Design Better Podcast

Design Better Podcast

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.

Episodes

June 21, 2022 27 min

If you’re looking for an inspiring human being, it would be hard to beat Dr. Sian Proctor. Dr. Proctor is a geoscientist, and also an artist and poet who uses her afro-futurist space art to encourage conversations about women of color in the space industry.

For 21 years, she taught geology, sustainability, and planetary science. She also happens to be an astronaut(!), and was the mission pilot for the Inspiration4 all-civilian orbi...

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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 challenges that large teams face in remote and hybrid environments, how her training in journa...

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May 24, 2022 37 min

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 things done.

By some estimates, distractions cost the US economy more than $650 billion ...

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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 Dubai, to her most recent role at IDEO. We also ask her about what it means when des...

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April 26, 2022 40 min
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 sale, no matter what your role is. We discuss the start of his career at Apple, and...
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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 nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay of A Fish Called Wanda, and even has a sp...

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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 practices, and elegant yet simple clothing. She started the company in 1984, and...

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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 tableware and architectural tile in Sausalito, California. 

We wanted to chat with Heath’s cu...

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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 her career, from Lyft to Headspace to Spotify, the ways that the pandemic has change...

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September 14, 2021 40 min

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 executive search agency Wert & Co, who has guided many leaders through navigating ...

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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 experience for all your users.

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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 design shapes just about everything we interact with in modern society, for better or for...

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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 role in Ford’s transformation, so we’re excited to bring Sandy Fershee, lab director a...

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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 evolution of dangerous storm patterns to save lives.

The company Astra is on a mission ...

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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 difference between leading and managing, and shares personal examples that can help yo...

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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 after a distinguished teaching career there (and after John Maeda’s departure). We speak ...

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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 planetary scientist at MIT, and to discover these exoplanets, she relies not only o...

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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 is the key to being persuasive.

We chat with Dan about creating meaningful connection...

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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 accessible not only to audiences here in the US, but all around the world.

So we sat down t...

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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 Doug Pray, who are both executive producers for the show. Matt also produced several ...

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