In an era defined by #MeToo, and a still-present pay gap that is especially resilient in the tech industry, we’d like to celebrate a few incredible women who are transforming the world of design. And we have the team at the Design Better podcast to thank for sharing their stories.
Design Better is a delightfully addictive podcast featuring interviews with design thinking leaders from an array of tech and design firms. One of the most notable attributes of this series is the many female leaders who are highlighted.
Each season of Design Better focuses on a different design thinking topic — though they all revolve around the broad themes of collaboration, agile innovation, and user experience. At least half of every season features female designers, directors and thought leaders from companies that are celebrated for their innovative design, including Facebook, Google, Indeed, and GitHub.
Season one of the podcast focuses on what it takes to be a product-driven company. In this season, interviewees talk a lot about human-centered design, and the importance of collaboration between product, design, and engineering teams to drive innovative thinking and disruptive design.
One of our favorites is an interview with Diana Mounter, senior manager of design systems at GitHub. In it, Diana talks about how design leaders can transform their design culture from a siloed environment, where every team works in isolation on their own tasks and priorities, to a design system where they all see themselves as part of a bigger goal.
In Season two, the podcast focuses on what companies need to do to scale big ideas into successful products. Interviewees share many best practices and offer insights into the leading indicators that let their teams know when they are on the right path.
There are a number of great podcasts to choose from in season two, including an interview with Maria Giudice, founder of Hot Studio, a digital product design firm that was acquired by Facebook in 2013. Maria shares the story of how Hot Studio was able to meld the concepts of DesignOps (the latest nomenclature for what a design team does), with agile practices and design thinking to create a “human-centered agile” approach. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter about being a designer, or an engineer, or a data scientist,” she says. “It’s more about ‘Did we ship a great product together?’”
Season three, which is currently underway, dedicates itself to the “connected workflow’,” and how designers can work more effectively and efficiently with their engineering and product counterparts.
One of the highlights of this season to-date is an interview with Abigail Hart Gray, director of UX at Google. In it, she talks about how to communicate the value of design and how to measure design’s impact on the business. She also shares how she uses numbers to “deftly communicate the value of design to her colleagues, giving her team the runway to do great work.”
This is a small subsection of the many great women (and men) profiled in this series. This podcast offers a valuable glimpse into the immense talent these experts bring to the design community. If you’ve got the time, it shouldn’t be missed.
Learn how to enable innovation skill-building at scale here or download our free ebook Kickstart Innovation: A Guide for Organizations.