199 episodes

Lou Rosenfeld talks with a LOT of brilliant, interesting changemakers in the UX world and beyond. Subscribe to the Rosenfeld Media podcast for a bird's eye view into what shifts UX faces, and how individuals and teams can respond in ways that drive success.

Rosenfeld Review Podcast The Rosenfeld Review Podcast (Rosenfeld Media)

    • Technology
    • 4.6 • 17 Ratings

Lou Rosenfeld talks with a LOT of brilliant, interesting changemakers in the UX world and beyond. Subscribe to the Rosenfeld Media podcast for a bird's eye view into what shifts UX faces, and how individuals and teams can respond in ways that drive success.

    Decoding Culture: A Lens for Research Breakthroughs with Neil Barrie

    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/

    • 28 min
    The Evolution of User Research with Steve Portigal

    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

    • 39 min
    The Roots of Inclusion with Victor Udoewa

    The Roots of Inclusion with Victor Udoewa

    We hear a lot about diversity, equity, and inclusion, but you probably haven’t heard it like this. Nigerian-born Victor Udoewa, service design lead at the Centers for Disease Control's Office of Public Health Data, Surveillance, and Technology, brings a beautiful perspective that challenges current research methodologies.

    Victor introduces the notion of the pluriverse, emphasizing that people inhabit different worlds with unique ways of being and knowing. He draws attention to the diverse perspectives that shape people's beliefs and understanding, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging and bridging these gaps.

    He also uses a tree as a metaphor, in which the roots are ways of being, the trunk ways of knowing, and the branches and leaves are methodologies and methods. The metaphor suggests that inclusive research should not just focus on the green parts of the tree but what’s underneath the surface, getting to the very roots of being.

    Recognizing the limitations of mainstream research toolkits and critiquing methodologies grounded in Western ways of being, Victor proposes that truly inclusive research goes far beyond having diverse teams study diverse audiences.

    This episode is just a taste of Victor’s talk at the upcoming in-person Advancing Research Conference, “Beyond Methods and Diversity: The Roots of Inclusion.”

    What You'll Learn from this Episode:
    - The Pluriverse Concept: The idea that the world comprises multiple realities, ways of being, and existences
    - Standpoint Theory: The idea that individuals at the bottom of a social hierarchy possess a knowledge that is inaccessible to those at higher levels
    - Victor’s Tree Metaphor: Roots symbolize ways of being, the trunk represents ways of knowing, and branches and leaves denote methodologies and methods
    - Radical Participatory Research: Allowing research to emerge organically from the ways of being of the community involved

    Quick Reference Guide:
    [00:10] Meet Victor Udoewa
    [02:16] About Victor’s talk at Advancing Research
    [04:26] The pluriverse and asymmetry of knowledge
    [11:20] Social hierarchy, ways of being, and methodology
    [12:52] The tree metaphor - getting to the roots
    [22:20] Research starting with a way of being
    [26:47] Cultural individualism on research
    [33:02] Victor’s gift for listeners

    Resources and Links from Today's Episode:
    Songlines by Bruce Chatwin https://www.amazon.com/Songlines-Bruce-Chatwin/dp/0140094296
    Decolonizing Methodologies by Linda Tuhiwai Smith https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/decolonizing-methodologies-9781786998125/
    Advancing Research 2024 https://rosenfeldmedia.com/advancing-research/2024/

    • 35 min
    Harry Max on Managing Priorities

    Harry Max on Managing Priorities

    Harry Max is an executive coach, consultant, and hands-on product design and development leader. He’s also the author of the forthcoming Managing Priorities: How to Create Better Plans and Make Smarter Decisions.

    For individuals, teams, and organizations, from managing things, people, places, rules, activities, and projects, Harry’s new book Managing Priorities gets to the heart of how we prioritize and make and implement decisions, whether one-off or events that happen on a regular basis.

    Harry uses DEGAP, a design-thinking framework that he says he didn’t invent but discovered, to explain how successful organizations and leaders set, implement, and execute priorities. DEGAP closes the gap between a current state and a desired state:
    D - decide
    E - Engage (commit to the process)
    G - gather (collect information and items to prioritize)
    A - arrange (sort and create frameworks)
    P - prioritize

    Harry and Lou also discuss the importance of flexible thinking (a superpower of designers) when it comes to prioritization, communication, and implementation.

    What you’ll learn from this episode:
    - How Harry went from technical writer to designer to executive coach to SXSW speaker to author
    - What DEGAP is, why it makes a difference when dealing with prioritization, and how Harry discovered it
    - Why DEGAP is like a design-thinking framework
    - The unique prioritization challenges designers face
    - The unique gifts designers bring to addressing prioritization

    Quick Reference Guide
    [0:00:26] Introduction of Harry
    [0:01:59] A discussion on prioritization
    [0:04:27] Orders of prioritization
    [0:07:39] Distinguishing priorities of the individual, team, and organization – DEGAP
    [0:12:26] More about DEGAP at the individual and organizational levels
    [0:15:39] Advancing Research 2024, March 25-27
    [0:17:13] Review of Harry’s career path
    [0:23:47] Unique prioritization challenges for designers
    [0:26:25] Harry’s gift for the listeners

    Resources and links from today’s episode:
    Managing Priorities: How to Create Better Plans and Make Smarter Decisions by Harry Max
    Advancing Research Conference 2024 https://rosenfeldmedia.com/advancing-research/2024/
    4000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman https://www.amazon.com/Four-Thousand-Weeks-Management-Mortals/dp/0374159122
    Oliver Burkeman’s Maestro course https://www.bbcmaestro.com/courses/Oliver%20Burkeman/time-management

    • 29 min
    Taking Notes and Nurturing Your Knowledge Garden with Jorge Arango

    Taking Notes and Nurturing Your Knowledge Garden with Jorge Arango

    Jorge Arango is an Information architect, author, and educator, and he’s written a new book, Duly Noted, about the age-old practice of notetaking.

    If you’re like me, you’ve been taking notes since your school days. Back then, we used notebooks, a Trapper Keeper, and sticky notes – anything that could help us ace a test, remember important tidbits, and consolidate ideas. Notes are an extension of the mind. But it was always a headache to organize them, synthesize them, and recall them at the right time.

    Enter the digital age – which tried to improve on the humble art of notetaking, but apps like Notes and Stickies tried to replicate digitally what we were using in the real world. Newer apps like Obsidian let go of real-world metaphors by utilizing three principles: shorter notes, connecting your notes, and nurturing your notes to build a knowledge garden that will serve you for the rest of your life.

    If you bring value to the world through your thinking, you have the responsibility to look after your thinking apparatus. Duly Noted will augment, magnify, and extend your capacity to think well. Externalizing your mental processes is one of the most powerful means we have to think better. If used well, the humble note will help you be a better thinker and a more effective human.

    What you’ll learn from this episode:
    - A history of notetaking tools
    - Why notetaking is a personal endeavor
    - How digital notetaking tools have evolved
    - About Jorge’s new book and how, upon reading it, you just might become a better thinker and increase your effectiveness

    Quick Reference Guide
    [0:00:12] Introduction of Jorge and his books
    [0:01:18] Introduction of Jorge’s new book on taking notes and creating a knowledge garden, Duly Noted
    [0:09:47] Books that will make you a better knowledge worker
    [0:14:14] Design in Product Conference
    [0:15:35] Managing knowledge with computers
    [0:26:03] Knowledge as a garden
    [0:28:09] On tools for nurturing a knowledge garden
    [0:33:08] How Jorge uses AI with Obsidian
    [0:36:37] Jorge’s gift for listeners

    Resources and links from today’s episode:
    Information Architecture for the Web and Beyond by Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville, and Jorge Arango https://www.amazon.com/Information-Architecture-Beyond-Louis-Rosenfeld/dp/1491911689
    Living in Information: Responsible Design for Digital Places by Jorge Arango https://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/living-in-information/
    Duly Noted by Jorge Arango https://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/duly-noted-extend-your-mind-through-connected-notes/
    O’Reilly’s book Mind Hacks by Tom Stafford https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/mind-hacks/0596007795/
    Tools for Thought by Howard Rheingold www.rheingold.com/texts/tft/
    Design in Product Conference, November 29 https://rosenfeldmedia.com/design-in-product/
    Roam Research https://roamresearch.com/
    Obsidian https://obsidian.md/
    The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain by Annie Murphy Paul https://anniemurphypaul.com/books/the-extended-mind/
    Figure it Out: Getting from Information to Understanding by Karl Fast and Stephen Anderson https://www.amazon.com/Figure-Out-Getting-Information-Understanding-ebook/dp/B085412Q1X
    Build a PKG (Personal Knowledge Garden) Workshop https://buildapkg.com

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

    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/

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

Kkaineg ,

Informative and interesting Show

This podcast is always great! I love hearing about people’s journey and their willingness to share their design expertise. Each episode, I take away good tips and mindful insights to continue improving my practice.

D no h ,

Taking notes, getting ideas

It’s always great to find an informed and informative discussion on topics I can apply to my role, my team, and my work. Thanks!

JustReviewer ,


Two issues. First, is with audio levels. The host’s audio level is lower than the guest’s. This causes the listener to constantly fiddle with the volume to get it just right. Please fix that! Second, as a host even though you are knowledgeable, the show is really about the guests that you invite. So let them be the focus.

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