Glenn Greenberg LMS Podcast

Episode 9: Glenn Greenberg on Simplifying Online Education Deployments

As the need for online education capabilities increases during the COVID-19 pandemic, learning institutions slow to deploy solutions are now scrambling.  In episode 9, Chris discusses this online infrastructure gap many learning institutions are racing to fill by summer’s end. Chris speaks with Glenn Greenberg on the implementation options available to these overwhelmed and understaffed institutions.

As the digital learning strategist and owner of ggLearningworks LLC, Glenn has vast experience in the eLearning space. Listen to the podcast as Glenn breaks down how those institutions left flat-footed can still successfully navigate the critical path ahead. He breaks down the path to success into three key areas: speed, simplicity and substance. 

  • Speed – To launch a fully functional online education program by summer’s end, the old way of hiring talent and rolling out departmental projects must evolve. Interdepartmental collaboration, project staffing precision and quick action are all imperative. 
  • Simplicity – To design, develop and deploy a fully functional, easy-to-use UX remember that less is more. Consider a hybrid approach of live video classes (synchronous learning) and course assets (asynchronous learning) mapped in a Learning Management System (LMS). Complexity will be a key contributor to failure if you let it. 
  • Substance – Focus on quality when identifying project talent, technology and techniques. There are many high quality LMS tools available at a relatively low cost so choose wisely. As for course material, consider working with what’s already available as opposed to wasting resources creating new content. Finally, a high quality project team is essential.

Here’s the full podcast of Glenn detailing the key elements of an eLearning system along with his suggested discovery and deployment strategies.  

Hosted by: Chris Miller, Creative and Digital Staffing/Recruitment Consultant at Topfolio, a Syntagma Group company.

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Episode 8: Brian Morrison on the Homerun Power of UX

Episode 8: Brian Morrison on the Homerun Power of UX

Let’s say you’re an up and coming UX pro and dream of becoming a UX powerhouse at your company. What’s your path to power? Welcome to Episode 08 of The Chris Miller Show, a UX podcast series detailing and demystifying the growing UX profession. 

In this episode, Chris speaks with Brian Morrison, the Creative and Marketing Director at a multinational publishing company. The conversation begins with Chris describing his first meeting with Brain, over a decade ago. Much has changed in UX and in Brian’s career path as he’s now a member of Adobe’s customer advisory board. According to Brian, compared to years past, UX has developed its homerun hitting power due to the growing emphasis on customer-first branding initiatives.

Corporate Branding’s Secret Sauce

You see, gone are the days where corporate branding begins and ends at a stylish logo and punchy tagline. Today, branding is all about understanding the customer. It’s success relies on a secret sauce that’s spread across every customer touchpoint. That secret sauce is UX.

Given this new market reality, Brian believes branding and UX must merge and become more pervasive within all companies. But that’s easier said than done, especially for enterprise companies. So here’s five development areas on the path to becoming a design-led organization.

  1. HIRE: Decentralize staffing so hiring managers find UX talent quicker.
  2. COMMUNICATE: Develop a common UX vocabulary across departments.
  3. SIMPLIFY: Align UX and Branding together to bolster a design-led organization. 
  4. BUILD: Develop a system for creative idea sharing across departments.
  5. SCALE: Build out the idea system to generate tangible results at scale.

Career Creatives Hit for Power

Following the above steps will help build a more cohesive culture and develop a stronger lineup of UX power hitters. Brian calls such power hitters, career creatives, because, unlike hobbyists, their creativity can be generated seemingly at will. Career creatives also seem to value humility, continuous learning and look for inspiration all around. If this sounds like your approach to UX then here’s a power-hitting tip from Brian, continue finding ways to sketch and develop your ideas on days where creativity is low.

Soundbite from Episode 8

Click on this podcast soundbite on this key point or listen to the full podcast below.

UX Homerun Power is Internal

In the end, the skillset you need to grow in your career has nothing to do with photoshop training. It’s about who you are internally and how that internal power helps you in managing people, developing budgets, creating processes, communicating effectively and leading with confidence. No one teaches these in-demand skills in Art School. These skills are a combination of soft skills and professional grit. These skills make up your own secret sauce and help determine where you’ll bat in your team’s creative lineup.

Here’s the full podcast of Brian detailing how any passionate UX professional can develop into the power hitter at their company.

Hosted by: Chris Miller, Creative and Digital Staffing/Recruitment Consultant at Topfolio, a Syntagma Group company.

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Episode 7: Vivek Gupta on the Path to UX Bliss

Episode 7: Vivek Gupta on the Path to UX Bliss

In episode 7 of The Chris Miller Show, Chris speaks with Vivek Gupta, a senior UX lead, manager, and consultant. The conversation starts with Vivek sharing how UX designers, architects, and strategists should approach their work. He then dives into the essence of good UX almost as if he was describing a better way to live life. For example, here’s Vivek’s preferred UX talent skillset regardless of the job role. 

  • genuine curiosity
  • panoramic perspective
  • subtle persuasiveness 

According to Vivek, applying these skills not only results in deeper customer empathy but also better stakeholder management. What’s his inspiration? His UX beliefs and concepts are rooted in a Japanese philosophy on building consensus called nemawashi. Listen in as Vivek describes this philosophy and perhaps a path to UX bliss.

Hosted by: Chris Miller, Creative and Digital Staffing/Recruitment Consultant at Topfolio, a Syntagma Group company.

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Episode 6: Ryan Rosenberg on the Primary Purpose of UX

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

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

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

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

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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Nick Etemadipour On How to Hire Extraordinary UX Designers

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

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  • 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.

UX PODCAST SERIES: How to Hire Extraordinary UX Designers

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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