• #50 From Pixels to Insights: Ray Tiong's UX Research Journey

    In today’s episode, we dive into the insightful journey of Ray Tiong, Senior Design Researcher at Xero. We'll explore his career transition from graphic design to UX research, and share his valuable advice for professionals embarking on similar paths. Ray opens up about his beginnings in the design world, his strategic shift to UX research, and how his art history background has enriched his approach to research. Plus, we'll discuss the evolving landscape of UX in light of AI advancements and what skills are essential in staying ahead.


    • Ray’s transition from graphic design to UX research
    • The critical role of communication and creative thinking in UX
    • How to start in UX research without formal training
    • Embracing AI in UX research for future-proofing careers
    • Ray’s advice on cultivating long-term skills that withstand industry shifts

    Ray's Recommended Resources

    Ray shared these gems for anyone keen on UX research:

    • Book: "Just Enough Research" by Erika Hall. A must-read to grasp UX research basics.
    • Courses: Courses from the Interaction Design Foundation, great for deepening UX knowledge.

    As Ray bids farewell to Xero and embarks on a new chapter in the UK, we reflect on the insights and stories he's shared. Join us for an episode that’s as much about embracing change as it is about staying grounded in the fundamental principles of design and research.

    S2E50 - 50m - Mar 5, 2024
  • #49 Adobe acquires Figma, Tips for getting a Design job, Digital hygiene

    A full episode of 3 topics: Adobe acquires Figma, Tips for getting a Design job, Digital hygiene.

    1. A few thoughts on Adobe acquiring Figma - some of them might be unpopular from other designers’ opinions.

    2. I mentored 10+ juniors and helped them transition from different industries to land a design job offer, including working at multinational companies. Here're a few things I noticed that all job-landing designers have.

    3. While you are working, you will need to eliminate (or at least reduce) the interruption from your phone, as it’s the most distracting device in your workspace. But How? Here are a few simple tips that you can do to immediately increase your productivity.

    S2E49 - 36m - Oct 1, 2022
  • #48 Armando Torrealba: design is intention

    Armando Torrealba is an Experience Design Manager at Atlassian, and I worked with him while he worked at Xero as a Product Design Director. He came from Chile (as a non-native speaker) and thrives as a design leader in New Zealand, which was one of the reasons I invited him to join my podcast. While I worked with Armando at Xero, I noticed he is really great at communication, design intention and mindfulness. I’ve learned a lot from him and I believe you will get some takeaways from this podcast as well.


    💡 Design is an intention

    💡 Think of what the value you can bring to the company helps you get confidence for design interviews

    💡 Tips for non-native speakers at work

    💡 Don't only consider companies with great design to work and why

    💡 Mindful design and a mindful life

    Who is Armando Torrealba

    Armando Torrealba is an Experience Design Manager at Atlassian, and he has a passion for many things including(but not limited to) medication, mountain bikes, photography and hot sauce. Check his website for more details.

    Website: https://armandotorrealba.com//

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/armandotorrealba//

    S2E48 - 1h 20m - Sep 10, 2022
  • #47 Ciao Chen: A Life Coach’s unexpected digital nomad life

    Life Coach Ciao Chen shared her ways of working as a digital nomad travelling in China(currently) and running an international coaching business. It all started because of COVID :)


    💡 Being a coach is as being a possibility enabler for others, and a coach needs to enable him/herself first.

    💡 Coaching is a blessed job - I can talk to many smart people and get inspired on solving my problems, and I get paid for that!

    💡 Listening is critical and the 3 levels of listening - Deep listening

    Who is Ciao Chen

    ICF registered Life Coach with 600+ coaching hours A CMW (Creating Meaningful Work) catalyst A digital nomad that lives in New Zealand and China A Vipassana meditation practitioner A cancer survivor A wisdom seeker A music, yoga and food lover

    Website: https://lifepotentialnz.com/

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/qiaochen


    S2E47 - 1h 1m - Sep 3, 2022
  • #46 Brendan Jarvis: What I learned from podcasting

    Brendan Jarvis shared what he learned from 2 years of podcasting experience on finding and interviewing top UX influencers.


    💡 A better experience for guests and audience: look at the camera and active listening

    💡 Be authentic or professional?

    💡 How to find guests for a UX podcast?

    💡 How to get the workflow organised?

    💡 How to deal with “I don’t want to do it today”

    💡 Tips for releasing a high-quality podcast every week?

    Who is Brendan Jarvis

    Brendan Jarvis is the Managing Founder and Principal Researcher of The Space InBetween - New Zealand’s only specialist evaluative UX research practice and world-class UX lab: enabling brave teams across the globe to de-risk product design, and equally brave leaders to shape and scale design culture.

    Website: https://thespaceinbetween.co.nz/

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendanjarvis/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendanjarvis


    [12:39] A great tip for online communication: look at the camera, listen carefully

    [17:33] Tip for managing podcasting: batch the invites

    [18:25] Tip for managing a podcast: templates for show notes, LinkedIn posts, tweets etc.

    [19:23] Spend at least 1 day preparing for each episode

    [21:20] Practice writing questions like speaking, so that don’t need to check the notes often, just go naturally during the conversation

    [26:21] The difference of being authentic or being professional?

    [33:08] How to find guests for his podcast

    [40:45] How to save time? Hire a professional editor!

    [46:20] Challenge for making a podcast: finding his voice on the podcast

    People or things we mentioned

    Brave UX with Brendan Jarvis

    Jared Spool

    Interviewing Users by Steve Portigal

    Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

    Seth Godin

    Fiverr for finding a podcast editor

    On Writing by Stephen King

    Tim Ferriss on podcasting and blog

    S2E46 - 55m - Aug 13, 2022
  • #45 Bilingual content creator journey with Camellia Yang

    A couple of weeks ago, I joined a podcast (Chiwi Journal) interview and shared my journey of being a bilingual content creator. With the host's permission, I shared this interview on my podcast as well.

    In this episode, we talked about:

    How do Chinese people pick up their English names?

    From working at a ‘tier 18’ city in China as a designer and building a business in web2 to migrant to New Zealand to raise a family —- Bear’s story as an immigrant.

    How to navigate life while moving to a new country, finding a new job and welcoming a newborn at the same time?

    Why is it essential to have a role model to learn and mimic, especially in difficult life moments?

    What does it feel like to start a tech podcast in 2012 and win an award from Apple?

    What motivates Chinese speakers to create content in English? What emotional journey did we go through?

    How create content online can change people’s life?

    Two tips on being a productive content creator that can keep publishing content consistently.

    What tools do we use as bilingual content creators? How to find our audiences, and how to measure success?

    How to start a content creator journey while still working full-time and having a family to look after?

    What’s the NO.1 lesson to pass on to the next generation?

    Enjoy :)

    S2E45 - 1h 5m - Jul 18, 2022
  • #44 How to take notes from an audiobook?

    Listening to an audiobook is a great way to learn new things, but you are more likely to forget most of the learnings as taking notes from an audiobook is tricky. I’ll show you a tip to help you better review what you’ve learned from an audiobook, and remember most of the key points. Sounds too good to be true? Check it to see if this approach suits you!

    S2E44 - 5m - Jul 10, 2022
  • #43 Do 10 hours for this before adapting 10000 hours rule!

    You might heard of 10000 hours rule by Malcolm Gladwell, which is to invest 10000 hours to master something. But how do you know which domain you would like to spend 10000 hours in the beginning? Introducing my 10 hours theory. Actually, it's 10,100,1000,10000 hours theory. By investing 10 hours at the very beginning, you can make sure the rest of 9990 hours you will spend is a good investment.

    S2E43 - 8m - Jul 3, 2022
  • #42 The Making of a Manager: Best tips from Facebook Design VP!

    The making of a manager by Julie Zhuo is an awesome book for designers and design managers. It sounds like it's written for a new manager but I found it insightful and helpful for all the professionals working with other people. You will learn the mindsets, goals, and struggles of a manager, and better collaborate with your own manager. Also, if becoming a manager is your career goal, this is a must-read.

    A Designer can also learn some practical tips from this book, such as running a successful design critique, managing time and how communicating with different teams. I like the clear and easy-understanding language which makes the reading experience so good. It's also an inspiration for immigrants like myself: put some effort, determination and consistency into something you love/are good at, such as writing for Julie, and the result will be the best you can imagine.

    S2E42 - 15m - Jun 26, 2022
  • #41 Tips for presenting your design work

    7 #tips for presenting your design work like a pro! Presentation is an essential skill for designers, and sometimes it might be overwhelming. Last week, I did a presentation with a wider audience to share what I work at in last 6 months in 12 minutes. The result was great, and I found some of my personal design presentation tips might be helpful for other designers to share or presenting design work.

    S2E41 - 9m - Jun 19, 2022
  • #40 How to make confident career decisions?

    Confident career decisions? It's always hard to make career decisions, no need to say to decide confidently. How do I know if it's the right choice,? As a design mentor, I've been asked this question many times: what if I don't know which way to choose as my career direction?

    My answer is to define what you should know and get the answers in the cheapest and fastest ways. You can do these 3 things for research in a short time, and be able to figure out if your dream job is actually worth putting effort into. After that, you should be able to make confident career decisions :)

    S2E40 - 9m - Jun 12, 2022
  • #39 10 Things You Can Do For Your Design Career In 2022

    We all know that uncertainties are something for certain in these years, and 2022 will not different at all. Any career tips 2022 for designer? I wrote a tips list for myself as a reminder for my career in 2022, and I think it might be helpful for many people here.

    S2E39 - 10m - Jun 5, 2022
  • #38 Top Secret in Comics! Book Review on Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

    Why comics are so popular? What's the secret in comics? How to read comics and most importantly for designers: what's the top tip/secret we can borrow from comics to our work? In this video, I want to share a few thoughts on Scott McCloud's awesome book: Understanding Comics.

    S2E38 - 7m - May 29, 2022
  • #37 Just Enough Research - A Must-Read Book For All Designers!

    Finally read Just Enough Research by Erika Hall,, which has been on my reading list for a while. Wow! I feel bad after reading this book: why didn’t I read it when I started my UX design career!? I would avoid so many pitfalls and have many better outcomes if I followed some research suggestions from this book!

    If you need a just enough summary for this book, Erika summarised it in this awesome video [https://lnkd.in/gRQcm__S](https://lnkd.in/gRQcm__S)SS). Five things that blew my design mind from this book:

    1️⃣ Surveys are the most difficult research method of all.

    2️⃣ Test a competitor’s product before you even put pencil to paper. Then test some sketches. And then test at every stage as much as you can.

    3️⃣ When blue-sky thinking meets reality, reality always wins.

    4️⃣ The first rule of user research: never ask anyone what they want.(You risk the scope of your ideas being limited by the imaginations of others. )

    S2E37 - 9m - May 22, 2022
  • #36 How To Get Rich: Naval Ravikant on wealth and happiness

    "How to get rich(without being lucky)" is one of the most popular Twitter threads, written by Naval Ravikant, a famous investor of Silicon Valley.

    I love his tweet so much, that guided me to the book of his thoughts and comments: The Almanack of Naval Ravikant. In this book, Naval talked about how to get rich, how to be a happier person, and shared many other insightful tips.

    I think of getting rich as a wealth-building journey, and it can be designed and executed. It’s a bit late to realize it, but not too late. Actually, building fortune is never too late to do.

    S2E36 - 10m - May 15, 2022
  • #35 Satya Nadella On Leadership: Hit Refresh

    Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft shared his thoughts about the leadership, career and culture of Microsoft in his book, Hit Refresh. I'm quite interested in the leadership part, as Satya's personal journey clearly shows how he built his leadership from the very beginning.

    S2E35 - 9m - May 8, 2022
  • #34 Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk

    I have a YouTube channel, and I post videos about design, productivity and other things every week. I want more views and more engagement with my audiences. That's the drive for me to read Crushing it by Gary Vaynerchuk. As the well-known social media guru, entrepreneur and multi-time New York Times bestseller, Gary Vaynerchuk shares many tips and suggestions on Crushing it - you could be an influencer on social!

    - Add value to your audience - it's the most valuable tip I've learned. I used to create content based on my personal interest, which is alright. But if I want to grow, I'll need to focus on adding value to my audiences.

    - Create pillar content first, then micro-content. E.g. You can write a blog as your pillar content, then create YouTube videos, podcasts, Tiktok clips, Tweets, etc.

    - Be a big fish in a small pool. Find out what you want to focus on, then go deep. Aim to own your place in that market.

    S2E34 - 14m - May 1, 2022
  • #33 5 Amazing Books For Designers in 2022

    5 books for designers in 2022 - I have kept reading 50 books a year since a few years ago, and this habit hugely changes my work and life. Since I started to work as UX/Product designer, I noticed that many non-design related books provide so much value for my career. So in this video, I would like to recommend 5 books for designers in 2022 - these books can hugely help you to improve your design skill.

    S2E33 - 6m - Apr 24, 2022
  • #32 Don't Do New Year Resolution, Do this Instead

    Don't do new year resolution! It’s the end of the year, and normally we plan what we want to do in the next year, which is the New Year’s resolution. But, is it work? Half of the new year’s resolutions fail, and I failed on mine many times as well. This year, I decided to do things differently. I’m going to plan my next year based on last year's reflection, rather than half-blinded wishes. Did it work? It was amazing! I’ll show you how!

    S2E32 - 7m - Apr 17, 2022
  • #31 All the books I've read in 2021!

    I have kept reading 50 books a year since a few years ago, and this habit hugely changes my work and life. In this video, I share all the books I read in 2021, and also some tips and finds for reading more books. If you are planning books to read in 2022, some of them might be good to add to your reading list :)

    S2E31 - 15m - Apr 10, 2022
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