Warren Prasek

What Does a UX Designer Actually Do? with Warren Prasek

If you work at any Startup you’re going to hear the initialized job title ‘UX Designer’ uttered at least once a day. But what does a US designer actually do?
Why are all modern startups seemingly obsessed with UX, how do you ‘do it’, oh, and how is it different from UI?

On this episode, I chat with Warren Prasek from Connect Develop
You can also check out Warren’s photography at Xoodu

Here is the advice Warren would leave a Startup founder with after a mentoring coffee meeting:

Firstly understand the problem you’re trying to solve, validate that it’s a real problem that people have, and then come up with an idea that might solve that problem and then test it with as many people as you can and then keep iterating in that pattern.

So basically constantly evolve your design solution and constantly test that an iterator and improve on it. Don’t wait until you think you’ve got something that is a fantastic product that solves all the problems in that space. Try to focus on a particular set of problems that aren’t solved by anyone currently, and then constantly improve your solution and don’t wait for perfection, because as I said before that’s not possible, you’ve got to get out there and test it, and constantly improve.

Episode Transcript


0:01 – 05:05
When you think about the valuable companies in the world today, like Amazon, Google, Netflix EBay, Microsoft, apple visa companies with most of your interactions through user interface. And that’s why user experience it’s such a hot topic right now. In today’s episode. We’re going to dive a little deeper into user experience. And why it’s so important to make these pot of what you consider as you’re building a business. My name’s Jerry Doyle. And this is the facto podcast or bring experts from all over the world together to help you improve your business in marketing communications design, everything that you might need to create a successful business. Hi. And welcome to this week’s episode this week, we’re going to be talking all about USO user experience, and I’m joined by a colleague from longtime ago, Warren pressing who is a seasoned you ex- experienced sort of professional and currently working with the sod up connect develop Warren. Thank you so much for joining me. Hi, jared. Thanks for having me on really interested myself more about U X because it’s something that I use in my everyday business chats with clients I’m talking about you X you and inevitably getting both of those wrong. So actually, I think the first thing we need to before we go any further and talk about details. He quickly distinctly for everyone explained the difference between you X, and you I so we strike again. Yes. Show also use a interface UI design, effectively, that’s everything you see on the screen Yoda Voss or your computer when you’re interacting with the platform. Or out? So if you’re on Facebook, everything you see there in front of you that’s use interface the buttons ups images, you see in really visual representation, whereas you, Alex or user experience is more about housing’s work. Not just how they look it’s how they feel how things taunt together on how you move through an app and bicycling on get the value out of it. So there’s a lot of a lot more in depth kind of background research development design that goes into creating how flows and what’s the most efficient on enjoyable way to use an app rather than just how it looks. That makes a lot of sense to me. And I guess it’s something to wear your ex even as a phrase that I’ve really been using the last few years, it something where experience is going to be a big impact because it’s you can’t just turn up instantly had Zayn everything perfectly. You can copy things at a successful. But I’m guessing experience in years of knowing the way uses hype behind devices in screens and. Apps. His is a big advantage for you. Yeah. Absolutely. I guess you can never really know how uses agai to interact with something until you research it. So the first that each of us experienced design is really understanding firstly Utah. Getting he’s likely to use your apple parents. And then I guess talking to these Glenn on standing what they’ve pain points so challenges also how they currently doing things while problems that I having actually talking to them in observing them in their actual environment Thomason the context in which they using something Monte like at home on the lounge in an office. They might be a bus going somewhere. And also, I guess trying to come up with ideas for solving problems testing, those solutions very quickly and then issue arising on the solution over and over again in testing is customers always uses to find out what works best big sometimes, it can be very different to what I expected or had guest hadn’t even really coach me that you might actually physically what some Honey using. Interface or during a website. I was gonna say is this technology or or tracking you probably have both actually Abed technology that you can use to sort of give you insight since the white people are engaging with your UI. Yeah. Absolutely. So they’re all kinds of different tools. You can use you can use analytics programs, which by Optima sued potty tool what can thirty bicycle will be Google analytics and his other versions out there that you can use to erupt into cloud up, for example, that basically let you know, what using using which features you can even screen trite where they curse is moving. If they using a desktop divisive in can see where they posing on a certain point of interface, or if they what we call right clicks, which is win is clicking around random, which means they try to click on something stinks should were. But it isn’t a link deadlines click on something, which isn’t actually political things like that. You can get the analytics. And then also you have unmotivated testing where you can. Conduct a remote session. He contested advice with someone and you can awesome questions bar microphone in screen. Recording can see what they looking at. And then he can also do an actual in-person test. We sitting down with them looking over their shoulder with the have a scenario say, for example, you’ve logged into internet banking app.
05:05 – 10:01
Anyone a transfer money to your friend co bulb? What would you do any sit back and watch them try to accomplish that task, and then might be awesome questions along the way without donning them. And try to understand what is thinking of a time. They looking for while they understand as opposed to will actually doing onscreen because quad Austin, a use it will say something different from what they’re actually doing this human psychology. I guess I was gonna say probably find yourself as a marketer. I find myself reading behavioral psychology books now because it’s it’s that competitive advantages seek beyond the tactics some guessing it’s the same thing here. You all of a sudden become like a part time Casuals colleges trying to understand. Why people do things that make sense? Yes, that’s true. Suckle Ogies in critical. Of any design process. The number one thing to keep in mind when you autism. Joining is that you are not your user, which means if you design something for yourself, unless you actually full into your target audience than you might mistake because you the person going to be using the prince, and you really need to talk to his people get it in front of you very early concepts value hypothesis and then test you solutions over and over again and each right to get a little bit that every time rather than waiting and trying to get it. Perfect because perfectionism illusion is not really possible. It’s continual choice that you you sort of pursuing the same thing. Join down the line and hoping but young everything is accurate because she never got into it. So we can have flaws in inefficiency somewhere buy into the system. So I was trying to say, I love rights flakes. I’m going to steal that fries. I’m gonna use it all the time now. So that’s that’s a definite. Takeaway for me. I also find interesting just the previous podcast was around. Conversion rate, optimization landing page optimization. And the things you spoke about around Ryan fix actually hold true. Because the same thing that look Chapman became on. Speaking about conversion on physician is actually very similar to you ex opens you describe which is looking at people saying where they clicking on there. No Ling’s saying where you know, the links that you didn’t think were important, but everyone’s going to whether spending time, so I guess where I’m going with this is what does the tame look like risen, I’m guessing you just operate isolation. So who the kind of people within an organization or a startup that you spend the most time interacting with as a text approx based tech startup. We have a cloud platform for connecting energy to building sites, and we have sort of classic taught per same here whereby we have, you know, myself as designedly we have maybe some designs involved, then we’ll have normally approach to owner or prompt manager who has sort of a high level understanding of. A strategic and business goals of the prompts. We might have the technology officer in both sometimes we might have cells in customer success. You have a good idea rebel. What else is in the market in what customers currently using teaches? And then we’ll have some developers front-end and back end. Maybe a Q test engineer, and I guess the whole team which is like a cross functional team with different skill sets. Or you’ll come to get up, and it’s necessary for less skills to work together to deliver a feature in the prompts and tested a get it out into production. In who in your experience is usually the the person his Maleki to introduce a roadblock into this system in slow everything. Now, you know, sometimes there are technical constraints. So you want to do something, and you know, the tech team will advise you the bicycling we will always going to say you can’t do that. But that’s not necessarily true. You can do just about anything you want. The question is how much time and money are you prepared to spend achieving and Elba responsible? Of the their manager would be making the right choices wrought time. So basically weighing can we deliver the mice value quickest throughout uses so probably the proton in terms of bizarre, currencies and the development team in terms of things technical constraints will be the two biggest blockages, I guess. So if we scale this right back down for a super small slot up, the mine, they have to maybe three found as let’s assume that Clinton apprec- preciado for you X and importance who typically in that team is the most important person because when you get a founding Joel tria they tend to wear multiple hats. But if you’re looking at US is it gonna be the design person who leads that, or is it likely to be the person who’s closest to the customer who who’s leading sort of the US import Ewing’s is again is all UI graphic design, which is sort of more. I guess in a way superficial is really requires deep understanding of your customers, and they use cases. So I guess you need to. Have a lot of domain knowledge, and you need to be very in touch with the customers. Otherwise, there’s really no point building perhaps a launching something without understanding who’s going to be using it and what I need. So I guess there’s no easy answer.
10:01 – 15:05
It’s a bit of a mix you need to solve problems of people in a way that no one else has done before. If you bringing new pro Tanaka, we’ll do it in a better way than all the people doing it make it a lot easier the whole fund or low quicker. It’s not my simple onset, you’re wanting. It’s a blend of understanding customers, and then breaking it down and delivering a solution may stay needs which is a bit of bit from column think from Columbia. Yes. But I think in some ways is actually really good answer there, which is a lot of people might to faulting to think he will have does design way. So whoever is building the website. That’s the person in charge of you ex. But you know, you’ve painted scenario. They were e that you’ve got an enterprise software package in which case the client reps, the sales people might actually the people who need. To really have input on will be black lines trying to do with the product. This is what I wanted to do because often you’ve got a designer who can be quite precious about the design tiny, this isn’t exactly right. But if it’s not laboring what product nays deliver the experience isn’t easy, and and giving outputs, and it’s going to file, so I guess, you know, the tanker right here is you get close to the customer and the product, and when it’s trying to which Abe and whoever’s the closest to that in proably the post needs to be having the most amount of input on agree with that. It’s absolutely critical. John STAN won’t you try to change and to whom full even worried about how it might local field. Need to understand? What are the problems? We’re gonna solve so. Yeah, that’s the starting point. So other companies that Ye kind of look at that, you feel not just do you ex? Well, but potentially lead the way and what I mean by that is you know, how you have great big companies and they can introduce so nothing example, what did he call as three BAAs at sitting up on the top left hand corner. Someone had to kind of come up with that concept. I you know with the face. Boecker ambien. Bayer Google, but I guess what? I’m wondering here is other companies that we can look at that that ascending setting the trends in u x that everyone else gonna has to follow or am. I just imagining that this happens in the restaurant using trendsetters out there at all to be honest. Some of the tech giant’s in Silicon Valley who really setting standards, partly because they have a lot of cloud in the streets, really use advice and also partly because of the Harper afoul. Everybody uses it of offices in platforms out and also because they have the money to bore a hell of money a lot of resources into research and design and each racing towards a beautiful experience. So for example, apple the Airbnb as you mentioned a lot of these companies are really streamlining experiences, and as you say setting standards at all the people tend to follow. So in that sense. I she pot of the game is to have a look inside. Well if. If I spoke and Google, and Microsoft and Amazon role following this particular trends that it made sense that we have to follow unless you unless you happen to be lucky enough to be building interface for a platform has five or six million. Plus people you probably have to let them set the trends, and you just have to make sure you keep up with it. And yet, no this such thing as a handbook of menu. And you know, maybe even a rule maybe handbook menus of what is going to be top left and bottom. Right. I don’t know these things, but I’ve never seen a hamburger menu in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. So I’m just gonna assume that that’s the case. Yes. So he’ll effectively as you X conventions, which is something that stain so establishing so widely used and understood as a patent that most uses will recognize end instantly be able to use effectively. So makes a lot of sense to utilize those rather than trying to reinvent the wheel use something that just makes sense and works. The thing is though that’s a very sort of Bisi Ewing’s challenge show. Knowing menu of options, which has he say has been sold. And then depending on how you unique your per ups or experiences, there’s a massive amounts of room for experimentation in custom design that hasn’t necessarily been addressed by always other know, huge Totten’s of the industry because the head that rowing perhaps with their own needs their on use cases. So it is still a lot of things that you would probably won’t sue design yourself any game. Hamburger rock on is predominantly a UI element rather than actual experience so tied together. Those workflows in solutions in the white feels works is it’s a lot more challenging than just picking a I can bet you curious tonight. Is there you exploit trends of like topics right now in areas that everyone’s kind of experimenting with the area where the challenges of being met that you can kind of elaborate on. So we get a sense of guess, the cutting edge of you Xs right now, I guess like five years. Ago. Everything was kind of at based it was a lapse on your phone or you’ll ipad devices, something like that. Whereas now everything’s really moved to cloud platform. So pretty much only apps that reliable now. Awesome, cloud Bice Facebook, everything that apple does him in the Google does is all pretty much in the cloud.
15:05 – 20:03
And I think another state state-owned from that is where we starting to get into things like mentioned reality and sort of wearable devices act lived on a great job with the experience on the watch. For example. I think the the market is kind of fragmenting because in the future, not everyone will be just using a phone to interact with perks that we using a smart watcher of mentioned reality glosses, though, any number of other devices in your conflict sample. So there are going to be always other devices in ways of interacting with platforms that we probably on familiar with yet. And ultimately, it’s gonna be quite a challenge to design these different experiences, these different apps that he used in all kinds of different contexts, and I guess testing them in understanding what works. Doesn’t it’s a bit of a bit of a new frontier, actually. And then, you know, who knows where it’s gonna lead in the future much is a huge challenge. I mean talk about virtual reality just hardly thrives the whole user interface window. It’s a whole new environment which they to deal with. But you know, diversity is the challenge. It’s the it’s the the difficult part of the job that I’m I’m guessing you probably relish, whereas if ever was logging on in the same screens the same devices Siamese devices, you communicate dull. So I can I can say this issue. A lot of fun challenges there for you yet. He knows where it’s going to go on the teacher. It’s pretty amazing actually everything is starting now you need to go self driving cars and everything like that. And that’s a a US or prompt challenges will as well as technology in high with is required to make the damaging avoid heating. Anyone you know, how do you control? And ultimately a lot of the things signed to become alternated with his very little sort of interface and interaction with a user or scenes almost transparent to them that you did not physically touching. Green necessarily. So I think that divorce is in experiences again evolve from literally interacting with a screen to something that’s more abstracted than kind of blended in with the rest of the reality, your rain, and you you’ll almost not sort of nauseous unify civil almost disappear entirely until in eighteen track was in many of the actions. Remind phased is down just bike dean tragedy at night. Like, we just grow up. I mean, I think we’re with kids of an age, which means they were born looking at the idea, there’s an ipad screen, and they got the idea that put the finger on and every parent with kids ten years and year Unda have had that experience where they’re looking at six month old going hang on the worked at what swiping us on an ipad. And you just realize that’s just the power of the whole user experience. When you’ve got a six zero ABC wax it out and on how to get rid of pitcher, I can Chinese screen, and the great thing about kids is that I mean, not only those experiences incredibly in Shoda because you directly into. Acting with the objects on screen since obstructing at bar amounts or tied. You actually touching the object you want to interact with I mean, apple did an amazing job with you’ll you’ll gestures where you sort of pinch your fingers, or you turn things around on screen any felt like you actually sort of touching the objects. But the great thing about kids is and they’re bright white test your prompt, in fact, because kids have no fear of breaking stuff. They will touch. This do that do anything without C, or as adults tend to be more constrained than a bit wary that they’re gonna break something that’d be something wrong. So if you wanna tip contesting, your parental service. Get some kids to play with anelle thou break it pretty quickly. It can be broken. Hopefully, just the work’s not the actual device. I have a six year old son. And I think it’s equal risk of breaking up and breaking the device. Yeah. That’s that’s true. Yeah. Might be keeping us stay case. So for somebody does you ex how do you turn? You x into a prophet, Sandra? Not call center for. Business. What are the kind of things that you? You’re right down you present to shy. Look, I’m not just here, you know, throwing away John delivering value and possibly a return for the business. What are the kinds of metrics that you sort of define success by fee for yourself will? It’s interesting fortunate to be in a position whereby the company would Woodfull are incredibly invested in ease experience in practice on because I recognize that he’s not possible to compete, or I guess succeed in a digital platform without having a quality experience because the standard next time has been set so high by there’s other companies mentioned before Oubre, Annapolis, own fools that anything sub-standard people intuitively. They used that. He’s feel it doesn’t work. Well, they don’t come away with a positive experience which damages you’ll Brian in the foyer success totally. There’s no chance of vacation Claude I guess this concept you may have heard of cold designed. Thinking in the bicyc- premise is that everyone in an organization needs to think about design which is affecting. It’s about so problems. Don’t making something look beautiful that solving problems on making an experiences pleasurable as possible.
20:03 – 25:04
I guess and so when you take your approach from that point of view than designing the parole from the uses point of view, it’s it’s basically, Brian you don’t need SUNA -ssarily, so metrics to however, if you had to you can look at things like how many uses do we have how often using the parents are they using L sages? I we doing surveys to ask them how happy they out with Trump’s and also doing always use a testing sort of methodology sentimental earlier on about observing uses and mapping Nova time. How long it takes people to perform key tasks and how frequently they doing it which is a fairly good indicator as to I guess how easy the prompt is. A us amid full how successful you are as designer, yuck. Imagine that things like you have someone like Facebook. The amount of time spent in the app is a good thing. Whereas other businesses of transactional. Nice. She want people to read success in the shortest period of time. So as a mock it Arkan, imagine tying up nicely with conversion funnels interactions. I can also imagine net promoter schools in the idea people’s general satisfaction being super important to this whole experience. And when I think about giant brands that exists now, we’ve mentioned a bunch of the bait Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, eat, you realize your entire experience is through a user interface. So I’m guessing Beth probably why would saying job titles that really didn’t exist. You know, whatever it is five seven years ago now become such hot property in U X. It’s because I run the interaction with these brands is through user into fights. You know, there’s no shopfronts when open Damon have tangible products, and yet the most valuable companies in the well to just Tommy around interfaces is that trend to remove. Physical world and become much more. Virtually is that why would sane you X just appear as as buzzwords just seems to be growing importance or or their other factors I’m unaware of. Yeah. I think that’s largely true. I think as technology has become so pervasive in allieds. Thanks, largely to small fines night only really sort of brought to about ten years ago when apple released the first Iceland on that completely changed the way that sort of we interact with against each other in the world. I mean, the economy became more digital our everything, scalable blind. You say you shop online, you communicate online you go everything in your pocket. You’re in toss sodas virtual law is in your caucus. And because of that it’s become so powerful that we’ve learned to lease patents in new behaviors where we rely on. These devices may stage experiences having everything enough fingertips that as you say making Matt experience as seamless employed as possible is really critical, and that’s all. You see where it user experience design. Come in. The interesting thing is that user experience at Troy has been around for a long time. It’s just evolved over that time in his head different job titles against Jimmy is coach human computer interaction. And I know I keep mentioning apple on. I do like it prince Baen it’s worth noting, man. Why back in ninety ninety four when it released the first MacIntosh, computer. So we’re talking define years ago. They released a massive fake textbook bicycling, though defining all these patents interactions inexperienced guidelines. So it’s been around for a long time. But now, I think most people are aware of it because everything is so digital instantaneous yet of this same time that that would doing things like introducing screens in mice. And these things that we now just a shoe a standard practice, but you’ve got to have the cost your mind back to to realize they sing student, even in the exist. Let alone touchscreens. So I’m Cain to give a like a. A golden nugget of advice, I’m gonna pay scenario for you where which happens a lot when you’re next in an area. And that is the someone’s heating you some free advice. So in this scenario, a you’re at a cafe as a founder, she’s building an app, it’ll be an app about something. We’ll call about fitness for one of a better industry, and she’s really trying to get like any kind of information off you in you’re giving a lot of information. But if you boil that down and said, look, what’s the one thing you want her to take away when she goes off from Ezer experience point of view. What’s the one bit of advice that you want to really get stuck in on firstly understand the problem you trying to solve valid validate. That is a real problem. The paper has and then come up with an idea that might solve that problem and then tested with as many people as you can. And then keep into writing in that patents of basically constantly evolve. Your design solution and constantly tests that in each writer and improvement. Don’t wait until you think you’d go. Something that is a fantastic parenthesis. All the problems in that spice trying to focus on a particular set of problems that on so anyone currently and then constantly improve solution in don’t don’t wait for perfection because of the full that’s not posted.
25:04 – 30:03
We gotta get out and tested in constantly improve. Its really good advice. I’m in my head. I’m running through a couple of different things. I’m working out in the moment thing. Yes. Jared you need to do that. As like, you just let it go. Let a guy public ship it as they say that that’s the that’s the thing. Try not to be too precious. It’s difficult when you have an idea that you’re passionate about and you have a vision, and you really want to do the best possible thing for your uses. And you don’t want to short change them coming out. There isn’t quite right. But if there is a problem with your your assumptions, I guess then you really wanna find out about that as soon as possible don’t white get it out the tested, and there’s an old saying that says if you want to release your proper service. It’s to a point at which you not embarrassed but supposed to release than you went into Maung has one of things Steve Jobs said that he struggled with these first inclination. Napa was that. He would try to perfect everything. And then he got a little bit more relaxed things since of understood that you have to get something just out the door talking sell anything. So he had some Donna Giambi’s on things because he wasn’t absolute sanctions apparently by all accounts. Definitely visionary. How were the he’ll so did site at real Ossis ship, which means ultimately, you gotta get something out the door t don’t get it out the door never gonna sell anything. And to be honest. If you white until you got the perfect solution almost certainly someone’s going to beat them up, and you perfect solution will be with nothing because everyone is already using another platform. I want see the value in moving tools, and you become another is people that say haw had this idea. But some inside did it before man, I missed it. That’s my chance gone. Yeah. Exactly. So for example, VHS versus Betamax video tight from thirty years ago, the who’s in inferior technology, but it came out to market while you before. Amax? So basically captured the market share dominated even though it Betamax was a faucet period technology. It happens inside many different businesses. There’s multiple reasons why. But if you’re not in market, you’d never gonna win any market share sites credit advise. So is there is there something that you’ve put your eye on a trend that you think might be turning or something you’d think at the moment is right? But may be more than half of the other you X community doesn’t agree with and and you’ve got a chance to cut a Cobb. A visionary viewpoint on on you X moving forward. Is there any kind of area that you’ve got a inkling on that? You don’t think other people are really cutting onto at the moment. I wouldn’t say so because realistically, I mean, what am I gonna say the rest of the community, isn’t that? Either means a genius or a pariah. I’m not sure on unity on us. I think I’m Bryant is something a lot of experience in opinions. But nothing, but most of them would be in line with a lot of other you express Titians. I think that some in general the challenge is sort of where do we go from here? A lot of Princeton, sir. Services have already been fairly will covered. I think the trick these days in relief finding a niche that’s quite different. And really hasn’t been attacked before the other challenge, of course, is from business point of view, this somebody from people out there doing so many things you never really know what anyone else is doing until they’re in market. So, you know, you just gotta go out there and give it a go. I think. Yeah. I think it’s it’s almost impossible you kind of look at a market and try to find mean, obviously, there’s a cursory glance to make show. There’s not someone doing exactly what you’ve got the forty built a huge business. But I think it’s just a rule of thumb. They used is that if you’re doing it someone else’s probably trying the business at the same time with the same idea. So you ship it get something in the market right improve. And hopefully you win. So I guess this one thing that I have an opinion on that. Some people may not agree with I can’t tell on musk is a madman or genius. He certainly might using marketing, but some of these ideas and some of the things he’s doing it. So. Marketing he’s just literature on buildup Olis’ hot around berries technologies in order to promote something else on a conquest which way he’s going. But I find him wanting interesting enigmatic kind of those my theory is that anybody who significantly changes the status quo of society is mad to a certain extent. So they tend to be equal pots genius in mad. And I think about all the people have done amazing things, and you can get all of our genius idea that and you look and go. Yeah. But on the flip side, they also had always evil, pasta home. And I think I think that’s what happens in if he if you’ve gotta have this incredible pesonality think I’m gonna make the entire well, Dr self driving electric cars and all most colonize MAs at the same time, and and create efficient transporting tubes. Anything you’ve gotta be mad to do. That will. Thank you so much for all your insights warrant, I love it, all and what’s that phrase? We doing again, angry clicks range clicks, rage clicks. That’s the fries. That’s my taika. White writes clicks is the thing that I wanted to. Voyage of it. People want to all your work or accompany. Oh, you on whatever social media, you prefer the best. What’s the best way for someone to kind of engage with you will follow your work? So among linked Nikiel, sit on my website were impressive dot com.
30:03 – 30:29
Annals even plug to my photography sought a bit of a sideline may his much anymore. Now at kids spot of images there, Zuhdi dot com aches, ODU, don’t come and connect develop dot com. They company Woodfull. Obviously, we have our own website is so yes, we’ll free to have a look Aaron, please. Join me a line. It’s interesting getting in touch untested. Thanks so much time today were great catching up with you look forward to speaking with you again Phillies. She’s jared. Thanks night.

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