can-do attitude of punk rock into everything she does. That being something we share, this was an absolutely inspiring conversation for me.Twitter:@kristincurrierFacebook:Kristin Joy Currier LudlowLinkedIn:Kristin (Currier) Ludlow, UXCInstagram:kristincurrierWebsites:http://source-studio.comhttp://kristincurrier.com/If you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity; find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
My guest today is Peter Kaizer, a UX designer and developer with over 20 years of professional experience. What’s particularly interesting is that Peter started his career making things with his hands, namely what he calls "functional pottery."That's an altogether different kind of user experience — but as you'll hear, this approach and experience absolutely informs the digital products that he creates. The result is an emphasis on things that are both highly functional and beautifully designed. Peter describes himself as creative, collaborative, curious, opinionated and optimistic. He is all that and more, my friends; you're going to enjoy this one.Twitter:@pdkaizerFacebook:pkaizerLinkedIn:pdkaizerInstagram:pdkaizerWebsite:peterkaizer.comIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that Even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity. Find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
Mary Shaw's more than 20-year career has taken her from accomplished touring singer-songwriter to marketing strategist to web designer to UX consultant to some of the biggest brands in the world. Mary's first career was that of a professional musician, playing solo concerts at colleges all over the U.S. with just a guitar and a sound system. When the money ran out, she became a corporate meeting planner...before gratefully stumbling into web design in 1996.The numerous twists and turns her career has taken have only strengthened her belief in collaboration and the power of interaction design. Experience, Mary says, has taught her that the best products come from a clearly articulated vision, based on solid user needs and business research — along with a little healthy debate ;-) Twitter:@maryshawFacebook:maryshawuxLinkedIn:in/maryshawWebsite:maryshaw.netIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that Even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity. Find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
My guest for this month's episode is Anne Dougherty.Anne is a writer and a UX and content architect who is passionate about making excellent user experiences, film, curling, and, by her own admission, the Oxford comma. She has over 20 years of experience working in digital spaces, primarily in the progressive non- profit community. And Anne believes, as I do, that regardless of what problem the user is trying to solve, they can’t do that without good, useful, relevant content.Here’s where you can find and follow Anne:Website: annedougherty.comTwitter: @annedoughertyLinkedIn: annedoughertyIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that Even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity. Find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
My guest for this month's episode is Jason Bowden.Jason’s core disciplines lie in 3 focused areas: UX design strategy, creative direction, and mentorship. He’s been a designer his entire life, but professionally since 2001 or so.Jason believes in making the world a better place through design, and in building and coaching the next generation of user-centered, business-savvy, ethical designers.And that last part is important — because as I’m sure you’ll pick up on, Jason truly believes in hope. He believes in the good in people and is steadfastly committed to his family, which drives both his work ethic and his worldview.Here’s where you can find and follow Jason:Website: jasonbowden.comTwitter: @jason_bowdenLinkedIn: jasonbowdenIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that Even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity. Find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
My guest for this month's episode is Doug Collins.Aside from being one of the most positive and generous people I’ve ever met, Doug’s UX work spans a variety of industries ranging from the financial world to sports entertainment.He currently works as the sole UX Engineer at Trust Company of America, in charge of directing every aspect of the company’s online design and user experience presence.And when he’s not working to make the world an easier place, he can be found hiking, cooking, coding, or writing about his experiences on his blog (URL below).They say necessity is the mother of invention, and in Doug’s case, as you’ll hear, that’s true. You’ll also hear how he overcame some extremely difficult circumstances through belief, positivity and sheer will.Here’s where you can find and follow Doug:Blog: lostmegabites.comTwitter: @DougCollinsUXFacebook: dougcollins02LinkedIn: 5280dougcollinsIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that Even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity. Find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
My guest today is Lisa Baskett; she is a veteran digital designer with over 17 years of crafting experiences for a wide variety of clients — from one person business ventures to big brand enterprise organizations.Currently, she specializes in the less visible side of UX design — research and strategy. Lisa's personal mantra is that "good design must first be functional and useful, regardless of the aesthetic."She describes herself as empathic, impatient, pedantic, dedicated and curious, but there are a few adjectives I'd like to add to that list: namely, brave, tenacious and strong. As a woman of color in the world of tech, Lisa has had to overcome more than her share of racism, sexism and harassment — all of which she has transcended with an incredible measure of quiet grace, moving herself and her career ever forward.It's my distinct honor to share this conversation with Lisa Baskett — on Making UX work.Twitter:@intrepidleelooLinkedIn:lisabaskett/Websites:http://lisangela.comhttp://revunit.comIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that Even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity. Find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
Today we head to the Netherlands to talk with Esther Schinkel, who, in her own words, is passionate about making the web usable. And as I think you’ll hear, she takes a great deal of pride and joy in that endeavor. Esther began her creative life as a fine artist, and she believes that much of the power of the internet is lost because we are not fully utilizing our resources, particularly in the field of education – which happens to be the industry she’s focused on.Introducing concepts like gamification and personalized learning experiences, Esther has been slowly and steadily working to improve the tools teachers use to engage and motivate students.And by doing so, making the Internet a place that helps people learn and grow.Portfolio: Designed by EstherLinkedIn: esther-schinkelFacebook: esther.schinkelIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that Even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity. Find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
Hailing from the UK, my guest Leon Strydom has been working in and on the web since 2008, splitting his time between visual design and front-end development, while frequently turning his talents to print-based design work as well.While Leon is somewhat new to UX and is currently looking for a job, it becomes obvious pretty quickly that he's a natural. He has drive, dedication and a near-obsessive attention to process that's essential to delivering positive UX.There's no doubt in my mind that Leon would be a valuable asset to any organization, and top of that, he's incredibly sharp-witted and thoughtful. You're going to enjoy this one, folks.Learn more about Leon:Portfolio/Website: leonstrydom.comTwitter: @MrNiceLeonLinkedIn: leon-strydomIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that Even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity. Find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
My guest Daniel Bosnjak is a multidisciplinary designer from Croatia, focusing on UX Design, Brand Strategy and crafting usable, beautiful digital products. Over the last 15 years he’s applied his design and UX talents to successful websites, web applications and mobile apps of all kinds.After working in the high-stress environment of Commercial Aviation, Daniel recently struck out on his own as an independent UX Designer, serving clients all over the world.And as I think you’ll hear, his passionate belief in the value of UX — and in doing things the right way — should carry him through a long, successful career. Our conversation ranged from his experiences with high-risk UX in the world of aviation, to dealing with disappointment, his graffiti-filled past and his big leap to UX entrepreneur.Portfolio/Websites: Behance, DribbbleLinkedIn: danijelbosnjakTwitter: @aerozgIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that Even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity. Find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
Russ Troester is still very new to UX, but he's definitely in the right place because, in his own words, he has a passion for “helping to make things suck less.” While he especially enjoys the research-related portions of the UX design process, Russ has had a very wide-ranging career across multiple industries. But the one constant, and the thing that I really believe led him to UX is his very real, and very honest empathy and concern for his fellow human beings.Like a lot of folks right now, Russ is currently looking for his next UX gig, and a great deal of our conversation revolved around the struggles and challenges inherent in that search. So if you're struggling as well in these uncertain times, I truly hope you'll find inspiration and encouragement in this episode. Twitter:@RussTroesterLinkedIn:russtroesterWebsites:The World Over There PodcastIf you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. The Stache mantra is  that even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity; find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
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