IxDA Sydney Mentoring Program Podcast

Episode 10 | David Meier – Design IS business

In this episode, Sam and Vinita are talking to David Meier. Their conversation dives into how design IS Business and why understanding your subject matter inside out is the first step to getting a seat at the leadership table.

We dive into the following themes:

  • How knowing your subject matter inside out is vital.
  • Inheriting an always learning approach, with the d.MBA program helping him land this latest role.
  • How leaning on your designer network is a great way to unblock your workflow.

David’s career foundations were established through graphic design and digital advertising. It wasn’t until working within the startup space when David got a deep understanding of the fundamentals of UX. In the last four years David has transitioned into design leadership positions at Real estate giant, Domain. And later at Fintech disrupters, Zip and now Finder. David is a passionate and experienced design leader focussed on finding the sweet spot between delivering strong business outcomes, while nailing the user needs.

Episode 9 | Marla Mitelman – Building and leading high performing design teams

In this episode, Sam and Molly are talking to Marla Mitelman about how she has built and lead high performing design teams.

We dive into the following themes:

  • Building out design teams and defining culture.
  • How to grow designers with confidence and not arrogance.
  • How to challenge the status quo, whether you’re focusing on deliverables or managing stakeholders.
  • How embracing failure is a good thing. 

Marla is a design leader and a hands on UX designer for over 20 years. She’s passionate about the design of useful, usable and purposeful experiences for innovative products and services. Since 2020, she’s been working both as a freelance design consultant through Mitelman Webb, and has been employed permanently by organisations such as BCG, digital ventures, and PwC, to lead their experience and strategic design teams.

Episode 8 | Michael Wong (Mizko) – The Power of Portfolios

In this episode, Sam and Molly are talking to Michael Wong AKA Mizko, about how the strength of your portfolio can set you up for success within your design career.

We dive into the following themes:

  • Learn Mizko’s unconventional path into UX design and how his strong marketing skills shaped his success in his design career.
  • Understand the value in learning the business side of design and the importance we add as designers within an organisation.
  • The power in experimenting with objectives, constantly iterating and pushing yourself to be a better designer by looking at the glass half full.
  • Hear Mizkos perspective on the power of portfolios and what elements of your portfolio you should focus your attention on.
  • Practical tips and truths on interviewing, freelancing and when to make the jump to do your own thing.

Mizko is a founder, educator and product/UX/UI Designer at heart. He has spent the last 15 years strategising and designing for high-growth companies that have raised a total of $500M. His passion lies at the intersection of business, design and technology and today runs an online educational platform, Designership with over 3,500 alumni. 

Episode 7 | Dear Vinita – Questions from the mailbag

In this episode, Molly, Sam & Vinita are taking your mentoring questions, where dive into the following themes: 

  • How do I keep cadence with the mentor/mentee relationship?
  • Learning about psychology within UX and how to implement it.
  • What happens when the program comes to an end.

Episode 6 | Erin Turner – The power of constructive feedback

In this episode, Molly and Vinita are talking to Erin Turner about the power of feedback, and when the right rituals are put in place, it can really drive the feedback culture of that organisation.

We dive into the following themes:

  • Ensue that you’re creating a safe space in order to provide feedback.
  • Setting the right context is key when giving feedback
  • Have the mindset that treating any piece of feedback is a gift, good or bad. 

Erin is a UX leader and organisational psychologist with over 15 years experience. Erin started her career consulting in UX research and design across a range of industries before moving client side to set up and lead various UX and service design teams. Erin passion is in delivering impactful and purposeful design for human-centered and empathetic innovation, and helping practitioners build confidence and skill for our coaching and mentoring.

Episode 5 | Paul Blake – How to beat your inner imposter syndrome

In this episode, Sam and Vinita are talking to design leader and top-rated ADPlist mentor, Paul Blake.

We dive into the following themes:

  • Why imposter syndrome is rife within the design industry.
  • Ways to approach overcoming your own inner critic.
  • Valuing frameworks over craft.
  • How designers are pseudo change managers.  

With over 25 years of industry experience, Paul is a journalist by training, in 1995 he put away his typewriter to embrace design. He has worked internationally in a range of corporate government and agency environments. He made it in strategic and service design and is an enthusiastic mentor for younger designers. And ever curious traveler music fan and craft beer nerd.

Episode 4 | Mags Hanley – Structure and plan your design career

In this episode, Vinita and Molly, we are talking to Mags Hanley about why it’s important to think beyond your role as a designer, why you should be taking notice of aspects adjacent to our role like data, and why learning about other people’s business needs to improve your sphere of influence.

We dive into the following themes:

  • Making the differentiation between mentoring and coaching.
  • How to go about expanding your craft in transitioning to a leader, it’s not always managing people!
  • How to influence and teach other teams about the value of design.
  • Navigating your way through differing design maturity levels throughout your career.

Mags is a career and Information Architect. She works with designers at all stages of their careers, help them identify the path to go on, be more effective at work and support them in leading their design teams. Her recently published career architecture, analyze structure and plan your design career, a guidebook for designers working out where to go next in their careers.

Episode 3 | Tim Yeo – Design Leadership for Introverts

In this episode, Molly Lewis and I chat with the Quiet Achiever himself – Tim Yeo! This conversation focuses on how designers starting out in the industry can stand out when trying to get that first role, what kind of mindset to have while approaching design exercises, and how introverts in particular can start to really craft their design paths.

We dive into the following themes:

  • How to get designers that first job when they are lacking experience.
  • Balancing politics and design requirements in the workplace.
  • Interviewing for design roles – including how to approach networking.

Tim Yeo coaches introverts to have impact and influence without pretending to be extroverts at The Quiet Achiever.He is currently Design Director @ IBM, helping Enterprise clients transform their businesses with enterprise scale at startup speed. In IBM, Tim focuses on DesignOps for the Customer Transformation design practice in Australia.Previously, Tim was the first UX and Design leader at fintech startups @Finder, @OFX and @Prospa where he hired, established and scaled design teams from scratch.Best known for saying complex things simply. He’s also a public speaker, bookbinder and currently living the nomad life with no permanent address in Adelaide, Australia with his partner and the fluffiest Old English Sheepdog ever.Tim has also reviewed  did reviewing design portfolios for IxDA and done mock interviews with general assembly for graduating programs.

Episode 2 | Chris Naylor – Why building on your design craft is important

In this episode, Molly and Sam are chatting with Chris Naylor. Their conversation dives into how to develop people skills, and about how to step outside being just a designer to bring more to your craft. They go into some tactical methods on how designers can build up their commercial skills, while still balancing flow, speed and craft.

We dive into the following themes:

  • Building on your design craft and understanding business drivers.
  • Understanding the commercials behind your design decisions.
  • Putting your design theories into practice.

Chris is the Regional Design Practice Director for Accenture Interactive, APAC region. He’s a design leader focused on making complex systems simple, and driving customer experiences that solve jobs and generate stakeholder value. He helps businesses develop growth strategies and experiences to achieve key outcomes through strong consumer science, design, leadership and management skills.

Episode 1 | An introduction to mentoring

Hello, and welcome to the introductory episode of The IxDA Sydney MP Pod. We’ll be introducing your hosts for the next 12 weeks, Vinita, Molly and Sam, while also taking you through how to best set up for success with the IxDA Sydney mentoring program. 

Every Wednesday, we will be bringing you new insight from design doers and thinkers from across Australia. There’s a lot of giggling in this episode since we have no guests, so hang on for some fodder and great design talk!

Teaser | Something BIG is coming!

In March 2022, IxDA Sydney will be launching a podcast to support mentoring conversations from a diverse group of design thinkers and doers around Sydney and Australia. These conversations aspire to spark new perspectives, problem solving and insight into other design teams.

Molly, Sam, and Vinita have interviewed a handful already and will be adding to them over the year. These will be available soon, both in your usual podcast-subscribing services.