Opacity podcast

Opacity

Tom Cunningham, Craig Phillips

A podcast about working in design.

32 Episódios

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    31. Generalists and Specialists

    35:46

    Welcome to the new year. In the first episode of 2021, Craig and Tom jump into an evergreen topic on the minds of designers everywhere. Should we be generalists or specialists, and why? Specialization and generalization are tough terms to define. There are generalist designers who have a breadth of skills that cover the full design process. And then there's a wider definition of generalist that includes knowledge, skills, and experience outside of design. Similarly with specialization, it can be narrow, or wide. There's no standard way of saying what is general and what is specialized. But saying "it depends" isn't too helpful. It can be a real conundrum in a designer's professional life. In the episode Tom and Craig talk about how they approach the topic, and some pros and cons of each. And in the end, it's all about recognizing you're unique "shape" as a designer.  If you enjoyed the episode, make sure to share it with your friends and colleagues. You can support the podcast by leaving us a review or rating wherever you listen. You can subscribe to Opacity anywhere audio is distributed. Connect with us on twitter @opacitypodcast, and by checking out our new YouTube channel. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
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    30. Wrapping up 2020, Lacing up for 2021

    48:41

    We've made it to the end of 2020, a year unlike any other. Putting aside the roller coaster of the past year, we wanted to take some time to reflect on what's changed for designers in the workplace, and what these changes may mean for us in the coming year. A major theme for this episode was on the move to remote work and it's far reaching impacts, for good and maybe-not-so-good.  We also get into some of the following topics: Global asynchronous work, and ways to communicate effectively and efficiently The dangers of a more output-centric work environment for designers Remote facilitation as a designer superpower Finding balance and setting boundaries when everything has blurred together ...and more! This episode was fun to record, and we really hope you enjoy it. As you close out the year, take some time to reflect on the new work-reality we find ourselves in, and how you can make it work best for you in 2021. Here's to wishing you all a very happy new year, and all the good things in the year to come.  If you enjoyed the episode, make sure to share it with your friends and colleagues. You can support the podcast by leaving us a review or rating wherever you listen. You can subscribe to Opacity anywhere audio is distributed. Connect with us on twitter @opacitypodcast, and by checking out our new YouTube channel.  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
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    29. Starting your design career (part 1)

    27:17

    Starting out is hard. We've all been there, and have all had different experiences of this time. Regardless of how well or rough your entry to a design career is going, it takes real work. In this episode, Tom and Craig get into the topic, reflecting on their personal experiences as well as some suggestions for how designers starting out can grab the proverbial bull by the horns. They talk about job titles, transferable skills from other types of work, and creating your own work experience when starting from scratch. They also share about what stands out in the interview room, such as authentic interest and an ability to learn, good presentation skills, and the undoubtable benefit of investing in building your network. There's a lot still so much to talk about (it could be its own podcast!), so we're calling this "part 1".  If you're starting your design career, we'd love to hear from you! Tell us about your successes and failures, struggles and joys, or questions for us to cover on the air. Tweet at us @opacitypodcast or reach out to Tom (@tomcdesign) or Craig (cp5446) Please share with anyone you know starting out! And subscribe to Opacity wherever you consume audio. 🎧 --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
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    28. The moments that matter most

    35:12

    Looking back through your career you'll find a series of memorable moments that stand out. Highs, lows, and transitions likely make up the bulk of those memories. These memorable, defining moments are some of the most impactful on your career. These ideas are explored in depth in the well-known book, The Power of Moments, by Dan and Chip Heath. Knowing this, how can we think about creating defining moments for others as a form of design impact? When thinking along these lines, how can we broaden out perspective on what it means to bring impact as a designer? Hope you enjoy the episode! To read more on this topic, we recommend The Power of Moments, as well as checking out Craig's recent article, Designing for impact through defining moments on the Shaping Design blog. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
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    27. Ethics on the Table

    41:45

    It's easy to assume that UX design is inherently ethical. After all, designing with people's interests in mind is a big part of what we do. So why then, are certain technologies driving the downfall of civilization? ::cue ominous thunder:: Technologies that designers have played a big role in creating. Regardless of what we're designing, ethics needs to be on the table. No product is immune from ethical dilemmas. And every product—or perhaps the companies that build these products—wants to be something. It wants to grow, get more users, increase market share, make more money, keep investors happy, buy more pool tables and give employees free massages. But at what cost? In this episode, Tom and Craig scratch the surface of this big, important topic. tl;dr -- actively think about ethics, and interrogate your work, your employer, and yourself about upholding ethical standards. Enjoy the episode! If you do, please share with your friends and colleagues. And subscribe to Opacity anywhere audio is served. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
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    26. Embracing Serendipity

    36:08

    Our careers (and life) are made up of cross-roads and decisions we make on where to go next. We can approach these moments through detailed calculation—trying to find the right way to go based on the information we have available. Or, we can embrace a bit of randomness, and follow our gut.  In this episode Tom and Craig talk about their experiences with key decision points in their careers, and how they calculated (or rather, didn't calculate) them. Really, this is about much more than career, as it gets down to what we all believe is a life well-lived.  How do you approach career and life decisions? What do you intentionally calculate, and when do you embrace randomness.  If you enjoy'ed this episode, please subscribe to Opacity anywhere, and share with others who might like it.  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
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    25. Designing Design Systems

    36:28

    We all know about them. Probably even dipped our toes into making one. Everyone wants one. Many are willing to sell their souls for the chance at designing one. They're a lot of work, but they're worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears. Of course, we're talking about design systems. There are a million books, blog posts, and podcast episodes about design systems. In this chat, Tom and Craig speak a little about their experiences building design systems. Tom coming from the "design systems at scale" perspective, and Craig from the "scrappy small team trying to make it happen" side.  Hope you enjoy the conversation! If you do, please share with your fellow designers, and subscribe to Opacity wherever you consume audio. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
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    24. Accessible Analogies

    36:33

    Accessibility and usability are core to our profession. Despite this fact, they often don't take center stage. Many designers even feel that putting too much emphasis on them can take away from pushing creative boundaries. In this episode, Tom and Craig chat about the tensions that exist between these aspects of our profession.  We all love a good analogy. So why not explore how these topics can be further understood through the analogy of construction, architecture, and interior design?  Check out Accessibility for Everyone by Laura Kalbag (one of our fellow Ireland based designers!) for a great read on accessibility.  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
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    23. Getting to Know Yourself

    36:24

    The experience of work is evolving faster than ever in this era of extreme uncertainty. In ways we're all still trying to make sense of. In this episode Craig and Tom get into it, talking about how working remotely has opened up a reevaluation of what we do, what we're good at, how we work, and where we struggle. They reflect on hard vs soft/professional skills, the "Conundrum of Self-Awareness", the impact of words, and challenges of communications.  All in all, a good jump back into the podcast after a long break. Hope you enjoy. If so, subscribe to Opacity wherever you consume audio, and share with your friends and colleagues. 🤗 And here's a link from the discussion: The Johari Window --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message
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    22. Content & Conversational Design with Grace Hughes, Fjord

    53:03

    Content is integral to good quality products and services, but doesn't always get the attention it deserves. In this episode Grace Hughes, Content Design Lead at Fjord joins Tom & Craig to discuss the role of content design, conversational design, content strategy and much more. You'll never use Lorem Ipsum again! Connect with Grace on Twitter at @GraceHughes22 or on LinkedIn While you're at it, check the rest of us out as well. Tom, Craig, and the official account for Opacity. And, of course, subscribe to Opacity everywhere audio is distributed. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/opacity/message

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