Season 3 Episode 5 with Sinem Erdemli and Callum Goodwilliam is now available. Listen now.
July 7, 2022

End of Season 1 Recap: Learnings and Reflections

Host of the Design Feeling Podcast, Nirish Shakya, recaps the 12 guest interviews in Season 1 and shares his top learnings and reflections. He also gives a sneak peek of Season 2.

It’s the end of the first season of the Design Feeling Podcast! In this episode, host, Nirish Shakya, recaps the 12 guest interviews and shares his top learnings and reflections from them.

If this is your first time listening to the Design Feeling Podcast, this might be a good start to start. It’ll give you a taster of all the conversations we’ve had in the show so far so you can pick and choose the episodes you want to listen to in full.

Nirish also gives a sneak peak of what’s coming in Season 2.

Links and resources

Kate Pincott

Jason Mesut

Dr. Carlos Saba

Dr. Zorana Ivcevic Pringle

Corey Lebson

Ryan Rumsey

Jane Reid and Janice Hannaway

Dr. Adeola Enigbokan

Frances Khalastchi

Hattie Willis

Career Timeline

Oura ring

‘Steal Like an Artist’ book by Austin Kleon


[00:00:00] Nirish Shakya: Welcome to the Design Feeling podcast. It's the end of season one. And can you believe it? Since I launched the Design Feeling Podcast back in January, 2022, we've had 12 episodes and 12 amazing guests and almost 3000 downloads. Thanks to you. And if this is your first time listening to the show, you're probably starting at the right place because this episode will be a recap where I'll look back at all the conversations we've had on the show. And I'll also share my key learnings and reflections from them. And I'll also give you a bit of a sneak peek of what's coming in season two.

[00:00:38] Shivaun: This is the Design Feeling Podcast with your host Nirish Shakya. 

[00:00:52] Nirish Shakya: Hi, I'm Nirish Shakya, and I'm a designer, educator, and the host of my new podcast Design Feeling. Most of the time, you'll probably find me helping organisations put their customers first, or you might find me teaching design thinking and creative innovation, but I'm on a slightly different quest here - to explore the human behind the designer - who you are, what drives you, what frustrates you and why, and ultimately how you can bring more impact and meaning into your work.

On this podcast, my expert guests, and I will be uncovering ways to increase your self-awareness, creative confidence and meaning.

Hello, when welcome to the Design Feeling podcast. How you doing? I just wanna start by saying, sorry for being late with this episode, I was in Nepal visiting my family after three years and I got sick while I was there. And then I got sucked back into the vortex of reality. After I got back to London, you know how it goes?

But I didn't want to rush this episode because I really wanted to take time to re-listen to all the episodes in Season One and synthesize some of my most favorite nuggets for you and not do a halfass job just to hit myself in post deadline. And thank you so much for the support you've given me in season one and for not just listening, but also joining in the conversations on social media and also in the fireside chats that we've had.

You see, when I started this podcast, I didn't really know where I was gonna go. I had an idea. Um, I had a few themes in mind and I literally just started with those. But after 13 episodes, I realized that it's not just me thinking about these themes and luckily for me, the podcast themes, and even the name Design Feeling, um, have resonated with listeners and the guests that we've had on this show. 

[00:02:54] James Breeze: You're stepping out on the limb just by calling your podcast Design Feeling. 

 And I love that play on words because it is about feeling. It's not about thinking. You got to understand how people feel and how you feel when you've been designing things. You don't just think about stuff because we're feeling beings.

[00:03:10] Zorana Ivcevic Pringle: Design Feeling, means that we are acknowledging that there is feeling in being human and being human who is engaged in design and creativity and innovation and that feeling, order for creativity and innovation to happen, we have to acknowledge explicitly and manage purposefully. 

[00:03:33] Adeola Enigbokan: What you're actually doing is walking it's uncharted territory, you're actually trying to start a mapping process of a whole field that really deserves to be brought out to be surfaced.

[00:03:47] Janice Hannaway: We do feel we are human beings. It's what we do. It's how we function- we feel. What's going on in your body? Nevermind your head. Forget your head. Nevermind what's up there or in your heart, what's your body telling you?

[00:03:59] Adeola Enigbokan: In reality, people feel things and people make decisions based on those things that they feel, even if they are designers or even if they are clients.

 See, I started the Design Feeling podcast with one mission in. To help human-centered designers and problem solvers like yourself, know the human within you and solve problems that align with who you are and what gives you joy and meaning. And I've been exploring these three main themes - self-awareness creative confidence and meaning. I think the easiest way to visualize these three themes would be if you imagine three concentric circles. So in the innermost circle, the smallest circle in the middle is who you are, like your self-wareness and surrounding that circle is how you do things. How you. Your creative confidence and circling those two circles is why you do things. The meaning that you get out of the things you. The show is not really about what you do, your work and your craft. It's, it's entirely up to you. What you do. It's more about helping you understand the who, the how and the why.

[00:05:29] Nirish Shakya: So why do I care about this mission? Well, see, I went too long in my career without thinking about these three things. I was so focused on my work and pretty much entirely driven by external forces when it came to my career decisions, my career direction. And I didn't really know my own needs. What gave me energy? What sucked it out of me? had the, the right skills, but I didn't have the courage to say the right thing because what was right or wrong was decided by the company I worked for and not by my internal compass. Well, I didn't really have a clear compass to start off with. And there were times when, you know, I didn't enjoy my job or my project and I. It was my fault that I didn't enjoy them. And that I had to work hard and persevere and, or maybe learn more skills to get back to enjoying my job. And I thought as long as I was getting the job done and climbing the corporate ladder, that's all that mattered.

It was only when I started to make a conscious effort to look inside and build a clearer picture of who I am, how I think and feel and why I do things that I started having agency or more agency over my own career and my own life. And that's when I realized there's a way to operate more effectively as a designer and make strong impact, but without sacrificing my own well. 

And I'm still on this journey, learning from people who know more than me. And I've learned loads from the 12 guests I've interviewed in the past 12 episodes. So let's take a look back at the 12 interviews we've had in season one. 

Our first interview episode was episode number two with Design Coach and CEO of Remote Design Coaching, Kate Pincott.

[00:07:43] Kate Pincott: So for me, I hadn't worked out what my key values were. I was optimizing for things like ambition and recognition and prestige. Um, whereas actually I don't actually care about those things. What I actually care about when you go. Why, why, why, why, why, you know, doing the five why's all the way down is connection. And I never would have known that if I hadn't done some serious internal work and through coaching methodology.

[00:08:10] Nirish Shakya: Kate was the perfect guest to kick off the show for me because we share a lot of the same outlook in design and in life. But she's just a lot more articulate than me, which really helped my cause. Kate shared her story of her career highs and lows and how it took a burnout to make a stop and reflect on whether what she was doing was in alignment with her values.

And one thing that I found really interesting in terms of what Kate said was how she conducts these lean loop experiments on herself. 

[00:08:44] Kate Pincott: What's the outcome that I desire and what's one small baby step that I can try to optimize that outcome. And so it might be something for me, it was things like, well, in between my meetings, I'd like to be a little bit more present to my fences. So I would plant middle essential oil bottles in different rooms. And every time I went into the room, I'd grab one and have a deep. Um, and I'm really enjoy that's now, or it might be, I'd like to not take myself so seriously, I'd like to be more playful in the light. How about I try and end every meeting or every conversation with something really frivolous, something really silly, no matter what the consequences let's have a go.

[00:09:27] Nirish Shakya: Build measure, learn, build, measure, learn. So She would prototype, uh, a new way of working. She would test to see if it works and then she would learn from that and reiterate. And it's something that we do pretty frequently on the products that we're building, but maybe not on ourselves. And Kate showed how now she teaches these methodologies to other designers in terms of how they can, um, reality prototype their own lives to make themselves better designers.

And here's a quick tip from Kate.

[00:10:02] Kate Pincott: If anybody's interested In being more intentional schedule a small amount of time, not a huge, we don't want to set ourselves up to fail immediately do a reading baby step to schedule 10 minutes. And in that 10 minutes, I'll ask yourself, what are my intentions for this? What am I goals per day? And once you've got that, you're just practicing, thinking within yourself and being still. And then you can maybe increase it to 20 minutes and you can start to think of, well, what am I scared of? And then what do I maybe need to let go of today? And then maybe you can increase it and you can ask yourself on different days. How am I feeling? What am I emotions? Let's just write them down. Let's learn to name. 

[00:10:42] Nirish Shakya: So what's been my aha moments in this particular episode. Well, I used to think that stopping would stop my growth and progress. But after having that chat with Kate, I realized that stopping is a way to ensure you're making progress in the direction that you need to go in. And another aha moment for me was, uh, you see, too often we're harsh in ourselves were not being the perfect human being that we expect to be, but treating our growth as experiments, I think relieves that pressure of having to succeed all the time and instead. Prioritizes learning and 

so definitely go check out episode number two, to listen to the full interview with Kate pen. God, it's a great way to start this podcast.

My next guest for episode three was design leader, consultant, and coach, and a good friend of mine. Jason MASU.

[00:11:43] Jason Mesut: We all have somewhat different personas in our lives. And the challenge is, is to kind of make sure that whenever we are showing up in a particular way, that we're not like code switching too far away from who we really are. 

[00:11:57] Nirish Shakya: Jason helped me fine tune the themes of this podcast. And I've always been fascinated by his tireless work that he's been doing to create and curate self-awareness tools for designers.

And in this episode, Jason shared his stories of growing up, trying to fit into communities where he felt he didn't belong and how that turned into an inspiration for what he does now, which is to help designers know themselves better so that they can be who they need to be.

[00:12:27] Jason Mesut: I think it's just making sure that you're conscious of the system that you're working in, whether that's your team and your colleagues, your business, the market, but recognize that you only really function well when you're serving yourself as well. So how can you bring yourself and your, your own needs and desires to the table? Because I strongly believe that that will make you better working amongst everyone else.

[00:12:52] Nirish Shakya: Jason's story reminded me of all the times I've tried to fit in because I did not know myself and I didn't have the agency to be myself. And I was always guided by what I thought others wanted me to be. And like Jason says, we can't see ourselves without a mirror and self work and coaching can be those mirrors.

And here's a quick tip for you from Jason.

[00:13:16] Jason Mesut: The career timeline map is a good start to that because it kind of gets you to look at, the highs and lows of your career and kind of makes you think about what you enjoyed and what you didn't maybe use one of the discipline tools. Cause it's a little bit closer to the UX work that you might do. Just spend some time really thinking back to your, your career or even the past year, what have you enjoyed? Where have you struggled? why you think that is, and then use that as a way to think ahead what do I want to do in the future? The longer term future? When, so once you got that clearer, what could I be doing in the next few months to move towards that?

[00:13:55] Nirish Shakya: You can find links to these tools mentioned by Jason in the show notes on your podcast app and do go check out his full interview in episode three.

My guest for episode four was Dr. Carla SVA, a former atomic physicist turned business coach, and one of the co-founders of the happy startup school.

[00:14:15] Carlos Saba: a beginner's mind, I think means that you're fully present. Whatever's in front of you and allows you to then just use whatever wisdom you have a lot, as you already have to then do what needs to be done right there. And then rather than already projecting into the future to see, is this good enough? Is this the right thing? Your in the process of creating the rules. And you're getting to understand actually, some of this certainty around how the world works. It's partly an illusion and it's partly a story. 

[00:14:49] Nirish Shakya: Talking to Carlos is like switching the light on inside of you so that he can look for your own needs that you're trying to meet. Um, yeah, he's a straight talker when he comes to business happiness. And I think this chat really made me question my own rationale for doing the things that I do and whether I need to be doing all those things at.

[00:15:10] Carlos Saba: And when it comes to impact and effort, there are big problems in the world that need to be solved. I think for me, is the question, are you the person that has to solve all of them? Are you the person who has to solve them at all? I'm not saying you don't have to, but just even just asking that question and then if you are going to solve them, are there elegant, sophisticated, efficient, in terms of the amount of energy you expand ways of doing that or ways for you to contribute, maybe you don't have to do on your own. Maybe you do it in collaboration with other people. Maybe there's a way to make change that doesn't depend on you putting a lot of effort into something. 

[00:15:52] Nirish Shakya: So what are my aha moments from this chat? One thing that I learned that we're usually seeking certainty and control over our lives and, and careers, and is that what causes us stress and anxiety? So. Let go of the need for certainty and be curious and open to the experience as it unfolds in front of you. Another thing that I learned was take time to know your own needs and what gives you energy when you're navigating uncertainty without knowing your own needs. It's like driving around without a destination. You might reach somewhere, but it might not be where you need to. And finally, don't forget to prioritize fun in the present moment. Ask yourself who can I have fun with? Don't postpone your fund for the future because the future never arrives.

 My guest for episode number five was Dr. Sage Pringle, a senior research scientist at the Yale center for commercial intelligence.

[00:16:58] Zorana Ivcevic Pringle: People are putting too much emphasis on thinking. Lots of people have ideas, what happens is sometimes oftentimes people don't follow through on these ideas or they give up on them. And why that happens really comes to feeling, and they think you have very precious in your insight and how you name the podcast. It is about feeling.

[00:17:26] Nirish Shakya: I really enjoyed this chat with ER, and she seemed to resonate with the name of the podcast Design Feeling. And she took us on this fascinating journey into the world of creativity and emotions and, and showed us how intertwined they are.

[00:17:40] Zorana Ivcevic Pringle: happy, energized, emotional experiences are helpful for creative thinking. come up with more and more original ideas they are in these happier moods. When we are more pessimistic moods, much sadder moods, we are better at critical thinking. 

[00:18:04] Nirish Shakya: And this made me remember all those. Idea sheet workshops and design sprints that had run where I had asked people to come up with lots and lots of ideas in a very short space of space of time, and then narrow down their ideas into their best idea. And I realized that actually hadn't really managed the motions in the room in that process.

We all know that managing emotions at work is hard, especially when it comes to managing emotions within the team. So what can we do? His little tip that he can try out in your next meeting.

[00:18:45] Zorana Ivcevic Pringle: If a meeting starts with acknowledging feelings, in an honest and open way, not just asking, Hey, what are people And then everybody says, we are fine. You are not accomplishing in anything. But honestly with openness and wanting to hear what with people, that very helpful because now with of increasing the pressure, not only have with that tension and anxiety of the deadline, you are adding more pressure to it or trying hide it. You do not have that pressure anymore. You acknowledge it.

[00:19:27] Nirish Shakya: And so my aha moment from the chat with Zana, we need to give ourselves and others permission to be human at work. And I know that sounds a bit strange when you say it like that. Cuz after all we, we are humans, but, but we think that when we're at work, we should be all about work and how you feel at work, the decisions you make and the impact that you have are all guided by your emotions. And guess what acknowledging the existence of these emotions is the first step towards managing them for our wellbeing and performance and of those around us as well.

 You can listen to the full interview with Sanna in episode five. 

And next in episode six, we had user researcher and author of the UX careers handbook. Corey son.

[00:20:15] Cory Lebson: I think looking back it's that believing that I have to make a difference and the way to make a difference is to have your product, whether it's research or design or whatever, used. No one wants to do something and feel like it's being thrown away. But it's shifted mindset and to realising that shift in mindset where you have to seed control, you know, some things are in your control and some things aren't in your control. It's about, it's about accepting the things you can't change.

[00:20:38] Nirish Shakya: And that's something that was difficult for me to do as a designer, because I used to go into projects, thinking I have to make a difference. And if I wasn't making a difference, then I wasn't being of use in the project. But I wasn't mindful of the big assisted man, the context that my work was part of.

And sometimes in fact, a lot of times it doesn't matter how hard you try. Even with all your design chops, you won't get all the product and design decisions go your way. And I think accepting that fact brings a, a sense of peace into your process rather than always thinking, oh, you know, you could have done something better. No, you did your best with the knowledge, skills and experience that you had then. You might do better next time, but for now be happy with what you did.

[00:21:33] Cory Lebson: Think about, what really matters, and enjoy your work, enjoy your life. Don't take work too seriously, and, uh, try and make a difference. however it is, but only to the level that that makes sense and that you're comfortable with and that your heart rate variability index stays up.

[00:21:53] Nirish Shakya: Make sure you get one of those rings that you have as 

[00:21:55] Cory Lebson: Exactly right.

[00:21:57] Nirish Shakya: So in this episode, we also talked about the Oura ring that Corey wears, which helps him measure his heart rate variability, which, um, tells him about how stressed has been. And if his work is the cause of his stress, then he fine tunes elements of the work to reduce that stress. So do what you need to do to address any work related stress, whether it's speaking to someone or, or using technology. 

 You're listening to episode 14 of the design feeling podcast, where I'm recapping all the interviews that I've had with 12 guests in season one.

In episode number seven, we had the CEO of second wave dive and the author of business thinking for designers, Ryan Rumsey. 

[00:22:46] Ryan Rumsey: What was helpful for me is, letting go of the idea that I had to invent everything, like I had to create the deck from scratch, that I had to figure out all these things on my own. What music and sort of history taught me was that somebody else has probably done this work. What I had to learn was how to use those skills. 

[00:23:09] Nirish Shakya: I actually found it really reassuring to hear this from a design leader, because, you know, sometimes we just put so much pressure on ourselves to come up with new ideas. But what this conversation with Ryan made me realize that we can probably look at every problem as a collaborative community problem with a collaborative solution that the community has come up with. And one of a solution that you come up with can benefit other people with similar problems. So if you're looking for a solution to a problem, ask how others might have solved it.

You know that quote from Pablo Picasso, good artist copy and great artist steel. That's pretty much it don't copy blatantly, but mix and match the ideas and make it your own. And one of my favorite books on this topic is Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon if you haven't read it, I'd highly recommend it. 

And Ryan also talked about how it's important for designers to have contextual awareness of the environment that you're working in and that includes your colleagues as well. And one of the ways to build that contextual awareness is through something that you probably heard over and over again, empathy

[00:24:23] Ryan Rumsey: demonstrating empathy is the key, not believing you're empathetic. Like your colleague has to believe that you're empathetic, not you. And so there's all these little things to help build those contextual awareness muscles. And what I always say is like, yes, they will help you. And you might see things that are scary and you might see things that, oh my gosh, I, it's kind of like, Alison Wonderland. And as soon as you go down the hole, you see a world that, that perhaps is a little bit frightening, a little bit daunting. but with that awareness, Comes relief in ways that you didn't expect and it helps you progress. It helps you get unstuck. It helps you see, is this an organization that I can really work for? And are these colleagues that I can really work with, rather than, pointing the finger or really pointing it at yourself? 

[00:25:22] Nirish Shakya: So here are some of my aha moments from the chat with. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to solve the problem our way and the art of letting other people have their way is all about being aware of the solutions that's come before us and acknowledging their effecti. And reengineering them to achieve the impact you are aiming for. 

Also another thing that Ryan has reminded us is that everyone is battling their own demons and we need to demonstrate empathy and compassion towards people we work with. And to do that effectively, we've gotta start with ourselves. 

Next up in episode eight, I spoke with Reza researchers, Jane Reed and Janice anway.

[00:26:10] Jane Reid: There's a huge focus on users first and absolutely, users first, however, there has also got to be an emphasis and a shift to user researchers first. We are in a fast paced environment. You don't get time to recover from a lot of the hard hitting and harrowing stories that you hear and I think now we're trying to just get on that agenda, put your user researchers first, which will in turn you will put your users first because you're also protecting them too.

[00:26:42] Nirish Shakya: For me, this conversation brought the focus from users to user researchers. And that's not something that we do in user center design because our focus is always on the users.

And something I learned from Jane and Janice was that user research is working in complex areas, such as homelessness. Um, drug abuse, domestic violence can suffer from vicarious trauma, but often researchers are trained to do their job as researchers, but they're not trained to deal with the effect of their job on their mental wellbeing.

[00:27:18] Janice Hannaway: For me, the first thing that people should do is accept the vulnerability and get moving towards getting a resolution to how they feel at that moment, but also for protection for the future. So the acceptance of the vulnerability has to happen. And then we'll send organizations that will have their own steps and where people go for wellbeing and people go for support. For me to keep all of that is self-reflection.

[00:27:45] Nirish Shakya: This conversation really opened my eyes to the importance of self-care in research and design. And how much of an impact vicarious trauma can have if you're a re researcher working on complex areas of society, or if you're just interested in self-care, I'd highly recommend listening to this episode, episode number eight, with Jane and Janice.

In episode number nine, I spoke with Chief Experience Officer at Objective Experience James Breeze.

[00:28:13] James Breeze: I came up with a framework called Conscious Experience Design, and that looks at understanding four different factors across in terms of the product design and what it's doing. The presence that it creates, the happiness that it generates, compassion, that it demonstrates and how it influences the planet.

[00:28:32] Nirish Shakya: it was great to see a business leader, championing consciousness and compassion in design. One of the things that I liked about the conscious experience design framework was that it helps you zoom in and out between the micro user experience to the macro impact of the product.

[00:28:50] James Breeze: Does the product create a sense of purpose for the person and inspire them to achieve their goals? Does it give them control or make them feel in control? Do they feel trust and respect? Does it respect the privacy the time, the sense of freewill or Are they locked into something that, that I really want to do? The next major category is happiness. So how does it bring people delight and how does it encourage healthy habits, whether they're digital, online or offline as well as compassion. So are we empowering? Old people from all different walks of life to achieve their goals equally, and then finally, how does, how do these, things influence the planet? So what's the environmental impact. And how do they encourage sustainable behaviors?

[00:29:34] Nirish Shakya: We also talked about how James draws mind maps in the morning to start its day with clarity.

[00:29:39] James Breeze: Every morning I fill out a mind map, which I call my morning magic. starts out with the things that I'm grateful for. Both positive and negative. And why this thing takes about 10 minutes to fill out or depending on how much I've get in the flow and start writing. I will say write down how I felt when I woke up and then also write down, I'll do this after my meditation. And I write down what my meditation experience was like, what type of thought of what I saw, how I felt, that sort of thing. 

[00:30:08] Nirish Shakya: Another thing that came up was how to speak up as an employee for doing the right thing. And we both agreed that it can be scary to do that. But one thing that James advisor was around the value of starting. So instead of saying, this is what we should do. Maybe ask a question instead, what if we did that? And that does three things shows your humility. And because it's a question it makes people think, and it gives you an escape route. If people.

Okay. So that was James sprees in episode nine.

My next chat in episode 10 was absolutely fascinating. And it was with designer, environmental psychologists and Tara practitioner. Dr. Adeola Enigbokan.

[00:30:59] Adeola_audio: So the tarot is just a set of cards that originated from playing cards. I use it as a tool for imagination, the tool for surfacing experiences, feelings, intuitions that might be otherwise difficult to catch just by sitting here thinking about it. So it's a way to stop thinking. 

[00:31:20] Nirish Shakya: A way to stop thinking now for us design thinkers, this concept might be a bit too strange because we tend to predominantly use our thinking to design. But feeling an intuition lets us access parts of the brain and the body that thinking alone can't access so that we can get new perspectives and insights. Think of it like having different tools in your toolbox. 

In this episode, a Ella showed us how she uses the Terra cards to bring more intuition into her design process, especially when she or her team are stuck in thinking mode. And it's also pretty, cool to see her use her Terra cards to come up with a definition for empathy. Do check it out in episode. Another thing that we talked about was the future of work for designers. 

[00:32:13] Adeola_audio: So I'm talking about the future of work from the perspective of designers of workers. People expect more from work than just a check. The exchange for time for my time for money is not, it's not the future, that industrial era stuff that is not, I think what designers want to put up with or have to put up with anymore. There has to be a real energy exchange. And I need to be getting something from this that really feeds my life force, boosts my energy. It can't be this one-way exchange where you're taking my entire life force and all my energy. And all I'm getting is a direct deposit in my bank account for this, which I can't even really spend properly in a way that's going to, with the adequate time or in a way that's actually going to replenish me. 

[00:33:06] Nirish Shakya: It'd be interesting to see how designers can methodically measure this potential for energy exchange during the hiring process so that they can pick the right organization to work for. Let me know if this is something you'd like me to explore further in this podcast. 

But my aha moment in this episode was certainly when ALA said, Tara is a way to stop thinking, and it is very counterintuitive to what I've been taught all my life, you know, as they say, I think therefore I am, and we try to think our way to an answer. And sometimes that might not be the most effective approach. And that's where tools like taro can help us seek better questions and trigger our intuition and imagination to consider scenarios that our brains don't think to consider normal circumstances.

Listen to the full interview with Ola in episode 10,

My next guest who joined me in episode 11 was the co-founder of Better Bolder Braver Frances Khalastchi.

[00:34:07] Frances Khalastchi: We're not just designers. We're not just mothers, we're not just coaches. We're not just marketing people. We're human beings that bring a whole range of talents and truths and limits that we need to work with and mold around.

[00:34:22] Nirish Shakya: Francis runs a marketing community for coaches, and she's been working hard to bring human centered marketing into an industry where marketing doesn't really have a good rap. And in this episode, Francis helps us reframe marketing from a dirty word to a self.

And we also talked about perfectionism and how marketing can be a way to overcome that. And Francis said it was all bad being clear on the difference between expecting your product to work perfectly versus expecting yourself as a human to be perfect.

[00:34:56] Frances Khalastchi: Product wise, you can make things very slick. I want to just differentiate between feeling like you as a human being need to be perfect and being committed to something that you might create how smooth that can be. But as human beings, we do not need to be perfect. The more imperfect we are, the more other human beings are going to connect with us.

[00:35:22] Nirish Shakya: I have to say this was one of the most human conversations I've had with a marketing expert, because I'm more used to marketing folks using terms such as conversion, brand identity or funnels.

But as you can see, Francis is more about connection with other human beings when it comes to market. And She also talked about a concept that I fell in love with when I first heard it, she calls it working out loud, which is kind of similar to thinking out loud that we ask participants in user testing to do so. Working out loud is basically making your work in progress public.

[00:35:58] Frances Khalastchi: Working out loud is giving yourself permission to be human being. And to know that other people will appreciate your transparency. And it's a way of stopping yourself from feeling stuck and feeling like you can't go anywhere from here. Because every time you have experienced that you feel is another self growth moment, someone else it will resonate for someone else would appreciate your honesty. Someone else will be going through a similar journey to you. So being able to show that you are going through a journey will help your listeners in this instance, to know that what they're going through is very much okay. 

[00:36:40] Nirish Shakya: And I can certainly attest that working out loud works great at beating perfectionism. I remember back in December, 2021, I was putting together the branding for this podcast and my progress came to a halt because I was just trying to make it perfect. And that's when Francis suggested that I work out loud.

So I went to LinkedIn and announced publicly for the first time that I was working on a podcast and I also shared the brand variations that I was getting stuck with and asked people to pick their favorite. And people were very generous with their feedback and encouragement. So if you are stuck trying to make something perfect, work out loud,

You can listen to the full interview with Francis in episode 11.

And to wrap up season one, we had the founder of guesswork Hattie Willis. 

[00:37:32] Hattie Willis: I think that fear of being outed for having a different background and way into it, it, wasn't a founder when I started teaching these skills and that feels like it's disingenuous. But I had worked really closely with these founders and, I'd learned a ton from them and actually my way into it, I think, and I hope and I've certainly had really nice feedback that I can add value in these workshops and trainings. And when I was first starting out and I didn't have that confidence. And I hadn't yet had that feedback. I was always really worried that I was going to get chipped up by this outing.

[00:38:04] Nirish Shakya: think a lot of us designers, including myself, have this fear. See, I don't have a proper design degree. I took interface, design and interaction design as modules doing my undergrad and postgrad. And that's about it. And for a long time, that is to play in my mind. Sometimes I felt like a fraud working as a designer next to my colleagues who had more traditional design educat. And this is what Hadie had to say for designers like us.

[00:38:31] Hattie Willis: People aren't necessarily. Buying your services because of the theory you teach or the experience you have, that's directly relevant to that business. But it's also about like the soft things, like who you are as a person, what you can draw out of people, how you make people feel when you're facilitating the energy you bring the wounds, all those things. That, to me, I, wasn't thinking about,

[00:38:54] Nirish Shakya: so, if you are worried about feeling like a fraud, an imposter in the design world, trust me, you're not alone. And it's okay to feel like that because many of us do. 

It was great to learn from the perspectives of someone who has been living and breathing the world of entrepreneurship and venture building for so many years. And if you're a designer trying to be a change maker in a traditional organization, you might have additional challenges to battle through.

You also have to be innovative enough to challenge the system and to ask for a change in the system. And that is where it's much harder and where a lot of organizations see people become disenfranchised, frankly. Because it's very easy to get an employee. Who's excited about an idea, excited about serving a customer in a new way, that, that excitement won't necessarily carry them through all of the friction that trying to innovate in a corporate that doesn't have the structures in place we'll put on them. And ultimately they tend to get frustrated and leave.

 Making changes hard out there, especially when people don't wanna change. Or maybe when there are no right structures in place to facilitate that change. So don't be too hard in itself if you are not seeing the results of your I have to say, I learned so much from this chat with Hadie

One of the things that I certainly took on board was don't be afraid or ashamed of being from a different background to others.

How else talked about how design and technology are just enablers and business model is the real driver. So, if you are a designer giving your blood, sweat, and tears to building design and technology on a foundation of a poor business model, you might just be wasting your effort.

Listen to how you might be able to dress this in my full interview with Hadie in episode number 12.

So that was the whistle. So tour of season one of the design feeling podcast, what were your favorite episodes? What did you enjoy? What could have been better? Please do tell me by emailing me at I always reply to all emails.

And now, as I promised, here's a sneak peek of what's coming in season two.

[00:41:07] Tim Yeo: Just because you are introverted, doesn't mean that there's something wrong with you just means that you're different and different is good. It's just learning how to operate in a way that, in a world and a society that desires the extrovert ideal. 

[00:41:22] Courtney Carlsson: Burnout usually comes from a feeling of inadequacy. So not feeling like you are good enough and then you're on that kind of rat wheel of trying to prove yourself, prove yourself, prove yourself. And it's hard to stop unless you take that time to stop. And you don't take that time unless you make the time. And unless you know exactly why it's so valuable.

[00:41:42] Ben Pecotich: How might we balance our need for, contributing to positive change for the people around -us communities and our home planet, while also being financially successful and looking after our own personal wellbeing and sustainability as part of that? How do we bring all of those elements together into a cohesive way of being, and doing things rather than being constant trade offs that, uh, at either end of a fulcrum? 

[00:42:09] Nirish Shakya: I hope you are. As excited as I am for Season Two. It's going to be another fascinating and contemp journey to better self-awareness creative confidence and meaning and learning about you. The human behind the human center designer.

 Be sure to follow the Design Feeling Podcast on your favorite podcast platform so that you get the episodes on your playlist automatically as soon as they drop. And please do share the podcast with a design thinking friend who could benefit from these conversations. See you