Avsnitt

  • Welcome to the new year. In the first episode of 2021, Craig and Tom jump into an evergreen topic on the minds of designers everywhere. Should we be generalists or specialists, and why?

    Specialization and generalization are tough terms to define. There are generalist designers who have a breadth of skills that cover the full design process. And then there's a wider definition of generalist that includes knowledge, skills, and experience outside of design. Similarly with specialization, it can be narrow, or wide. There's no standard way of saying what is general and what is specialized.

    But saying "it depends" isn't too helpful. It can be a real conundrum in a designer's professional life. In the episode Tom and Craig talk about how they approach the topic, and some pros and cons of each. And in the end, it's all about recognizing you're unique "shape" as a designer. 

    If you enjoyed the episode, make sure to share it with your friends and colleagues. You can support the podcast by leaving us a review or rating wherever you listen. You can subscribe to Opacity anywhere audio is distributed. Connect with us on twitter @opacitypodcast, and by checking out our new YouTube channel.

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • We've made it to the end of 2020, a year unlike any other. Putting aside the roller coaster of the past year, we wanted to take some time to reflect on what's changed for designers in the workplace, and what these changes may mean for us in the coming year.

    A major theme for this episode was on the move to remote work and it's far reaching impacts, for good and maybe-not-so-good.  We also get into some of the following topics:

    Global asynchronous work, and ways to communicate effectively and efficiently The dangers of a more output-centric work environment for designers Remote facilitation as a designer superpower Finding balance and setting boundaries when everything has blurred together ...and more!

    This episode was fun to record, and we really hope you enjoy it. As you close out the year, take some time to reflect on the new work-reality we find ourselves in, and how you can make it work best for you in 2021.

    Here's to wishing you all a very happy new year, and all the good things in the year to come. 

    If you enjoyed the episode, make sure to share it with your friends and colleagues. You can support the podcast by leaving us a review or rating wherever you listen. You can subscribe to Opacity anywhere audio is distributed. Connect with us on twitter @opacitypodcast, and by checking out our new YouTube channel. 

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • Saknas det avsnitt?

    Klicka här för att uppdatera flödet manuellt.

  • Starting out is hard. We've all been there, and have all had different experiences of this time. Regardless of how well or rough your entry to a design career is going, it takes real work.

    In this episode, Tom and Craig get into the topic, reflecting on their personal experiences as well as some suggestions for how designers starting out can grab the proverbial bull by the horns. They talk about job titles, transferable skills from other types of work, and creating your own work experience when starting from scratch. They also share about what stands out in the interview room, such as authentic interest and an ability to learn, good presentation skills, and the undoubtable benefit of investing in building your network.

    There's a lot still so much to talk about (it could be its own podcast!), so we're calling this "part 1". 

    If you're starting your design career, we'd love to hear from you! Tell us about your successes and failures, struggles and joys, or questions for us to cover on the air. Tweet at us @opacitypodcast or reach out to Tom (@tomcdesign) or Craig (cp5446)

    Please share with anyone you know starting out! And subscribe to Opacity wherever you consume audio. 🎧

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • Looking back through your career you'll find a series of memorable moments that stand out. Highs, lows, and transitions likely make up the bulk of those memories. These memorable, defining moments are some of the most impactful on your career. These ideas are explored in depth in the well-known book, The Power of Moments, by Dan and Chip Heath.

    Knowing this, how can we think about creating defining moments for others as a form of design impact? When thinking along these lines, how can we broaden out perspective on what it means to bring impact as a designer?

    Hope you enjoy the episode! To read more on this topic, we recommend The Power of Moments, as well as checking out Craig's recent article, Designing for impact through defining moments on the Shaping Design blog.

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • It's easy to assume that UX design is inherently ethical. After all, designing with people's interests in mind is a big part of what we do. So why then, are certain technologies driving the downfall of civilization? ::cue ominous thunder:: Technologies that designers have played a big role in creating.

    Regardless of what we're designing, ethics needs to be on the table. No product is immune from ethical dilemmas. And every product—or perhaps the companies that build these products—wants to be something. It wants to grow, get more users, increase market share, make more money, keep investors happy, buy more pool tables and give employees free massages. But at what cost?

    In this episode, Tom and Craig scratch the surface of this big, important topic. tl;dr -- actively think about ethics, and interrogate your work, your employer, and yourself about upholding ethical standards.

    Enjoy the episode! If you do, please share with your friends and colleagues. And subscribe to Opacity anywhere audio is served.

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • Our careers (and life) are made up of cross-roads and decisions we make on where to go next. We can approach these moments through detailed calculation—trying to find the right way to go based on the information we have available. Or, we can embrace a bit of randomness, and follow our gut. 

    In this episode Tom and Craig talk about their experiences with key decision points in their careers, and how they calculated (or rather, didn't calculate) them. Really, this is about much more than career, as it gets down to what we all believe is a life well-lived. 

    How do you approach career and life decisions? What do you intentionally calculate, and when do you embrace randomness. 

    If you enjoy'ed this episode, please subscribe to Opacity anywhere, and share with others who might like it. 

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • We all know about them. Probably even dipped our toes into making one. Everyone wants one. Many are willing to sell their souls for the chance at designing one. They're a lot of work, but they're worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears. Of course, we're talking about design systems.

    There are a million books, blog posts, and podcast episodes about design systems. In this chat, Tom and Craig speak a little about their experiences building design systems. Tom coming from the "design systems at scale" perspective, and Craig from the "scrappy small team trying to make it happen" side. 

    Hope you enjoy the conversation! If you do, please share with your fellow designers, and subscribe to Opacity wherever you consume audio.

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • Accessibility and usability are core to our profession. Despite this fact, they often don't take center stage. Many designers even feel that putting too much emphasis on them can take away from pushing creative boundaries. In this episode, Tom and Craig chat about the tensions that exist between these aspects of our profession. 

    We all love a good analogy. So why not explore how these topics can be further understood through the analogy of construction, architecture, and interior design? 

    Check out Accessibility for Everyone by Laura Kalbag (one of our fellow Ireland based designers!) for a great read on accessibility. 

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • The experience of work is evolving faster than ever in this era of extreme uncertainty. In ways we're all still trying to make sense of. In this episode Craig and Tom get into it, talking about how working remotely has opened up a reevaluation of what we do, what we're good at, how we work, and where we struggle. They reflect on hard vs soft/professional skills, the "Conundrum of Self-Awareness", the impact of words, and challenges of communications. 

    All in all, a good jump back into the podcast after a long break. Hope you enjoy. If so, subscribe to Opacity wherever you consume audio, and share with your friends and colleagues. 🤗

    And here's a link from the discussion:

    The Johari Window--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • Content is integral to good quality products and services, but doesn't always get the attention it deserves. In this episode Grace Hughes, Content Design Lead at Fjord joins Tom & Craig to discuss the role of content design, conversational design, content strategy and much more. You'll never use Lorem Ipsum again!
    Connect with Grace on Twitter at @GraceHughes22 or on LinkedIn
    While you're at it, check the rest of us out as well. Tom, Craig, and the official account for Opacity. And, of course, subscribe to Opacity everywhere audio is distributed.



    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message

  • In this episode Tom sits down with Sinéad Davis Cochrane, a User Experience Manager at Workday, where she lead a team of designers and researchers. We discuss her education, career path from researcher to manager and views on planning your career. As well as advice for listeners who may be finding the current COVID situation difficult. What if you suddenly find yourself out of work with an out of date portfolio? How do you navigate these uncertain waters? We discuss that and much more!
    Connect with Sinéad on Twitter at @sineadcochrane or on LinkedIn
    While you're at it, check the rest of us out as well. Tom, Craig, and the official account for Opacity. And, of course, subscribe to Opacity everywhere audio is distributed.

    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message

  • It's been a while, but we're back!

    After taking a few months off from the podcast, Craig and Tom are back in the saddle to discuss the state of being a designer (and person) in troubling times. We discuss Tom's burnout—which led to us taking the break in recording—as well as the situation we're all dealing with as COVID19 spreads globally. Self-isolating,  working from home, managing kids, and the importance of looking after ourselves, our families, and the world. 
    And very importantly, finding some good in all of it.

    Enjoy, and let us know what you're thinking about with all that's going on! 
    You can reach out to Tom, Craig, and the official Twitter account for Opacity. And, of course, make sure to subscribe to Opacity everywhere audio is distributed. Share with others who you think would enjoy too. 

    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message

  • Helping designers have more fulfilling careers is like being a baker. An artisanal bread baker, where the designer is the dough in your hands. Or maybe the job is the dough... Regardless, the analogy is oven-proof. 

    This week, we talk with an expert baker. From hospitality, to design recruitment, to building a design community with InVision, Mindaugas Petrutis has baked a lot of loaves over the years. We talk about the insides of design recruitment, the concept of dream jobs, and other related ideas.

    Connect with Mindaugas on Twitter at @MindaugasLT or on LinkedIn. 

    While you're at it, check the rest of us out as well. Tom, Craig, and the official account for Opacity. And, of course, subscribe to Opacity everywhere audio is distributed. 

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • With over 700,000 podcasts in the world, why make another one?

    Early in 2019, Tom and Craig decided to get together to create Opacity, a podcast framed around the general topic of working in design. 18 episodes and 8 months later, they reflect on how it started, what they've learned along the way, and why they keep doing it. 

    Podcasting is technically simple, but many things about it aren't that easy. If you've ever wanted to start your own, or have enjoyed listening to Opacity, this episode sheds more light into how they've tried to learn with each step of the journey. And, most importantly, how they keep it fun and interesting.

    Thanks to everyone who listens. For newcomers, subscribe to Opacity anywhere you get podcasts. 

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • Is composure underrated?

    One thing's for sure. Working nicely with others can be a challenge. And when we lose our composure, we can lose a lot more in the process. 

    The modern work environment is full of tense moments, difficult conversations, and unreasonable egos (our own included). When passion is high, inter-personal tension can follow close behind. Maintaining composure amidst your own strong opinions and lizard brain impulses is a skill worth developing.

    In this special episode we talk about all this, and more. Ben Taylor, Senior Product Designer at HubSpot, joins Craig and Tom. Ben brings a composed self-awareness, and some great insights on ways he's developed this over the years. 

    (You can find Ben on Medium or connect with him on LinkedIn.)

    Enjoy the episode, and don't forget to subscribe to Opacity anywhere you get podcasts. Follow us on twitter at @Opacitypodcast. And leave us a review on iTunes!

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • How do you feel when you hear these statements and questions? 

    Everyone's a designer Should designers code? Jay-Z is a member of the Illuminati

    If you're like most, you probably get a little too worked up. We all do, and that's natural. In this episode, Tom and Craig talk about these questions. They try their best not to fall into the trap of actually giving their stances on them (and fail a bit in the process). Instead, they reflect on why we ask these questions to begin with. And, why so many of us foam at the mouth when these topics come up. 

    Let us know what you think about these questions, and what it says about us as individuals, our identities, and our industry. 

    Find us on our new official twitter handle, @opacitypodcast. You can also connect with Tom @tomcdesign and Craig @ycphillips over yonder.

    ALSO! Tom is speaking at Glug Dublin on August 22nd, 2019, at The Sugar Club. Come say hi! Learn more about the topic and other speakers on the event page. 

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • Time and energy are the elusive fuel for projects, both personal and professional. In this episode Craig and Tom discuss their thoughts on how to deal with finite resources and getting things done.

    Thanks for listening—share and subscribe! 

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • Kim Lenox currently heads up the product design organization at Zendesk, a global company that builds software for the best customer experiences. She is responsible for driving strategic priorities and scaling the impact of an international team of product designers, researchers, content strategists, and front-end developers as the company moves upmarket. Prior to Zendesk, Kim led the design of product experiences for 24 years at technology companies like LinkedIn, Samsung, and Palm/HP. 

    In this episode we were lucky enough to speak with Kim about her career path, how she got to where she is, and the fundamental elements that made her the design leader she is today. It's chock full of sage advice—relevant for designers at any stage in their career. 

    To connect with Kim, and learn more about what her team is up to at Zendesk, here are some places to check out:

    Kim on Twitter

    Zendesk

    Zendesk Creative

    _

    If you enjoy listening to Opacity, and think others might too, share this episode! Subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts.

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • The jobs that we've had in the past shape the professionals we become. No matter how mundane, low paid, or seemingly inconsequential. 

    A recent twitter dot com trend had people from far and wide sharing 5 past jobs they had. In the process, we saw people we know (and many we don't) showing how they started out. The result was a lot of random, windy paths. Humble beginnings that showed many of us begin our work like in similar ways. So much of work in these times is impacted by social media, and the FOMO we experience seeing everyone advance and get promoted around us. Some of us think about career switches, but put it on the back burner because it seems too late. 

    In lucky episode 13, Craig and Tom talk about a few of their early jobs. From Tom's week-long stint as a lounge boy, to Craig's cold winter nights spent pitching for charities door to door—they're tales of hardship and struggle. But also of learning, growth, and the process of maturing into professional designers. 

    We hope you enjoy the episode. Share your past jobs with us when you share the episode on Twitter or elsewhere. And if you're listening on the Anchor mobile app, send us a audio clip—if we get some submissions maybe we'll start a new segment in future episodes! 🥳

    Thanks for listening—share and subscribe! 

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
  • Has your mother ever told you to not be an asshole? In case not, this episode should do the trick. 

    Paul Woods is Chief Creative Officer at the renowned design firm Edenspiekermann. He has accomplished much in his career as a designer,  working with companies like Red Bull, Google, The City of Santa Monica, Morgan Stanley, and Time Inc. 

    Now he's written a book to share wisdom on a very important and relevant topic. It's called How to Do Great Work Without Being an Asshole. It's both informative and entertaining, about how we all can be a little bit better people at work. Or at least less bad. But definitely more good. In this episode we talk about the theme of assholes, and learn more about why it's important for designers to think and talk about. 

    Not sure this point needs mention, but the term asshole is used semi-frequently in the episode. Listener discretion is advised. 😅

    If you enjoy the episode please share with everyone you know. And subscribe to Opacity anywhere (and everywhere).

    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message