Why I started The Diary Of Design Thinking podcast

Podcast with a microphone and monitor
Photo by Amr Taha™ on Unsplash

Over the years, I have been inspired by many podcasts on topics such as wellbeing, mental health, business, productivity and UX. They all have one thing in common. The passion. Passionate about the topic or talking about something they enjoy. I think podcasts are the best method for that, for me to be able to talk freely about the subject I am passionate about, and that is User Experience.

I never thought I would start a podcast to be honest. Because of the lack of confidence, I found it difficult to hear my own voice (I am sure most people feel the same about this one) and above all else, finding the time on top of other personal projects I got going on in my personal life. So what really inspired me to put this podcast together?

After attending many job interviews (UX) in the past, I noticed one theme, and I am sure you have as well. Interviewers often asked how I tackle typical projects and to talk them through my best case studies and workflow to get a grasp of how I work as a designer.

It was a lightbulb moment that went off in my head, where I thought this is interesting and wondered what sort of answers interviewers received from asking designers these sorts of questions. Therefore, I decided it would be beneficial to have a conversation with different designers, researchers, engineers, data analysts, etc to walk me through how they tackle current projects in their organisation. Talking through their workflow of the end-to-end UX process, techniques, design thinking and implementing best practices.

The other reasons for me to start a podcast are:

  1. Passionate about the topic — As I have mentioned above, I want to be able to talk freely about the subject I am passionate about and enjoy. Being in the design industry for a long time, I like to share my understanding with fellow designers and non-designers. For them to also share with the listeners.
  2. Connection — Having the connection with like-minded designers, sharing our passion and understanding of UX.
  3. Knowledge sharing — To gain value and real-life experiences so that listeners can apply them in their process.
  4. Feedback and mentoring — Receiving feedback from others is the most valuable ingredient for me. To be able to learn from others will only make me a better designer. As well as mentoring others to help them grow.
  5. Inspiration — To inspire more designers, non-designers, and the audience with effective processes, design thinking and best practices.
  6. Develop different skill sets — As I love learning, starting this podcast allows me to develop skills as a solo host. Doing everything myself from prioritisation, tech kit setups, reaching out to potential guests, interviewing, editing and so on, will help me grow as a person.
  7. Conversations — This one is quite simple, having the opportunity to interview people I look up to and to learn from.
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

What I’ve learned

With 7 episodes of The Diary Of Design Thinking podcast currently out now, it has been an amazing journey so far. I have honestly learnt so much from a personal development perspective and grown as a designer. There are definitely more good experiences than bad ones which I will share with you. So let’s start off with the bad stuff, shall we?

The bad stuff

  • Time-consuming — This is the main one I shall point out first and foremost and the other points that follow are also relevant to this. Starting and maintaining a podcast is very time-consuming and it’s something I came to realise immediately. You really need dedication and to work around your day job as well as other personal projects and a social life that’s in between.
  • Content — Once you have an idea for your podcast, you’d think writing content would be a lot easier. Think again, for me playing the role of a content designer, writing questions tailored to each guest consists of a lot of work. As I am not an expert in the content field, it meant that I had to learn more which took more time.
  • Reaching out to potential guests — This is actually more difficult than it seems. Lots of time and planning invested in research, drafting messages and penciling dates around work and personal life.
  • Editing — If you have done any sort of video or audio editing before then you will understand. This is another role you need to play in the world of podcasting, it can take up a lot of your time so be prepared. That’s something I didn’t factor in initially.

The good stuff

With all the bad stuff out of the way, let’s get onto the fun stuff. I have gained a lot of valuable experience from starting the podcast. Here are the main points I acquired whilst on the journey.

  • Confidence — I can assure you, this will get you out of your everyday comfort zone. Building better relationships by speaking to a group of like-minded people instills confidence in you from a personal and career perspective.
  • Communication skills — Interviewing talented people not only drives confidence, but it has also helped me articulate, frame the questions and be a better storyteller.
  • Connection — I enjoy connecting with the guests and the audience, creating a relationship with them has motivated me to continue creating content.
  • Inspiration — One of the main reasons for starting this podcast is to inject inspiration into the world. Learning, developing new skills and being inspired by the guests to apply them in processes.
  • Recognition — As the goal isn’t to make money out of the podcast, it has engaged a small audience that helped the platform grow. The confirmation of this shows that the work is being appreciated and it’s great to have a small following.
  • Enjoyment — I got to say the enjoyment of creating content, speaking to people, learning and inspiring the world is a passion of mine. Talking about something I enjoy, to be able to talk freely about User Experience keeps me going.
Photo by Devon Divine on Unsplash

Conclusion

Starting a podcast can be a huge commitment. Spending dedicated time, sacrificing social and personal time are a turn-off resulting in a real chore. With that said, I would suggest starting off with defining the outcome you want to achieve with your podcast.

Try and answer these questions:

  1. Why do you want to start a podcast?
  2. What is the goal?
  3. How much time do you want to spend on the podcast?
  4. Is it a long-term goal?
  5. Is it just for fun?

Having an idea is the first step, I advise you to spend more time on research and plan out the steps of what it takes to put a podcast together in the form of a roadmap. Without these steps, your chances of keeping up with the podcast will be low. Are you prepared to do everything yourself? If the answer is no, then get a co-host who will help you out so much.

With the above considered, it will be easier for you to determine whether you can invest the time to start a podcast. With that said, I would highly recommend you should give it a go.

I hope this has helped you whether you are thinking about starting a podcast or simply just curious. If you had similar or other experiences you like to share, I would love to hear from you.

I will leave you with the link to my podcast for you to have a listen. I would appreciate it if you can provide me with any feedback. Remember, “receiving feedback is the most valuable ingredient.”

The Diary Of Design Thinking Podcast

So, let’s get inspired and stay curious folks.

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Simon Hoang

Simon Hoang

Product Design Lead @Moneyfarm. Excited about user-centred design, and the impact it can have on people’s lives. I also like to code. ⌨️ simonhoang.com