The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 141 · 1 year ago

141. Understanding the Intersection of CX, UX, and UI w/ Joey Kilrain


Not all elevators are created equal. Some have the emergency button placed too high for a child or a person using a wheelchair to reach. The design is not centered on what a human needs.

Same applies to visual design.

In this episode, I interview Joey Kilrain, Founder/CCO Experience Design at DED, about the intersection between the importance of visual design on CX, UX, and UI.

Joey and I talked about:

- The complicated Venn diagram of CX, UX, and UI

- How Human-Centered Design serves customers

- Tips for having a constructive conversation about design

- Brand guidelines vs. design systems

- What Joey has learned from teaching design

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See actually be the bigger circle. While UI and U x sort of go side by side right you could have a great experience with a terrible Ui. You could have a great Ui but it's terrible U x. You know, and you want to obviously try to get the two to be, you know, Yun and yet the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Strategy, technology and design. How do we bring these together to unify the customer experience across sites, across apps and across all the touch points? That's the expertise of today's guest. He's the founder of ded digital experience design, a team that works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune one hundred companies. They've held brands like the weather channel, Serridian, fiser and ghostory. He's also an adjunct professor of UX and visual design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and definitely asking him about that. He is Joey Kill Rain. Joey. Welcome to the customer experience podcast, if the thank you so much for having me. Yeah, I'm excited for this conversation. Before we get into it, for folks who are listening to this, which is the main function of the podcast, is to release the audio, we also do video clips. You can see them when you go visit the post to bombbcom slash podcast. I also put some of them on Linkedin, and so for folks who may want to check this out, I would love to dry briefly your background and then have you tell me about it. You know, off to your right I see a set of tools on the wall. Off to your left, I see a collection of license plates, I see a Barber Pole, I see what I assume his original artwork, or maybe artwork from a close friend. What kind of space here you in and what does that set like? So one of the things I love about video and being partly pandemic but also like through the video messaging that we do it bombomb and stuff, that you can get to know people simply by what's around them. Tell me a little bit about yourself based down on where you are right now. Yeah, so this whole room became public, obviously with Covid, and I should have prefaced this with I love telling jokes and stuff like that. So the way this actually happened was, of course, covid hit and we're like yeah, no one's going to be going to the office anytime soon. And the wife, you know, I love her to death, but she got the better space. She got like what your room looks like, like very organized and everything's like it looks like a professional spot. And for me it was all right. I have two kids and on your own at a five year old, both are custody and fire mode and they love conference bothers. So either a, I'm going to be doing all my calls in the bathroom because that's where we have the doors, or it's in my little cave here. So this room came about many moves ago. MOVED OUT TO JERSEY. We have this little space down here and it's actually kind of big, believe it not, the like there's a whole the spot over here. But yeah, I was like okay, this is the rule where I'm going to, you know, do stuff. So one of my counterbalances in life is I've been building classic cars for agents. I love building these things and throughout my tenure I've been able to acquire, you know, like license plates, so from different cars. So I pick up a car shows other ones I pick up at like yard sales or or even at like like I buy a car and you fishing out of the barn and you find stuff. So what you see in the wall behind me is a series of different license plates that I either owned myself, where they were from places that I picked up, and I thought it made for a cool background, but I never thought it was Google public. Yeah, I just thought this is for me. Now the Barber Pole, though. What's great about that is covid obviously turned a lot of things around and one of the places here in Jersey I was getting my hair cut reminded me a lot where I'm from, some version of from sophonily, and you go to a barber shop and everybody's got the gossip, and these guys were no different. Bottomafiyo, so talk a lot of yeah, yea type thing, but they were also in their midst to late s and M covid hit in the beginning a lot of...

...everybody was like totally scared, especially the elderly. So they close down their barber shop. But the barber shop had been there since like one thousand nineteen forty two and they were the second orders. That Barber Pole has been sitting outside their shop since like one nineteen fifty two, or nineteen forty two or fifty two, something like that. So I saw and I never built a barber pole right and it was the only thing that was wrong with it was that the motor didn't work and that color ringing. It was all messed up for being outside for thirty forty I think. Yeah, exactly. So I see. Yeah, you know, harder bucks, hundrefifty bucks, took it and I did a youtube video of me taking it apart and reassembling it, and now it's like, and I thought, Oh that'd be awesome, the putting room, so I put that up there as well, but then when the when the camera went on, it was like, you know, this room has become something totally different now. So a piece of advice that I would give to the listeners is that yet to what you said earlier, having your background set to what you do helps have a conversation. You have normally how many conversations, how with people. It starts off with the background and then we get into like, like on building a school bus of my drive evit old sixty six suburban I'm building and it's been great. But when I talk about people like all, my dad had one, and you make that emotional connection right away, right or they'll tell you I'm building a boat or them doing this from doing that, and there's a connection right away there, and I think that's something where, instead of just talking business all the time, you really want to get to kind of know them a little bit first. What do you get you to tick? And, of course, with me and all the building lends itself to what I do as a designer where, yeah, I'm more on the business side of design, where, whatever your ideas, I'm here to bring that into reality, and that reality is going to require a lot of research in to like what product or software we're going to try to use. We're going to talk about the team, how the team's got to do this and, more importantly, managing the expectation of what you have, because what you may want may not be doable for budget or for the amount of time we have to get it done. You know, love that that that response a was interesting, it was personal and I feel like so many of the themes that you're at there, especially over the last minute or so, really tea up where we're going to go today. I'm glad we started there. So now we'll go where we always start the rest of the conversation, which is customer experience. When I say that to you, Joey, what does it mean? You know, funny that for me is such an easy thing. So customer experience is an experience at keys to customer coming back, that's a good customer experience. I look for a great customer experience, which is not only are they coming back, but they're bringing their friends and family. The average are going just for a good experience. The great art going for yet in fight your friends and bring your people to come back and use our product. So that's where I focus a lot of my attentions on when doing that. Now, how do you achieve that, though, as another question, because everybody has like all this analytics and feedback and your personal opinion and all that stuff, and my first thing is to stop all that thinking and to remove all the emotion from that argument. And, for example, let's say, Ethan, you're the boss Joey says, as designer Ethan says, Joey, that I were all this stuff level Lah, and because you're the boss, I have to listen. You're the paying customer. I've listened, even though you're paying me from my expertise. I have to listen, like, because you're the boss. My goal is to remove that a motion from the conversation and say, well, Ethan, let's say, for example, you want to make the logo bigger. People say that often, I need a bigger logo. I can't say it. I say, yeah, you could make a bigger but that logo is going to come out of the framework dimensions that we have and now we can change it, but it's going to add, let's say, a week to change you on the framework. Could you cool with that? So that's a reality, that's a hard fact that just go do it and and you know, be done with it. No, it's like here's a fact. There's a reason why I bring it up, because sometimes we're scared to talk to the people that are paying us. And No, like you hired me for this, like, my reputation has been to work with quality, not quantity.

I'm not here to bang out a bunch of small things. I'm here to look at the big picture. We're going to we're going to figure this out, but I'm also not here just to yes, yes, yes, and go. You know, that's it, and thankfully that has not been most of my career. It's the journey. My career has been with people who are they may have a very strong vision, but they'll listen to reality if you bring them that right and so from there my next step is like, what are some of the keywords I would take away from that? Big Keyword for a customer satisfaction. Another keyword promise, feeling, genuine, helping, an empathy. Right, that's pretty much what we all want. But you'll notice I don't say like fast, cheaper, good, that's free, average. Yeah, and that could touch on like it working with offshore teams versus on short teams. People may say, well, all, first, cheaper they get. Yeah, they're right, but that doesn't mean you're not going to explain to two, him, five, ten times to get it done. So you have this frustrating factor of going off short, which it's at the dismiss off shore. I think there's a lot of great options there, but you got to know your team and having worked with guys in Belarus, having worked with guys in India. Yeah, like, I know, like culturally, there are some hurdles that you go through and it's really worth ten dollars per person, right. I'd rather hire one person have them get it done in a fraction of the time and pain that then have to deal with one group that I got to pay maybe for a longer period of time but a smaller rate, because then it's just like the whole frustrating part. So yeah, that's how I've looked at customer experience. Again, great customer experiences when they bring in their friends, you gather. That's a really simple bottom line. I think it's fair too. For those of us that aren't into the nuance of these terms. Can you just break this down for us? X, customer experience, which a regular listener to the show is familiar with and we discuss obviously all the time. But cx versus UX, user experience, versus maybe Ui, which is user interface. Like where are these things overlap? Where do they diverge? Are these you know? How do you think about those three ideas? C X, uxui. So you need like a Venn diagram for that kind of thing. But so CX is everything from start to finished, and a really good example of that would be Amazon. Right Amazon, you can order through your phone, packets gets delivered, you open package, it's all good. Or if there's a problem, you contact customer support, they take it back, they make it happy. That entire circle is customer experience. You're dealing with branding, you're dealing with the emotional experience of how they're navigating the product, but also they're satisfaction. Very basically, looking at it, Zapp always did, any one of those big companies that are really pushing that stuff. They're focused on CX because that's important. Now the user experience is a little different because the experience of you ordering on your phone versus ordering on your computer, or two different things and ordering on your phone and me by just using the mobile APP, not cold Yep, just using the mobile a. So that is a different experience where they're ordering it there. However, the user experience for opening the package is another thing. Like one of the things Amazon did, which I thought was amazing and I brought it to my class, was that they had corporate boxes when you can cut out animals only if you were shipping goods that had kids stuff in it, so you could use the box as like a toy and at for anybody's got kids, I'm kind of mad that I spent so much money on toys for my kids because a big box with two kids and that they love it and they'll spend hours running out of the box. For some like I just spent like fifty sixty bucks on all this lingos stuff. You'ren't even looking at it. You're playing like castle and cops of robbers and the and the box. But to see that on there, I thought you'll that's amazing right. But yet again, that's another part of the user experience. Now the last part is Ui, which, ironically, Ui has two definitions. It's user interface, but it's also user interaction, and people usually forget the interaction part. But the user interface is what you see. The user interaction is what happens when I click. It doesn't move around the page, does it...

...fade in, doesn't do any of that kind of stuff. And they all have their pros and cons, but that's pretty much breaking get down. So sex would be the bigger circle, while Ui and U x sort of go side by side. Right. You can have a great experience but a terrible Ui. You can have a great Ui but it's terrible UX, you know, and you were obviously try to get the two to be, you know, Yun and Yak. Yeah, really good. Well down, that was helpful for me, and I'm sure it was for further folks to before we go much further for context, tell us a little bit about ded digital experience design, like who's your ideal client and what problems are you solving for those folks? Sure, so funny. The Way Dead Company came about was totally like just by I don't know, the name came by by, not mistake, but we're just a punch you guys in a room and we were trying to figure a way on how to say we do digital experiences. I like, there is a it's a mouthful, right, you can't say that more than twice without, you know, having a drinking glass order. But when someone in the room said dead I thought, Oh, it's amazing, and then we and I immediately found a dead company. The Europe was available and I just bought it, you know, right out the gate. But what we do is exactly that. So we do a lot of work with startups and Fort One hundred companies that are in big data and companies like Infantech and attack. We do a lot of work with them and their work ranges from the look and feel of the product to the design system. Now, while we do work with those those groups, another group that's come into the picture which really wasn't on our radar until probably Covid, is the education sector, where there's a lot of universities, as you probably are where they got pumbled by Covid because a lot of state universities get funding from the government depending on how many students are in the school, and you don't have students in the school, you ain't get that kind of funding, not to mention that a lot of the universities were not tech ready, and it just baffles me that these guys didn't know video conferencing. Like why? Like groups like General Assembly or skill share or some of these other groups which I actually have the chance to work with when they first started many moons ago, why? Those guys took off, because they were already embracing this online role of doing stuff. Now, granted, it's not for everybody, but with covid hit it became everybody and those guys are ready, where universities are like no, you have to be in school. It was a very buts and seats sort of mentality and then they got collavered and now they're struggling to get out of it. But what I've seen with the education groups is at universities are doing spinoffs of innovation labs where they're not accredited because they can't find those with Masters degrees to teach us, to teach visual as quickly, which, personally I have my reservations about. A full time professor who's never worked in the field versus an adjunct who has, and the back and forth, and I again like a tenured professors their book smart, I'm street smart. You need both, but at the end of the day it's going to the street. You know you're if you're really trying to get this thing to go, you're going to you're gonna have to get in the dirt with the guys and try to build this thing right. So work is yeah, right, right, and a piece of paper. It only goes but so far. You know, like how many guys at our siege of the game right about having a master's you've been at a fifteen twenty years a you got a master's, but what have you done recently? Someone out of school, I could see that being beneficial, but someone who's been at it for a long time, yeah, probably not so much. But with that said, a lot of these universities are spinning off these innovation labs, which I've been grateful to be working with them, and we're building up these courses that are strictly focused on this online first approach. You can come to college if you one, because eventually things will kind of go back to that, but it's online first and if you want to come to the school, that second. So the theme that I see when I look at the way you're presenting yourself on Linkedin and on the dead site like unify, is a theme there and I think it's really important. I think my assumption, and just kind of take this where every you want,... assumption is that some of the people you're engaging maybe are like layer on layer of experience. They were, you know, there may be thirty, fifty years old. So they added this and then later they added the website, later they added the mobile APP. Maybe they want to adapt some things, and so it's like this layered scenario. And I would guess that maybe if you're working with younger companies as much easier to create that kind of unity of look, feel experience Inca out of the gate, like is that? Is that tension real, and is that kind of the spectrum you're working across? Yeah, that's awesome question. I think that happens no matter bigger small, right, but I'll say this. The first thing we do with any company that we're going to work with is will do a herostic evaluation. And so what is that? And that's basically US going in, looking at your product and identifying what are word, are things that are just just not going to cut it right. I'm really easy. lowhanking fruit is eighty a compliance now at a complies is nothing new Americans Disability Act. That's been around for a long time. But unless you have someone immediately in your family that has some sort of disability, you don't care right like someone if you have someone that's a wheelchair. I have an uncles, several Paulsy so I'm absolutely aware of like some of the challenges that he faces. will try to open doors and do things and yeah, so I have a lot of empathy for that, but it wasn't until it's sort of becoming relevant with using software that people, I think like design miners, started to embrace it because at a compliance at times feels like it's taking the fun out of what you're doing. The problem is we now have so many people with so many different challenges that if you don't do that, you're alienating that group. And I'll give it example. Designers love using like a soft gray color for text at like nine point for what. Why are we straining, impressing our face to the straining style? Try, yeah, for one, for what you know? And I argue that, yeah, that's a fleeting fat, that's a fat that's going to pass and then that person, you you alienated that person, are going to go. And plus there's lawsuits out there and now there's people that the guy who couldn't order his pizza on dominoes. It waited to the Supreme Court any one, and I think it yeah, you don't want because you alienated the dude. That's not fair, but it should be. You should be thinking eighty eight first before you can start, so that by the time you get into your layout you know it's kosher and there's plenty of tools out there to help you. There's like there's a product called stark that I use like religiously or a lot of things that I do. Then there is, like there's another product called type scale where you can actually see how the fun is going to impact the different sizes. So all those things are just tools for the designers to use and to make your life better and doing this kind of work. Where you took that response really leads into a topic that I'm really interested in right now and and thinking a lot about, talk and a lot about. I've done some writing on it and when I get someone like you, I excited to talk about it, which is human centered design. You know, your approach is defined, and I'm just quoting, human centered research and common sense are the simple approach that you take. That things, which I love on its face. But you know, this idea of thinking first about who is going to be using this. I mean it seems so obvious and so intuitive that when we're designing any system or process or, in this case, like a user experience or even more broadly, a customer experience, that we should be thinking about first and foremost, thinking about knowing understanding the people that are going to be interacting with it by I personally feel like in my own experience that it's so often overlooked. I think that's probably a lot less so in the design community. But from your perspective and experience and expertise, give us like a basic walk through. You know, what does it need to do? Human Centered Research. What is human centered design to you? Okay, so if I start off, we should know what is ISO stands for, and is ISO is International Organization for Standardization. That's basically trying... get it to be in a process. You know what is that? So when I think of Human Center design, to me that's where I have a team solving a problem or problems by using design code and people's perspectives on something right. And you know, these steps include addressing all the core problem is that that particular customers going through. And I'll give you a awesome example, which is referencing back the wheelchair, but someone using a wheelchair to enter into an elevator. So if we think about that whole challenge, person comes in on the wheelchair, person needs to push a button. How much do they have to reach to get to the button? And I've actually done some research on it where not all of the elevator companies follow the same set of rules. One thing gets very scary is that they put the emergency button very high up. So I'm a six foot guy, I can easily hit that butt. Someone in a wheelchair may not be able to hit that butt. That's critical. So at a compliance you got to put that button down at the bottom to hit that. Or another example would be let's say there's a woman, a mother, and her child. Mother, something happens, is on the floor. The child. These definitely not be able to reach that butt, but they can push it if it's at their level. So it's stuff like that that is human center design or other examples when I see iconography and how people take liberties of iconography that everyone's going to get it, and I think, Dude, look at iconography as you would like. Hieroglyphics, right, if I see the search icon, that tells me it's one of two things. They either can zoom or I can search find something. If I see the House Chion, what does that tell means hole, right, or if I think of like a Chevron, those like little arrows that go in certain directions. Yeah, that tells me something that's going to either drop down or expand. That gives me the idea and that type of iconography is what is used throughout you know products. But I think sometimes people don't think about that person understanding with that. I coomings when it gets complicated. So, for example, there's a company which I won't need, but they have a thing called product management experience and they wanted an icon for it. I thought, Dude, what is that? And what they'll do is so create the icon, but then they'll have it where this oh the customer just hover over it and find out what it is. So well, well, what if that person is on a tablet? You can't hover on a tablet. So why are we going to already bake in a problem that doesn't work. So either A, we don't use the icon or be we have the icon with the text next to it. We can collapse the menu, but you should have the ability to expand the menu, not on hover, because harver doesn't work in every device, not to mention people at certain dexterity challenge just can't hover as well. So now you got two strikes again you. So that's human center design. is where you know you're getting the perspective of like the designer who's done some research or the developer that can say hey, the software can do this, or the fact that, like you know, the perspective of the customer is that they still need to do this. How do we get that food them and make that work? Go a little bit into the research process, like what like? Let's just say you get engaged by a larger client, maybe with a bigger budget, and you're trying to solve a problem that their customers or facing or that they're anticipating as they maybe launched something new, and so they engage you on that. What types of research are you doing? Like how, like is it? It's some combination, I assume, but is it surveys? Is it watching user behavior on a website? Is it, you know, what kinds of researcher you're doing and then, maybe, if relevant, layer in, like how do you blend quantitative research with qualitative research? You know, like some of the like observations and and self reporting versus survey data or user you know, product usage data type stuff, to say like well, no one's getting to this part of the APP. We think it's because it's hidden, you know, whatever, like product usage type stuff. How do you a lot of questions there.

But how do you approach research in general, like and in a way that you might recommend to to other people? Yeah, yeah, no, that's awesome. And you know, funny, whenever we start a design project, it's usually a ton of stuff that comes out us at once. It's like everything's burning, everything's on fire, like, Oh, I gotta and we are all about process and protocol. So rule number one is here is the evaluation. Totally doing that right out the gate. Why? Because I need some common sense for myself to look at. It's okay, here's where I think this thing ain't working right. Number One, and other members on the team will do it as well. Now, once we crossed that hurdle, the next two people I'm looking for, depending on the product. If it's a product that's that's been out there for a while, I will go to customer support and I will go to death, because customer support here's all the complaints all day long. So I'm going to you guys first, or I'm going to go to the developers, because it developers going to tell me where all the bodies are buried in the software, meaning what are the things that they started and didn't go anywhere, or it's like a it's a to total apocalypse and we just don't want to touch that stuff. Right. And that gives me enough to say, okay, this is where our problems are beginning. Now of course there's the CEO and it's not the BASHROOM, but or higher up, like somebody high up, and they're going to say, well, I have all these things at any so then will we come back with our research, our research, or point out here's the heroistic evaluation, here's where we know things are silly. Then we'll come back with our customer support. Told this this these the what the people are complaining about and this is what Dev is scared of. And how does that align with what you want? And then we start to put it into his scoop. So a scope would be what are we going to do right now to stop the bleeding, because there's no point giving you a new heart if you're, you know, gushing from all these different spots. We get to stop the gushing, then get into the heart right. So how do we get that part fixed? First, small winds and then get into the bigger winds, which is what are we looking to do? Like a three thousand and sixty ninety plan. What are we going to do right now? What are we going to assess by, you know, the second month, and then third month, here's the next implementation, and by the third month we're usually rocking and rolling. At that point we've got a really good grip one on the product, you have an idea of who we have to talk to you to get things to move. And then only that, but the client that we're working with knows how we're going to get it done, because their process might be absolutely chaotic, which is usually the case of everything is on fire, and I get you right, but we're going to put out one fire first and we're going to make sure that thing doesn't come back on fire and then we're going to move and get the other things done. And usually, yeah, we've been I've seen things come together and as less as like a month and a half, you know, just getting like getting people on the right foot, because people don't like to work in those chaotic environments. It's IT Burns you out. Like creatives, I feel bad for the visual designers that create three and four iterations of a layout. I do one, but I'll do a dozen wire frames and my wire frames are very clinical. So they're black and white. They may have a color like a bluish, like a blue color to indicate that something you can click on. But I don't get into fancy text. It's aerial. It's basic black and white boxes. I didn't put pictures in it. Why? I don't care. Look if feel, I'll get to look and feel. But the wire frame is where I'm going to figure out how this thing has to run at what needs to be on the page and stead of like creating a layout in the and the clients as all. I don't like the color purple that you have Right. I feel like you give them too much detail. They're focused on the wrong thing at that stand or the headline is wrong and I will a whole new layout. I got you nuxt look at and and another thing for the designers and I guess marketers right to understand. I would ask you to tell me how long does it take to create a layout like con visual layout, and I've been doing this for twenty years. I would say it takes me about eight hours to do one layout. It takes you eight seconds to say no, I don't look it. Another eight hours I got to do it again and again and again and again, versus here's a wire frame. Technically, these are all things we needed to do do. We like the structure of what we have and it's have to say the wire frame is to be a coloring book, right, because you know I'm going to switch it up. At least I know. This is what we need to have on the page, this is where...

...some of the call to actions are, this is how we're going to go about doing it. What do you think of that? And that's a that's sort of look, a baby step before you get into look and feel. And for me, by the time I get to look and feel, I've already done all the research. I know what they don't like, they do, like we talked about font colors, all that kind of stuff. They may have a branding guideline, which is great, and I'll sample all that stuff and just start to spin it up until look and feel. Go to the business case of this, the business side of this, like. What do people you know, whether it's the CEO or the senior person you mentioned or anyone else that engages you and maybe even you know, pays for the surfaces? What do people misunderstand or just playing not know about experience design like, and I guess I'll give you some options or directions here, potentially, like how do we link designed Roi or what are some other measures of success? You know you already kind of did a drive by on the tension between beauty and utility. I know there's a lot of behavioral science there that I think is probably undervalued or overlooked. You know what do people not know or understand about the nature of the work that you do? They could help bridge some divides between teams, departments perspectives to better serve customers. HMM. Well, I would say right out the gate, talking with management, because with design, design is always like this taboo thing where it's subjective and the designers can be quite touchy about you making comments about their work. I would tell the all the designers out there you definitely you need to have a bit of a thicker skin and the way that I've handled it, and maybe this is my philly showing, but when I hear someone say hey, that sucks, I think no, no, you suck, that's terrible. That's not the way we have a constructive conversation. If you could say I don't like it and here's why. Awesome. That's what I want to hear. I want that feedback right, and I have very little pride and practically no shame. So when it comes to doing this kind of stuff, when people are going to ask me or make their opinion about something, I want you to feel invite I want you to feel like you can come talk to me and tell me why you don't like it, because now, instead of it being like you're outside than that. No, you should be in with me. Why? I make my decisions collectively. It isn't just my opinion right, it's not just me. I need your feedback. I want you to feel a part of right, because that's how we collectively get this thing to go versus doll. You know, Joey said this. Not the only time joey gets involved is when things are going off course because we've either add it two months to scope or someone is asking for something ridiculous, when I'm like, is that important now, because we need it now. I've got like ten of the things that are now. Where does that fit in now? And if it doesn't fit in, okay, then it's got to me. But again it might be some of my personality, but yeah, like there's a no, I'm amaliable guy, just no nonsense type that. So that would be one like getting with management and inviting them into convert and management, not just being higher up, like even product managers in the lake. You know. Please join me in the conversation, please be a part of this because, yes, your opinion does matter with what we're doing. Next thing I get into is the desires, and the reason why I kind of harp on them a lot is because most designers are marginalized by their understanding of tech. So what does that mean? Most designers don't know what angular and react is and what that stuff does. Most designers will go and create this fancy animation for the dropdown and not realize that that comes baked in in material designed you I angular as you I so on it so far. So why am I going to go reinvent how that dropdown happens? My barometer for that is my mom Gould to notice that change in the dropdown. And is that flipping thing you're going to do? Is that a fad or is that something that is important? Because people who have vertigo that stuff gets in the way. So yeah, we're not going to do any of that kind of so and I'm not going to waste of time to go build a prototype to have a developer spend hours writing some javascript that's going to add one megabite to my downhood. Absolutely not happen. So that's where I get with the designers and I look to make them more nerdy. I didn't need you to code, but I need you to understand. All that stuff adds up down the line and we don't really need to worry about that. And probably the last thing I point out...

...on the our wife or design would be design systems. I know they're hot topics right now. I think they have to be used in accorded to what you're trying to build, but if you're dealing with an enterprise product, then absolutely unique one and you need somebody who knows the software. Whether it's sketch or Figma or xd like. Which one is best for my team, because they all have pros and cons. Of that I personally like figma. If I had a rate, that might say Figma, sketch and xt would be how we use it. But again it really depends on the customer and what they're like. Teams are working with the design systems are are super important because it helps to align all of the different challenges with the product, whether it's buttons or colors, and development can then just reference to the design system to pull out what they need and designers can just all have a consistent voice and what they're building versus, you know, Ethan decided to make his button ten pixels wide by thirty pixels tall and Joey did it as a as a radio, as a gradient rainbow inside of it, right, like you know, you need to consistent. So that's what again, its signs. It will be a massive return investment for when you're building any product. I'm completely ignorant of design system. By term I am is a design system essentially like a u x version of like a brand style book, for example. I'm thinking that's very good, with more living yeah, yeah, that's a great way to look at it, and I think sometimes people get confused with a brand guideline versus a design systems or brand guideline would be like, let's say Coca Cola, that color red. Wherever you go, that color red. That is Coca Cola, no doubt about it. The font size, all that good stuff, but that's the branding. When it comes to the design system, the buttons and all that. You're not going to have the the Coca Cola swush and all that stuff and everything, because it does doesn't work. It's not scalable, it's not legible a certain sizes. So the design system would not only point out, like how that can be used in the product, but also where are the other elements that are going to be consistent? Maybe there's a calendar, maybe there's an invite your friend feature. How do we use through party Apis in this thing? Hat like, how could you stylize that to work in here? So that's where the design system becomes critical, not to mention things like color, things like interactions, like how do you keep that consistent throughout the product? And there's a multitude of ways of using them and it gets crazy nerdy. So you know, raise your hand if I'm if I'm going to put you to sleep. But you could do something like Pigma to do all the visual layout work, even do prototyping in there if you want, and then from their handed off to the developers to bake into story book. Which story book would be your Ui repository where developers can just grab certain selectors and then apply that into their into their html or whatever, react and everything will be consistent and they have like one central breathing place for it. So the designers are in there looking at how the interactions are, the developers arener getting code, but on the flip side, the designers are working in figmented do their way out and the developers can look infigma to see what's coming down the pipe next. Really good and it's interesting, like I just saw. I just had a glimpse of hot like. So I work at a software company, obviously, and I see xd designs from designers that are kind of like they're interactive, and so you can see like, if you do this, then then you get the next treatment, et Cetera. Se So sometimes when they're presented to me, because I've been I've been in the company for almost a decade, I've seen every iteration of the product. I'm one of the more prolific users in general, and so I'm often engaged, you know, as you were talking about, you know, engaging different people within the organization to figure out what to do next with a given situation. Is as our team solves problems internally. I'm often engaged in that and so this process. I just saw a kind of how it gets from there to real life. Is You're kind of talking through that. I think anyone else that you know works and software use the software. Probably, even though we didn't maybe follow all the detail that you offered there, I saw it as kind of like layers and steps from, you know, some of some of the things that we see through through real life. I also loved in your response, you know, there's a quote I pulled off your... To be a good leader you need to be a good listener and a I think that's come through in our in my time with you already, and it definitely came through specifically when you're talking about making sure to engage everyone who is around the project and around the process, hearing people out and really not settling for the PAT response, which is I mean you went to like a negative which probably happens often like that. Sucks. Great. Why? Likewise, that's amazing. Oh, good to tell me more. Right. Yeah, why do you feel so favorably about this? What is it about that? I want to switch gears just a little bit to your relate. You know, I feel like I have a sense of how you work with clients but you're also an adjunct professor. What is similar? What is different? What do you like more or less about connecting and serving students relative to connecting with and serving clients? So the I field to my civil duty to share my knowledge. That's it. And when I was and Fuddy, I was just talking to a colleague and about this. When I was younger, I wished I had someone that walked me through every part of the process. Now it's not to say I didn't have that, but I think there are times when people just have pockets of information and I'm looking to be that entire ocean, not just stream, you know, when it comes to stuff. So whenever I talk to a student, I treat a student no different that I would treat to see you. We're all on the same page. You could do something that I can't do and I can do something you can't do. How do we compliment each other on this? Right? So, for example, students can work all through the night. Those days are over for me. Can't do that now. Wife Scott, be doing too many things that kids are beat me up because the five year old and nine year old. Yeah, right, but at the same time your opinion is valid because you're in a generation where I'm not, and I love to know how they interact with something. But on the flip side, I also understand, for like an older, like senior level perspective, that you have certain agendas that you have to hit, or Marcus, you have to hit in order to get things done. So when it comes to teaching, what I'd look to get out of teaching is that I'm constantly looking for talent, constantly because I know way too many startups that could fully take advantage of a individual who understands how to do something that could be like sort of like molded into like a company's image. So it's very often where any one of my students that are looking to get a job somewhere else, I probably know someone there and if I don't, I probably have a connection to someone who's there and I'll just use my name as the reference and they know what I do. They like these people know. Yet joey builds stuff. So when I show it for opportunities, it maybe not all the time, but most of the time there's a check waiting. We got to figure out how much we're going to write on that check for me to, you know, get your work done. But I love being able to share my knowledge with those, with these these students, because I joke, can say eventually one day you're going to hire me and I might just be pushing a broom at your office right or wipen the window, but at least I'll still get a job. But at the same time I see them as a means of you're going to show me ways that I didn't think of using the software. You're going to show me things that I never thought could happen, and that's how I became such a great trouble shooter, because I see them like wow, how did you? How did you break that? That's amazing, like I how did you think it work that way? And that gives me an overwhelming advantage because when I deal with the software with like larger companies, already have an idea because I've seen it with the students. They've made that mistake and I've already kind of learned from it. So that's where I look to bridge that gap between being the professor but also being the student, because I'm learning from the students just as much as they're learning from actually, probably learning more from them than they are from me, because I'm watching what all these kids are doing, when they're doing their stuff, and getting an idea like Oh, that's an awesome idea or or I'd think that that way and, you know, like and just try to build with them with it. Reminds me what you shared. Their reminds me of the idea of how much gets trained out of us, you...

...know, just the idea that someone my age probably looks at a variety of interfaces and try tends to try to use them, you know, the same way, whereas someone fresher to it is just going to be more, probably open and creative. HMM. But I have I have a really funny thing with that. So I've had the wonderful opportunity of just working and studying with all levels of society, right whether there's children with autism, different spections of the autism, how they do things, to like kids kindergarten, high school, college and higher row. And one of the loving things I do to my students on graduation on the class is I'll give them a paper test and the paper test is amazing because I thought all kinds of stuff with them. That is so that related to design. So a first one really silly what's the color of an orange? Arch Orange? Yeah, they will pause and wonder, what do you mean? Is it gave me am orange? Is it, you know, Spanish orange? Like, dude, it's orange. Let's you know, let's go, let's get the party going. So that's number one, and I love that, because now they're scared, because they're not, because in the real world that stuff is what comes at you right away, stuff you weren't ready for. Next thing is even siller one. What's heavier? A ton of feathers or a ton of brick? And now they're not thinking, because will say, Oh, it's brick. I'm like, yeah, a tons, a ton, yeah, I don't care if I got a ton of tornails and a ton of duck bills. You know, a ton is a ton. That's it. So that's it. Then I'll do something that's actually serious, where I'll give them a blank piece of paper that has the keyboard on it but no letters, and I'll tell them fill out as much as you know, and they're looking at the cuber like I don't know. I'm like really, use the damn thing all the time. You don't know where the letters are on the keyboard and you see them like they're really like their brains are really, really spinning hard, and I think, yes, you know, come on, I mean you you were expecting some design challenge. Well, this is a challenge, right, this is what is real life. You're going to be going through this stuff. And probably the bigger thing that I love about it, and this goes to what you're saying earlier about being conditioned, is I ask them, on the back of their test paper, draw me the universe, and of course they freak out, I don't have enough paper, design enough time. And I joke and I say, you know what, I've done this with kids in grade school and they draw the moon is cheese and the cow shopping. Go over it and I said they have not lost their creativity. And I've only had one student. Her name's Hovel wise work, and I love that girl because when she took that test she did exactly that college student at just true. She says, you know what, this is it, and what I sort of like, dude, that's amazing. It's the only person that ever win did that in the class. And Yeah, so that's like one of the things I do with the courses. You want to keep these these kids, not thinking like the same thing, like you should. You know, don't be scared to be different, right. That's like my background was totally different. Why? Because I'm not. I'm not scared to be different. I'm just this is what I do and you know, you're getting love it. It's a great it's a great button on a conversation. He is Joey Kilraine of Dead Company Design Company. If you've enjoyed this conversation with Joey as I have, you might also like a couple other episodes, episode and Thirty Eight, which just released pretty recently, with on and Tarnath and we talked about Ux, we talked about human factors. He led research teams at facebook and she's list honey. Well, he's now chief product officer of medic x. In his background kind of like we tied this one up. His background is in psychology, engineering and business, like this interesting combination to solve problems essentially through research and design. And then it's episode one hundred and Thirty Eight, and then earlier, episode ninety seven, with Bob Barry, who's here in Colorado Springs where I am. He's principal UX researcher at answer lab and founder of the Human Computer Mastermind Academy. That one was definitely a straight down the UX track and some of the you know, we definitely touched on some of those themes here, Joey, but that one was episode ninety seven with Bob Barry. Before I let you go, I would love for you to...

...give me a couple few things. First is if you would think or mentioned someone who's had a positive impact on your life or your career. Second is to give a nod to a company or a brand that you really appreciate for the experience they deliver for you as a customer. And then, of course, finally, where can people follow up with you? Your you, you, you're using linked in a lot more. You said you've got dead COMPANYCOM, or is it dead dot company? I'm not sure. So tell people where they can follow up on the earth, for sure. Three things. Yeah, so what we'll start off with? The first one, which is impact on my career and got there's a Jillian people right. I mean coming out of Philly, the challenge in Philly was who's a designer? What is that? Right? And there was only, I mean just besides my family, outside of my family directly crush trip me. There was this Guy Mike Leia Ponto, and Mike was a second file that to me. He taught me how to stretch canvas out in the street. Yeah, Hey, here's a stretch campus and it was amazing. And he had always been someone that gave me an overwhelming amount of confidence in myself, which I think a lot of designers struggle with confidence. and He'd also get a bit of advice to say, you know, I want you to write down the name of all your friends that are half that you have in your life right now and look at that list ten years later and I didn't realize I was like nineteen. I like what, yeah, whatever. So I wrote down like a bunch of people and it's amazing because there's only a handful of those people that I was talking to afterwards because, you know, your career you start to go a different direction. Like I'm still friends with them, but I don't talk to them as much. Why? Because I'm like, my career is taking me this way. But then there's someone like fretch Hambley and French Chamil was giving my second internship. He was a huge inspiration. He actually guided me through a lot of stuff with design in the beginning but then there's like my one of my one of my best friends from Philly. Mike's about you is companies, Seo Brands. He's give me a lot of inside and just how to run my business. You know what I should be looking out for, and we've always been thick as thieves. When we go back to grade school, to he's even more amazing on it, being like and Lee Delgado, he's always been a Swiss of inspiration, a guy keeps me constantly pushing to meet more people and see new products that are out there. And I leave with one last person, who is Jessica Johnson, who I studying with her at the Goldman Sacks program the K sped program, and she, whether she realizes or not, gives me a lot of insight and inspiration how to run a business, as she runs to security company like actual security guards. But she and all her like talks that I've had whether and stuff, she always gives me some tippitts where again, I don't think she realized how much of an impact she has on me when she does at awesome. So yeah, yeah, yeah, and as far as a brand, I appreciate, man, there are like a good jillion of them, but I would say that the ones that I really like has to be with me building the cars, because I'm not I'm not a mechanic. Let me I we can worrior is probably a better name for me. But and talking with people like jags or with someone racing. I think their experience is also or even advanced. Artom right that the people have always been open to listen to maybe since people I meet with, but they've always been open to help me get what I need. And it's the full customer experience where show you the product, give you the speck, you try it on a realize oh I forgot something, and they've been very accommodating. So yeah, for me I'd have to go totally odd and get into like the car related stuff and because of that entire encompassing experience that they've given awesome. How could people follow up with you? Where can they connect with you? Where can they learn more about the work that you and your team do? Sure, sure, so R L is ded digital experiences. Ont Company is I can get me so dead doc company. You can reach me at Joseph at Dead Company. I guess you could also reach me a joey at kill Raincom at see. That might even better. Is My first name and last name. Another way to find me as well or Linkedin. Just look for kill ran. There's not too many Joey Kill Rans out in the world, so that might be a very easy place to find these well, or just go to Google, put in Joey Kill ran and you'll you'll find me and then somehow you'll get to see my magical face. That's awesome. And you can also see his magical face by going to...

...bombbcom slash podcast. We put up short write ups for these. We drop in video clips. You can check out the space that he's been doing these video calls on and check out the full we also embed all the audio there and it's in a searchable player. So if there are some keywords or ideas that that Joey mentioned that you want to jump to, you can go to that player, just search it and it'll bring it right to you, right to that section. So anyway, Joey, I appreciate you. Thank you so much for spending this time with us and I hope you have an awesome afternoon. Thank you so much for having you than. I really appreciate it. Clear Communication, human connection higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up the official book rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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