The SpoolCast with Jared Spool

The SpoolCast has been bringing UX learning to designers’ ears around the world since 2005. Dozens and dozens of hours of Jared Spool interviewing some of the greatest minds in design are available for you to explore.

Episode #243 Stephen Anderson - Deciphering Data through Design

July 15, 2014  ·  40 minutes

Oftentimes really simple changes can have dramatic effects on a user’s ability to interpret data. Stephen cites the many examples of designers taking stabs at airline boarding pass redesigns and the evolution Target’s Pharmacy prescription bottle went through. Presenting the information in a much clearer way reduces the cognitive barrier.

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Episode #242 Tim Brown - Helvetica is the Neue Black

July 2, 2014  ·  27 minutes

When you break down written language, it’s really just a carefully crafted set of tiny symbols. It’s easy to dismiss these meticulous creations in daily life as simply, reading. The shape, readability, and size of these symbols are all factors in effectively communicating ideas, and have been for thousands of years. In essence, typography itself is more than just picking a font.

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Episode #241 Steph Hay - Content-first User Experience

June 24, 2014  ·  34 minutes

In traditional website design and development it’s common to start with the design and add your content later in the process. You may even use “lorem ipsum” as a placeholder to know where the content eventually needs to live. This causes the content creator to craft words to fit the design instead of building a design to fit the content. Without the right content your users will likely have a lackluster experience no matter how good-looking the design.

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Episode #240 Marc Stickdorn - Service Design Thinking

June 18, 2014  ·  33 minutes

In the realm of user experience, disciplines and titles can take on different meanings. Determining buzzword jargon from actual, useful distinctions and processes is sometimes a bit tricky. The term Service Design has been with us for a while now. Some see it as just plain, good UX. Marc Stickdorn sees it as more than that.

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Episode #239 Luke Wroblewski - Mobile as a Medium

June 2, 2014  ·  30 minutes

Luke says it’s necessary to look at how your service or product is framed in the broader picture. Most are built upon tradition web structures, and then “mobilized” now that smartphones and tablet growth has exploded. He compares the difference between mobile and PC to that of television and radio. You wouldn’t just drop a radio program onto TV without optimizing it for that platform. The same should be considered for mobile as a medium.

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Episode #238 Josh Seiden - Hypothesis-based Design within Lean UX

May 21, 2014  ·  15 minutes

In traditional development environments, requirements are what you base the project’s direction on. However, requirements assume that you know what you’re doing and why you’re building it. Substituting your thinking to adopt a hypothesis approach allows you to examine where you may be wrong. Lean UX itself embraces hypotheses to quickly determine what is and isn’t true about a project and which is the right path to go down.

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Episode #237 Ahava Leibtag - Content: Messaging and Marketing

April 18, 2014  ·  18 minutes

The goal of any site is to have great, compelling content. But what constitutes great content? How is the success of a blog post or a video measured? How can you be sure the time and effort put into crafting your content is providing an adequate return on investment?

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Episode #236 Chris Farnum - Wireframing Strategies

March 4, 2014  ·  22 minutes

The notion that “wireframes are dead” has been coming up every so often over the past few years. In truth, wireframes are still a valuable way for teams to communicate. Building up scenarios through state changes helps to both show and define a user’s journey through your design.

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Episode #235 Stephanie Lemieux - Using Taxonomy to Manage Content Sprawl

February 19, 2014  ·  30 minutes

Ultimately, your content is the reason users visit your site. Taxonomy can build a structure underneath that content, making it much more dynamic. By employing a layer of taxonomy, your CMS can better understand the relationships between the content. This allows you to easily surface related content, dynamically display bits of information, and improve your users’ experience.

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Episode #234 Stephen Hay - Responsive Web Design Workflow

January 30, 2014  ·  29 minutes

The web is no longer fixed width. Designs are more malleable than ever because of fluid grids, media queries, and everything else that comes with responsive web design. This makes using static photoshop comps as a deliverable unmanageable. Design workflows inevitably have to change and adapt as the way we design for the web evolves.

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