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Rosenfeld Review Podcast

Latest episodes

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May 20, 2024 • 35min

AI as Infrastructure with Dan Hill

Dan Hill is the director of the Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne, and author of Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary and Designing Missions. And he’s the opening speaker at the inaugural Designing with AI conference, where he’ll be presenting “Designing for the Infrastructures of Everyday Life”. Like it or not, AI is a growing part of our infrastructure—not just the infrastructure of our phones, our computers, and the internet—but that of our physical world. It’s increasingly used to support the very fundamental systems that maintain our cities, hospitals, utilities, and educational systems. On some levels, this is cause for concern. After all, we’ve seen other implementations of AI (think riding-sharing services) that have not lived up to their promise but have instead aggravated some of the problems they sought to address. Dan is a big-picture guy with an ability to draw principles from history and other sectors. He understands that utilizing AI is inevitable. The challenge is recognizing the interconnectedness of our various systems and working together to build infrastructures that truly create better life experiences for all. What You'll Learn from this Episode: - The many facets of infrastructures - How AI is currently being used and how it might be used in the future to support our infrastructures - Why ride-sharing is not exactly an AI model worth repeating - Why the Japanese and Finnish models work well in those environments but aren’t necessarily transferable to more diverse cultures - Why quality of life will only improve with a more holistic, integrated design approach Quick Reference Guide 0:37 - Introduction of Dan 3:49 - AI as infrastructure 8:30 - How AI might be used to further support infrastructure systems 12:09 - Will the impact of AI actually make life better? 18:59 - Plug for Managing Priorities by Harry Max. Get 15% off! 20:15 - The metaphor of designing looking through a lens and technology’s impact on the material world 26:16 - Helpful models – the Japanese and Finnish cultures 31:52 - Dan’s gift to the audience Resources and Links from Today's Episode: Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary by Dan Hill https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Matter-Trojan-Horses-Vocabulary/dp/0992914639/ Managing Priorities: How to Create Better Plans and Make Smarter Decisions by Harry Max https://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/managing-priorities/ Designing with AI Conference, June 4-5 https://rosenfeldmedia.com/events/futures/ Smoke and Ashes: Opium’s Hidden Histories by Amitav Ghosh https://www.amazon.com/Smoke-Ashes-Opiums-Hidden-Histories/dp/0374602921
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Mar 11, 2024 • 40min

Angry and Passionate about what AI means to Researchers with Tricia Wang

In the latest episode of the Rosenfeld Review, Lou sits down with social scientist Tricia Wang, coiner of the term “thick data,” and formerly a partner at Sudden Compass. Tricia is passionate about research and AI. She envisions massively improved research outcomes and opportunities for researchers, but only if researchers take the lead in incorporating AI into their work. Rather than seeing themselves as “users” of AI tools, researchers must work as AI’s “shapers,” serving as its senior partner. Tricia’s vision is to cease the fear-mongering surrounding the subject of AI and instead embrace the amazing opportunities for growth and better work by becoming active in the control of AI’s future. What You'll Learn from this Episode: - The truth about the potential for AI use in research and the gift that it actually is - The difference between a “user” and a “shaper” in the digital age - The importance of taking an active role in the development of AI in the future - How being an asset class dehumanizes us as people Quick Reference Guide: [0:16] - Lou’s introduction of Tricia Wang [2:52] - Tricia discusses our future and how we talk about AI [3:49] - Thoughts on the narrative of fear-mongering we have in the West about AI [5:47] - The relationship between humans and AI [5:59] - A new framework: users vs shapers [9:07] - The problem with taking on a passive role with a technology unlike anything we have ever seen [11:06] - People who use AI successfully are active shapers [15:33] - Info on Advancing Research 2024 [17:23] - How users, shapers, and AI affect the field of research [20:42] - The existential question of what it really means to be a researcher [31:28] - Tricia’s advice concerning using AI in research [35:07] - Tricia’s gift for the audience [38:34] - Tricia wants to hear from you Resources and Links from Today's Episode: Tricia Wang https://www.triciawang.com/ Sudden Compass https://www.suddencompass.com/ James Bridle, Ways of Being: Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search For A Planetary Intelligence https://www.amazon.com/Ways-Being-Machines-Planetary-Intelligence/dp/0374601119 Brett Christopher, Rentier Capitalism: Who Owns the Economy, And Who Pays For It? https://www.amazon.com/Rentier-Capitalism-Owns-Economy-Pays/dp/1788739728 Advancing Research 2024 https://rosenfeldmedia.com/advancing-research/2024/
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Feb 12, 2024 • 29min

Decoding Culture: A Lens for Research Breakthroughs with Neil Barrie

In the latest episode of the Rosenfeld Review, Lou sits down with Neil Barrie, the co-founder and CEO of TwentyFirstCenturyBrand, to delve into the intriguing intersection of brand building, culture, and user experience research. Neil, an outsider in the realm of user research, brings a fresh perspective from the world of brand research; you can hear more from him at the Advancing Research 2024 conference in New York City, March 25-26. Neil emphasizes the need for researchers to adopt a cultural lens when designing product experiences. Drawing from his extensive experience working with influential brands like Airbnb, Bumble, Headspace, and others, Neil suggests that by understanding and leveraging wider cultural factors, researchers can break free from the incremental nature of product development and create more memorable, distinctive, and influential brands. The conversation touches upon the "wind tunnel effect," where products and services, much like cars in the 90s, risk becoming efficient but less distinctive. Neil argues that by paying attention to cultural factors and experiences, researchers can uncover breakthroughs that go beyond the interchangeable norms of the industry. Neil’s insights highlight the transformative potential of cultural understanding in user research, offering researchers a valuable lens to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of product experiences. What You'll Learn from this Episode: - The importance of adopting a cultural lens in user research to achieve breakthroughs - The concept of the "wind tunnel effect" and its impact on product development - Examples from brands like Pinterest, showcasing the power of cultural understanding in shaping user experiences - The dialogue mapping technique for evaluating how brands communicate certain themes and how people perceive them Quick Reference Guide: [0:11] - Lou’s introduction of Neil Barrie [3:03] - A discussion on the wind tunnel effect in research [4:24] - Frameworks for understanding culture [5:41] - Examples from Pinterest [11:29] - Plug for Advancing Research 2024 [13:23] - The tools of a brand strategy expert [17:18] - One challenge, multiple perspectives [19:29] - Reconciling disconnects in research [22:00] - The qualities needed for this type of research [24:13] - Neil’s gift for the audience Resources and Links from Today's Episode: Advancing Research 2024, New York City, March 25-27, 2024 https://rosenfeldmedia.com/advancing-research/2024/ A Colorful View From the Top – a book featuring candid interviews with luminaries of color who made it to the top in various fields. https://www.amazon.com/Colourful-View-Top-Twenty-One-Extraordinary/dp/1408715791/ The Deluge by Stephen Markley https://www.amazon.com/Audible-The-Deluge/dp/B0B4YTWP7K/
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Jan 29, 2024 • 39min

The Evolution of User Research with Steve Portigal

Author, researcher, speaker, and frequent Rosenfeld Review guest Steve Portigal joins Lou for a chat on the state of the user research industry – where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re headed. If the field of research was once a lonely desert, today it’s a jungle. It was once a field where researchers could get lost and forgotten. Today, the field is teaming with life—so much so that you could get eaten alive. Gleaning lessons from the past, Steve doesn’t want us to forget the desert. But he has no desire to return there. In his chat with Lou, they look back, and they look ahead. They discuss shifts in community and networking, and how research agencies are being replaced by in-house research teams. Finally, the two discuss Steve’s role in the upcoming, in-person Advancing Research conference in Queens, New York. What you’ll learn from this episode: How the world of user research has evolved over the last 25 years from a widely-respected industry expert How the research industry has shifted from agency-based work to in-sourcing About Steve’s work, career, and books About the upcoming, in-person Advancing Research Conference About Steve’s role in past Advancing Research Conferences Quick Reference Guide: [0:00:29] Introduction of Steve [0:02:50] “Dog fooding”, preparation, and collaboration that happens before conferences [0:09:30] Comparing the user research field and community now to how it was 25 years ago. [0:16:22] The evolution of networking, connections, and community [0:23:09] Shifts and pivots Steve has seen over the last 25 years in the user research field [0:30:32] Writing it down and moving on [0:35:13] Plug for Advancing Research Conference, including Steve’s role [0:36:27] Steve’s gift for listeners Resources and links from today’s episode: Steve Portigal’s Rosenfeld Media books: https://rosenfeldmedia.com/people/steve-portigal/ Advancing Research Conference (March 25-27): https://rosenfeldmedia.com/advancing-research/2024/ Steve’s website: https://Portigal.com The Wok: Recipes and Techniques by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt: https://www.amazon.com/Wok-Techniques-J-Kenji-L%C3%B3pez-Alt/dp/0393541215
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Jan 24, 2024 • 35min

The Roots of Inclusion with Victor Udoewa

The podcast discusses the importance of recognizing diverse viewpoints, establishing cross-world connections, and bridging knowledge gaps. It also explores the concept of inversion and its relation to conference advice, highlights the importance of starting UX research from a perspective of being rather than methodology, and discusses the significance of being courageous and taking risks in the field.
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Jan 15, 2024 • 29min

Harry Max on Managing Priorities

Harry Max, author of the forthcoming Managing Priorities, discusses prioritization challenges faced by designers, the DEGAP framework for setting priorities, and the importance of flexible thinking. He shares his career journey from technical writer to executive coach and SXSW speaker.
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Nov 16, 2023 • 42min

Taking Notes and Nurturing Your Knowledge Garden with Jorge Arango

Jorge Arango, an information architect and author, discusses the history and evolution of note-taking tools, the benefits of digital notetaking, and the concept of nurturing a 'knowledge garden' to enhance thinking and productivity.
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Nov 7, 2023 • 30min

Creating a More Impactful Business While Still Feeling Like a Designer with Ellen Chisa

Have you ever felt like the product people want to move too fast? You realize that speed is important, but the quality of the product is going to suffer and the results are going to disappoint. Or have you ever wished you had a seat at the table during the initial strategy sessions of a new project, rather than being brought in mid-stream? Do you feel intimidated when talking to the folks on the business and finance side of your organization? If so, this episode is for you. Ellen Chisa has a background in engineering and an MB. She is a founder, venture capitalist, and partner at boldstart ventures. In short, she has to care about the business side of things. But she also cares about user-oriented product design, and she wants the voices of those in the design space to be heard. The best place to start, she asserts, might be by listening and learning. Ellen encourages designers to familiarize themselves with their organization’s business models and financials. If you’re feeling squirmy about that prospect, Ellen lays out a workable approach that will put both you and the business analyst at ease. Ellen’s goal is to help you create more business impact while still feeling like a designer. Ellen will be the opening keynote at the November 29 Design in Product virtual conference. What you’ll learn from this episode: - About Ellen Chisa’s background, her current position, and the contribution she’ll make at the Design in Product Conference 2023 - Where Ellen sees the future going—combining APIs with generative AI - Why designers will benefit from learning about the business and financial side of their organization - How a designer can approach a business person with ease and curiosity - A strategy for getting a seat at the table for the initial strategy sessions of a project Quick Reference Guide [0:00:20] Introduction of Ellen Chisa and Design in Product Conference [0:02:22] The double diamond approach to design [0:04:09] Potent combinations of design tools [0:05:02] Ellen looking ahead at where technology will go [0:07:08] Creating more business impact while still feeling like a designer [0:09:45] How to get a financial toolkit for designers [0:12:08] Accessible metrics for non-business people [0:17:32] Design Ops Summit, October 2-6, 2023 [0:19:02] Feeling like a designer and building a coalition [0:21:12] How to slow the cadence [0:23:04] Is it better to focus on revenue and growth or derisking? [0:25:09] Advice for those who feel reserved about approaching others [0:27:06] Ellen’s gift for listeners Resources and links from today’s episode: Design in Product Conference 2023 https://rosenfeldmedia.com/design-in-product/ Readwise – save notes from books https://readwise.io/ Obsidian https://obsidian.md/
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Nov 2, 2023 • 36min

The Beautiful Mess of Product Development with John Cutler

John Cutler, senior director of product management at Toast and writer of 'The Beautiful Mess' newsletter, discusses the complexities of collaboration and the need for deep alignment in product and design. He emphasizes the importance of listening to multiple frames and perspectives while exploring a way forward together. The podcast also explores the challenges of mapping an organization and suggests alternative metaphors for team dynamics in product development.
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Oct 30, 2023 • 35min

Pain and Curiosity Precede Successful Design Systems Change with Dan Mall

While we’ve been developing design systems for years, we’re only just now learning how to create systems that are successful and sustainable. Dan Mall is the author of the soon-to-be released Design That Scales: Creating a Sustainable Design System Practice, which explores the cultural elements that contribute to sustainable design systems. Not surprisingly, it’s usually pain that motivates change. In fact, companies occupying the number one spot in their respective markets usually have the least incentive to change. As the saying goes, “Number two tries harder.” But even in the most-ready-for-change scenarios, design systems sit, at best, at a third level of priority. Dan asserts that the challenge is to approach design systems as a byproduct of the products and features that bring customers value. Otherwise, design systems will always be on the backburner. Dan and Lou discuss tricky topics around design systems: - Designers’ fear of job loss to design systems. - As we move toward sustainable design systems, who should make the decisions? Who does what and when? - How to approach design systems in a sustainable way. - The best way for product and systems teams to collaborate. What you’ll learn from this episode: - Why culture, rather than product maturity, will determine whether design systems are successful - How to address fears of job loss as a result of design systems - How to keep people motivated through a systems change - How product and design teams can work together efficiently - How design systems have changed over time - The role of governance in systems change - Why following precedent within your company will get you farther faster Quick Reference Guide [0:00:32] Introduction of Dan Mall and his book Design that Scales – Creating a Sustainable Design System Practice [0:04:49] On reaching cultural alignment [0:07:01] What prompts design systems change [0:09:26] When jobs feel threatened [0:12:21] Cultural signs and markers of design system success [0:16:59] November 29th, 2023 – Design in Product Conference [0:18:20] On governance and sustainability [0:24:44] On collaboration between product and design teams [0:27:33] The evolution of design systems for ICs [0:30:35] Design Systems University [0:32:38] Dan’s gift to listeners Resources and links from today’s episode: Design in Product Conference on November 29, 2023 https://rosenfeldmedia.com/design-in-product Design Systems University https://designsystem.university/ The Useful School https://usefulschool.com

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