This is the third and final part of my chat with Bill Moggridge in which we talk about the ingredients of successful design teams – who is in them, how do they work together, where do they work, those kinds of questions.
This was a chat I recorded when I was talking with Bill about his new book, Designing Interactions.
Here’s the second part of my chat with Bill Moggridge.
You might remember that I was lucky enough to have the chance to talk with him about his new book, Designing Interactions and that he was happy for me to record the chat and share it with you. Here’s Part One in case you missed it! (update: you can get part three here too!)
As you can see from my microphone stand pictured above, I am a very professional correspondent and go to any length to ensure good sound quality.
(Clearly this is a blatant lie… I’m working on it!)
Anyway – in this second part of the chat we spend some time talking about designing games and what interactions can learn from games design. Interesting stuff.
I recorded our chat and Bill was happy for me to share it with you all, so – apologies for the not so great sound quality – I hope you enjoy it!
In part one Bill talks about the process he went through to design/write the book (yes, there was a prototype involved!) as well as some thoughts on what factors are common where good interaction design is created.
I keep getting distracted when I try to listen to podcasts. My mind wanders, I check my email, before I know it I’m doing something entirely different and have forgotten that there’s someone talking in my ears. The podcast becomes background noise. I stop listening.
You could say it’s my fault. That I don’t have good concentration, or discipline. That I don’t care enough. But it’s not me, it’s them.
Podcasts are boring.
(At least, the ones that I’ve been listening to that are produced by people who are supposedly interested in design and user experience…. I know there are some that are really cool and interesting… but that would make a boring title).
Yes, yes, so you’re really smart and probably pretty well known… that’s why I’m listening to you. But you still have to make an effort to reach through the microphone and grab me by the earlobes. Lots of people are trying to get in my ear these days, but too few are putting any effort into making it a great experience for me.
I’m no expert in podcasting, but I know what I like ;) Having spent the last few days listening to a whole bunch of podcasts, this is what I’ve learned:
Don’t over prepare and don’t read from a script. Definitely don’t try to ‘fake’ an interview. It sounds artificial and lifeless and dull.
Have a plan. Once you get started with your podcast it’s pretty easy to ramble on and on. This is not a good idea. Know what point you want to make or what information you want to share, have a strong structure and stick to it.
Talk about something interesting. Just like my wishlist for conference presentations, I’d also like your podcast to be full of meaty information not just a top level review, I want you to take a position and argue it (bonus points if it’s a controversial position and you can back it up!), and I love hearing about real life examples and stories.
If you must edit, try to keep it subtle. Personally, I’d be aiming to keep the podcast authentic sounding and to edit as little as possible. I’d rather do a few takes and minimal editing than try to hack together something coherent from rambling single take.
Why shouldn’t you rehearse your podcast? You’ll do a better job the third time through than the first.
Don’t be cool, be passionate. If you care about your subject matter (and you should if you think you’re worth listening to), then put a bit of enthusiasm into your delivery. It was always the voice that held my attention – speakers who had LIFE in their voice, and HUMOUR and HUMANITY. People who were passionate about the topic of the podcast. And don’t cut out the bits that make you seem human. This is the joy of the podcast… you make yourself more human.
It’s a performance, not an internal monologue. Think about how you’d prepare for a conference presentation. Take away the slides and all the same ‘how to’s’ pretty much apply. You can’t just get three of your mates on the phone (no matter how A-list they maybe), shoot the breeze and call it a podcast because you’ve got some big names chatting. Have you seen all those posts about how panel sessions at conferences often suck? These kinds of podcasts are worse.
Keep it snappy. Set yourself a time limit and stick to it. For me, I’d prefer a podcast around say 15 minutes long. Any longer than that and I’ll probably lose concentration or get called away to do something else. I’d LOVE a really satifisfying 15 minute podcast to listen to every day.
Be creative. What can you do to make your podcast a better experience for your users? I don’t know the answer to this, but I have some ideas that I reckon might be kind of cool… podcasts use music a bit these days but I’d quite like to see a bit more. What about sound effects?
I’m thinking of radio plays – sound effects, characters, storytelling, suspense. Lists? Vox pops? Talk show? There are lots of different genres from which we could be drawing inspiration.
Now that anyone who wants to can easily grab a microphone and start pumping out the podcasts, I think it’s time to raise the bar. So, if you’ve to something to say, and you want to say it in a podcast… take a little time before you hit record and think about how you can give your audience a great listening experience.
What are our tips for making podcasts not boring? And what podcasts do you recommend?
My name is Leisa Reichelt. I am the Head of User Research at the Government Digital Service in the Cabinet Office.
I lead a team of great researchers who work in agile, multidisciplinary digital teams to help continuously connect the people who design products with the people who will use them and support experimentation and ongoing learning in product design.
If you're interested in working with me or would like to talk more please email me