UX Cake


Learn UX: Career Growth Through Community Involvement

Season 2, Ep. 43

Ep. 43: In the third of 3 episodes in our special mini-series called Learning UX, guest host Leo Zhang talks with Sara Hubbard and Caryn Wylie, the organizers of the meetup group Seattle Women of Design and UX, about growing your network and experience by getting involved in the UX community around you. 

From Leo:

In our third and final Learn UX episode of the mini-series I wanted to bring on the founders of Seattle Women of Design and UX meetup (seaDUXX). Caryn Wille and Sara Hubbard are some of the most-respected advocates of women in UX in the our Seattle tech scene through their meetup, and on the show they will be talking about their experiences in founding and growing their meetup, and how it has helped them in both their personal and professional lives.

Caryn Wille 




Caryn is currently a Senior Interaction Designer at Google. Since 2011, Caryn has been helping companies from startups to medical associations to operas to telecom providers architect and design experiences that nest into the cross section of user needs and business goals. Her diverse client work has run the gamut of responsive websites, B2C e-commerce sites, internal business applications, live ticketing sales, and content management system (CMS) implementations, but she has yet to meet a project that doesn't benefit from a keen understanding of the people the experience is being built for. With a focus on storytelling and clear communication, she helps teams hone in on designing the right thing before bringing experiences to life. Caryn believes strongly in user-centered design and creating products and experiences that make users' lives easier and delight them in the process.

Sara Hubbard 


Sara is a Senior User Experience Designer at Smartsheet. Sara has over six years experience working with globally-recognized brands, taking their complex tasks and transforming them into easy-to-use experiences. She takes a human-centered design approach to my work, and ruthlessly advocates for users. She prides herself in finding ways to both delight users, work within technical limitations, while meeting business needs. Sara also finds ways to give back to the community by teaching UX courses at the School of Visual Concepts, and being a mentor to folks entering the UX industry. Outside of work she enjoys playing board games, listening to true crime podcasts, and spending time with my polydactyl cat, Maisie.

Both Sara and Caryn are passionate about creating an inclusive UX community in Seattle, which they do through organizing monthly events through the meetup they founded togther: Seattle Women of Design & UX (seaDUXX).

This is the last episode of the three-run mini-series. This was such an impactful and eye-opening experience for me to host these, and I am forever grateful for this opportunity. Thank you all for taking the time to listen to this collaboration between Learn UX Seattle and UX Cake!

Leo Zhang, Founder of Learn UX Seattle

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leozhang

Learn UX Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/LearnUX/

Leo Zhang is a veteran UX Strategist and Researcher who has developed insights-based strategies for clients including Dell, USAA, Philips, Johnson Controls, Impinj, and the Federal Government. He brings a unique approach and toolkit to his work and meetup, borrowing from his past experience as a Naval Nuclear Engineer combined with a Master’s Degree in Design from Arizona State University. Outside of professional work, Leo’s passions lie within his Learn UX Seattle Meetup, which now has over 3,300 members and is one of the largest, most active UX meetups in Seattle. Leo is equally as passionate about people as he is UX, and he is proud to be a member of the Greater Seattle UX community.

If you enjoy UX Cake, there are some really simple ways you can help us: 

Listen Apple | Spotify | Google | Website

Connect with UX Cake!

uxcake.co | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linked In

More Episodes


Learn UX: Aligning UX Value

Season 2, Ep. 41
Ep. 41:This episode is the second in our special mini-series called Learning UX, hosted by Leo Zhang.In this mini-series, Leo talks in-person with local UX leaders about their careers and topics they’re passionate about. This episode Leo is talking with Kimberly Wiessner, about her career spanning design, creative direction and product strategy, and about bringing teams together to align on UX value.From Leo Zhang: In our second Learn UX episode of the mini-series I wanted to bring on a friend with a knack for aligning, teaching, and driving UX work across different teams. Kimberly Wiessner is a Principal Product Strategist at REI and is going to be talking about a topic she is very passionate about: the relationship between UX and other teams in an organization.Kimberly Wiessner, currently in a Leadership role within the Digital Product Strategy team at REI, has done everything from founding her own agency, being a Global Creative Director for HSBC, guiding design direction as Director of Innovation at USAA, to now working as a Principal at REI. Throughout her career, Kim has been passionate about bringing teams together in creative ways. In this episode we tap into her knowledge bringing teams together in various UX settings and take lessons away on how you do this at your workplace.Kim Wiessner is a high-performing leader with a passion for orchestrating customer experiences. A natural ability to see the big picture, absorb strategy, and provide clear direction toward action. A passion for influencing organizational change and aligning cross-functional teams. Positive energy that inspires others to work through ambiguous problem spaces. A customer-centered mindset and approach to design thinking and product discovery. Delivery-oriented team leader and ego-less task smasher.LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberlywiessner/********If you enjoy this podcast, there are some really simple ways you can help us:follow us on twitter-like and reshare our postssubscribe to the newsletterfor updates and bonus contentshare this episode, or any of our episodes, with a friend.rate & review us on Apple Podcast or iTunes on desktop!ListenApple|Spotify|Google|WebsiteConnect with UX Cake!uxcake.co|Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Linked In

Bias Is The Context We're In

Season 2, Ep. 40
Ep 40: Since I started asking users questions as part of my design process over 20 years ago, I’ve often asked myself, how could I ask better questions. Am I asking the right questions? What bias am I bringing into the interaction?As we progress in our research practice and go beyond the 101 lessons like avoiding leading questions, asking questions that are open-ended, leaving silence in the spaces to allow participants to talk more, learning to interpret actions and expressions not just words… those are all important, that’s where we start, but how can we go beyond that. at some point we might begin to look inward as researchers, and the part we as individuals are playing in the outcome, our biases, assumptions, our own values and life experiences.Who better to have this conversation with, I asked myself, than Steve Portigal, an author and expert on the subject of asking questions. Steve wrote the book Interviewing Users which is a great place to start for those who are newer to asking users questions, and he also wrote Doorbells, danger and dead batteries, with stories from practiced user researchers that deals with some of these questions of bias. We had a great conversation with lots of great advice for researchers at any level.Linked inhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/steveportigal/Mediumhttps://medium.com/@steveportigalSteve’s Dollars to Donuts podcasthttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dollars-to-donuts/id956673263Twitterhttps://twitter.com/steveportigalAbout Steve PortigalSteve Portigal helps companies to think and act strategically when innovating with user insights. His work has informed the development of professional audio gear, wine packaging, medical information systems, design systems, videoconferencing technology, and music streaming services. He’s also the host of the Dollars to Donuts podcast, where he interviews people who lead user research in their organizations. Steve is an accomplished presenter who speaks about culture, innovation, and design at companies and conferences across the globe.STEVE'S BOOKSInterviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling InsightsDoorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War StoriesFROM THE SHOWPurchase the Cognitive Bias Codex InfographicSlack channels:Go to this GREAT list of slack channels for UX including UXR********If you enjoy this podcast, there are some really simple ways you can help us:follow us on twitter-like and reshare our postssubscribe to the newsletterfor updates and bonus contentshare this episode, or any of our episodes, with a friend.rate & review us on Apple Podcast or iTunes on desktop!ListenApple|Spotify|Google|WebsiteConnect with UX Cake!uxcake.co|Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Linked In

Learn UX: Mentoring and Hiring

Season 2, Ep. 39
We're introducing a new series, called Learn UX, hosted by Leo Zhang. Leo started a meetup here in Seattle called Learn UX, aimed at UXers in earlier to mid-career, that hosts great speakers like Torry Podmajersky, who we had on our show talking about strategic UX writing back in episode 33.Leo is adapting his content to a podcast format for UX Cake, and we're trying out a three part series of to see how that resonates with our listeners. So we totally want to hear what you think about this! Chat us up on twitter or IG or FB or at uxcake.co (links below)From Learn UX:To kick off our collaboration with UX Cake, we are starting with a topic that would resonate with both Senior UX professionals as well as those just starting out: mentorship and hiring.Drory Ben-Menachem, currently Director of Product Design at Zonar Systems, has over 25 years experience working in a wide array of UX environments, as well as speaking at UX conference and guest lecturing at prominent schools such as The University of Washington. Throughout his entire career, he has always been passionate about all things revolving around mentorship. He’s written very well-received articles around mentorship such as Mentoring is a Mitzva and Mentoring ‘No-Hire’ Design Candidates. In this episode we talk about some of the lessons he’s learned along the way about both being a receptive mentee as well as being an effective mentor, and how his adventures in mentorship can help people of all levels of experience in our field.Drory has also been in multiple positions where he has served as a hiring manager, and he talks about how his experiences in mentoring has helped him make more informed UX hiring decisions. In this episode we will cover how fundamentally important mentorship is to grow as a UX professional as well as how it can help both hiring managers as well as job-seekers in the hiring process.From Leo: I am honored to be a part of UX Cake. It means a lot to me to be able to share my Learn UX community with a wide range of UX professionals from all around the world and I’d like to thank everyone for taking time out of your day to listen to our first collaboration episode!Leo Zhang, Founder of Learn UX SeattleAbout Drory:Designer, puzzle solver, idea shepherd, creative coach, storyteller, writer, researcher, mentor, data-viz geek, foodie, film buff, gamer, aspiring chef & rally driver.Born at a very young age, he made Seattle his home in 1991 and has enjoyed time at agencies, high-tech companies, and startups. Sometimes when it rains, he goes outside holding a cocktail umbrella and pretends he's a giant who makes bad decisions.Hopes one day someone will call him "sir" without adding "you're making a scene".Around the web:LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/droryb/Medium: https://medium.com/@droryb