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Episode 136 September 25, 2018 | 30min

Design Matters: A Conversation on Digital Transformation

If you were building a skyscraper, you wouldn’t skip the architect

Show Notes

Design is Not an Add-On: Why did it take so long for design to come back into the conversation? This week, Paul Ford and Rich Ziade talk about digital transformation and the marriage between design and engineering. What are companies risking when they don’t take it seriously?

Rich — 1:35: “The days of just getting a technology project up and running isn’t enough that you have to think about your whole business in terms of the world [having] changed, technology is part of everything and it needs to be part of how your business works.”

Rich — 2:20: “People are fully digitized in terms of how they interact with the world, and that’s how they need to interact with your business.”

Rich — 3:10: “This is something different. [Digital transformation] is about literally dismantling process as it exists today.”

Rich — 6:30: “I’m old enough to remember when it was really hard to sell User Experience services to big companies. They just didn’t get it. They didn’t want to get it. It was just too bizarre.”

Paul — 11:05: “I would say that without strong sea-level leadership, don’t do [a Digital Transformation project].”

Rich — 12:25: “Probably one of the biggest public failures of a massive technology mandate is the Obamacare debacle.”

Paul — 13:10: “That’s why Open Source is really good. Why are we building things for the government in secret? There could have been a collaborative public presence driven by a small team where that code was going right into the Commons.”

Rich — 13:35: “The truth is, if you’re not able to transact on the web on your phone, you’re kind of screwed. You have to get there.”

Rich — 17:45: “I think the way that they’re thinking about it is that design isn’t a phase or a discipline, but actually it’s no different than [somebody] saying I’m going to go ahead and build this sky scraper, but I’m going to skip the architect.”

Rich — 21:25: “We don’t call them ‘designers’ at Postlight […] we call them Product Designers. The spirit behind it is that the designer is not peripheral. They’re key to the quality of the product, to the definition of the product, [and] how the product is going to be differentiated.”

Paul — 22:00: “The engagement will fail if design doesn’t lead.”

Paul — 28:35: “Design is about making that least possible effort — my god, don’t just throw a bunch of candy corn on the floor and call that dinner.”