001 - Introduction: What is XD?


Welcome to the XD Podcast! This is the first episode, and I hope you enjoy it, and stick around for everything we've got in store.


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Transcript


Tony: Howdy friends, welcome to this very first episode of the podcast. I'm Tony Daussat and I want to thank you so very, very much for joining me on this little adventure that I'm on. I am brand new to this podcasting thing and quite frankly when I sat down to plan out this first episode, I was a little stumped, which is ironic because one might assume if you're starting a podcast, you'd know exactly how you'd want to start, but, uh, I think it's a little bit like dating. You know, you might know what you want in a relationship, like shared values, good communication, unconditional love and support, two point five kids, white picket fence, whatever it is, but the first date, well a lot of times the first date can be a little awkward, or at the very least bumpy.

And I'm an awkward person sometimes and I'm definitely bumpy - anyways, like any first date. I suppose the first thing I should do is tell you a little bit about myself. So here we are. It's very nice meeting you. My name is Tony Daussat. I'm 33 years old, and I guess depending on who you ask that the either really old or really young. I'm a libra, and again, depending on who you ask, that either means I like balance or means nothing. Anyways, I have an amazing wife, two children, and I'm fervently addicted to chapstick and craft coffee. Yes, I am one of those people.

As far as my professional life goes, I actually used to be an actor, which I'm sure we'll talk more about in a later episode - but I've now been in the design industry for the better part of a decade and in that time I've worked with companies big small from mom and pop shops with two employees, to fortune 500 companies with over 10,000 employees and currently I work for an agency here in Dallas as an experienced design strategist... which leads us to the title of this very podcast. So WTF is XD? Or experience design?

In my opinion. Unfortunately, oftentimes experienced design is one of those things that kind of just sits out there in the ether of ambiguous industry terms and depending on who you ask, you'll. You'll probably get a variety of answers ranging from designing the user experience for apps, or more broadly designing a customer journey through a coffee shop or retail store or something of that nature and actually there's maybe something to its ambiguity. So let's unpack it together. First, what does experience mean? Well, our good old friend, the dictionary tells us that experience is the observing in countering or undergoing of things generally as they occur in the course of time.

I'm like, what?

So in Layman's terms, you do stuff and there are places and things to do stuff with. Now, from there I'd add that you can do stuff or have experiences through a variety of different ways through an app on your phone or looking at a menu at a restaurant, or roaming through aisles at the grocery store, or even asking Alexa to set a timer - which is sort of the only thing I asked her to do and play music. Kids love dancing to music. They think Alexa is so cool. Anyway, the list of what could be considered an experience truly is endless.

Now, what does design mean? The second part of this phrase - what is it a designer? Again, I'd like to use our BFF, the dictionary for a starting point. It defines design as to plan and fashion, the form and structure of an object, work of art, decorative scheme, etc.

So in other words, create and in that "etc" at the end, that's where I would put the word experience, obviously. Sound up to so much? Okay, well let's get personal. In one way or another. I would argue that we are all experience designers. Even the people that will say they don't have a creative bone in their body, they are designers. Take for example a those of you that sit at a desk for work all day. Let's go with you. The way you set up your desk... You're provided with a computer phone, office supplies and a big flat surface called a desk, and yet I would submit, it's more like a canvas or a foundation. You decide where to place your notebook, your pins, your coffee mug, computer desk, phone, and little pictures of your kids or pet lizard. You know, whatever. You've designed, your desk experience in a way that best suits your needs.

The same could easily be said about how you set up your living room, where you put your couches, tv, lamps, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, and if you start to zoom out like that, you start noticing all of these things that you design. And beyond that really all the things you interact with through your day have been designed thousands and thousands, maybe millions in your lifetime, have little tiny touch points, some big touch points, and these interactions that directly affect how you experienced the world around you. And so many of these touch points have become second nature, and forgotten, or or have just become so baked into our daily lives that they've all but disappeared. Which I would argue may very well be the point.

That to me is experience design: providing conscious or subconscious value to people's lives through a variety of touchpoints. It's this unbrella that considers things like human psychology, demographics, language, haptics, accessibility, visual design, industrial design. I mean, the list, It goes on and on and on and on.

Now, obviously when someone at a dinner party asks me what I do, I usually don't lead with the verbal diarrhea of everything I've said up until this point. Um, I typically answer saying something along the lines of, say, "I helped design the way consumers connect with brands, products or services through meaningful interactions." And even still, I feel like there's a vagueness there, but that's okay. And that's part of my goal with this podcast. From the digital to the physical- I really want to continue to explore what experience design is. You might call that user experience design. You might call that uh customer experience design. You might call that service design. At any rate, I really want to dive into that and explore what it means in our careers and our lives and to help me in this journey.

I will be sitting down with some of the brightest minds in experience design, leadership, marketing, entrepreneurship, product design, and more. And I'll be sharing these conversations with you. You lovely, beautiful people that are giving me your ears for a certain amount of time every week. My hope for this podcast is that it becomes this place where both beginners and advanced designers, and even just curious people, can come and learn and share in this journey. So I really want to do this together. I want you to reach out on instagram or facebook @xdpodcast and, let me know - Let me know how design impacts your life. If you're a designer, reach out. Let's talk shop.

Also, I would really love if you subscribed to the podcast, wherever you are listening, tell your friends, tell your family, tell your frenemies... You know, don't leave anybody out. Frenemies are people too. At any rate, I want to end by thanking you so much for giving me your time, subscribing and listening. It means a whole lot and I'm really excited to have you on board - on the xd podcast. I'm Tony Daussat and until next time, friends, stay curious.

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