32 minutes | Feb 16, 2021

Scott Berkun: How Design Makes the World – Episode 91

Scott Berkun Scott Berkun can help you understand design. His new book, How Design Makes the World, helps both practitioners of the discipline and consumers of the products that they create understand how design shapes our world. We talked about: his journey from computer programming to UX design his early switch at Microsoft from UX research to project management the distinction between building things and designing things the hazards of building things that don't solve a problem his take on the concept of "design maturity" how the rise of the consumer web and then the rise of mobile apps accelerated the growth of UX practice the lag in the adoption of UX practice in enterprise products how being right and having a good idea is not sufficient to actually change organizational decision-making the importance of being able to persuade others of the relevance and desirability of your design ideas his intent to give designers tools to democratize the design profession how truly hearing and empathizing with key stakeholders works better than evangelism to get them to appreciate your work the "aha!" moment when he discovered systems theory and thinking how allegiances to UX practice specializations can impede the progress of good design the superiority of non-binary thinking Scott's bio Scott Berkun is a bestselling author and popular speaker on creativity, leading projects, culture, business and many other subjects. He’s a former interaction designer and project manager who worked for many years at Microsoft and WordPress.com. He’s the author of eight books, including The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker, and The Year Without Pants. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Guardian, Wired magazine, USA Today, Fast Company, National Public Radio, CNN, NPR, MSNBC and other media. His popular blog is at scottberkun.com and he tweets at @berkun. Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgy1KyEWzfU Podcast intro transcript This is the Content Strategy Insights podcast, episode number 91. Scott Berkun is a prolific author. He's written books on project management, public speaking, creativity, innovation, and remote work. His latest project is How Design Makes The World, a really accessible book that can help anyone better understand and appreciate design. If you're a professional, it can help you explain your work to friends and colleagues. If you're just curious about the field, it can help you understand how the things around you came to be. Interview transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode 91 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us, Scott Berkun. Scott is a well known author, he's author of eight books now and the reason I asked him on the show is his eighth book, his latest book, How Design Makes the World really caught my eye. It's kind of a companion now for me right alongside Don Norman's books and then my other design shelf as sort of a really accessible book about how to explain design and how it shapes the world. Welcome, Scott. I'm curious about, I think a lot of people know you as a product guy and an old school Microsoft PM sort of person, but you have over the years, you left Microsoft, became a book author and now you're writing this brilliant book about design. Tell me how that came to be. Scott: Sure. Thanks for coming on the show to begin with. Wanted to be on the show for a while and I couldn't make it happen. I'm excited that I'm finally here. Yay! Go us. Larry: Likewise. Scott: Yeah, the story is a circle. I was in college. I studied computer science. I learned, I discovered I was not a very good programmer. I was a mediocre programmer. I was good at the first part. I was good to figuring out what the problem was.
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