Where the design community meets.
Atlanta, GA Creative Strategist at Glitch Joined about 6 years ago via an invitation from Nathan P.
Adrian Franks is a one-of-a-kind renaissance man. His work as a UX creative director at IBM focuses on experience design (iX) for their global business services brand, but trust me -- his skills don't stop there.
Our conversation began with Adrian walking us through his typical days of meetings and projects, but things really came alive when we talked about his days growing up and learning design in Atlanta. Adrian also talked about how he connected with the venerable film maker Spike Lee for a series of art projects, and shared some great advice on the types of skills designers need to have in order to achieve their best work. I'm so glad we have designers like Adrian out there who can show us what the true possibilities of creativity can be!
Civic design focuses on the common good, and no one quite sums up just how vital that is to our local communities than this week's guest, Sabrina Dorsainvil. As the director of civic design for the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics in Boston, MA, she uses her skills as a designer and illustrator to develop strategic, human-centered designs that address some of the city's most complex issues.
Of course, I was fascinated to learn more about this, so Sabrina described what civic design is about, how she approaches new projects, and the challenges she faces creating solutions that inform and serve hundreds of thousands of people. She also gave some great advice for designers and creatives who want to get more involved in their local communities, and even talked about her work as a design advisor for NY-based design studio designing the WE. Sabrina attributes trusting her passion as her main motivator for success, and I think you'll get inspired from hearing more about her story and her work!
Dantley Davis has been a mainstay in the Silicon Valley tech and design community for almost 20 years. His work at PayPal, SAP, Yahoo!, Netflix, and Facebook have all led him to his current role as VP of design and research for one of the most well-known websites in the world — Twitter. So as you can imagine, I had a lot of questions to ask him, and Dantley was gracious enough to give some insight into what he does and on his perspective of the current tech and design industries.
Our wide-ranging conversation touched on a number of topics, but first, Dantley talked a bit about the behind-the-scenes work that goes on at Twitter, including the team he leads, diversity and inclusion efforts, how decisions are made at Twitter (such as their latest redesign), and yes…even Black Twitter. Dantley also shared his story of growing up as a military brat, learning to code and landing in San Francisco during the Browser Wars, and spoke on how he stays authentic to himself after being in Silicon Valley for decades. Dantley Davis is a true design leader, and even if you haven’t heard of him before this week’s interview, chances are that you have experienced his work in some small way. He is truly a pioneer in this digital age!
We've had several people from Facebook on Revision Path before, but this week's conversation with Dr. Quaneisha Penha is a special one. As a user experience researcher, her work spans many of the industries and disciplines that make up the Facebook experience.
Quaneisha walked me through her regular routine, which involves interviews, usability testing, and a lot of other methods. She also spoke about her time at Stanford, attending North Carolina A&T for her Masters and Ph.D., and we discussed inclusive design, autonomous vehicles, and juggling her workload with her duties as a new mom. I'm glad to know that researchers like Quaneisha are out there talking to people, analyzing the data, and helping others at Facebook make informed decisions!
Winemaker. Sommelier. Author. Creative Director. Designer. These are just a few words that describe the force that is André Mack. Whether he's at his vineyards in Oregon or opening up a new business in New York City, André is proof that you can do anything you want to do in life if you have the drive, passion, and creativity to make it happen.
Our conversation begins with a look into André's current life, and from there he shared how he switched careers from finance to wine. He also talked about his design agency Get Fraîche Cru, and even gave us a little information about his latest project -- a new book titled 99 Bottles: A Black Sheep’s Guide to Life-Changing Wines. André might not be a fan of titles, but after this episode, I can think of a really great one for him -- changemaker! Enjoy!
One of the best things about Revision Path is that it allows our audience the opportunity to learn about so many great designers and their work, and Randall Wilson is a prime example of that. Randall is the UX design lead for the digital messaging team at Capital One, but he's also making major strides in the design community as one of the co-founders of the HUE Design Summit, a multi-day un-conference created for designers and developers of color.
In our conversation, we spent time talking about Randall's work, growing up in Atlanta and attending Georgia Tech, and the founding of the HUE Collective -- the nine-person team behind the HUE Design Summit. Randall also gave a review of this year's summit, gave his thoughts on design events, and shared his dream project...becoming a Lego Master Builder! Keep an eye out for Randall; he's out here making major moves!
How much do you factor accessibility into your work? If the answer isn't "a lot", then hopefully this week's interview with Erin Newby will give you some insight. Erin has recently struck out on her own, and she brings years of product design experience with her to help clients and companies provide the best experiences to their customers.
Erin and I talked about growing up in Detroit, and she mentioned how she first got interested in design and what prompted her to move to NYC. We also spent a good bit of time talking about the current state of accessibility, invisible disabilities, and steps and resources that designers can take to make their projects more available by everyone. Erin strives to be an example to others, and this episode only further illustrates that. Thank you Erin for helping make the web a more accessible place!
While many technology companies these days have developer advocates, it may not be immediately clear to the rest of us exactly what it is they do. Advocating for developers at a tech company should be easy, right? Well, there's more to it then what the title suggests, and I'm extremely glad this week to talk with Brian Douglas to learn more. As a developer advocate at GitHub, he balances his time between coding and engaging with users on the platform.
Brian talked about what attracted him to GitHub, and gave his process on talking to developers and approaching new projects. From there, Brian shared his story from Florida to Silicon Valley, including how a detour into finance eventually led him into becoming a software developer. We even talked about podcasting! I think you'll learn a lot from this conversation with Brian, and hopefully his journey inspires you to put yourself out there!
One of the great things about Revision Path is that each guest shows that you can really carve your own path to success in the design and tech industries, and Nicole Davis is no exception! As a digital product owner at global insurance company Marsh, Nicole's work involves walking the line between tech and business.
We talked about her new role at Marsh, and she spoke on the challenges that come when managing the overlap of product and risk management. We also touched on the concept of emotional intelligence, and she mentioned how important it is for digital product owners. Nicole also shared how she first got into this field, which was spurred by a love of economics. Nicole's drive for success is contagious, and her story definitely shows that. Learn more about her in this week's interview!
If you're a long time listener of Revision Path, then you have definitely heard me sing the praises of the Black in Design Conference that takes place every other year at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. The next conference takes place in October, and I am thrilled to have the chance to talk with one of the current co-chairs Jaline McPherson.
Our conversation started off with a look into Jaline's background, and she talked about her interest in landscape architecture and how that led her to Harvard. Jaline also gave a little information on this year's conference, why the planning committee chose the theme of Black futurism, and what we can expect to learn. I'll definitely be there!
Where the design community meets.
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