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Chirryl-Lee Ryan ‘Does Design make things better?’

John Carter
February 27, 2018
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Completed Episodes
February 27, 2018

Chirryl-Lee Ryan ‘Does Design make things better?’

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Episode shownotes

Hello, welcome to another episode of This is HCD. My name is Gerry Scullion, and I’m a Human Centered Design Practitioner based in Australia. The episode that you are about to hear was recorded in Melbourne CBD so would like to acknowledge the Boonwarung people of the Kulin nation as the traditional custodians of the land where we meet today and pay respect to their elders, both past and present.

Chirryl-Lee Ryan is what she calls, a transdisciplinary design practitioner, merging many design disciplines into a super force. Anyone who is familiar with Chirryl will know she is a no-holds-barred speaker. She says what she means, and mean what she says and is a force to be reckoned with.

We were recently together on a Design Panel about Designing for Social Impact for Academy XI in Sydney and had a whale of a time.

Kelsey Schwinn (GM of Today), Gerry Scullion (Director of Humana), Chirryl-Lee Ryan (Transdisciplinary Designer), Andy Polaine (Regional APAC Design Director for Fjord)
Kelsey Schwinn (GM of Today), Gerry Scullion (Director of Humana), Chirryl-Lee Ryan (Transdisciplinary Designer), Andy Polaine (Regional APAC Design Director for Fjord) at the Academy XI ‘Design for Social Impact’ in Sydney, February 2018. Photo credit: Kimberley Ryan

We caught up in Melbourne to extend that conversation and go deeper into areas that we touched on such as ‘are we making things better’ ‘what shoes would chirryl wear in a zombie apocalypse, and what the future of design looks like through Chirryl’s eyes.

This was such a fun episode to record… let’s jump in…

Sponsored episode

This episode was sponsored by Academy Xi. They donated $500 to Cara Care. Thanks, Academy XI! You rock.

Academy XI teach short, practical and skill-specific courses for people or companies wanting to upgrade their capabilities in design and innovation.

With our dynamically changing curriculum, we teach current, in-demand skills to transform individual careers whilst integrating new learnings about emerging markets and future technologies.

You can find more about Academy XI by visiting here.

Episode Transcript

This transcript was created using the awesome, Descript. It may contain minor errors.
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[00:01:10] Chirryl-Lee Ryan a very warm welcome to the This is HCD podcast.

[00:01:14] Thank you very much for having me.

[00:01:16] Now Chirryl for people listen to the podcast, we were on a recent Academy XI design panel in Sydney where we were talking about design for social good. I want to give them a shout out, as they have sponsored this episode by donating $500 going to Cara Care which is amazing. So thanks to the guys at Academy XI for that!

[00:01:34] But before we did that panel, we’d actually been emailing back and forth about certain topics, one of which was ‘are we making things better?’. It was a topic that resonated with you as well, and I was like, “great I’ve got somebody else I can have a good conversation with about this topic”. Where it came from with that topic with me as I often sit back and I look at the world are going to go where there’s lots of design going on at the moment. What are we actually making it better? So what are your thoughts on when you hear that?

[00:02:04] I would say every single day a thought passes through my mind which is are we doing it wrong and it’s something that I think about quite frequently whether you know did humanity just go off on strange tangents somewhere along the evolutionary path and we ended up where we we are now because there’s so many things that are in the world that we’ve put in the world that seems to be broken, because I don’t know about you but I feel like I’m constantly fixing things or at least thinking about fixing things you know, whether it be that I go to a hotel and, the experience just doesn’t feel right or I catch public transport and something doesn’t work or I’m using you know a product or service and it doesn’t do what the package says

[00:02:59] So one of the things that I mentioned to you earlier was “as designers most were believed in delivering the best possible outcomes for our clients and I often question of these outcomes though in absence of ethical consensus causing us as a civilization to regress”. What if collectively our efforts are competing and causing undue stress to mankind. I know it’s such a big topic but when you speak to people who are in their 60s and 70s and they sit down and talk and look at you on your phone and say “I don’t know how you do it” “what are you after doing? You’re after arranging your drycleaning there (on your phone) and you’re doing this, or doing that, and I began to think, how much more stuff can we fit into a day. Is that what we’re aiming for? Efficiency? Collectively what are we trying to do?

[00:03:38] So this is a bit of a long-winded way to get to the answer to that question but I was in New York a couple of weeks ago and I only took two pairs of shoes with me, and one of them was a pair of Doc boots really big heavy 18 hole Doc boots, and I thought for sure this is going to be great, it’s wintertime they’ll be perfect. So I was wearing them and I got a huge blister, and they really hurt me and it was terrible because I was walking around a lot and it occurred to me that they were definitely not the pair of shoes that I should park beside my bed in case there’s a zombie apocalypse. So I was thinking about which shoes I would keep next to my bed just in case of the zombie apocalypse. And that got me thinking about whether or not there will be a zombie apocalypse because we’re already living the zombie apocalypse right now.

[00:04:30] You know is this actually a time where we’re doing all of these things and perhaps instead of brains that we’d be munching on its data and information and distraction.

[00:04:45] It’s definitely like I question ‘are we at the boiling point’ or has the boiling point reached or how far away are we out from the boiling point has Judgement Day arrived. Are we on the other side of it. Or is it yet to come?

[00:05:01] Well you know I mean there was a lot of talk about a singularity. Tell us what that is. I’ve heard this mentioned a few times and several people have described me differently.

[00:05:11] I think that’s probably because there’s a number of definitions but in my mind I guess it’s when you reach critical mass of technology. But I think it’s the other direction that we need to be worried about. It might be that you know I remember in 1999 all the hype around what would happen with the Y2K bug. But imagine if we got slapped back to zero maybe that would actually be a good thing if that happened. I don’t know but I don’t think we’re in any at any risk of the singularity happening. I think that we’re probably closer to the opposite end of the scale.

[00:05:46] I know from designing services and designing products a lot of the times designers go through the process and they’re trying to make things quicker, and the like ‘oh the user can get their job done by doing this, this, this’ we save them a couple of clicks say the some time. But then part-time you know time isn’t infinite and a lot of ways they just go and replace it with something else. So over time are we actually saving them time or are they using that time to go and spend time with their loved ones. Probably no.t they’re going to scroll on Facebook and they’re going to go to Instagram or LinkedIn. And that’s one of the questions that I really struggle with when we’re designing systems is that the goal – to save time

[00:06:28] It’s an interesting question a while ago I started thinking about my own personal model around time. I’ve got quite an interest in time as currency. So I started thinking about all of the things that are I guess that are important in my life and I actually came up with four things that I think of as currency within my own life. So that’s 1. Money. Obviously 2. time is the second one attention. So the 3. attention that I give to others and 4. energy so the energy that I expend doing various things and the funny thing about time is that it actually isn’t infinite our lives as humans are so incredibly short you know if we’re lucky we get roughly 80 years here in the relative term of time to time, that’s a blip. That’s nothing.

[00:07:22] Yeah.

[00:07:23] So it’s a miracle that the sun comes up every day and we get that time to see this. The question I have is you know all the things that we do all the things that we spend our time our money our energy our attention on are they really the things that we should be and as designers should we be encouraging that expenditure through the things that we design or should we be trying to help people understand how to use those things in their own lives better by making things that don’t encroach on on those things.

[00:07:56] So like one of the questions I have, and you know, I’m a new father my daughter is 14 months old, and I already see the pattern emerge when she holds my phone and holds my iPad. I’m kind of interested to see how she does it from a designer’s perspective. You know she’s interacting with these things, but then the backside of it is kind of going, well I actually don’t want to get involved really with technology it’s that’s detrimental to their mental health. You know that if expose kids to things too wordy it’s not going to be good in the long term. And I was reading a report recently where he was stating that kids that were born between the years of 2011 to 2015. I think something like 70 percent more likely that they’re going to have a mental health illness due to smartphone usage. Now when you look at the smartphone usage is it because they’re using smartphones or is it because you’re taking them away from the face to face interaction with others. No that’s what I’m kind of questioning. I’m sort of saying to myself if we’re all designing these systems and we know Facebook has been awful like for mankind, I really welcome anyone to kind of challenge me on that like they’ve used a lot of dark UX trying to get that loop in, seductive UX, or whatever you want to you call it. But what are we trying to do here. You know are we trying to really make sure that mankind is in a better place than when we arrived here. To me that’s sort of my mantras, and we spoke about that the other night as well. “you leave things better when you when you found it” and when I entered into the design world, for me it was 2002, and now is 2018. Has it got better? Probably not.

[00:09:33] I don’t know that it’s got better.

[00:09:34] So there’s a couple of things that this makes me think about. So the first thing is that I recently watched a documentary called “Ka-tching” and it’s a documentary about slot machines or poker machines in Australia very specifically and an organisation called Aristocrat.

[00:09:51] All right. I do them.

[00:09:52] Regarding the aristocrat are not only the biggest supplier of poker machines in Australia but also worldwide they’re seen as being the benchmark for poker machines. And this documentary talks to designers, various different kinds of designers, everybody from visual designers to sound designers that work on these things and about the methods that they use to trap people. Because the thing about poker machines is that you can never win. They’re designed so that you don’t win and it’s super interesting because they are probably I guess one of the first serious forms of dark UX utilization.

[00:10:34] Yeah right.

[00:10:34] Very very seriously using dark UX. And I think that probably what Facebook and various other things have done over the past few years probably not dissimilar to what is actually happening when you play a poker machine no matter if you win or lose it plays a positive sound which is a type of positive reinforcement that feeds your serotonin.

[00:10:55] Yeah that makes you feel like something good happened.

[00:10:57] You got a response.

[00:10:58] So yes exactly you get a positive response. So you think that by continuing to do it that you’ll keep getting a positive response and then some is actually in the documentary there’s some really great footage of an experiment that was done probably in the 70s or something like that with rats and the randomization of reward.

[00:11:18] And that if you get random rewards that is much more addictive. That’s how addiction works if you get consistent reward that doesn’t work. So if you know that if you keep pressing a button at the same speed and you would get the same reward you’ll get bored and you won’t do it. Yeah but if you press and you never know if it’s going to be a reward or not that’s when you get addicted to something. Yeah.

[00:11:41] That’s where the addiction is made, it’s formed.

[00:11:43] And when we chatting the other night, I mentioned to you about a scenario in 2014, I had this conversation with an old man in a pub (in Dublin) and I was checking my phone away from my mates to come along and I was home, so it’s usually, “where are they? I’ve already had three pints and it’s only quarter past seven” and he said to me like “I’ve noticed you’ve been doing all these things on your phone.” And I explained what I was doing and he said about going back in time “if he was able to get his 30-year old self. And he was able to return to the present day. He said he believes he would have a stroke and he would die. Is the world becomes a much louder place. It’s faster. You’re doing so much more and he got me really thinking I was like actually maybe there’s something in that, like our grandparents even if they were here now to witness this, now you know would they think that is what success looks like being able to get all those tasks done in a day you know to be able to achieve all these things. What are we really replacing it with?

[00:12:49] The weird thing is I am thinking about that in my own context. I’m not sure if I really get that much done.

[00:12:55] Yeah.

[00:12:56] I feel like I think I’m getting a lot done but I think I’m getting less done than I actually am. Yeah yeah. I think I am.

[00:13:03] Yeah.

[00:13:04] And I think that somehow being busy and always being on, has become our metric for success?

[00:13:13] It’s our badge of honor.

[00:13:15] The longer you stay at work the more hours that you do each week.

[00:13:20] Yeah.

[00:13:21] You know the further you go the more miles you do.

[00:13:24] Yeah the more flights that you do. I mean I’m a huge fan of.

[00:13:29] Promoting?

[00:13:30] Yeah well I’m really into Qantas points so you know getting Platinum status is a big deal for me.

[00:13:37] Yeah but we believe most Australians because it means you can get out of the island

[00:13:41] Exactly. You need it to get out. Yeah.

[00:13:45] It’s become a measure of success. To do more and you know.

[00:13:51] Societal success though? or your success?

[00:13:54] I think societal success I think that it’s a pressure that is put on us that all of these things you know you need to have this you need to have that you need to earn more you need to have a loan you need to have a house. Yeah but all of these things.

[00:14:07] Does it make the world better?

[00:14:09] No I don’t think it does. But this is something my partner and I we were talking about this and I mentioned the words ‘grid edge’.

[00:14:17] Ooooh….Well you heard it here first everyone.

[00:14:21] I’m not the first but apparently I’m not the first person to think of this but in a different context. So there is such a thing that’s called grid edge that’s related to the energy industry.

[00:14:31] That’s not what I intended it to be what I meant by grid edge was thinking I’m very interested in punk and the history of punk, in particular and I was thinking of straight edge and what straight edge means and I thought to myself okay well we’re having a conversation about if it was possible to get off the grid.

[00:14:52] Yeah.

[00:14:53] And we were going through scenarios and we came to the conclusion it’s almost impossible to truly live off grid because one way or another you’re going to have to interact with the system the system somehow whether it be that you got sick and you had to go to a hospital or even to get food you might need to get it from someone who’s inevitably grown it through a grid like process. So we decided that maybe it wasn’t possible to live off grid but we were talking about whether or not it was possible to live, ‘edge-grid’ or ‘grid edge’. Yeah right so what that basically means is that you would live on the edge of the grid. You couldn’t contribute to the grid so you couldn’t buy anything through the grid but you could exchange for things that already existed from the date that you became grid edge. If that makes sense. Okay so you’d have to find ways of getting things within the system for free. Yeah you couldn’t pay for them.

[00:15:54] That’s a subsystem within the system.

[00:15:56] Yeah and I mean that would probably take all of your energy just to figure out how to do how to do it. Yeah but there probably is a way if there’s anybody listening that is doing this. Are you most interested in having a conversation about this very thing. Because again coming back to what I said earlier this thought that I literally wake up in the morning with on my mind is that we’re doing it wrong. Yeah it feels the way that we have become so systematically capitalized is probably not necessarily natural for humans. The reason that I think this is so recently I got a new puppy.

[00:16:35] What type?

[00:16:37] A bulldog.

[00:16:40] He’s a bulldog.

[00:16:41] I hung out with a bulldog yesterday. They’re crazy.

[00:16:43] He’s pretty cute.

[00:16:43] Can he breathe

[00:16:45] Yes he can. He was DNA tested so he’s really quite sound. So we got him when he’s eight weeks old. He’s now nearly 12 weeks old and you know he came out born with everything that he needs to be a dog yeah right.

[00:17:01] You don’t have to put clothes on him you don’t have to put shoes on him he doesn’t need an iPhone, he doesn’t need anything. I mean he needs to be fed but if he is in the wild he could probably, figure it out.

[00:17:11] As long as he didn’t have to run very far!

[00:17:15] But it just seems to me that we have everything we have everything that we need. Yeah what are we doing wrong.

[00:17:22] Yeah.

[00:17:22] It’s like Louis C.K. sketch that he did about 14 years ago and I was like everything is brilliant and we don’t know it. Yeah you know he tells the story of the guy he’s on the plane he’s flying from LA to New York and this is probably in 2006 so maybe actually when he was telling the story and the air host comes up on the isle, and he goes “hey everybody, we’ve got Wi-Fi and open up your laptops and off you go.” At that stage it was a real novelty to have Wi-Fi in the planes. And Louis C.K. opens up his laptop and the guy beside him opens up the laptop and then about two minutes later, the host goes “we’re sorry that the Internet is down” and the guy goes “fuck this, this bullshit” and basically saying like how quickly the world that guy something after two minutes of free Wi-Fi. So maybe it’s the case you know things are great, but we just don’t really appreciate it

[00:18:11] The flip side of that argument earlier I was saying.

[00:18:14] Yeah totally I feel like my ideal job would be as a kind of undesigner. So a job where my clients pay me to assess what they have and kind of take things away.

[00:18:28] Yeah because we just have too much stuff and I mean there’s a guy on LinkedIn that you should totally follow. His name is Tom Goodwin. He’s very interesting happens to be a marketing dude. But you know don’t hold that against him. Really interesting guy and he posted this this post where he basically said we live in a world full of shit design and he’s right because I don’t know how many of you are fixing things all the time but I know I am. Most of the time you know when we talk about digital transformation that’s probably the big thing.

[00:19:02] That’s really what we’re doing we’re fixing the BAU.

[00:19:05] Yeah. Yeah. There’s a lack of strategic vision and I know I’m reading Andy Polaine told me to read Liminal Thinking (by Dave Gray). I had the book. I hadn’t done it, but there’s a really good quote which I can’t really remember it off the top of my head

[00:19:22] It’s basically about transparency and visibility is the key to everything. And what we do is service designers and human centered designers. I play more on the side of service design than human centered design design, but it’s giving that visibility to the ecosystem and also not just the ecosystem, it’s the ecosystem on the ecosystem, as they merge and they touch like the savannahs of the plains of Africa, because that’s where there’s a lot of bountiful goodness happening. Much like what you mentioned earlier about the grid edge and I was really really interesting. It’s actually pretty bad like we’ve acknowledged the fact that there could be some serious mental health risks associated with so much technology and are we actually achieving anything. Now we’ve flipped over to the side of the conversation by saying actually things could be pretty good, but what does it look like for you in 20 years. You know, as Designs roll magnifies, and I think in the next five 10 years globally design is going to become a real powerhouse. But I don’t think is going to be the only powerhouse. I think there’s going to be other faculties that really aid that. But what does it look like in 20 years time. What will that design have achieved

[00:20:32] Well my background is visual design. So I started out as a visual designer and over the past let’s say 10 years ago 10 to 15 years ago there was a big movement towards minimalism in visual design. So there’s been a movement recently in terms of your life.

[00:20:53] The minimalists.

[00:20:54] The Minamalists most movement, who happened to be coming to Melbourne in the next few weeks which is pretty cool. So there’s been this movement around minimizing the things you have in your life and it strikes me if it’s possible to apply minimalism to visual design that it would be possible to apply minimalism to other forms of design say system design or experience design or whatever you want to apply it to again by taking things away rather than continuously adding more and more and more. And you we were talking earlier about something that I describe as the hyper normalization of simplicity which I think that you could say that perhaps UX has a lot to speak (answer) for before he before. Yes.

[00:21:46] In what sense, what do you mean by that?

[00:21:49] What I mean by the hyper normalization of simplicity is that we have created essentially a kind of thin crust on the top of very complex systems that is a bit like it’s a facade. Let’s say that makes things appear simple. On the surface but in actual fact there’s a huge amount of complexity that is required to actually make things run the way that they appear. So the best example of this that I can give is if you imagine the complexities involved with running Netflix it seems so simple on the surface… You buy an account. It costs you a couple of dollars a month, you turn it on any time so long as you have an Internet connection, you can pretty much watch whatever you want, whenever you want. Immediately, we get pissed off if it takes a few minutes just and you see that wheel turning and you’re like “come on!” I want to see my you know Black Mirror.. Now! I don’t wanna wait. But in actual fact what’s lying under the surface of what’s on our screen is an incredibly complex system that is required to deliver that to millions of people all over the world. I mean we don’t think about what that actually looks like that there’s these server farms hidden away somewhere with thousands and thousands and thousands of computers purrrrrring away to push those shows out to millions of people amongst a bunch of other technical stuff that has to happen to make it happen. And that doesn’t even get into the realm of the energy that it takes to actually do that both at the user end and at the source. You know that’s just one example of literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of examples of that simple facade or crust that sits on top of everything that we interface with.

[00:23:50] Wouldn’t it be interesting though if you imagine organisations had a kilojoule associated to them. So like say the likes of Coca-Cola the amount of energy that’s required to deliver that service be it like bottles, be it like applications. The systems require energy that require fossil fuels and require everything but like some of the bigger organisations will require more energy to deliver those services. So if you imagine you were able to visibly see those brands and those organizations how much it actually costs to run in terms of like effect on the earth the likes of Apple there’s a really good one or Amazon but how much energy do they require to deliver that service.

[00:24:38] I think it would be fantastic. There’s an excellent video which I will give you so that you can post it somewhere for people to see the show notes.

[00:24:45] It was done by a few years ago by two Deakin students. I don’t know their names and it’s about the journey of the making of a Coke can.

[00:24:53] They were industrial design students. Of course they were. I would like to say that’s all always good but not always.

[00:24:59] So it’s a really great visualisation of that story because when you buy a can of Coke you’re not thinking about what’s beyond the can of Coke you’re just thinking about I’m thirsty and I would really like some of that sweet sweet black goodness.

[00:25:15] Like nectar, nectar of the gods.

[00:25:18] You know because what happens is that there’s aluminium that needs to be processed and you know in this video it talks about how it goes from South Australia to America and then it gets pressed and printed and filled with delicious black stuff, that on everything and then it gets shipped out and then all of these things take place.

[00:25:38] Not to mention a whole bunch of other backend system stuff that has to happen to make it happen. Third party suppliers and God knows what else, ingredients are everything. There’s so many there’s so many layers and if you think about how much a can of Coke costs does that cost actually relate to the actual cost of doing it because if you think of the impact that making that one can of Coke has its disparity.

[00:26:04] Yeah.

[00:26:05] So I’ll give you another example of this right so apparently I don’t know , have you ever bought a t shirt off ASOS?

[00:26:13] Probably a long time ago. So apparently one source T-shirt a white T-shirt takes 10 litres of water…To make it’s actually.. I’m part of the RSA. We did a talk with a guy from Brisbane who creates ethically sound t shirts and he spoke about the cotton trade in the Middle East in the UAE and it takes 50 litres of dyed water per black T.

[00:26:45] So it’s heartbreaking. And he spoke the whole system that goes on over in these countries in India and how they are so mistreated, and how much pollution the fashion industry costs, costs the earth obviously.

[00:27:02] So with this example where it’s like 10 leaders wherever these t shirts were being made at some point or one place they were being made there’s a lake and there was villages around the lake and there was fishermen who fished in the lake and they used so much of that water that it dried the lake up and it took away the fish which then had an impact on all of the villages. So that’s just they’re just some examples. I mean the one that really gets a bee in my bonnet right now is Bitcoin. So Bitcoin really does my head in because I don’t think people really understand what it takes to make bitcoins. Now I’m no expert but I do know that there are Bitcoin mines that are in places that would make your head spin. So for example there’s one that is on the border with Tibet in China and it’s so high up in the mountains that you need an oxygen mask to go up there and it’s on a hydroelectric dam and they use the hydroelectric power to run the computers to make the bitcoins. And it’s basically an empty shell of a building with huge exhaust fans that are powerful enough to suck people through them to run the computers in the cooling system the cooling systems to make. And it’s not only that they have to get all that stuff up there but those computers don’t last because they’re just churning and burning. So the place is just littered with computer junk. So that’s just one example that falls under the Bitcoin umbrella. Yeah. People don’t think about it.

[00:28:47] They think that because it’s digital it’s not using power or it’s not a fossil fuel. Yeah but technically it’s burning fossil fuels.

[00:28:56] It has an impact on the environment.

[00:28:59] I mean I can’t remember the stats off the top of my head but my understanding was that I mean making bitcoins at the moment is just going up and up and up and it burns more energy every day than small countries and definitely more than Google and everything else. Yeah. So when people talk about sustainability, sustainability doesn’t just mean you know being obviously good for the environment right like oh we’re not cutting down trees or we’re not polluting the water. Sustainability can mean what we can sustain it for this minute but we’re definitely not going to be able to sustain it into the future. You know it could be that we just don’t have the infrastructure to actually continue to produce whatever it is. So I have a real problem with the term design for good or you know design for social good because there’s so much more to it than what those words imply. And whilst I do believe it’s great to design things that are for humans and that are great for humans and make human life better. It’s equally as important to think about the broader impact globally at every level because it’s a butterfly effect this one little thing that you make today could end up having.

[00:30:16] Wiping out a forest and wherever.

[00:30:19] Who knows. Yeah absolutely.

[00:30:21] Just I mean I’m trying to bring all my knowledge together in this episode that I’ve accumulated from a lot of interesting conversations that I’ve had over the last year and I’ve had a couple recently one with Greg Bernarda who was on two weeks ago. It’s going to be released soon and he was talking about how over the last 15 years we’ve become closer to what robots are and we’ve tried to be really ‘efficient.’

[00:30:45] You know we’re like where we’re trying to get as much done as possible and he said that’s not why we’re here and that’s what humans are about. We need to become more effective and we need to allow more time to ‘play’ and that’s really what separates us from the machine. So just looking at the time what we’re coming towards the end of this episode I suppose I think how do we design for us how do we design to enable people to have more time in their day to spend it more meaningfully with their family. Or it could be socially with their friends or forming bands, writing poetry. That to me is was the next 20 years should look like we should be working less and we should be playing more. And that’s my view. What I’m really keen to hear is like “Do you agree with that?” And also what can we do as designers to get to the point.

[00:31:37] We need to work smarter not harder.

[00:31:41] Yeah and that means saying no, you know maybe maybe it’s that it could start with designers because in general I find that designers are nice people and always want to say yes they want to do things that are going to please people and perhaps to design ourselves into the world that we want to have. We’re going to have to learn how to say no more often on a bigger scale because even I struggle on a daily basis to say no to people you know every time someone asked me can they have a call with me or a coffee or something.

[00:32:19] Do a podcast?

[00:32:22] This is pretty good though.

[00:32:22] I want to say yes but it’s not always as efficient or beneficial or going back to those four elements that I hold. I’m supposed to hold myself to no money time energy and attention. Not everything that I allow myself to do is actually holding to those values. So you know and this is what you talked about you were talking about.

[00:32:50] I think you might be quoting me there.

[00:32:52] Yeah You were talking about how important it is for designers and people in general to hold themselves to their own values and what matters to them and what makes them happy and you know those are the four that I found for myself and they’re not fixed but it’s a practice, a daily practice, it’s not something that I’ll I think I’ll ever get quite right. I have to keep reminding myself every day to hold myself to those beliefs because you know if I want to have money to do the things that I want to do. Time to enjoy the things that I love and attention and attention to give to the people that matter and to myself and the energy to do all of those things I have to have to hold myself to those. And it’s no different to when you’re designing for an organization. You know there’s a set of values and it’s our job as designers to, I’d like to say uncover those because, I don’t necessarily think that is something that we make up there’s something that we find and we expose the truth and fighting for that truth is really I think the important part for designers when it comes to eventually designing things that make the world a better place.

[00:34:17] All right. This is a good point to move into the next segment so Chirryl-Lee, we have three questions that we always ask guests when they come on the show and the first question we want to ask you is what does the word professional skill that you wish you were better.

[00:34:34] Saying no.

[00:34:35] Saying No? That’s a beautiful answer.

[00:34:37] And the second question is “What does the one thing in the industry that you wish you’d be able to banish.

[00:34:43] The term UX. Well firstly I hate the term “user” so I use the word use it to me reminds me of being at school and it’s what people would call you if you took advantage of them.

[00:34:58] So when I think of the term user experience that’s what I think of I don’t want to call people users. I want to call them people you know.

[00:35:09] Or humans or humans or whatever they are if they’re you know doctors nurses patients I’d rather call them that. And in actual fact I’m so passionate about this that if I’m on a project and I have a project room I have a sign up on the wall that says you can’t use the word users in my room.

[00:35:29] Nice.

[00:35:30] And the last question is what is the message you’d give to emerging human centered design talent in the future. I use the word human centered design, it’s interchangeable with UX or service design or anyone who wants to break into the field of design. What advice would you give them for the future?

[00:35:48] Run. No kidding.

[00:35:50] Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

[00:35:52] No. I would probably want them to know that the world needs you. Yeah.

[00:36:02] And that it’s going to take you a while to figure out who you are and what it is that you bring to design and there’s going to be a lot of beautiful people who try to tell you that you don’t know what you’re doing and that the path is the one that they present to you but it’s really important that, you don’t get glamoured by the methods and by what people tell you that you need to be, that you need to trust your instincts. Stay true to who you are, and follow the truth, because ultimately that’s where the best design is.

[00:36:48] And that’s why we do the podcast. Thank you so much Chirryl-Lee for spending some time with me this afternoon.

[00:36:54] Thank you for having me.

[00:36:57] So there you have us hope you enjoyed this episode and if you’d like to be part of the conversation or community hop on over to this seated outcome where you can request to join the slack channel and help shape future episodes can connect with other designers around the world thanks for listening and see you next time.

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

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