The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 141 · 7 months ago

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

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

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 havea great experience with a terrible Ui. You could have a great Ui butit's terrible U x. You know, and you want to obviously try toget the two to be, you know, Yun and yet the single most importantthing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience foryour 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 customerexperience across sites, across apps and across all the touch points? That's theexpertise of today's guest. He's the founder of ded digital experience design, ateam that works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune one hundred companies. They'veheld brands like the weather channel, Serridian, fiser and ghostory. He's also anadjunct professor of UX and visual design at the Fashion Institute of Technology inNew 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 forhaving me. Yeah, I'm excited for this conversation. Before we getinto it, for folks who are listening to this, which is the mainfunction of the podcast, is to release the audio, we also do videoclips. You can see them when you go visit the post to bombbcom slashpodcast. I also put some of them on Linkedin, and so for folkswho may want to check this out, I would love to dry briefly yourbackground and then have you tell me about it. You know, off toyour right I see a set of tools on the wall. Off to yourleft, I see a collection of license plates, I see a Barber Pole, I see what I assume his original artwork, or maybe artwork from aclose friend. What kind of space here you in and what does that setlike? So one of the things I love about video and being partly pandemicbut 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 mea little bit about yourself based down on where you are right now. Yeah, so this whole room became public, obviously with Covid, and I shouldhave prefaced this with I love telling jokes and stuff like that. So theway 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 thewife, you know, I love her to death, but she got thebetter space. She got like what your room looks like, like very organizedand everything's like it looks like a professional spot. And for me it wasall right. I have two kids and on your own at a five yearold, both are custody and fire mode and they love conference bothers. Soeither a, I'm going to be doing all my calls in the bathroom becausethat'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 havethis little space down here and it's actually kind of big, believe itnot, 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, youknow, do stuff. So one of my counterbalances in life is I've beenbuilding classic cars for agents. I love building these things and throughout my tenureI've been able to acquire, you know, like license plates, so from differentcars. So I pick up a car shows other ones I pick upat like yard sales or or even at like like I buy a car andyou fishing out of the barn and you find stuff. So what you seein the wall behind me is a series of different license plates that I eitherowned myself, where they were from places that I picked up, and Ithought it made for a cool background, but I never thought it was Googlepublic. Yeah, I just thought this is for me. Now the BarberPole, though. What's great about that is covid obviously turned a lot ofthings around and one of the places here in Jersey I was getting my haircut reminded me a lot where I'm from, some version of from sophonily, andyou go to a barber shop and everybody's got the gossip, and theseguys were no different. Bottomafiyo, so talk a lot of yeah, yeatype thing, but they were also in their midst to late s and Mcovid hit in the beginning a lot of...

...everybody was like totally scared, especiallythe elderly. So they close down their barber shop. But the barber shophad been there since like one thousand nineteen forty two and they were the secondorders. That Barber Pole has been sitting outside their shop since like one nineteenfifty 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 theonly thing that was wrong with it was that the motor didn't work and thatcolor ringing. It was all messed up for being outside for thirty forty Ithink. Yeah, exactly. So I see. Yeah, you know,harder bucks, hundrefifty bucks, took it and I did a youtube video ofme taking it apart and reassembling it, and now it's like, and Ithought, Oh that'd be awesome, the putting room, so I put thatup 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 thatyet to what you said earlier, having your background set to what you dohelps have a conversation. You have normally how many conversations, how with people. It starts off with the background and then we get into like, likeon building a school bus of my drive evit old sixty six suburban I'm buildingand it's been great. But when I talk about people like all, mydad had one, and you make that emotional connection right away, right orthey'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 kindof know them a little bit first. What do you get you to tick? And, of course, with me and all the building lends itselfto what I do as a designer where, yeah, I'm more on the businessside of design, where, whatever your ideas, I'm here to bringthat into reality, and that reality is going to require a lot of researchin to like what product or software we're going to try to use. We'regoing 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 youmay want may not be doable for budget or for the amount of time wehave to get it done. You know, love that that that response a wasinteresting, it was personal and I feel like so many of the themesthat you're at there, especially over the last minute or so, really teaup where we're going to go today. I'm glad we started there. Sonow we'll go where we always start the rest of the conversation, which iscustomer experience. When I say that to you, Joey, what does itmean? 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 agood customer experience. I look for a great customer experience, which is notonly are they coming back, but they're bringing their friends and family. Theaverage are going just for a good experience. The great art going for yet infight 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, becauseeverybody has like all this analytics and feedback and your personal opinion and allthat stuff, and my first thing is to stop all that thinking and toremove 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, eventhough 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 theconversation and say, well, Ethan, let's say, for example, youwant to make the logo bigger. People say that often, I need abigger logo. I can't say it. I say, yeah, you couldmake a bigger but that logo is going to come out of the framework dimensionsthat 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 youcool with that? So that's a reality, that's a hard fact that just godo 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. AndNo, like you hired me for this, like, my reputation has been towork with quality, not quantity.

I'm not here to bang out abunch of small things. I'm here to look at the big picture. We'regoing to we're going to figure this out, but I'm also not here just toyes, 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 strongvision, but they'll listen to reality if you bring them that right and sofrom there my next step is like, what are some of the keywords Iwould take away from that? Big Keyword for a customer satisfaction. Another keywordpromise, feeling, genuine, helping, an empathy. Right, that's prettymuch 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 onlike 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 ofgoing off short, which it's at the dismiss off shore. I thinkthere's a lot of great options there, but you got to know your teamand having worked with guys in Belarus, having worked with guys in India.Yeah, like, I know, like culturally, there are some hurdles thatyou go through and it's really worth ten dollars per person, right. I'drather hire one person have them get it done in a fraction of the timeand pain that then have to deal with one group that I got to paymaybe for a longer period of time but a smaller rate, because then it'sjust like the whole frustrating part. So yeah, that's how I've looked atcustomer 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. Canyou just break this down for us? X, customer experience, which aregular 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 userinterface. Like where are these things overlap? Where do they diverge?Are these you know? How do you think about those three ideas? CX, uxui. So you need like a Venn diagram for that kind ofthing. But so CX is everything from start to finished, and a reallygood example of that would be Amazon. Right Amazon, you can order throughyour 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 dealingwith 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 littledifferent 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 usingthe mobile APP, not cold Yep, just using the mobile a. Sothat is a different experience where they're ordering it there. However, the userexperience 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 youwere shipping goods that had kids stuff in it, so you could use thebox as like a toy and at for anybody's got kids, I'm kind ofmad that I spent so much money on toys for my kids because a bigbox with two kids and that they love it and they'll spend hours running outof the box. For some like I just spent like fifty sixty bucks onall this lingos stuff. You'ren't even looking at it. You're playing like castleand cops of robbers and the and the box. But to see that onthere, I thought you'll that's amazing right. But yet again, that's another partof the user experience. Now the last part is Ui, which,ironically, Ui has two definitions. It's user interface, but it's also userinteraction, and people usually forget the interaction part. But the user interface iswhat you see. The user interaction is what happens when I click. Itdoesn't move around the page, does it...

...fade in, doesn't do any ofthat kind of stuff. And they all have their pros and cons, butthat'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. Youcan have a great experience but a terrible Ui. You can have a greatUi but it's terrible UX, you know, and you were obviously try to getthe two to be, you know, Yun and Yak. Yeah, reallygood. Well down, that was helpful for me, and I'm sureit was for further folks to before we go much further for context, tellus a little bit about ded digital experience design, like who's your ideal clientand 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 guysin a room and we were trying to figure a way on how tosay 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 Ithought, Oh, it's amazing, and then we and I immediately found adead company. The Europe was available and I just bought it, you know, right out the gate. But what we do is exactly that. Sowe do a lot of work with startups and Fort One hundred companies that arein big data and companies like Infantech and attack. We do a lot ofwork with them and their work ranges from the look and feel of the productto 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 untilprobably 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 stateuniversities 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 kindof funding, not to mention that a lot of the universities were not techready, 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 theseother groups which I actually have the chance to work with when they first startedmany moons ago, why? Those guys took off, because they were alreadyembracing this online role of doing stuff. Now, granted, it's not foreverybody, but with covid hit it became everybody and those guys are ready,where universities are like no, you have to be in school. It wasa very buts and seats sort of mentality and then they got collavered and nowthey're struggling to get out of it. But what I've seen with the educationgroups is at universities are doing spinoffs of innovation labs where they're not accredited becausethey can't find those with Masters degrees to teach us, to teach visual asquickly, which, personally I have my reservations about. A full time professorwho's never worked in the field versus an adjunct who has, and the backand forth, and I again like a tenured professors their book smart, I'mstreet smart. You need both, but at the end of the day it'sgoing to the street. You know you're if you're really trying to get thisthing to go, you're going to you're gonna have to get in the dirtwith the guys and try to build this thing right. So work is yeah, right, right, and a piece of paper. It only goes butso far. You know, like how many guys at our siege of thegame right about having a master's you've been at a fifteen twenty years a yougot 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 fora long time, yeah, probably not so much. But with that said, a lot of these universities are spinning off these innovation labs, which I'vebeen grateful to be working with them, and we're building up these courses thatare strictly focused on this online first approach. You can come to college if youone, because eventually things will kind of go back to that, butit'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 presentingyourself on Linkedin and on the dead site like unify, is a theme thereand I think it's really important. I think my assumption, and just kindof take this where every you want,...

...my assumption is that some of thepeople you're engaging maybe are like layer on layer of experience. They were,you know, there may be thirty, fifty years old. So they addedthis 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 asmuch easier to create that kind of unity of look, feel experience Inca outof the gate, like is that? Is that tension real, and isthat kind of the spectrum you're working across? Yeah, that's awesome question. Ithink 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 withis will do a herostic evaluation. And so what is that? And that'sbasically 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 reallyeasy. lowhanking fruit is eighty a compliance now at a complies is nothing newAmericans Disability Act. That's been around for a long time. But unless youhave someone immediately in your family that has some sort of disability, you don'tcare right like someone if you have someone that's a wheelchair. I have anuncles, several Paulsy so I'm absolutely aware of like some of the challenges thathe faces. will try to open doors and do things and yeah, soI have a lot of empathy for that, but it wasn't until it's sort ofbecoming relevant with using software that people, I think like design miners, startedto embrace it because at a compliance at times feels like it's taking thefun out of what you're doing. The problem is we now have so manypeople with so many different challenges that if you don't do that, you're alienatingthat group. And I'll give it example. Designers love using like a soft graycolor 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 afleeting 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 lawsuitsout there and now there's people that the guy who couldn't order his pizza ondominoes. It waited to the Supreme Court any one, and I think ityeah, 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 canstart, so that by the time you get into your layout you know it'skosher and there's plenty of tools out there to help you. There's like there'sa product called stark that I use like religiously or a lot of things thatI do. Then there is, like there's another product called type scale whereyou 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 makeyour life better and doing this kind of work. Where you took that responsereally leads into a topic that I'm really interested in right now and and thinkinga lot about, talk and a lot about. I've done some writing onit 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 approachthat you take. That things, which I love on its face. Butyou know, this idea of thinking first about who is going to be usingthis. I mean it seems so obvious and so intuitive that when we're designingany system or process or, in this case, like a user experience oreven more broadly, a customer experience, that we should be thinking about firstand foremost, thinking about knowing understanding the people that are going to be interactingwith it by I personally feel like in my own experience that it's so oftenoverlooked. 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 isInternational Organization for Standardization. That's basically trying...

...to get it to be in aprocess. You know what is that? So when I think of Human Centerdesign, to me that's where I have a team solving a problem or problemsby 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 wethink about that whole challenge, person comes in on the wheelchair, person needsto push a button. How much do they have to reach to get tothe button? And I've actually done some research on it where not all ofthe elevator companies follow the same set of rules. One thing gets very scaryis that they put the emergency button very high up. So I'm a sixfoot guy, I can easily hit that butt. Someone in a wheelchair maynot be able to hit that butt. That's critical. So at a complianceyou got to put that button down at the bottom to hit that. Oranother example would be let's say there's a woman, a mother, and herchild. Mother, something happens, is on the floor. The child.These definitely not be able to reach that butt, but they can push itif it's at their level. So it's stuff like that that is human centerdesign or other examples when I see iconography and how people take liberties of iconographythat everyone's going to get it, and I think, Dude, look aticonography as you would like. Hieroglyphics, right, if I see the searchicon, that tells me it's one of two things. They either can zoomor I can search find something. If I see the House Chion, whatdoes that tell means hole, right, or if I think of like aChevron, those like little arrows that go in certain directions. Yeah, thattells me something that's going to either drop down or expand. That gives methe 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 whichI won't need, but they have a thing called product management experience andthey 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 haveit where this oh the customer just hover over it and find out what itis. So well, well, what if that person is on a tablet? You can't hover on a tablet. So why are we going to alreadybake in a problem that doesn't work. So either A, we don't usethe 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 themenu, not on hover, because harver doesn't work in every device, notto mention people at certain dexterity challenge just can't hover as well. So nowyou got two strikes again you. So that's human center design. is whereyou know you're getting the perspective of like the designer who's done some research orthe developer that can say hey, the software can do this, or thefact that, like you know, the perspective of the customer is that theystill need to do this. How do we get that food them and makethat 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 abigger budget, and you're trying to solve a problem that their customers or facingor that they're anticipating as they maybe launched something new, and so they engageyou 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? Youknow, like some of the like observations and and self reporting versus survey dataor 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 becauseit's hidden, you know, whatever, like product usage type stuff. Howdo you a lot of questions there.

But how do you approach research ingeneral, 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 thatcomes 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 outthe gate. Why? Because I need some common sense for myself to lookat. 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 therefor a while, I will go to customer support and I will go todeath, because customer support here's all the complaints all day long. So I'mgoing 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 thesoftware, 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 totouch 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 andit'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 anyso then will we come back with our research, our research, orpoint 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 thepeople are complaining about and this is what Dev is scared of. Andhow does that align with what you want? And then we start to put itinto his scoop. So a scope would be what are we going todo right now to stop the bleeding, because there's no point giving you anew heart if you're, you know, gushing from all these different spots.We get to stop the gushing, then get into the heart right. Sohow do we get that part fixed? First, small winds and then getinto the bigger winds, which is what are we looking to do? Likea three thousand and sixty ninety plan. What are we going to do rightnow? What are we going to assess by, you know, the secondmonth, and then third month, here's the next implementation, and by thethird month we're usually rocking and rolling. At that point we've got a reallygood grip one on the product, you have an idea of who we haveto 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 everythingis on fire, and I get you right, but we're going toput out one fire first and we're going to make sure that thing doesn't comeback 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 asless as like a month and a half, you know, just getting like gettingpeople on the right foot, because people don't like to work in thosechaotic environments. It's IT Burns you out. Like creatives, I feel bad forthe visual designers that create three and four iterations of a layout. Ido one, but I'll do a dozen wire frames and my wire frames arevery clinical. So they're black and white. They may have a color like abluish, 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 andwhite boxes. I didn't put pictures in it. Why? I don'tcare. Look if feel, I'll get to look and feel. But thewire frame is where I'm going to figure out how this thing has to runat what needs to be on the page and stead of like creating a layoutin the and the clients as all. I don't like the color purple thatyou have Right. I feel like you give them too much detail. They'refocused on the wrong thing at that stand or the headline is wrong and Iwill a whole new layout. I got you nuxt look at and and anotherthing for the designers and I guess marketers right to understand. I would askyou to tell me how long does it take to create a layout like convisual layout, and I've been doing this for twenty years. I would sayit takes me about eight hours to do one layout. It takes you eightseconds to say no, I don't look it. Another eight hours I gotto do it again and again and again and again, versus here's a wireframe. Technically, these are all things we needed to do do. Welike the structure of what we have and it's have to say the wire frameis to be a coloring book, right, because you know I'm going to switchit up. At least I know. This is what we need to haveon 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 youthink of that? And that's a that's sort of look, a baby stepbefore you get into look and feel. And for me, by the timeI get to look and feel, I've already done all the research. Iknow what they don't like, they do, like we talked about font colors,all that kind of stuff. They may have a branding guideline, whichis great, and I'll sample all that stuff and just start to spin itup until look and feel. Go to the business case of this, thebusiness side of this, like. What do people you know, whether it'sthe CEO or the senior person you mentioned or anyone else that engages you andmaybe even you know, pays for the surfaces? What do people misunderstand orjust playing not know about experience design like, and I guess I'll give you someoptions or directions here, potentially, like how do we link designed Roior what are some other measures of success? You know you already kind of dida drive by on the tension between beauty and utility. I know there'sa 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 workthat you do? They could help bridge some divides between teams, departments perspectivesto better serve customers. HMM. Well, I would say right out the gate, talking with management, because with design, design is always like thistaboo thing where it's subjective and the designers can be quite touchy about you makingcomments about their work. I would tell the all the designers out there youdefinitely you need to have a bit of a thicker skin and the way thatI've handled it, and maybe this is my philly showing, but when Ihear someone say hey, that sucks, I think no, no, yousuck, 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'swhat I want to hear. I want that feedback right, and I havevery little pride and practically no shame. So when it comes to doing thiskind of stuff, when people are going to ask me or make their opinionabout something, I want you to feel invite I want you to feel likeyou 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. Itisn't just my opinion right, it's not just me. I need yourfeedback. I want you to feel a part of right, because that's howwe collectively get this thing to go versus doll. You know, Joey saidthis. Not the only time joey gets involved is when things are going offcourse because we've either add it two months to scope or someone is asking forsomething ridiculous, when I'm like, is that important now, because we needit now. I've got like ten of the things that are now. Wheredoes 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 nonsensetype that. So that would be one like getting with management and invitingthem into convert and management, not just being higher up, like even productmanagers in the lake. You know. Please join me in the conversation,please be a part of this because, yes, your opinion does matter withwhat we're doing. Next thing I get into is the desires, and thereason why I kind of harp on them a lot is because most designers aremarginalized by their understanding of tech. So what does that mean? Most designersdon't know what angular and react is and what that stuff does. Most designerswill go and create this fancy animation for the dropdown and not realize that thatcomes baked in in material designed you I angular as you I so on itso 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 thedropdown. And is that flipping thing you're going to do? Is that afad or is that something that is important? Because people who have vertigo that stuffgets in the way. So yeah, we're not going to do any ofthat kind of so and I'm not going to waste of time to gobuild a prototype to have a developer spend hours writing some javascript that's going toadd one megabite to my downhood. Absolutely not happen. So that's where Iget with the designers and I look to make them more nerdy. I didn'tneed you to code, but I need you to understand. All that stuffadds 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 wouldbe design systems. I know they're hot topics right now. I think theyhave to be used in accorded to what you're trying to build, but ifyou're dealing with an enterprise product, then absolutely unique one and you need somebodywho knows the software. Whether it's sketch or Figma or xd like. Whichone is best for my team, because they all have pros and cons.Of that I personally like figma. If I had a rate, that mightsay Figma, sketch and xt would be how we use it. But againit really depends on the customer and what they're like. Teams are working withthe design systems are are super important because it helps to align all of thedifferent challenges with the product, whether it's buttons or colors, and development canthen just reference to the design system to pull out what they need and designerscan 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 andJoey did it as a as a radio, as a gradient rainbow inside of it, right, like you know, you need to consistent. So that'swhat again, its signs. It will be a massive return investment for whenyou're building any product. I'm completely ignorant of design system. By term Iam is a design system essentially like a u x version of like a brandstyle book, for example. I'm thinking that's very good, with more livingyeah, yeah, that's a great way to look at it, and Ithink sometimes people get confused with a brand guideline versus a design systems or brandguideline would be like, let's say Coca Cola, that color red. Whereveryou go, that color red. That is Coca Cola, no doubt aboutit. 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'renot going to have the the Coca Cola swush and all that stuff andeverything, because it does doesn't work. It's not scalable, it's not legiblea certain sizes. So the design system would not only point out, likehow that can be used in the product, but also where are the other elementsthat are going to be consistent? Maybe there's a calendar, maybe there'san invite your friend feature. How do we use through party Apis in thisthing? 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 putyou to sleep. But you could do something like Pigma to do all thevisual layout work, even do prototyping in there if you want, and thenfrom their handed off to the developers to bake into story book. Which storybook would be your Ui repository where developers can just grab certain selectors and thenapply that into their into their html or whatever, react and everything will beconsistent and they have like one central breathing place for it. So the designersare 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 theirway out and the developers can look infigma to see what's coming down the pipenext. Really good and it's interesting, like I just saw. I justhad 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'reinteractive, and so you can see like, if you do this, then thenyou get the next treatment, et Cetera. Se So sometimes when they'represented to me, because I've been I've been in the company for almost adecade, I've seen every iteration of the product. I'm one of the moreprolific users in general, and so I'm often engaged, you know, asyou were talking about, you know, engaging different people within the organization tofigure out what to do next with a given situation. Is as our teamsolves problems internally. I'm often engaged in that and so this process. Ijust saw a kind of how it gets from there to real life. IsYou're kind of talking through that. I think anyone else that you know worksand software use the software. Probably, even though we didn't maybe follow allthe detail that you offered there, I saw it as kind of like layersand steps from, you know, some of some of the things that wesee through through real life. I also loved in your response, you know, there's a quote I pulled off your...

...website. To be a good leaderyou need to be a good listener and a I think that's come through inour in my time with you already, and it definitely came through specifically whenyou're talking about making sure to engage everyone who is around the project and aroundthe 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 likethat. Sucks. Great. Why? Likewise, that's amazing. Oh,good to tell me more. Right. Yeah, why do you feel sofavorably about this? What is it about that? I want to switch gearsjust a little bit to your relate. You know, I feel like Ihave 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 lessabout connecting and serving students relative to connecting with and serving clients? Sothe 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 andabout this. When I was younger, I wished I had someone that walkedme through every part of the process. Now it's not to say I didn'thave that, but I think there are times when people just have pockets ofinformation and I'm looking to be that entire ocean, not just stream, youknow, 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 doand I can do something you can't do. How do we compliment each other onthis? Right? So, for example, students can work all throughthe 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 becausethe five year old and nine year old. Yeah, right, but at thesame 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 theflip side, I also understand, for like an older, like senior levelperspective, that you have certain agendas that you have to hit, or Marcus, you have to hit in order to get things done. So when itcomes to teaching, what I'd look to get out of teaching is that I'mconstantly looking for talent, constantly because I know way too many startups that couldfully take advantage of a individual who understands how to do something that could belike sort of like molded into like a company's image. So it's very oftenwhere 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 aconnection to someone who's there and I'll just use my name as the reference andthey know what I do. They like these people know. Yet joey buildsstuff. So when I show it for opportunities, it maybe not all thetime, but most of the time there's a check waiting. We got tofigure 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 sharemy knowledge with those, with these these students, because I joke, cansay eventually one day you're going to hire me and I might just be pushinga broom at your office right or wipen the window, but at least I'llstill get a job. But at the same time I see them as ameans of you're going to show me ways that I didn't think of using thesoftware. 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 themlike wow, how did you? How did you break that? That's amazing, like I how did you think it work that way? And that givesme 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 madethat mistake and I've already kind of learned from it. So that's where Ilook 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 whatall these kids are doing, when they're doing their stuff, and getting anidea like Oh, that's an awesome idea or or I'd think that that wayand, you know, like and just try to build with them with it. Reminds me what you shared. Their reminds me of the idea of howmuch gets trained out of us, you...

...know, just the idea that someonemy age probably looks at a variety of interfaces and try tends to try touse them, you know, the same way, whereas someone fresher to itis just going to be more, probably open and creative. HMM. ButI have I have a really funny thing with that. So I've had thewonderful opportunity of just working and studying with all levels of society, right whetherthere's children with autism, different spections of the autism, how they do things, to like kids kindergarten, high school, college and higher row. And oneof the loving things I do to my students on graduation on the classis I'll give them a paper test and the paper test is amazing because Ithought 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? ArchOrange? 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 worldthat 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 feathersor 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 anda ton of duck bills. You know, a ton is a ton. That'sit. 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 itbut 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 areon the keyboard and you see them like they're really like their brains arereally, 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'regoing to be going through this stuff. And probably the bigger thing that Ilove 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, drawme the universe, and of course they freak out, I don't have enoughpaper, design enough time. And I joke and I say, you knowwhat, I've done this with kids in grade school and they draw the moonis cheese and the cow shopping. Go over it and I said they havenot lost their creativity. And I've only had one student. Her name's Hovelwise work, and I love that girl because when she took that test shedid exactly that college student at just true. She says, you know what,this is it, and what I sort of like, dude, that'samazing. 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 doand you know, you're getting love it. It's a great it's a great buttonon 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 likea couple other episodes, episode and Thirty Eight, which just released pretty recently, with on and Tarnath and we talked about Ux, we talked about humanfactors. 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 wetied this one up. His background is in psychology, engineering and business, like this interesting combination to solve problems essentially through research and design. Andthen 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 theyou know, we definitely touched on some of those themes here, Joey,but that one was episode ninety seven with Bob Barry. Before I let yougo, 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 onyour life or your career. Second is to give a nod to a companyor a brand that you really appreciate for the experience they deliver for you asa customer. And then, of course, finally, where can people follow upwith 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 theearth, for sure. Three things. Yeah, so what we'll start offwith? The first one, which is impact on my career and got there'sa Jillian people right. I mean coming out of Philly, the challenge inPhilly was who's a designer? What is that? Right? And there wasonly, I mean just besides my family, outside of my family directly crush tripme. There was this Guy Mike Leia Ponto, and Mike was asecond file that to me. He taught me how to stretch canvas out inthe 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 confidencein myself, which I think a lot of designers struggle with confidence. andHe'd also get a bit of advice to say, you know, I wantyou to write down the name of all your friends that are half that youhave in your life right now and look at that list ten years later andI 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'sonly a handful of those people that I was talking to afterwards because, youknow, your career you start to go a different direction. Like I'm stillfriends 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'ssomeone like fretch Hambley and French Chamil was giving my second internship. He wasa huge inspiration. He actually guided me through a lot of stuff with designin the beginning but then there's like my one of my one of my bestfriends from Philly. Mike's about you is companies, Seo Brands. He's giveme a lot of inside and just how to run my business. You knowwhat 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 productsthat are out there. And I leave with one last person, who isJessica Johnson, who I studying with her at the Goldman Sacks program the Ksped program, and she, whether she realizes or not, gives me alot of insight and inspiration how to run a business, as she runs tosecurity company like actual security guards. But she and all her like talks thatI'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 whenshe does at awesome. So yeah, yeah, yeah, and as faras a brand, I appreciate, man, there are like a good jillion ofthem, but I would say that the ones that I really like hasto 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 theirexperience is also or even advanced. Artom right that the people have always beenopen to listen to maybe since people I meet with, but they've always beenopen to help me get what I need. And it's the full customer experience whereshow you the product, give you the speck, you try it ona 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 carrelated stuff and because of that entire encompassing experience that they've given awesome. Howcould people follow up with you? Where can they connect with you? Wherecan they learn more about the work that you and your team do? Sure, sure, so R L is ded digital experiences. Ont Company is Ican get me so dead doc company. You can reach me at Joseph atDead Company. I guess you could also reach me a joey at kill Raincomat see. That might even better. Is My first name and last name. Another way to find me as well or Linkedin. Just look for killran. There's not too many Joey Kill Rans out in the world, sothat might be a very easy place to find these well, or just goto Google, put in Joey Kill ran and you'll you'll find me and thensomehow you'll get to see my magical face. That's awesome. And you can alsosee his magical face by going to...

...bombbcom slash podcast. We put upshort write ups for these. We drop in video clips. You can checkout the space that he's been doing these video calls on and check out thefull 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 wantto jump to, you can go to that player, just search it andit'll bring it right to you, right to that section. So anyway,Joey, I appreciate you. Thank you so much for spending this time withus and I hope you have an awesome afternoon. Thank you so much forhaving you than. I really appreciate it. Clear Communication, human connection higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messagesyou'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 salesand improve customer experience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That'sbomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember thesingle most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a betterexperience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing rightnow in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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