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UX Cake

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UX Cake

Leigh Allen-Arredondo

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UX Cake is helping you become more effective in your UX work and career. Join host Leigh Allen-Arredondo as she speaks with leaders in the field from around the globe, bringing you practical advice to get the best outcomes for your work, your users, and your career in UX. Our guests include well-known leaders like Don Norman and Indi Young, as well as many less globally-known voices with fantastic insights to share, like disability designer & activist Liz Jackson, agile coach & UX champion S ...
 
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Level up with UX Strategy In this episode of UX Cake Podcast, we discuss how you can create a UX strategy for better outcomes for your users, and the products or services you help create. There are many different perceptions about what UX Strategy actually is. My guest Jaime Levy - who wrote the book "UX Strategy" - defines as the intersection betw…
 
Scaling user research, means doing more, doing more research, and doing more with user research, through democratization, or enablement. Democratization in UX, is a topic of controversy, yet this episode is a conversation and not My an argument debate. I think partially because the term democratization and the concept of democratization really has …
 
In this episode of the UX Cake podcast, we’re bringing you lots of great information about UX writing as a specialty within UX. In this special Ask Me Anything format we cover some of the most useful soft skills for a career in UX writing, hard skills that are transferable from other industries, ideas on how to upskill your UX writing, finding a me…
 
This episode is all about creating meaning from data, and making it easy for your audience to understand by making it visual. We can apply the same principles we use to design dashboards to presentations - whether you’re communicating design concepts (and the data-driven decisions behind your design) or user research findings. I had such a great ti…
 
Increasing our influence also increases the impact our work can have. This is especially important in user experience design and research… when not everyone we work with may have the same user obsession as we do, so it sometimes takes extra effort to see the impact we want. Often the UX folks are not the ultimate authority in the room, or on a proj…
 
No doubt you're practicing challenging assumptions in your user-centered work already -- identifying what you think you know (or assume) about users' beliefs and actions, and finding out if those assumptions are true, or what else is true. What if you take that same approach towards the people you work with, and in your own career? The result can b…
 
Have you found interest in User Research, but are unsure if a career change is possible? Today I'm talking to Eniola Abioye, a Sr. User Researcher at Meta, specifically about transitioning into user-focused or design research from research-related backgrounds in other disciplines. Eniola herself came from biotechnology before moving into the design…
 
This week we're talking about UX Strategy, and UX Strategy Sprints. The term UX Strategy gets defined in different ways by experts across our discipline. I like to define UX Strategy at it’s simplest, highest level as identifying business objectives and user needs to create a vision that aligns those two things. And while that might sound simple, g…
 
If we want to make products and services that people want and use, we have to talk to those people. Whether you’re involved in product strategy, UX, development, marketing, any part of building products or a business or a service – you’ve got to understand what your audience or user’s goals, what will really serve their needs, what motivates them. …
 
Ep. 43: In the third of 3 episodes in our special mini-series called Learning UX, guest host Leo Zhang talks with Sara Hubbard and Caryn Wylie, the organizers of the meetup group Seattle Women of Design and UX, about growing your network and experience by getting involved in the UX community around you. From Leo: In our third and final Learn UX epi…
 
Ep. 42: Maybe there are times you’ve found yourself hesitating to speak up, to put your voice out there… this happens a lot, it’s not just a UX issue but is a common complaint in UX, and in tech in general. And it happens at every level, I’ve been in leadership roles for 20 years and I still experience this at times. My guest is LaDonna Willems, wh…
 
Ep. 41: This episode is the second in our special mini-series called Learning UX, hosted by Leo Zhang. In this mini-series, Leo talks in-person with local UX leaders about their careers and topics they’re passionate about. This episode Leo is talking with Kimberly Wiessner, about her career spanning design, creative direction and product strategy, …
 
Ep 40: Since I started asking users questions as part of my design process over 20 years ago, I’ve often asked myself, how could I ask better questions. Am I asking the right questions? What bias am I bringing into the interaction? As we progress in our research practice and go beyond the 101 lessons like avoiding leading questions, asking question…
 
We're introducing a new series, called Learn UX, hosted by Leo Zhang. Leo started a meetup here in Seattle called Learn UX, aimed at UXers in earlier to mid-career, that hosts great speakers like Torry Podmajersky, who we had on our show talking about strategic UX writing back in episode 33. Leo is adapting his content to a podcast format for UX Ca…
 
Ep. 38: This week I got to talk with Jaime Levy, a UX pioneer, and Author of the book ‘UX Strategy’, about 'moving beyond’ being a designer or researcher in UX, and ‘leveling up’ in your career by moving into UX strategy or digital transformation. We talk about the difference between UX Strategy as a process or workflow vs. UX strategy as a role, a…
 
Ep #34: Today’s episode is a conversation with Melanie Polkosky who is a UX Psychologist with a PhD in cognitive psychology and a long history in tech. After Melanie left a 13-year career at IBM, she wrote a book called Uncovering Truffles, a book about the scarcity and value of Women in Stem. And something she wrote about in her book stood out to …
 
Ep. #14 (re-run) 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 director 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…
 
Ep #33: This week I’m talking with Torrey Podmajersky about her new book, Strategic Writing for UX - how to drive engagement, conversion, and retention with every word. Torrey is not only an expert at UX Writing, she’s an expert at getting the right words into the experience — which is half the challenge sometimes, even if you’ve determined what th…
 
Ep #32: Welcome back to UX Cake! We took a short break and now we're back on our regular publishing schedule. In this episode I talked with Tamara Adlin, a UX strategy expert, speaker, and author, who was a guest in season 1, episode 10, talking about creating alignment personas. This time we're talking about a really important topic that plagues m…
 
This week's episode was a live recording at the ConveyUX conference in early March with a panel of UX pros talking about Influencing without authority, which is such an important topic and clearly very relevant based on the turn-out - it was standing room only. This episode is almost twice as long as our normal episodes — but you won’t want to miss…
 
This week we’re talking about incorporating UX into an Agile product development process. It’s been a common complaint for the past couple of decades most agile processes don’t allow time for ux research and design. Teams that want the best human-centered design outcomes have to be intentional about that and it means adjusting their agile processes…
 
Are you committed to doing user research in order to design and build products and services that work well, solve real needs, and create engaging experiences? Chances are pretty good that if you produce user research in your work, at some point you will feel like your research is just not making the impact it should be. Or you may have trouble maki…
 
In this episode we talk with the renown brand strategist Marty Neuemeier about a strategy framework he calls Agile Strategy. Marty’s written many strategy books - design strategy, brand strategy, business strategy - and his most recent book Scramble has a very unique approach to the business book genre. It’s set as a novel - Marty calls it a ‘busin…
 
Ep #27: I’m really excited to share with you my conversation with John Maeda — about Reinvention. This episode covers a lot of ground John talked about why we should focus on recover fast vs. fail fast, why inclusive design is so important, and why we should be using Anpanman to train our AI platforms. John is well known for so many things, across …
 
Ep #26: This week we are talking about designing the impossible, with Dr. Nelly Ben Hyoun, founder and experience designer of Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios in London. They create large scale, extreme experiences like being an astronaut, or erupting volcanos, or recreating natural disasters, for organizations as diverse as Nasa, the European Space Agency…
 
Ep. #25: This week we’re talking about designing withdisability, rather than fordisability, with my guest Liz Jackson. Liz is a disability advocate who is trying to shift the disability narrative. We talked about how the way we currently approach disability in design can actually cause more problems that solutions for people with disabilities, and …
 
Ep. #24: Welcome to season 2! We are kicking the season off with a fascinating conversation about changing the world with design, with Don Norman. Don Norman has been a well-known name in the design field for over 30 years, and is currently Director of Design Lab at UC San Diego, where he spoke to us from, in between trips around the world spreadin…
 
This week on UX Cake I had a chance to catch up with David and Mary Sherwin about their new book, Turning People Into Teams. I love this topic — how do we go from being just a bunch individual people with different motivations, attitudes, working styles, communication styles, into a team where the whole is better than the sum parts? It’s about rede…
 
Even if we consider ourselves advocates for diversity and inclusion when it comes to considering gender, race, age, LGBTQ or ableness, how do we stretch ourselves even further? How can we create a truly diverse team in thought, background, and culture, and how do we make sure we are creating products that are inclusive to all? How do we break the m…
 
Ep. #19: Much 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-f…
 
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…
 
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 Artefact Group design agency, about their Tarot Cards of Tech. It's a card deck of prompts for team discussions, a fun pro…
 
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 ch…
 
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 understanding…
 
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 director at cxpartners in London and Bristol, UK. Fiz developed an approach to selling based on what’s called a ‘consultativ…
 
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 a…
 
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 o…
 
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 f…
 
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 cr…
 
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 PO…
 
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 m…
 
Ep #7: 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. …
 
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 exper…
 
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