Are you hungry? Here are five foods for thought from 2021’s top UX Design podcasts. | by Nitya kumar | Nov, 2021

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If you’re looking to think about UX design while making your sunday breakfast, here are five foods for thought from 2021’s top UX Design podcasts.

Nitya kumar
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

1. Episode: Touching Screens, UX Podcast by James Royal-Lawson and Per Axbom.

Toast- Do you see your phone as a public toilet? Can UX Design increase hygiene for our touch screen devices?

This podcast, specifically this episode, talks about public and shared touch screens in the midst of a pandemic. They touch upon the relationship between hygiene and our touch screen interfaces. Per Axbom and James Lawson give examples of reducing the number of touches in apps and adding reminders for sanitizing your phone. They see,the screen of your interface as a toilet now, where you can press a flush button and it will clean the interface off.”

2. Episode: Emotional Design With Avi Mazor Kario, UI Breakfast.

Eggs- Are you your user’s advocate?

Emotional design is not just buzz and whistles. Real behavior change is fueled by emotion. This podcast addresses how designers leverage this universal truth to enhance their products and impact user journeys. Avi Kario says, “It’s not like, “I’ll do these wireframes, and then think about how users are feeling.” Kario says when you understand users fully, you’re the user’s advocate, and you can make a better design. See crisis as an opportunity. Kario shares her personal experience and advises designers to not be afraid. To not be afraid of questioning design for their users, and of bringing change to big companies for the benefit of the user.

3. Episode: You belong here with Jessica Gaddis, User defenders.

Pancakes- How do you spell love?

In this podcast, Jessica Gaddis motivates us to realize that we belong here. “Not only in the field of design, but in this often painful and perplexing world we call home. Why? Because somewhere, sometime, somehow…someone needs us.” She inspires us to find our community because they’re already out there, searching for us and waiting for us to connect with them and even lead them.

She shares her experience in giving back her community and building a community of her own. She does this through mentoring and says that opening up her calendar as a mentor has been one of the most rewarding and impactful design decisions she’s ever made. She says that mentoring is not “one size fits all.” It’s how you spell love. You spell love as — T.I.M.E. That is, giving your time to learning through mentoring others.

4. Why can’t dad unmute himself on zoom? Wireframe, Adobe.

Orange Juice- Are you your parent’s tech support person? If so, how might we design better for the elderly?

Ever felt like you’re stuck as your family’s tech support person? This podcast explores how to better design for the elderly. Why are ‘your parents’ tech problems so easy for you to understand but so hard for them to understand?’ We’ve all had experiences such as your parents discovering how to use emojis and then only receiving texts from them with emojis and no words. Or them realizing that they can take pictures with their iPad. This podcast teaches us to ask ourselves whether these are ‘old person problems’ or ‘design problems?’ Are we excluding the elderly as we design our user journeys?

5. Episode: You’ve Got Enron Mail, 99% invisible.

Jam- How are we acknowledging biases in design today?

Lets go back in time. It’s the 2000s. You’ve been hacked. All of your emails have been released into the world. Why is this revolutionary for acknowledging biases in design today?

Enron is an energy company whose employees release all company emails. This podcast explores how even though “Enron collapsed because of greed, corruption and fraud.” These emails were the first big database released and were used to create Siri. The host, Roman Mars wonders if “the biases of the people writing the emails could become the biases of the AI system that is trained on them.” For example: Some of the biases mentioned in this conversation were that all members who released the emails were from Houston. All members were senior executives that might not have had the most diverse culture and gender representation.

The podcast then goes into an art project called “The Good Life.” This project was created to acknowledge such design bias. Once subscribed, The Good Life would send all of the old Enron emails to your inbox now. Does this make you feel invasive or would you subscribe to the good life? More than 100 people subscribed to have their email cluttered with Enron.

Hope you have cooked yourself a delicious Sunday breakfast! This was too much pondering for me. Going to grab a cappuccino now. See ya!



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