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The Design Better podcast delivers insights from the world’s most renowned creative leaders, empowering teams to transform their practice and build remarkable products. This series is hosted by Aarron Walter and Eli Woolery and brought to you by InVision, the digital product design platform used to make the world’s best customer experiences. Discover more best practices, research, and resources at www.designbetter.com.
 
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If you lead a team of over 700 people, what skills would you need to bring to the table to help them collaborate effectively? In today’s episode, we chat with Katrina Alcorn, General Manager of Design at IBM, about how she develops partnerships across her organization to resolve conflicts and get aligned. We also talk to Katrina about the challenge…
 
You’re sitting at your desk, trying to do some deep work—finishing up a presentation, writing some code, sketching out a new interface—and you hear a noise. It’s the familiar knock of Slack, or the chime of your e-mail inbox. All of a sudden, you’re taken away from a state of flow and into an attempt to multi-task, which is the enemy of getting thi…
 
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last year, Detria Williamson, former Chief Marketing Officer of IDEO, said that “diversity can be engineered and inclusion cannot.” In this episode, we dive deeper into that statement, and also ask Detria what roadblocks she encountered over the course of her career—from working as a head of marketing in…
 
Guy Kawasaki has certainly had a remarkable career. From gaining popularity as the Chief Evangelist at Apple for the Macintosh computer in the 1980’s, to authoring fifteen books, to hosting the Remarkable People podcast, Guy has made a habit of trying new things During our conversation with Guy, we talk about why it’s important to be able to make a…
 
The Ministry of Silly Walks. The Cheese Shop. French Taunting. If you haven’t seen any of these Monty Python sketches before, do us a favor and go watch one or two of them. You’ll discover—or re-discover—why our guest for this episode is a creative comic legend. John Cleese starred in and co-wrote the award-winning series Fawlty Towers, was nominat…
 
In his book The Laws of Simplicity, John Maeda says that “simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.” Our final guest this season, Eileen Fisher, is a master at making the simple, meaningful. Eileen is the founder of her eponymous and iconic fashion brand Eileen Fisher, Inc., which is known for its ethical & sustainable…
 
If you’re a fan of architecture and design, you’re probably familiar with the mid-century modern movement. It brought a simple, clean aesthetic inspired by the Bauhaus and International movements to the US. Heath Ceramics, founded by Edith Heath in 1948 and influenced by mid-century modern principles, is still making beautiful hand-crafted tablewar…
 
Vicki Tan has worked at companies that change the way we travel, think about our mental health, and access music from around the globe. To each of these roles she has brought her background in psychology, to better understand the needs of the people using these products. We chat with Vicki about some of the things she has learned over the course of…
 
The way that we work has been disrupted by the global pandemic, and for those of us who are fortunate enough to have kept our jobs, it’s also caused many of us to question why we do what we do, and wonder if there are ways we could have a more positive influence on the world. We thought it would be great to speak with Judy Wert, co-founder of the e…
 
Benjamin Evans, Inclusive Design Lead for Airbnb, is part of a new kind of problem solvers tackling issues like racism, sexism, and bias in digital product design. In this episode of the Design Better Podcast, Eli and Aarron chat with Benjamin about using techniques like design thinking, research, and storytelling to ensure a more inclusive experie…
 
Do you have a colleague who just doesn’t get what design is all about? Or maybe you’ve tried explaining it to your parents, but they just respond by asking you to fix their printer. If that’s the case, then Scott Berkun has written a book for you, to give to them. It’s called How Design Makes the World, and it’s a great beginner’s guide to how desi…
 
The most innovative electric car announced in 2021 was not a Tesla, but a Ford. The new Ford F-150 Lightning, a fully electric version of the best-selling vehicle in America for the past 30 years, is the culmination of thorough user research and fresh thinking on a familiar product. We were curious to learn how design and innovation are playing a r…
 
Over 50 years after humans first landed on the moon, it’s still extremely difficult—and expensive—to get anything into orbit. But imagine if there were a more affordable way to give scientists and entrepreneurs access to space. We could develop more efficient agriculture to feed people more affordably and sustainably, or more closely monitor the ev…
 
Listen as Julie Zhuo, VP of Product Design at Facebook and author of The Making of a Manager, recalls some of her earliest professional experiences at one of the fastest growing companies on the planet. She reveals how she got her start and grew to be a highly influential design leader renowned for building top-notch teams. Julie talks about the di…
 
In its 144-year history, the Rhode Island School of Design—also known as RISD—has graduated numerous notable designers and creatives, from graphic designers Shepard Fairey and Tobias Frere-Jones, to painter Kara Walker, to cartoonist Roz Chast, to Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia. Rosanne Somerson became president of RISD in 2015 afte…
 
If you’re lucky enough to look up into a clear night sky and see the thousands of stars visible to the naked eye, it’s hard not to wonder, “are there other planets like ours out there?” Our guest for this episode, Professor Sara Seager, is on a mission to discover potentially habitable planets outside our solar system. Sara is an astrophysicist and…
 
To Sell is Human. That’s the title of one of Dan Pink’s books, and also the foundational concept for his recent Masterclass on persuasion. Dan is also the bestselling author of books like When, Drive, and A Whole New Mind, and we sat down with him to discuss how we’re all tasked with selling something in our day-to-day roles, and why collaboration …
 
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been watching more than your fair share of Netflix this past year. And with such great original content, from The Queen’s Gambit to more obscure shows like Midnight Diner, we were curious what it takes from a product design perspective to create and deliver these shows to a massive audience, in a way that’s access…
 
Of the designed objects we interact with on a daily basis, our homes are probably the most influential on the way we live our lives. In Apple’s new series Home, the creators investigate the ways that some of the world’s most imaginative dwellings help their occupants reframe the way they live and work. In this episode, we chat with Matt Weaver and …
 
As we head into a new year—and leave behind a year that was challenging for just about everyone on the planet, with the hope that this year will be better for all—we wanted to share an interview with one of the most optimistic, creative, and insightful people we know: designer, entrepreneur, and educator Jason Mayden. When we first interviewed Jaso…
 
It all started with a box of cereal. Well, that’s not exactly the beginning, but when Brian Chesky and his roommates had maxed out their credit cards while starting up what would become Airbnb, they had a crazy idea to continue funding the company by designing and selling limited-edition cereal boxes during the 2008 presidential election, and call …
 
As designers and design leaders, most of us understand the ethical importance of making our products accessible and inclusive for all the people who use them. But we don’t always understand the best way to go about doing this, or the business case for making it a priority. That’s why we were excited to speak with Annie Jean Baptiste, Head of Produc…
 
In the wake of a worldwide pandemic and economic catastrophe, many of our friends and colleagues in the world of digital product design are fortunate to have kept their jobs, but there have also been many who were not so lucky. We thought it would be timely to bring in an expert who has been using a designer’s mindset to help people reframe their a…
 
We’re not ashamed to admit that, when we booked Debbie Millman for our show, we were a little intimidated. Not by Debbie herself, who always comes across as kind, smart, and thoughtful in the interviews she does for her own show, Design Matters. But just knowing that we were interviewing a pioneer in the podcasting space, someone who has been inter…
 
Over the arc of his career, John Maeda has been many things: a professor at MIT, president at the Rhode Island School of Design, a Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins, head of Computational Design and Inclusion at Automattic, and now Chief Experience Officer at Publicis Sapient. In our interview with John, we learn how curiosity and humility have dri…
 
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