Making UX Work with Joe Natoli

Episode 11, Jason Ogle: Your Mess is Your MESSAGE!

March 05, 2019 Season 1 Episode 11
Making UX Work with Joe Natoli
Episode 11, Jason Ogle: Your Mess is Your MESSAGE!
Chapters
Making UX Work with Joe Natoli
Episode 11, Jason Ogle: Your Mess is Your MESSAGE!
Mar 05, 2019 Season 1 Episode 11
Joe Natoli / Jason Ogle
My guest today is Jason Ogle, who describes himself as a passionate user defender — fighting for users who are victims of bad design decisions.
Show Notes Transcript

My guest today is Jason Ogle, who describes himself as a passionate user defender — fighting for users who are victims of bad design decisions. 

He's an influential podcaster whose amazing USER DEFENDERS podcast is continuing to inspire and equip an audience of hungry, ambitious designers and UXers. 

Jason believes in failing early, and learning often. And as you’ll hear, every one of those failures has only pushed him to bigger, better and more incredible things. 

Jason Ogle, as the podcast title suggests, truly has a gift for turning a mess into a message.  


Twitter:

@jasonogle

LinkedIn:

Jason Ogle

Instagram:

highgrown

Websites:

User Defenders Podcast
User Defenders Online Community

Speaker 1:
0:08
Hello and welcome to making Ux work that give good UX podcast. I'm your host, Jonah. Totally. And our focus here is on folks like you doing a real often unglamorous UX work in the real world. You'll hear about their struggles, their successes, and their journey to and through the trenches of product design, development, and of course, user experience. My guest today is Jason Ogle, who describes himself as a passionate user defender fighting for users who are victims of bad design decisions. He's an influential podcaster who's amazing user defenders podcast is continuing to inspire and equip and audience of hungry, ambitious designers and Ux years. Jason believes in failing early and learning off it. And as you'll hear, every single one of those failures has only pushed him to bigger, better, and more incredible things. Jason Oval in all things has truly turned a mess into a message. Here's my conversation with Jason Ogle on making Ux work.
Speaker 2:
1:11
So Jason, how are you? Hey, quite well Joe. I am just starting my morning here. I am a morning guy, so I, I'm really, I love the mornings man. And I like Mondays too. I'm weird. Wow. I aspire to both those things I have never been able to achieve either. Were you always that way or did that develop over time? Not at all. No. I was a night owl for a long time and then I heard Episode One 50th Pat Flynn, smart passive income podcast, and it changed my life quite literally a he in a nutshell. He talked about how he became a morning person, uh, by following Hal Elrod, the guy who wrote the book called Miracle Morning, which I've been reading. Interesting. Oh my goodness. Uh, I think your next brother may be, I'm telling you it's, it's radical. I love it. So out of curiosity, I mean, tell me more about that.
Speaker 2:
2:06
When did you start sort of changing your, your morning habits and how hard was it to do that at the beginning? Yeah, so 2015 was the year that it all began for me, my, my manager. We were talking about podcasts. I just started listening to podcasts. Like I actually, let me take that back. I listened back in like the mid nineties, like when podcasts were brand new. I listened for awhile and then I stopped. And then, um, I started getting into it again because of my commute. And my manager told me, he's like, have you heard of Pat Flynn? Smart passive income podcast? I said, no, heaven. He's like, oh, it's, it's great. You know, it's great for entrepreneurs, it's great for personal growth people, you know, all that. And I, and I had just kind of begun my personal growth journey. Um, I've been trying to kind of develop my brain and my knowledge and to, to try to help people.
Speaker 2:
2:52
And so I was like, okay, I'm going to check it out. And it was a Friday, I remember, and I, the first episode that I downloaded was episode one 50. It was the very first one I heard. And it's him basically talking about how he started a morning routine and it's just really changed everything for him. I'm like, you know what, I think this is what's been missing in my life and I think this is what I need to do. And so I said, I commit Monday, I'm starting this and Monday came, I woke up at 5:00 AM, which is unheard of for me. And I did it. And I'm not kidding you. It felt like Christmas morning. Wow. It just, it was quiet, it was dark. And it was just like, I just like, I woke up for me. And that's the difference Joe and listeners, it's how often do we wake up for others.
Speaker 2:
3:34
We wake up for our jobs, we wake up, I'm sure you know, for our family, which is good, is important of course. But here's, here's the thing and here's what I really learned is that we can't pour an empty vessel into another. Right? So we got to fill our cup in order to actually have something to give to others. And so that's, that's really when it began for me. I woke up for myself, I had my quiet time, you know, I had some meditation time for me, which is scripture reading and prayer and, and also like, you know, doing some journaling. I do the five minute journal, which has been really, really instrumental as well. And then I go into some physical fitness and um, and it really, I'm telling you to change my life. Like wicked it for me filling up my cup and just kind of getting, um, fit, not, not just physically button, but mentally.
Speaker 2:
4:16
I lost 40 pounds in like six months and user defenders podcast was a result of my morning routine. I'm not kidding. Yeah, I can, I can believe that. Yeah. I was driving to work one day and, and then I just had this idea, you know, and this is actually scientific Joe. There's, there's a chemical that's released in when you exercise, there's a chemical release called BDNF and that stands for brain derived neurotropic factor and that that is a chemical that is only released when you sweat and kind of do an exercise. And what it does is it opens new neuropathways and it lends to new ideas. I'm not kidding. And I was like, this makes so much sense now I realized that this is what I need to do. I need to start a podcast to help, especially a up and coming designers to stay inspired and equipped in this ever evolving field. Yeah,
Speaker 3:
5:01
I totally believe that it for two reasons. Number one, like I said, I've been reading how's book and I'm sort of flirting with this in the morning. I'm not very disciplined, I'm going to be honest, but the Times that I've done it, it has certainly made a difference in the clarity that I have throughout the day. And that's the first thing. The second thing is that what's funny is when I travel, which last year was a lot, my mornings when I am traveling, when I'm in another country, when I'm in another, even in a city in the US, my morning habits are very different. I wake up, I don't know, grab my phone, I don't grab the laptop. It's just total silence and coffee in the morning and that's kind of it. Right before I go in and do whatever I'm going to do, which is, you know, the conference or the or the Gig or the client team or whatever the case may be. Sure. And it's just very different. And what's funny is when I come home, I sort of fall into this very different routine where I'm constantly checking email and constantly checking social media of doing this or that. And um, it makes a big difference. So really encouraging. I want you to know to hear you say that awesome. Because it's all the more reason to be more disciplined about it.
Speaker 2:
6:05
And I love hearing that Joe and I, I completely, I can empathize with you to a certain extent. I am, I am not a traveling, I'm not a, you know, a, a jet setter myself. I haven't, thankfully I've been able to kind of stick around here. Uh, you know, cause I have a very large family that, uh, you know, that requires a lot of B and a and I love it, but I, I can empathize with you because when you're traveling and you know, when we traveled as a family, you're just completely in a different environment and, and environment is, is everything. You know, I'm in the same environment every morning practically. You know, so I, I have all of the, that, the triggers, I have all the cues around me that, that helped me to get into that peak state. I've been reading another book too by Benjamin Hardy called willpower doesn't work and that's a really great read.
Speaker 2:
6:49
He actually explains kind of why a morning routine is so important in a, and I apologize in Idaho, I'm not saying that you're, you're less productive. I know that you probably are. Everyone's different. That's the thing. I encourage you, if you're, if you're not getting as much out of being a night owl, I encourage you to try the morning routine because he explains in his book that in order for us to be the best we can possibly be and do the most for others, we've got to get our bodies into a peak state. And the only way to really truly do that is to start our day off. That way, when you start your day off in, in that peak state, you bring that with you throughout your day. And guess what? Your empathy increases. I'm not kidding. Like I, my empathy levels have increased in seismic doses because when you feel good, you want other people to feel good.
Speaker 2:
7:34
I feel really healthy. I've never, I'm 43 years old and I didn't care about, there's a scripture that says bodily exercise profits, little I based my life on that teaching for most of my life. And then when I turned 40 this is, you know, about three years ago, you know, 2015 this is when it all changed for me. And this has been the podcast started, this is when I started to kind of, you know, building a more influence I guess in the design community and, and being able to give back. That's really the goal for me is to be able to give back because it took me 20 plus years to finally do that. And I know you've been doing it for a long time, Joe, so thank you.
Speaker 3:
8:09
Well and that's, you're welcome and I appreciate that, but that's, that's part of getting older as well. You know, what you just said is something that resonates not only with me but everybody I know. Like I just turned 50 last year. And every person I know that's sort of in the same age frame, you know as us, the older you get, that giving back part becomes tremendously important. And you find that the work you do. And I've talked to a lot of people who share this sentiment no matter what you're doing, right? Even if I'm in a room with a client, I'm in a room ostensibly to improve the user experience of our product, to help an organization make or save money, blah, blah, blah. But for me, more so now these days it's, it's about those people in the room. It's about those people at that organization. It's about the people using the product. And my main concern is the amount of discomfort, right? The amount of frustration, the amount of stress, the amount of burnout, the amount of, of all those things that are transpiring because of what's going on. And that's really what I want to solve. I really feel like I want everybody's lives just to me a little better, you know? Absolutely. And, and I don't know that that's, I don't know that that's the same when you're younger. I think you're right, Joe and I,
Speaker 2:
9:19
I can identify with you. No, no, I agree. I just feel like, you know, you, you have gained a lot of experience. You've had 50 years, my friend, to gain a lot of experience and knowledge and life lessons that you can then pour into others who are behind you. You know, and maybe they're just a little behind you, you know, but you know, you're still ahead of them in ways that you can give back. And I think that as we get older, and I'm feeling this, I think we feel like we, we start thinking a lot more about legacy. Like what, what, how are we going to be remembered? And I don't want to be remembered for being like a curmudgeon. Like, you know, my wife and I talk sometimes there's just some people and sometimes, unfortunately there they may be even being your family where you just get older and they just, maybe they hadn't taken good care of themselves or they just get kind of miserable or you know, grumpy and, and it, and it comes out and everything, you know, and, and so I, I just, I think that there's just, you know, that legacy factor, I think we went to just be remembered for somebody who, who really did care and really did try to make a difference and leave this place better than we found it.
Speaker 3:
10:16
Yeah, I think so. And I think it becomes a lot more important, number one, when you have kids. Yeah. And number two, as you get older, you just, you see the world very differently. I mean, I look back when I was in my, uh, you know, late twenties, thirties, even, to be honest with you, right around 40, there are a lot of aspects of life and work and everything else that we're just very, very, very different than they are now. Yeah. You know, you look at it differently. Plus not to mention the fact that the physically okay, you can go a lot harder for a lot longer when you're younger, you know, and those sleep is no sweat. Yeah. Amen. And the older you get, time has a way of saying, well, you know what, you can't do that anymore. You're not going to get away with it.
Speaker 3:
11:01
Yeah. That's, that's an absolutely true. You've been doing this. And I say this in a very general sense, right? Because when I look down your experience on your linkedin profile, for example, there's tremendous, various here. I mean, you've touched a lot of stuff. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's true. Tell me a little bit about that journey. I mean, how, because it seems like it's changed. It has, you know, like you started out doing more interactive work, art direction, work. Um, this, the piece at my space is tremendously interesting, um, all the way to, you know, where you are now, where you're focused more on UX stuff. So from the time you sort of started in this area, I mean, how did all this transpire?
Speaker 2:
11:40
Yeah, well I was on America Online in 1996, I think it was 90, 95, 96, right. In that, that area where every week you'd get a new, I mean the CD Rom, uh, from, yeah, they were burning money on those things. Oh my gosh, what a great investment though at the time. Right. But you know, you were happy to receive them because it wasn't unlimited. It was like you get 60 hours and then you've got to pay them. So it was like, as long as you kept getting the cds in the mail, like you got, you got free Internet service. Right. You know, those were actually quite covenant. And I have one disk I open still that I kind of, that, that just, it's sort of a piece of nostalgia for me that my manager at the same manager I told you about, they told me about the SPI.
Speaker 2:
12:28
He uh, gave that to me. But anyway, that's where it all began for me. I was a working in a kind of a dead end day job. I was a corporate lease driver for um, for Ge. And we would basically, you know, drive cars to people and pick them up and then wash them, wash a lot of cars. So, uh, one day during a break, one of my associates pulled out his laptop and which was about like six inches thick. Um, and then he like pulled up America Online and I'm like, what are you doing man? And he's like, oh, I'm online, I'm, I'm chatting.
Speaker 2:
13:01
You're, you're, I don't know about this inner webs. It's internets. You remember that? Uh, when Katie curic, what does this Internet, so what does this email that that was kind of me man, like at that time I was like, what? What are you doing? What is chat? He said, well, I'm in a chat room right now. See kids. There was a time when this stuff didn't exist. Yes, that's right. And I remember I, we were there man. So I just remember like going, wow. He's like, yeah, I'm just chatting with somebody in like, you know, in the UK right now, Mike, how you doing that? Like that's crazy. And he's like, here, try it. And so I, he, let me try it. And I got into some like really engaging conversations right away and I was like, I gotta have some of this, I need this.
Speaker 2:
13:38
And so I, I got a, I was able to get online using those cds. I tried it. Um, and then I discovered a feature called personal publisher that they had and it said, make your own webpage. And I was like, that sounds cool. I want to, I want to do that. And so I got in there and, and I started, I discover html for the very first time and I discovered that that I could be artistic, which, which I have a, an artistic background. I've always used to draw comic characters like in detention in junior high. Awesome. So I was like, yeah man. I was like, you know, and, and so I was like, how I can actually be artistic and technical. Cause I had a technical bent too. I had an Amiga computer in the 80s. Nice. I don't know if you remember. You remember those, right Joe?
Speaker 2:
14:19
I actually had my first taste of code, uh, from that experience. Like they gave you a manual. And I was able to learn some, a basic. So I learned a basic, I was, I was able to like make little dumb, dumb little games and also make her talk, which was awesome. So I had like, I had an artistic and a kind of a technical background. And when I realized I could combine those and create a webpage that anybody in the entire world could access with just a few keystrokes, I was, I was in love. It was, I was like, this is what I want to do the rest of my life. I knew it. And, um, and it took me another three years, uh, really to get my foot in the door. I did some freelancing, um, until then, and built people's websites and, you know, just for a few dollars here and there.
Speaker 2:
15:04
And, uh, and of course, David Siegel's book, creating killer websites was the very, very first web design book I ever bought. And it just changed my world, like, you know, and, and the guy, you know, he called himself an html terrorist or back then and our web wank. And, but what he put out into the world, even though it wasn't semantic, it wasn't, you know, we didn't have a lot of standards yet. That was still being worked on, right? Yeah. Wild West. Yeah, exactly. This was the wild west. What he did with that book was he showed us designers how to break out of having a just some texts on a, like a colored background. That's all the web was. At first it was just text on a white text on a black background or whatever. Right. Or in a ton of of animated gifs. Right. Like it's so funny to see.
Speaker 2:
15:46
So funny to see the revolution, right. Go around like now animated gifs are all the rage. I remember when we, when we got so sick of those things in my space was a part of that too. You know, giving people the keys, which we can get in, get into as well if you want, but you know that that's where it all started for me, my friend and then I got my first foot in the door in 99 at an ad agency. That's where my art director title came from. And uh, I had an awesome portfolio. I really did because I spent a lot of time on the visual aspects of it and the web really at that point, commerce hadn't come in yet. It was a very creative place to be. And, and I loved looking at what other people were creating. It was just like you said, it was the wild west man and, and there was just so much inspiration on the web.
Speaker 2:
16:28
And you know, people like Jeffrey Zeldman of course, who I know we both respect greatly, you know, he's a really one of the pioneers of, of, of this stuff. Yeah, absolutely. And so like, just seeing what he was putting out there, his blogging and, and I was just so inspired, man. And so I got my foot in the door and an ad agency with my awesome portfolio, but I had zero client experience. And so, you know, ad agencies are cutthroat, man. Oh yeah. I worked, I worked at several just so you know, you know what it's like man, it's, and so I got in there and they gave me my first project and it would sucked. It absolutely sucked.
Speaker 2:
17:06
I have suspicions as to why, but tell me, didn't know I, you know, I didn't know what I was doing and that's the thing. Like I hit the ground running and I guess there's a, there's a lesson in that. Was it a web project? It was, it was a web project and it was, I'm trying to remember cause it was so long ago. I'm trying to remember if it was a way, it might've been a print project now that I'm thinking of it. It might have been a print project that might've been part of the problem that way. It wasn't my wheelhouse, it wasn't what I had been focusing on. Um, so I just had to put a bunch of shapes. It was so embarrassing, man. I just, I put like some cool shapes on a, on a, on a page and some text and I, I thought it was good enough. And you know, I really didn't think it was good. I, I think I knew it was bad and I just didn't know what to do. Yeah. But that's of the experience,
Speaker 3:
17:50
right? You got it. That's really the only way. Okay. I always feel like when you tell that story and you're telling me, you know, the time that you came up when the Internet was totally in its infancy and nobody really knew very much about this, right. And you threw yourself into a situation where you didn't know the lay of the land and you gave it a shot in the first instance was terrible. And all this stuff. And the reason I interrupted you to talk about this is because I hear variations on this question every day where young designers, young you exercise, even developers talk to me about this fear that they have of screwing up the right. And I, and I almost, I feel like I cannot say enough. Do it anyway. Amen. So the story you're telling it is proof positive. All right. For those of you that are listening, look at, take a good look at Jason's career and then think about this story that he's telling right now. All right, this is proof positive. This isn't going to stop you. It's how you learn. Anyway, I'll shut up now. I keep talking.
Speaker 2:
18:48
No, no, that's, I appreciate you injecting that because that is, that is a really important part of that story. And I will tell you that after I shipped that I got some interesting looks from my manager, I'm sure. Um, who then, uh, I'll be honest with you, kind of like took me aside probably a day or two later and said, I don't think this is going to work out. Oh Man. Did they keep you or did you leave? So here's, here's the twist. He was actually trying to help me find another place to work. Wow. He was ushering me out. I mean, I get it. I get it. It was not agency level work. Um, and they thought because of my portfolio that I, and I was, it was an awesome portfolio. I put a lot of creativity and thought into it. And they thought because of my portfolio, I'd be able to just jump right into agency work, hit the ground running.
Speaker 2:
19:36
And you know, and I wasn't able to offhand, but he know what this is where growth mindset comes in and anybody who's listening to me talk on my podcast and, and even just in my, my writing, like I always just really reinforced that that point is have a growth mindset because I was so hungry to stay on, to continue doing this work and, and, and also really terrified to try to find another foot in the door. Of course, I, you know, and I interviewed for a company, it was like a semiconductor company was like this. I would probably hang myself, you know, like a day into working at this. It just was not something I was interested in. So I, I basically, I told my manager, I said, look, I said, I know my, I know it wasn't good, but I want this. Like I will do whatever it takes to make this work.
Speaker 2:
20:22
Like, what, what do you, what suggestions do you have for me? How can I stay here? How can I make this happen? And he said, you know, he's like, maybe enroll yourself in some courses, take some courses. There's a, there's an extension campus nearby. It's a night school. You can jump right in and start doing that. And he's like, but it's on your dime, you know, he's like, it's your, your, your pennies for that. And it was a, certainly a lot more than, than pennies. But um, I, okay. I said done. And I that like within minutes I enrolled myself into a graphic design and visual communication, the certification course over here at this place. And um, four nights a week after work I was there and doing this, getting, getting my education. I'm on the fly and still staying on at my job. And you know, what happened?
Speaker 2:
21:09
And this is a really good lesson for, for all your listeners who may, may be feeling like that imposter syndrome of like, I'm not good enough. I can't just get my foot in somewhere and just start doing work. You got it. Like Joe said, do it anyway. Yup. You will regret it if you don't. That's a big lesson. You'll look back, you know, like, like 30 years, 20 years later, and you'll regret not having tried. I'm not quitting. As importantly, I always say you either win or you learn. You know, there is no in between. There are no wrong turns. There's no, nothing's going to stop you. Yes. Just shortly after I started enrolling and taking these courses, one of the biggest projects that I had at this agency landed in my lap. I was able to, to be a lead on designing the first like global website that was connected to a database, to using ASP, working with developers.
Speaker 2:
21:58
Like I was able to be the lead on this. And the client was blown away by the comps that I have made. And, and the actual outcome was, was huge, was a huge leap for this, this a global business. Perfect. And so that was like, that was it for me. And unfortunately, the unfortunate thing is that dot. Bomb happened. It wasn't my, my work, my work got better and better as I got hungrier and hungrier and pass more and more passionate to do this stuff in an agency setting. But dot bomb happened, you know, in 2000 and that just killed it. I, everybody, my whole department got laid off. Basically, they shut down the, uh, the.com side of things. So my first company, it hurts us. It hit us hard. I mean, that was, it hurt and nobody could find, no, no, hardly any web designers could find any work for a while.
Speaker 2:
22:46
Yeah. It was really bad, you know, and so that's when I was like, I can't, I got a family. I had just been married. I got married in [inaudible] 99 and we had our first child on the way. Um, and, and, you know, and then we got pregnant with our second child shortly thereafter. And so I'm like, I got to do something. I got a family, I've got mouths to feed, you know, my wife stays, uh, wanted to be a stay at home mom. And so that was important to me too. And if I did whatever, I took, whatever it took to make that happen. And so, anyway, that's when I kind of like, I need insurance for the family. And I was like, and I got to jump in somewhere quick. I work, I got a job at Starbucks as a shift manager. I mean, that's weird.
Speaker 2:
23:22
That's not on my linkedin either, I don't think. But I was, uh, probably for obvious reasons. It's just not really related, but, um, but that was a really, that was a crazy time too. I worked there for a year, opened the store Monday through Friday up at 3:45 AM Monday through Friday. And, uh, that wasn't enough of a, of a salary to provide for my family. So of course I had to do freelancing at the time, so I was working at Starbucks and I was freelancing and, uh, that wasn't quite enough either. So I had to get a third job and that's when I got a foot in the door in a print shop. You know, it's like, you know what, I can't find anything on the web right now. And everybody's lost a lot of confidence and faith unless you're Amazon. Right. And so, and you know, and there's a story there to be told, but um, you know, I was like, okay, well I'm gonna try print.
Speaker 2:
24:10
I would love to kind of get a well rounded view of kind of how you get ink on paper. As I heard you mentioned in one of your other episodes, you were talking about that, you know, and, and so I figured that out. I was able to, to kind of to be a lead. I eventually elite at that organization and um, and so that's kind of been a big part of my well-roundedness and, and I got into another agency after that doing a lot of print work still. I'm a little bit of a interactive and then I got laid off from that job. I mean it's, it's crazy. Looking back, I've been laid off probably five or six times Joe in this field and I just keep, I keep coming back, you know, like obviously I have a tattoo on my arm. It says fall seven rise eight. I love that. So it's like it's inked, it's as long as I rise more than I fall, then I'm on the right track. And that's for everybody.
Speaker 3:
24:56
That's right. This is what I mean when I say nothing can stop you. Yes. Okay. I said this a couple weeks back to somebody online. Okay. Was someone who was saying, you know, eight, you couldn't find a job as frustrated and you know, this, this sort of thing where the world is conspiring against me and I did my best, you know, to try and pump them up and say, look, you got to stay at it. You know, you're good at what you do. You've got evidence that says you're good at what you do. You know, people are saying positive things about you and your work and I couldn't get through. And finally the last thing I said was, look, all I can tell you is that right in a career that's like almost three decades at this point, I will tell you unequivocally that the only thing that has ever stopped me was me.
Speaker 3:
25:39
Mm, okay. And if you live on this earth, if you get up and put your pants on in the morning, life is gonna throw you some hard curve balls. Yeah, right. It's just, that's the Gig. Everybody has struggles. Everybody has had moments where they think to themselves, I don't know if I can do this. I don't know if I'm cut out for it. I don't know if I'm right for it. And you mentioned imposter syndrome. Yeah. That's gonna be there. What you do in those times, how you react, um, how hard you push, how, how often do you say to yourself, I got to just keep trying. Has everything to do with getting where you're going. Yeah. All right. So I, I, to me your story, just that little piece that you shared with us just now is tremendously inspiring and, and you know, not because, well, you're my guest and I want to make you feel great, which I do, but it really truly is a prime example of how this works. All right. This is what it takes. You get, would you say knocked down seven rise eight
Speaker 2:
26:37
yeah. Yeah. Fall seven rise eight fall seven rise eight.
Speaker 3:
26:41
That's the Gig. Yeah, it really is. So think it's fantastic to hear you tell the story. Thank you Joe. And it's,
Speaker 2:
26:49
it's hard. It's not easy. No. And that's the thing. That's why like I never, I never buy into the build an audience in 30 days thing, you know, it's not possible. It's not possible. It's not, and not in the right ways. Now this is a marathon. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Exactly. Exactly. And I mean, I remember when I, you know, before I worked at my space, I was in a band and I discovered a really cool piece of software called friend blaster pro. Yeah, man. Guess what? Within two or three years I had 40,000 fans of my band. Yeah. Man. Quote unquote quote unquote fans. Yeah. Right. And, and you know, it looks good. Like I was able to kind of get a few opportunities for my band as a result of what they saw on the surface. But guess what, when I put a new song, when my, my buddy and I put a new song out, we got maybe a hundred listens in the day and you know, and I mean, I guess that was okay when you look at the numbers, but when you look at the numbers it's like, Jeez, if those people really cared about my band, I should have like 40,000 listens in a day.
Speaker 2:
27:56
Yeah. It's, it's a, the, I think I remember
Speaker 3:
27:58
for that distinctly because I was doing the same thing. I've been an in and out of bands most of my life. Okay.
Speaker 2:
28:03
I could tell that about you really. I could, yeah. Just, we'll run into a few episodes. Dude, you are a music lover man in the car and everyone of the time you're talking
Speaker 3:
28:12
going about, right. We were all over my space and then I had the nerve to start independent record label, which was a lot of fun, but was also an exercise in frustration. Oh, I can imagine. Um, partly because of the kinds of things that you're talking about. And we, we leverage the heck out of my space. That was the thing to do. All right. And friend last year when you said that, that's, yeah, that's why I started laughing. And it's this false sense of confidence, like, well, I'm connected to all these people and you assume that there's a correlation there. Yup. Yup. And then you find out that there isn't,
Speaker 2:
28:44
yeah, it's true. And you know what, it's the same thing with a mailing list. I always, you know, I think, and there's the gurus out there that they're like, build your mailing list built, you know, here's seven tips on how to do it and you know, a month or whatever. Like Yep, here's the thing. And, and here's what I learned really quickly being a podcast host also in trying to develop, build an audience. It doesn't matter how many people are on your email list if they're not opening your emails. That's right. That's right. So I actually go in and I actually purge my email list every few months. If somebody has an open my email in three or 4 cents, they don't want to hear from me. So they aren't on my list anymore. And guess what? I get a 50 plus percent open rate, which is I think, pretty good with an email list.
Speaker 3:
29:26
It is, it's excellent. I mean, so you're, you're appreciating. My wife is, is I'm a business and marketing consultant, right. And she works a lot with entrepreneurs in particular. So all the things that I've learned are all the things that you're talking about in, in her thing in general is the antithesis of all that stuff you just mentioned. Like, you know, build a list in 10 days, like rule the world. It's not possible.
Speaker 2:
29:51
It takes 10 years to be an overnight success. Yeah. And there has to be a tremendous amount of substance. Yeah. You know, that you're delivering outside of these empty sort of marketing promises. Yes, absolutely true. Yeah. You, it's, it's how well you're serving people that will determine how successful you are. That's the bottom line. If you're trying to build something. Yeah. I just, and I can imagine, I mean, how long have you been doing these are defenders podcast couple of years at least it's, it, it has started. The 2015 started my and my morning routine. So it was like, you know, I realized one day on the way to work, like I've been trying to find kind of my, my identity I guess in a way, like on, on, on how I can serve people. And, and then I, it just, it just hit me, I was listening to a song on my Spotify playlist.
Speaker 2:
30:37
It's by a guy named Morgan page and it's called fight for you. Nice. And I realized for a long time, yeah. I was like, I was like Jim and of that, and, and, and for the longest time after having seen [inaudible], I always put, I fight for the users on my social media bios. That was it. That's all I put. I fight for the users. Yeah. And it clicked, man. That the neural Blake I was talking, we were talking about in the beginning, the BDNF, the, the, uh, you know, the brain derived neurotropic factor. It just triggered those new neural pathways. It connected those two things. Whereas like, this is what I need to do. I need this, I love podcast. I'm benefiting so much from podcast. I needed to start a podcast that reaches, especially aspiring designers who I'm, I've been at this for 20 plus years and I think, I'm sure you can relate to this Joe, but I still don't really know exactly what I'm doing now.
Speaker 2:
31:26
You know, you gotta you gotta Kinda, you know, we're always making it up as we go along. I mean, you know, we have, we have pillars, you know, like, like we were talking about earlier, you know, the longer you live, the longer you're alive, the more life lessons and knowledge and wisdom you have to share of course. But this industry, it's, it's constantly evolving. It's ever evolving. There's always something new to learn, which is both, both incredibly exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. So I just started kind of using, I put on my empathy shoes so to speak, and I thought, you know what, if I'm struggling with what to learn next and what to do, and then I bet you the people just diving into this are wanting to dive into this are too. That was my hunch. And it ended up being a really strong one. I really good hunch you couldn't have been more right about that. I mean,
Speaker 3:
32:14
I remember the first time I saw it. Okay. And the two words like user defenders, I'm like, okay, I gotta, I gotta see what this is. So, and then I went to the site, right. And I see the logo now I'm a comic book Geek from way back. Okay. From the time I was like, yes. You know, when I was little, I love it. So number one, this is, this is tripping on all levels for me. And then I see that user defenders and, and then I listened to a couple of podcasts and I'm like, and I remember, I think Gina reached out to you first, right? Yes. Yes she did. I said to her, I'm like, we have to talk to this guy. This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen, you know, and even even the name, right. I thought, have you ever, have you ever read a book or heard a song and you thought, you know, I wish I wrote that or I wish I came up with that.
Speaker 3:
33:01
This was one of those things when I saw those two words, I'm like, ah, genius. So I assist. Perfect. I mean, it couldn't be more perfect. So thank you. And it was even more gratifying after listening to a couple episodes. Right. And, and, and hearing you put yourself out there and the kind of guests that you have in the stories that are being told, um, it's, it's all really, really, really viable. And you and I both know there are a lot of Ux podcasts, right? Yes. Yeah. And I'm certainly not bagging on any of them. All right. Because every, every show has its audience. Yes. But to me, okay. And it's going to sound like I'm blowing smoke again and I'm really not the kind of things that you are covering, the kind of things that you're talking about, the kind of guests that you're having on. I think of the kinds of things that don't get enough airplay that we don't talk about enough. They don't speak about enough. It's outside of just practice, right? It's outside of just how do I do the tactical work? Yeah. Oh Wow. You know, I think this other stuff is tremendously more important and they're the things that we all wonder about and struggle with on a daily basis.
Speaker 2:
34:06
Oh, Joe, that, that means it's done to me, man. Coming from you. Honestly, I'm a, it's getting a little dusty for me.
Speaker 3:
34:12
No, no, it's, it's the truth Jason. I appreciate that a lot. Like the one you did with Seth Godin for example. Um, you know, there was one that was just you where you really sort of fearlessly put yourself out there. And I thought, I mean, what a wonderful thing, right? You just said a minute ago that were making it up as we go along. That's the truth. Yeah. Okay. I hate the word expert. I hate the word Guru. I get really uncomfortable when people describe me in those terms because I feel like that's just not true. Okay. It's a false status then I think people think they need to aspire to, right. I'm going to get to this point where I always know what I'm doing. I'm always confident and I'm always have all the answers and all that stuff. It just, it's not true. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
34:54
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, I'm a, I'm a, an introvert man made too for me, if you had asked me like three, three and a half years ago or four years ago, if I would be starting a podcast and like getting on a microphone and talking to people and like talking to other designers that I've like respected and looked up to for many years, they'd be like, no way not going to happen. And you know, and there's that little, there's that fear. Every time I put the pull this mic up to my face, you know, even this morning before this conversation with you, there's that fear, you know? And we all have it. We have to like a Seth Goden says, I love what he says. He said, you have to dance with the fear. Yeah. He got to dance with it. You've got to go forward anyway, despite the fear.
Speaker 2:
35:33
And that's what courage is. Courage isn't lack of fear. It's going forward despite it. Yup. And I just, I just think that there's so many of us in this world that are going to get on our death bed and we're going to have, we're going to be like, I wished I'd done that. You know, I, I wished I'd done that thing that I felt I was supposed to do, you know, 10, 20, 30 years ago. You know, the comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. No. Right. And so comfort zones are expanded through discomfort and, and you know, I, I love what Tim Ferriss says too. He says, I tried to do at least one thing a day that scares me and I really think this world would be a better place if we all did a little bit more things that scared us that we know will help other people.
Speaker 3:
36:13
Yeah, I agree with that sentiment. I really do. I really do. I mean I'm, I'm working on something right now, a really large sort of workshop bootcamp kind of something or other, right? And it's, it's intimidating the hell out of me. I'm going to tell you the truth. What happens is I get a couple of steps through it. Like my drawing board right now is littered with paper taped to it and a bunch of notes and assault pencil and it's all, all these scribbles, right? And what happens is I get a certain amount of progress and then I get stuck, right? It's like all thinking just stops and I'm stuck. And I'm like, okay, where the hell was I going with this? And it's uncomfortable. And it, and, and then in those moments you go, okay, maybe I really don't know what I'm doing here. Um, and you have to, like you just said, you have to push through that because the other voice has gone, look, you do this all the time with clients. You do other people like just chill out, relax, take a step back, go do something else, come back to it and whatever. Yeah. Um, great advice. But you can't get the good part without that part, I guess is my point.
Speaker 2:
37:17
Yeah. I've, I've heard a lot of authors say that the time that they declutter is the time that after they get the book proposal. Yeah.
Speaker 3:
37:26
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Don't do anything else. Right. Absolutely. It's absolutely true. Absolutely. Like, okay, I should probably move those boxes. No. Why do I have so many pencils? Yeah. Procrast to working, I think is one of the terms that we hear. Totally true. Let me ask you a question though, related to all this. Like you mentioned you're an introvert, I sure am. Right. Which I relate to and people are shocked when I say this. I really am at heart an introvert. But what happened to me at an early age when I first started playing in bands, okay. When I go on stage, the world opened up in a, in a very different way. Wow. How so? In that I felt like this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Right. When I started speaking publicly, when I started doing more consulting work with clients, whereas in the room talking, facilitating, working on a whiteboard, you know, as opposed to head down in a laptop doing design work, it felt natural.
Speaker 3:
38:26
It felt right. And the response was very different as well in that people started paying attention and saying, okay, could you help us do this and could you able to do this? But that part is absolutely 100% sort of natural to me. Now I have the same anxiety and trepidation that you described before. I do it on the day when I'm speaking. That's the waiting is the worst thing in the water. Oh Man. The hours just do not go fast enough, you know? And um, my, you know, my heart is kind of going, I'm not worried that I'm going to screw up. It's just this anxiety. But what's funny is that the time in between is really difficult. Yeah, yeah. Right. Even doing this podcast right now is something I just truly love doing. It feels normal to me. It feels natural fuels sort of second nature. I'm speaking is that way. Consulting is that way. A lot of these things where I'm outward facing are that way. But at heart I am very introverted. So my question to you, I'm curious whether you sort of feel any of that in the end that when you're doing the podcast for example, do you have this sense of like this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing?
Speaker 2:
39:39
Yeah, that's a really fascinating question Joe. I, there are moments there are, and it's not always, I love some, uh, h except me eyes work especially on flow. That's what he's most known for. And I defy you to spell that name without googling it. No thanks. But I, I, and I also defy you to find any personal growth and or psychology related book that does not mention this man and his work on flow. And it's fascinating for sure. And basically just to kind of sum it up, uh, in, in a layman's way is flow is when you are doing something that you, like you just touched on Joe, you just feel like, I am meant to do it. I was made for this. Right? And, and it's, it's where there's a sense of timelessness, there's a sense of absolute joy and creativity flowing out. And so, um, it's super fascinating that that whole study itself, but there are, there are moments in, in a podcast when I'm podcasting or interviewing others, uh, and where I will get, I will just feel that flow and, and I'll just lose sense of time.
Speaker 2:
40:46
And I mean, there's some by episodes of run way over to as a result. And thankfully my guests were feeling that too because they and, or didn't have a hard stop because the conversation just kept going. And, you know, and I feel, I feel like this conversation, even if I'm feeling in flow, I feel like, you know, we're, we're, we're jelling, we're connecting and engaging as a lot of kindred spirits here. And so to answer your question, that's, you can't feel the flow unless you go forward. You can't feel the flow unless you face the fear. Yup. That's right. So yeah, that's Kinda my answer to that is as you know, you've got it. You got to try it. You, you don't know until you go forward.
Speaker 3:
41:20
Yeah. I think that's, I think that's totally accurate. I mean, I hate, I'm going to be honest with you. I hate preparation. I hate planning. I hate all the work that goes into all the sort of, you know, preproduction weren't going to call it beforehand. I just want to do it. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I don't like I, I stopped rehearsing my talks years ago because it made me insane. Wow. Okay. It just made me insane. I'm like, I can't do this. And I would get so bent out of shape, right. Trying to rehearse and do all this. I'm like, you know, I would just, I'm actually better the more off the cuff I am and the less I think about, yeah. What I'm supposed to be doing, you know, and that, that doesn't mean I don't prepare and I don't plan. I certainly do. Sure. But I hate it. Okay. I would rather somebody drive splinters under my fingernails then do that work. I just, I did test it. Yeah. I don't know what that is.
Speaker 2:
42:18
No, I, you know what, and it takes a while to get there. It takes a while to get there and, and I'll be honest, you know, everybody and anybody listening who's heard heard user defenders podcast, I'll be honest with you, I used to script a lot of my answers. Like I used to script not might, might my questions I like and even like, you know, notes that I would like think of and I would read it, I would read a script and, and, and I'll be honest with you, I needed that. I needed that in the beginning. At the beginning. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Of course. Yeah, I did. I needed it because I didn't have the confidence yet. Sure. To just go off the cuff and you know, and just kind of let things flow. Yeah. Same here. And so, but you've got to get the wins. That's the thing. And I, and I mentioned this in the imposter syndrome episode, we all have it. That's the first step to overcoming it is to just realize you're not alone. And we all are making it up as we go along. But it's also too, to know that you need to just go forward. Like, like we keep saying, you know, just, just go forward anyway. Um, and, and you'll get the confidence you need by, by getting the little wins. You can't get the little wins unless you do something
Speaker 3:
43:18
scares you. That's right. There is no other path. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. There is no other path. I mean like I'm thinking, you know, movie metaphors in my head and for whatever reason, this is so much like Geek. I am, I just flashed back to, um, the star wars movie. I think it's empire strikes back. Are you familiar? Oh, of course. It's where, you know, Yoda is trying to teach to face his fears. Yes. Right. And he has to go through this sort of dark, frightening, scary forest and deal with all the things that he's afraid of and he comes face to face with Darth Vader. But that's kind of, it's a life truth reflected in a science fiction movie. Right. You, you have no choice but to go into that dark area, that place that scares you, you have no choice but to go there if you want to do anything that's worth doing that you care about, that means something to you. Oh, I love that. It's a necessary part of the program. I don't know why that is. I just know.
Speaker 2:
44:15
Yeah, that's so interesting that you mentioned empire strikes back in that scene particularly cause I'm just now kind of remembering that. Remember when he went into that, like that swamp that like dark chasm of that swamp. Yeah. And then he, and then he faced, he faced Darth Vader, which was one of which was really his fear, uh, for understandable reasons right at that moment. But then you remember whenever the, he struck the face mask off and he saw that it was in itself. Exactly. That is so, so deep, man. And I never really, when I was a kid, I was like, why is it his face? Right? I didn't get it either. Now I realize like we're our biggest, we can be our biggest enemy sometimes, right? Right. We can be the ones, like you said earlier, the only thing holding us back is ourselves. It's true. So the thing that we think we're afraid of, really, it's a, I think it starts with being afraid of ourselves.
Speaker 3:
45:03
I think that's totally true. It's totally true. It's, there are always going to be things that pop up. They're going to be extenuating circumstances. There can be difficulties. You're going to have difficult people come in and out of your life. You're going to have different difficult circumstances come in and out of your life, right? You're going to be hurt. But at the end of the day, the thing that really has the power to stop in your tracks is almost always yourself. Absolutely. Right? So we talked about the podcast, right? User defenders, podcasts. Um, and how that came about. Now to me, you have just taken another gigantic leap. And this to me is a very, what most people would think of as fearless to do. But when I look at it, I go, I'm thinking to myself, he's gotta be, he's gotta be sweating bullets over there. You just launched the user defenders community.
Speaker 2:
45:53
Yes, yes, I did. Just a couple of weeks ago. That's a tiny little thing. Tiny little undertaking. Oh my goodness. My goodness. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 3:
46:04
My God would've stepped forward because you didn't, you didn't say almost start a private Facebook group where I'm going, which is what I'm doing because it's easy. Um, you said we're going to build a community and build a community site. We're going to, we're going to make sure it's designed well. We're going to make sure it's, it's the interactions are, are really simple and clean and well designed and, and Jason, it's impressive as hell.
Speaker 2:
46:25
Thank you Joe. And thank you for joining. You are a valued member man. And uh, you know, other other defenders notice too. And that's just really neat. It's great that you're there. Riff on that. Tell us about it. Oh goodness. So, first of all, I want to say, and I cannot take the credit for the look and feel and the, the Ui and the interaction. I am using a platform that exists. Really? Yes. I did not build this thing. I, Gosh, I wish I had, it's kind of one of those things they get to you. What is it? I, it's called mighty networks and anybody can start one. Wow. Okay. So, and that's the neat thing. And they have a free plan. I was on the free trial and thankfully I was able to avoid the empty room syndrome might cause that was honestly, that was my biggest fear in launching this was like, oh nobody want, maybe nobody wants this.
Speaker 2:
47:14
Maybe, maybe people are kind of sick of having another social network and you know, like maybe there's too much, too much noise. And, and so there was that fear, you know, that kind of, that fear we were talking about. And I was like, ah. And I, I kinda like, I wrestled with it for a little while and I was like, I got to do that. This is what needs happen. I just know it in my gut. Yup. Um, I need to bring us together. I need to bring all the defenders, like as I fondly refer to them together into one place. And, and I'll be honest with you, it was something I thought about years ago. I and I just didn't know how to do it yet and I didn't think Facebook was the best place for that. Um, and, and frankly I couldn't do it on Facebook if I wanted, cause I deleted my account cause I don't like Merkel, I don't like Mark Zuckerberg at all.
Speaker 2:
47:53
I don't like the burgs either. So I just, I, I'm, I fled that platform and then this thing came along and I didn't even know about it. And so I just am like, I'm going to give this a shot. Do you get two weeks to try it? And so I tried it and an I sent out some, some invites and thankfully the response has been incredible. There's already 300 active members in the community and it's like the conversations are, are starting to kind of thrive and people are starting to feel more confident to ask questions and it's, it's like I'm just, I'm kind of pinching myself still that this happened and this, this exists.
Speaker 3:
48:26
Well, I think it's awesome. I mean, I really think it's awesome and you know, like you were saying, that was my thought was it's kind of like, all right, I'm going to throw this gigantic party and I wonder if anybody's going to show up. And that to me, all right. Again, I think that's, it's a massive leap of faith in the face of, there was an extraordinary amount of doubt. Yeah. And, and you did it, you got 300 people. And from what I've seen so far, everybody is really, really committed to the idea. People are engaged. And I think it's important. I also think kind of like, you know, it maybe in the same way that you and I came up at a time where we were, it was, we were lucky to be born when we were born, right. Because the Internet was a new thing when we started.
Speaker 3:
49:11
So I think we had a lot more leeway than most people do sort of certainly now. Right. Cause it's all established. But I wonder if this isn't sort of a perfect storm situation as well because saturation online with, with these kinds of things, right, with articles and videos and communities and Facebook groups and whatever, you know, saturation is at an all time high. And as a result it takes a lot of effort to sift through the things that are sort of really worth your time, you know? Yeah. So I have to wonder about that as well. You know, I, again, you're, you're providing something in a way that maybe it's not being done anywhere else. And I think there's, there's something to be said for that. You know, your intentions have a lot to do. I believe your intentions have a lot to do with whether or not something is a value.
Speaker 2:
49:55
Yeah, absolutely. And the thing I love so much about this net, this platform is that it had very familiar interactions. Like, yeah, I mean a billion people on Facebook kind of have figured out how to use it pretty well now even though they have changed things and they do that often. I think that Facebook has actually, I guess we should thank Facebook in in some weird way for like teaching a lot of like older people how to use the web, how to use interactions and user interfaces. Yeah, I guess in a way we can kind of thank them and I'm not saying going at a hamburger menu to your website, just Facebook did it or you know, apple dead is something, I'm not saying that, but I think that older people, and that's why there's not that many younger people on Facebook anymore is because their parents and grandparents started joining the Facebook, but the thing I liked about this platform is that it had a lot of similar Ui and interactions like as Twitter and Facebook does, so it's super easy to use.
Speaker 2:
50:49
That was kind of a big selling point for me. And knowing that people, people needed a place. I, I wanted to give people a place that's free of distractions, like Facebook, my wife was just telling me she's on still. Um, and I actually transferred the management rights, the admin rights to the user defenders page before I deleted my account. I was Kinda, I was doing some due diligence there, but she was telling me last night that she doesn't even see content from the people she cares about anymore on Facebook. Yeah, yeah. It's, it's constant struggle. Like she'll see maybe one post and then like 10 ads. That's a fractured experience. And so one thing I realized that where this platform would be an advantage is that it's completely focused on what the members, the people there care about UX and good design and the fact that good design can quite literally changed the world and for the better.
Speaker 2:
51:36
So, and I kept, I'm just blown away by the caliber of designers and you know, many aspiring but also many seasons like yourself. And there's several others that have joined the platform as well. And that's what I was hoping for is to, you know, just to, it's a way for everybody to feel like they're giving back. Right, right. Cause it's like, oh, somebody has a question about landing a job. And that's kind of a recurring theme with a lot of newer designers, even people switching careers later in life. Oh Wow. You know, I think I can help offer some wisdom, some, some knowledge, some things I've learned on that journey so far. It's everything and even more that I was hoping that ut community
Speaker 3:
52:09
would be. Yeah. And you know, again, Kudos to you for doing it. Like I said, um, I, I run a private Facebook group, you know what I was thinking along the same lines at, and for me, there's two parts of that, right? Number one, the infrastructure part of it and running it and having another platform, like another thing to deal with was just too much. But to your point, it takes a lot of work to, if you're going to run a group, it takes a lot of work to run it in a way where the content is always substantive. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Myself and the admins, we do a lot of work to prune things too. Unfortunately. Delete things too in some cases removed people. Sure. Um, just because you, you want to make sure that the content there is helpful, right? We want to reserve that space for people asking each other questions, help each other out, collaborate, communicate, share value and that takes a lot of effort. Give folks here the the URL and I'll share it in the notes as well, but give them the URL where they can check it out or how they can get an invitation or whatever the case may be.
Speaker 2:
53:09
Thanks Joe Hub. It's so if you go to who community dot user defenders.com that'll take you to the landing page and you can request to join there. Um, I did open it up for free for a limited time just to kind of fill the room and so to speak and let the people in really truly wanted to be there. I'm off the cuff but I will in order to, to grow the show and to offset cost cause I do have to pay for the community as well. The platform I will, I will start charging for memberships. Benet and I think it's going to be around 1499 a month or it's like one 50 a year or something, which you saved like 20% nearly a if you do an annual thing, but it is a, and it's an investment. It's an investment into your education, your growth as a designer. Absolutely. And you're like rubbing elbows with like some, some of the most inspiring and I'm, I'm biased but I really truly believe there's some of the most inspiring, empathic, um, passionate designers I've ever met in my life already. And the community. You're one of them, Joe. Yeah, I agree that the investment is well worth your while. I totally agree. Thank you. Thanks for mentioning that.
Speaker 3:
54:12
So I, I don't even want to ask this question because I don't want you to feel any pressure, but what's, what's next? What's, or, or, you know, w w what do you feel like is, is in front of you right now?
Speaker 2:
54:27
Or is it these two things? Yeah. I
Speaker 3:
54:29
cause you have a job as well and a family. I do, yes.
Speaker 2:
54:34
And a lot of children. I've got many, many children. How many? Six. Wow. So I say, I always say I actually caveat I say seven ones in heaven. We lost one of our, our children about, uh, four years ago. Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Um, so yeah, so we, you know, I count him still. We met him, he lived for a day. And, uh, so I've been there, don't we have you? Oh yeah. I'm so sorry man. Yup. Same here. So that's one of the hardest things you could ever face. Yeah, yeah. Talking about adversity. Okay.
Speaker 3:
55:02
And you know, I don't know if this is the, this is the place, but, um, you, you definitely
Speaker 2:
55:09
learn something about, about what you're made of and what your resilience is like. It takes faith. It truly does. Well said. Uh, it's, and honestly, it's, there's those moments that, you know, especially within, you know, the first, you know, length of time after, you know, going through something so difficult where, you know, like, I mean, I'm a person of faith, so I, you know, I, I do believe in God. I believe in divine providence and, you know, I'll be honest, I shook my fist at God for a year, you know, like, how could you let this happen? How I did too, you know, but then I, you know, but then as you, you know, and my brother in law told me something, he lost his father, you know, in a, just a really, just suddenly, unexpectedly, um, around the same time. And he told me, he said, you know, time doesn't heal, but it does dull the pain.
Speaker 2:
55:54
That's right. And so that's, that's something that I've always kind of remembered. And it's true. It does help Dole, you never heal from something like that, but it does dull the pain. Um, but you know, you just realize like after you get through something so difficult, you kind of start to see the gifts. As weird as that sounds. You start to see some of the gifts and what happened in kind of later in life, through your own, through your own life, like your empathy. You can identify with other people. You can almost quite literally get into their shoes that have gone through something like this. That's a really critical design skill. Absolutely. I'm a huge on empathy and, and, and unfortunately or fortunately, um, it says sometimes it just takes a lot of pain it takes to having, going through pain in your own life, um, to, to really build, uh, those levels of empathy and to be a better designer.
Speaker 2:
56:42
I mean, it's, it's really, it's, it's weird saying that, but it's actually really true. And the longer you're on this earth with breath in your lungs, the more experiences you have to draw from. And I think that's when you, we get to this place where we started of giving back. That's right. Okay. Now it's time. There's people who need me. [inaudible] I used the superhero metaphor and I just think it's so accurate it is to, to this field, right? It is like people need me, I've, I've, I've got super powers that I can offer to help people. Right. And I have empathy because I, you know, a lot of superheroes are also human. A lot of them also have, are some of the biggest failures you can imagine. Yup. But guess what, they put on the suit, they get out there anyway and they, they, they, they, they serve a greater good. They serve the greater good and they give back.
Speaker 3:
57:27
Yeah. At the end. I, I, I totally understand all that and I agree with it. Um, at this point, I'm grateful for a lot of things, uh, that have, that have come my way. Even things like this that were unbelievably difficult because I don't believe that I would be the same person. We're not for some of that. I mean, um, last year at one point I had somebody contact me who was literally in a place where they were seriously contemplating ending your own life. Oh God. Based on struggles with imposter syndrome as a result of being out there in the world and doing this work in some very difficult corporate environments. Right. And if you're, if you're young and you're inexperienced, um, you can take a hell of a beating and that story has a happy ending, thankfully. Okay. But afterward it really sort of hit me that I don't know that I would've been able to deal with it the same way.
Speaker 3:
58:29
Okay. Or with as much. Um, and it, maybe it is empathy. Okay. In my heart. Um, had it not been, you know, for the, for this experience, I don't know that that would have been possible. So that's kind of what I mean when I say I, I'm grateful and a lot of ways I'm grateful to be in a place where what I care about first are the human beings involved. Right. And everything else flows from there. Yeah. You know, and I, and without knowing this and without knowing your story at all, I think that that speaks volumes for you as well because it's, it's quite obvious and everything that you do, how much you care about the human beings who are on the receiving end of it all. Right. That's, it's really obvious. Okay. It really is. So, um, I hope that's positive fodder for anyone out there who's listening to this and, and, and who's struggling. Okay. It's that it doesn't always feel at the time, it doesn't feel like there's any value in that struggle. It doesn't feel like, yes, there's anything good in it doesn't feel like, um, it doesn't feel like life makes any sense. Right, right, right. But, um, yeah, there's a lot that can come from painful experience
Speaker 2:
59:42
and there's a lot of goodness that can come from that experience. So I really appreciate you sharing. Absolutely. And likewise, man. Aye. You know, words fail. Yeah. Same. That's, that's, that's the point where it's Vale and I just appreciate you also sharing that shared experience and um, you know, there's something I heard, um, at church not long ago and it's really, really good and I think it kind of lends to this. It's your mess is your message. That's brilliant. I love that your mess is your message. Your mess is your message. I love that. I'm writing it down. Literally think, I think when we were just named named the episode Your Messenger,
Speaker 3:
60:28
you know, when I woke up this morning, I had no idea this was going to be, there's a good, um, that's phenomenal. I really is. It really is. So we're, we're at an hour, but I want to go a little bit longer if you have time.
Speaker 2:
60:41
Do you have a hard stop at 10 my time? So that's about six minutes.
Speaker 3:
60:45
Okay. Then let me ask you a couple of really quick hot seat questions and then I will leave you to your life. Okay. Tell me one thing that nobody knows about you. Some, maybe it's a hidden skill, it hidden talent. Um, something that you really into really love. Um, I don't know, something that, that most people don't know about you, but may, maybe they should.
Speaker 2:
61:04
Well, that these are, this is an interesting, um, I think that one of the things that comes to mind is, uh, I am very OCD about laying my clothes out the night before my morning routine. Yeah. So like I will actually, I will actually go to the trouble of like finding, figure out what I'm going to wear the next day. And I'm a man, I'm kind of a minimalist. So for me it's usually like all black, like jeans and a tee shirt. So, you know, and so I'll just like go to the trouble of, of laying that out and the place that it needs to be. Um, so I don't have to think about that in the morning. And so that's Kinda one of those little known things about me, but, and my wife is just, she just like lays into me on it. She thinks it's hilarious that I do that, but, but you know what, listen, listen, success starts the night before. That's right. Think about it. The success starts the night before the new day, right? There's another one. Write that down, folks there, and there's, there's a reason for it. There's actually a scientific reason for this too. As a leader, you only have so much capacity in your brain to make sound decisions each day. So if, if finding, figuring out what you're going to wear the day after the day's already started, and then trying to get it in the right place, that's taking away, that's creating decision fatigue. So that's of the reasons I do
Speaker 3:
62:20
that. But my wife just cracks up about it. I used to be really OCD. I used to like put my plate out, my fork and my little pan. I have, I have eggs every morning. I'm serious. Like I used to have my mug ready, like wow. So I'm a little bit, lot more lax. My vitamins even, she used to make fun of me. She's like, Oh, you've got to line up your vitamins again. Huh? I wish I was like that. I wish I was like that. I'm serious. You think I'm kidding? I'm trying man. Try it. I'm not, I wish I was that. I wish I was that organized and I aspire to that. Give it a shot, give it a shot. You know we have, we all have again that decision fatigue. So why not save that, that brain power for the most important decisions you need to make that day.
Speaker 3:
62:55
It makes sense as a leader especially. Yeah, it makes total sense. Let me ask you one more question before I let you go. Sure. And it's of course it's a big one. If you were able, this is a classic right? But I love this question I'm afraid. Yeah you should be because the pressure's on. If you were able to go back and give your younger self, let's say when you were just starting out in this industry, if you were able to give your younger self and it could be life advice as well. One piece of advice, something that you know now at 43 right. If you could tell yourself one thing when you're younger self one thing, what would it be?
Speaker 2:
63:31
I was really honest when I said I'm scared cause I hard for me to think on the fly. Like those I told you it was gonna be hard. Um, so, uh, I would say love well and I guess there's a few pieces of this. Uh, I'd say love well go forward despite the fear and um, soft skills, Trump hard skills all
Speaker 3:
63:58
day long. I think that's an excellent place to stop with that piece of advice. Folks, if you just listen to this episode, I strongly suggest you do so again with a pen at your side and you're right, some of this stuff now blushing. Jason, I cannot thank you enough for your time today. I salute you again for all you are doing with using defenders podcasts for what you're doing with the user defenders community. You are providing something that I, again, I will say I think is tremendously valuable, especially to younger up and coming designers. You excers developers, anyone who has anything tangentially related to do with product design. And uh, I hope you're proud of that because you should.
Speaker 2:
64:40
Well Joe, that that just means a great deal to me. Um, I am proud of it and I thank you for having me on. Like this is truly an honor for me and this has been a really deep dive and I love that I on my Twitter profile is I put one of the first things I put his deep diver and I just love doing that and I, and I I thank you for, for making it that way, for, for providing this platform and this show to, to kind of to do that as well. So thank you for all you have done and you continue to do for our community also. Um, I feel like we're kind of, you know, it's, we've got like that superhero kind of a partnership, that Avengers kind of thing going on here. So I appreciate you and all you do and thanks for having me on. Thanks for shining a light on, on what I'm doing and, and I hope that, I hope it was inspiring for the listeners, for your listeners. I'm sure it will be. Thank you sir. I will talk to you soon. All right, fight on my friend two minutes.
Speaker 4:
65:32
Okay.
Speaker 1:
65:33
That wraps up this edition of making Ux work. Thanks for listening and I hope hearing these stories provide some useful perspective and encouragement along with a reminder that you're not alone out there. Before I go, I want you to know that you can find, show notes and links to the things mentioned during our conversation by visiting. Give good ux.com/podcast you'll also find links to more UX resources on the web and social media along with ways to contact me. If you're interested in sharing your own story here. Until next time, this is Joe Natoli reminding you that it's people like you who make UX work.