Ryan Rosenberg UX Quote

Episode 6: Ryan Rosenberg on the Primary Purpose of UX

On each episode of The Chris Miller Show, Chris speaks with a different UX expert on how they define and apply UX at work. Through these one-on-one casual conversations, Chris hopes to uncover the mystery and clear up the confusion around this advancing topic.

In episode 6, Chris interviews Ryan Rosenberg of Sanofi, a global pharmaceutical company. Through his conversation with Ryan, Chris just may have uncovered the primary purpose of the growing UX role.

As the Digital Design and UX Capability Lead at Sanofi, Ryan believes UX is less about designing and more about discovering. Why? Because in Pharma, like in many industries, the user’s intent and preferred journey is initially unknown. However, through user research and data analysis, a thoughtful UX professional can discover valuable user preferences. According to Ryan, if this analysis is reliable, it must be prioritized over less reliable sources like a brand manager’s personal preference. Ryan’s one caveat is the complexity required to do it right, especially in the design phase.

In Ryan’s own words, “To make something that is simple on a device is extremely complex. It takes a research team to figure out what their users want. It takes a tech team to build it, a design team to make the interactions useful and intuitive for the user”

“But when it does happen, now that’s great design, and there should be no other thought about how that experience should work. To give the users what they want, when they want it, on the device that they’re on is my definition of UX.”

Ryan believes, no matter the company, the UX role must work with a customer-centric mindset. Unlike other product, development or marketing roles, UX has a primary purpose of passionately advocating for the user. Now this doesn’t mean blindly implementing what the user thinks they need. Rather, it means capturing reliable user data and persuading others based on your data-driven UX model.

Listen in as Ryan describes his UX career path, experiences on Adobe Creative Cloud’s customer advisory board, and upcoming industry trends.

Hosted by: Chris Miller, Creative and Digital Staffing/Recruitment Consultant

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Episode 5: Bridget Lyons on the UX Design Continuum

The Chris Miller Show showcases top UX design experts and explores the many hiring and job complexities of this advancing field.  Determined to better understand this somewhat vague and all-encompassing term, Chris searches for answers in these podcasts. After listening to his latest episode, we sense he’s getting closer to the true meaning behind UX design.

Chris’s fifth guest is UX Designer Bridget Lyons of Studio b, a results-driven Creative Boutique.  Listen in as Chris and Bridget discuss the key driver to why the term UX design means something different to so many.

For Bridget, UX is a moving target that can’t be easily defined. Why? Because a company’s own maturity level in UX design helps drive the terms various meanings. For example, it’s no surprise that many companies are still in the early stages of UX design. So reskinning an old website will be all that company understands UX design to be. The visual element is the extent of their current UX maturity. On the other end of the continuum is product design. In these instances, a company’s UX maturity extend beyond the visual. The product may be an app or an event booth or merchandise. In such instances, a UX designer must factor in more than simply the visual design.

Listen in as Bridget shares how she determines where a company lies on the UX design continuum and why she considers herself a hybrid UX designer.

Hosted by: Chris Miller, Creative and Digital Staffing/Recruitment Consultant

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Episode 4: Aaron Usiskin on the #1 UX Skill

The Chris Miller Show is in its fourth episode of speaking with top UX experts about the various complexities of this advancing field.  

Chris’s fourth guest is Aaron Usiskin, a consultant at ETS specializing in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning UX.  Listen in as Chris and Aaron uncover the #1 UX skill.

According to Aaron, UX involves not just digital and desktops but every interaction with a brand. For example, look at how your local Starbucks is setup; the setup design was UX-driven. Even your next trade show event will have components of UX weaved into booth setup. Aaron speaks about his experience exploring, designing and deploying event booths based, in part, on traffic flow analysis from one booth to another. 

After Aaron outlines how everything around you is a UX problem to solve, he speaks on the core of good UX talent. For the truly gifted, good UX is less about drawing pictures and more about discovering patterns in what people are trying to do, how they react, or how they interact. Thus, good UX is grounded in the creative and critical thinking required to see unexpected patterns. As UX continues to increase in complexity, the top UX skill to master gets simplified, “see things others cannot”, as Aaron puts it.

Listen in as Aaron shares how to develop this skill daily and how to find it in your next UX hire.

Hosted by: Chris Miller, Creative and Digital Staffing/Recruitment Consultant

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Episode 3: Derek Mei on How UX Design is a Team Sport

Listen in as Syntagma’s Chris Miller speaks with top UX experts, hiring managers and consultants. Each guest will share experiences on how they meet growing UX expectations by identifying and hiring top UX talent.

Chris’s third guest is Derek Mei , UI/UX Developer at 3Play Media. Listen in as Chris and Derek discuss how UX design means something different depending on the size of the company, or the technical sophistication of the audience, or the various roles on a development team. 

According to Derek, good UX design lives at the intersection of technological inspiration, business strategy and team collaboration.  

Because of growing user expectations, good UX has become a team sport. The design and development teams can’t design in a silo as all functional departments have valuable input to share when it comes to user feedback and expectations. 

Hosted by: Chris Miller, Creative and Digital Staffing/Recruitment Consultant

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Episode 2: Brandon Comstock on How Good UX is Not About Deliverables

Listen in as Syntagma’s Chris Miller speaks with top UX experts, hiring managers and consultants. Each guest will share experiences on how they meet growing UX expectations by identifying and hiring top UX talent.

Chris’s second guest is Brandon Comstock, Director Of User Experience at Boston Digital. Listen in as Chris and Brandon discuss the downside of the recent commoditization of the term “UX” and how to rise above it.

According to Brandon, good UX doesn’t focus on deliverables like user requirements or wireframes. It also doesn’t focus on design in the “graphic designer” sense.

Good UX is about researching and fully understanding the underlying currents of brand, business, and technology. Only then can you build a lasting bridge between the brand and its target audience.

Hosted by: Chris Miller, Creative and Digital Staffing/Recruitment Consultant

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Episode 1: Nick Etemadipour On How to Hire Extraordinary UX Designers

Listen in as Syntagma’s Chris Miller speaks with top UX designers, hiring managers and consultants. Each guest will share experiences on how they meet growing UX expectations by identifying and hiring top UX talent.

Chris’s first guest is Nick Etemadipour, Lead UX/UI Designer at BRD. They first discuss how best to evaluate UX designers and their portfolio. Then Chris and Nick dive into these top three indicators of good UX:

  • Authentic — Is the UX free of overt brand messaging or blatant product promotion?
  • Unique — Does the UX deliver the unexpected?
  • Entertaining — Does the UX appeal more to emotion than logic?

Hosted by: Chris Miller, Creative and Digital Staffing/Recruitment Consultant

Next Steps

  • Learn more about Chris Miller and his vision for our creative/digital services.
  • Learn more about Lead UX/UI Designer at BRD, Nick Etemadipour.
  • Subscribe to receive email alerts.

Syntagma UX Designer Podcast Series

UX PODCAST SERIES: How to Hire Extraordinary UX Designers

Many tech buzzwords grow in popularity, and then die down. For example, take the phrase “Big Data,” which is still valued but no longer such a hot topic. Alternatively, it’s not surprising the search term “data science” continues to trend up. Care to guess how the search term “UX” is trending? Over the last 10+ years, Google searches on “UX” (see red trend line below) also continue to climb.

Impact of Bad UX

As a growing discipline, UX engagement optimization is a never-ending challenge for many brands. Why’s it matter so much? In a survey of more than 5,000 cross-market consumers, 76% indicated they’d switch brands after one bad experience with a brand they like.

If you’re looking to improve your UX design team and avoid the same fate, this podcast series will help. Listen to Syntagma’s Chris Miller speak with top UX designers, hiring managers and consultants. Each guest will share experiences on how they meet growing UX expectations by identifying and hiring top UX talent.

Indicators of Good UX

Along with discussing how best to evaluate UX designers and their portfolio, the series will discuss these top indicators of good UX:

  • Creative — Is the UX well thought out in its speed, simplicity and substance?
  • Authentic — Is the UX free of overt brand messaging or blatant product promotion?
  • Meaningful — Is the UX fresh and edgy?
  • Transformative — Does the UX capture attention and encourage visitors to ponder?
  • Unique — Does the UX deliver the unexpected?
  • Storylike — Does the UX appeal to a user’s innate sense of good storytelling?
  • Engaging — Does the UX appeal more to emotion than logic?

Chris’s first guest will be Nick Etemadipour, Lead UX/UI Designer at BRD. Subscribe to receive email alerts when the podcast series debuts, and later, as additional guests are announced.

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Don’t Miss These 5 Job Hunting Slam Dunks

Yes, it’s a strong job market for applicants. But, even if you’re “the one”, you’ll forever be competing with less qualified applicants. It’s a bit like you’re the top-seeded team playing the first round of a tournament.  Your goal is to avoid the upset! Think about it; you’re the most experienced applicant but still miss that slam dunk job due to a resume oversight or an interview gaff.

To avoid these missed opportunities, check out my steps for hitting those job hunting slam dunks.

1. Write your resume as if the person reading will have no clue what you do.

  • Focus on your accomplishments and how they  benefited your employers: Include ROI, size and scope of projects, and the like.
  • Stick to your past three-five years: I love one-page resumes and so do most managers who don’t want to spend too long reviewing resumes. Whatever you can lose (pointless details, cliché words and phrases, etc.) lose.
  • Figure out who you really are and what you really want. Build the resume from there.
  • Don’t treat the resume as if it’s ever really finished: It will be a work in progress from day to day.

2. Target your search carefully

  • Don’t just apply everywhere: Make sure you only apply where you want to, and carefully keep records for where  you applied to. You don’t want to get a call and not have any clue who is calling you from where or why.
  • Remember those who might be advertising for openings might not really be hiring and those who aren’t advertising might be hiring.
  • Be able to tell people in a specific company why YOU should be hired: Don’t just say: “I need a job.”
  • Keep in mind that LinkedIn and Indeed aren’t the only places on the web to mine.

3. Network and actually meet people

  • Get proactive in terms of learning new things, meeting new people, and showing your face simply because a lot of people DON’T do these things anymore.  
  • Attempt to meet the people you want to work for.
  • Going to an event? Learn who will be there there and target them.
  • Don’t get discouraged: There is an association for anything and everything, including your industry.  

4.  Kill the interview

  • Be prepared beforehand: research the company, know what it does, check out its latest press clipping(s), and so on.
  • Don’t take an interview for a company you aren’t interested in – you are wasting your time and wasting the interviewer’s time. Bad blood can develop.
  • Never lie, but don’t always tell the WHOLE truth. Prepare some vanilla answers to potentially awkward questions. For instance: really think about how to concisely explain why you are leaving your current job, and if need be, practice your answers.
  • Pausing before you respond is never a bad idea when in an interview.
  • Pretend you are talking to the CEO every time.
  • Don’t change your story as your interviews progress and you meet with various people: It will look like you are making it up.

5. Beef up your social presence

  • The online world is fragmented. So take some time and review all applicable social media platforms and resources, such as job boards, AI recruitment tools, etc.
  • Today, LinkedIn profiles function oftentimes as the new resume.
  • Anything you post on Twitter, in Facebook, etc. basically, will last forever. You may want to police your presence.
  • Be professional without being stuffy: And if you are going to get political, remember that carries risk.    

Finally, believe in yourself and know that failing during the job hunt builds grit! However, if after applying these steps you’re still losing to the competition, reach out to me and I’ll get you back in the game.

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Top Three Ways Your Recruiting Process Can Avoid Blind Spots.

Today’s hiring managers must adapt to two constant challenges: Creative talent shortages and competitive counter-offers. The managerial response must include developing insight into the hiring process via artificial intelligence tools and platforms. This demands market-driven high speed decisions, while overcoming digital complexity. Because of this, on any given day, even the savviest hiring manager might feel a bit like Sandra Bullock in Bird Box.

If you’re determined to achieve better recruiting and consulting outcomes, here’s a brief Q&A with Chris Miller, our Creative and Digital Staffing and Recruitment Consultant. Chris shares his experiences and ideas about how to improve your creative talent vision.

What’s the number one red flag that a client’s approach to filling a position lacks the necessary thought and vision?

This is always dependent on the role, but given it is a design position – looking at the resume first and a portfolio second is a bad move. It is always about the work first. Or looking at a resume of someone who has “jumped around” and dismissing it, only to find out the person is a professional freelancer. Suddenly that person becomes a different candidate.

Today’s recruiting firm talent, tools and technology are more robust and agile than what they were a few years ago. So, if a client chooses to hire using only internal resources, what are they sacrificing by way of the vision?

All of the other people who might be available in the market. A job advertisement is just like a commercial. Not everyone is always watching and there so are so many opportunities and companies hiring, that sometimes candidates miss the best opportunity.

What impact do building and maintaining relationships and feedback loops have on a recruiter-client account?

The client-recruiter relationship and candidate-recruiter relationship are unique because of all the things you CAN’T SAY in a job description or about yourself. People are more forthcoming about their challenges and goals when going through a third party.

Contact Chris to learn more about our new operating company focused solely on the creative services space within Boston. Especially if you start experiencing any floundering “Bird Box” moments at the office.

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Look Who Just Launched a Boston-based Creative Services Company.

After tremendous growth and success within the IT and Financial Services fields, Syntagma has opened a new operating company focused solely on the creative services space within Boston.  We look forward to great things as we continue to grow offerings to our valued customers in the commonwealth.

Our focus is to compliment our fast growing technical recruiting business with freelance, contract to hire, and fulltime placements within:

  • Visual Design
  • User Experience
  • User Interface & UI Engineering
  • Digital Marketing
  • Content Strategy

Next Steps

  • Contact us to learn more about the top freelancers or our expansion into creative services.
  • Subscribe to stay informed on recruiting metrics or other industry topics.
  • Evaluate your current recruiting process with our 60-Second Assessment Tool.