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Episode #44: with Mitchell Barwick

5 June, 2020 | 45 mins15 secs

In this episode I interview Mitchell Barwick, Principal Designer at Greater Bank.

Mitch is our first guest from the Greater on the NTP Podcast and hopefully the first of many to come. Today Mitch and I chat about his experience building a design team and advice for junior designers looking to grow a career in this space.

I hope you enjoy the episode!

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    • Transcription:

      I always thought that i wanted to be an illustrator and then uh about 13 years old we got a computer at home with access to the internet and that just that changed everything for me it was like this is my new obsession and i want to do something with this

      welcome to episode 44 of new tech people today we’ve got mitch barwick uh principal designer at the greater welcome mitch good night james thanks for having me mate not a problem at all it is a pretty fresh fresh old day you’ve got the beanie on i’ve got the hoodie it’s a bit fresh we’re in winter now wait how’s our cover treating you let’s let’s kick off their house working from home yeah look i’m yeah look i’m kind of glad to um to be at home for this interview especially so i can be in my trackies and my ugg boots because it is is a bit fresh isolation has been a little bit tricky yeah with especially collaborating with the team um but we’re making it work and we just uh we reached a pretty significant milestone for our project recently um that passed while we’re in isolation and we got across the line for that so yeah it hasn’t impacted us too much very nicely for people who don’t know you uh you’ve been around newcast for a while so i imagine a lot of people in the text they do know you but for those that don’t can give people an overview of who you are where you’ve been sure so uh mitch barwick and i’m principal designer at greater bank currently we’ve got a nice diverse design team at greater bank we’ve got a couple of ux’s design research content and brand design and myself in that principal design role which is kind of a really a supporting role to the rest of that that team and so my day-to-day at the moment is sometimes getting in on the the ui and building prototypes with the guys or looking at the epics that are coming up to try and bring some clarity to those before they hit the team and looking at the the processes that we use the way that we connect downstream with developers and then back up stream with uh product and strategy so my current role is is quite diverse before that i was a ux designer at greater bank and before that i i worked at oraca and uh nib um so i’ve been through i guess some of the the common channels that most people go through and before that i um i freelance for about uh six years locally as well nice oh actually let’s go let’s go right there my designers is obviously many ways to get into design what was the motivation to get in design for you before then moving into the freelance let’s start with what was the motivations yeah as a kid i was always really interested in um in art and and being kind of creative i always thought that i wanted to be an illustrator and then uh about 13 years old we got a computer at home with access to the internet and that just that changed everything for me it was like this is my new obsession and i want to do something with this and so um design was a way to kind of merge those two interests that i had in creativity and and technology and so uh i went through um newcastle uni i got a an it degree and i got about halfway through that degree when i realized that it wasn’t really for me that i really wanted to pursue design but i was i was feeling the pressure to get out there into the into the workforce so um i decided to just complete that degree and at the time it was pretty flexible you know you could choose enough electives so that you could get out of there with an i t degree but mostly do design related courses and so that’s what i did and i built up a bit of a portfolio while i was there and eventually got out into into freelancing in a graphic design kind of role and so i was looking for work you know branding print a bit of web i was happy to do anything but was just drawn to the web space um because there were more opportunities there and financially it was better than being in in print or branding and eventually i i started working out of the newcastle indigenous business chamber in in rutherford and just by being on the premises there i got a lot of a lot of business through the indigenous business community and so yeah i probably spent six years working for uh like indigenous business australia i work for places like westpac and cisco on their uh reconciliation action plans that was really my my niche my niche area for a while nice man nice now you mentioned a couple of words there that really sort of uh set up for the light bulbs for me that i like talking about i started university um you obviously did the group degree um did it from a tech perspective i teach perspective and i’ve got that designer out uh how valuable do you think has been like looking back now uh obviously you said it wasn’t bang on for you but you’re able to make it work is that something you’d recommend to other designers now

      yeah when i did my degree i think both the itt degree and the vizcom degree at newcastle uni didn’t touch ux that much i guess because ux didn’t really exist at that time and i think there’s it’s i think it’s always like that it’s a bit analogous to um training for a sport without knowing what the sport is is going to be you know you go to uni and you spend four years there and they tell you that you’re going to need to be fit in these certain areas and so you practice that they tell you that there’s going to be a lot of collaboration but when you do group work it’s with people who want the exact same position with as you which is it’s never like that in the real world and so then you know you you spend all this time practicing for the sport and you get out there with your footy boots and your shin pads and it turns out everyone’s playing lacrosse and so you’ve got to learn this whole new game when you get out into the workforce but you know the study helps you to um to be kind of versatile and fit to to partake in the game but i think the real learning starts when you get out there into the world yeah i mean it’s not too different some of the common themes i’ve heard in regard to uh degrees um the learning the the learning to learn are some of the key benefits um you know participating in teams does it does help um and try and build those skills and then it’s another thing also once you get out there so yeah i think it’s a bit of a horse’s classes but there’s definitely some benefits there around learning to learn um being in those sort of different teams sometimes being put in teams of you know projects that they’re not they’re not the people that you’ve you’ve grown up with or that you know and you have to learn to get along and you know get a project over the line which is a it’s amazing it’s a good skill to have yeah i think that learning to learn is is a good way to put it though i think we’re at fall short is in those those group exercises you’re always working with people who are doing the same degree as you or at least that was my experience and then when you get in into the world the people that you collaborate from come from completely different areas of expertise so i think if there’s anything that that is missed for me in in going through that kind of traditional entry into the field it’s um it’s that lack of collaboration with other disciplines i think that’s you know something that i’d like to focus on more especially in your space new space more though more so than any girls because you’re you’re working with the business you’re working with software development teams and you start to sit somewhere in the middle there as well where you start trying to bring multiple parts of the business together to achieve an outcome so a big part of what you do is actually that cross-functional behavior right yeah that’s right there’s a lot of uh facilitation and just you know being a good communicator and someone who can empathize with with other people is kind of a fundamental skill of any designer yeah cool and there’s two other points you mentioned before um which is summer some of the parts we really encourage any juniors or just anyone really who’s looking for their career the two words you use were freelance and also portfolio i think um people doing some freelance work and doing some work outside maybe their core hours on wherever they’re working or if they’re not working doing some freelance work working for others to build build their experience and also building that portfolio and can you talk to both those points on how you think they’ve been beneficial to your career um so especially um for designers i think a portfolio can be really powerful while i was doing my i.t degree i was kind of painfully aware that the kinds of roles that i wanted to get into wouldn’t be as accessible to me with my it degree as they would be to somebody with that viscom degree and so i really focused on building up that portfolio while i was studying i had a lot of mates who were musos and so i tried to get as much work as i could you know doing their album covers or gig posters eventually i got some part-time work with a local hardware company doing technical illustration i got that through the university um and that was really useful for me so that when i graduated i had kind of 12 months of of experience um and a nice portfolio to to get me going so the portfolio i think is really important especially for designers the freelancing look i feel like i probably did it a bit too early in my career i went straight into or almost straight into to freelancing and so i um once i finished freelancing and i started working at nib i got into a design team that worked in a totally different way to what i was used to and i think a lot of the stumbling blocks that i faced in freelancing um i probably could have avoided by working with other people first before i got into that yeah i mean nice and nice and i think the part you mentioned there that sort of that appeals to me really there as well as just finding a way to get that work early on there’s a lot of people that are out there and hey i don’t have the experience or i need a job to get the experience whereas you’re you know catching up finding some made to need some work um hooking up with some local businesses that need some work to just to build on that experience and sometimes that requires doing work for free for a mate to just build up that experience to build up your portfolio um it’s it’s that showing the initiative to actually look outside the square to build a portfolio that’s going to help i guess probably more juniors especially build that portfolio to get that first job right yeah it’s a delicate balance though because there is that risk of being taken advantage of if you’re working for the experience what’s nice about being a student or being a junior is finding other students and other juniors either in a different discipline or within your own that you can collaborate with to try and get that experience together without you know running the risk of just being taken advantage of for your skills and not really ending up with anything at the end of it yeah i think that’s uh it’s it’s very real it’s very real in the creative world right people uh lacking the respect for the creatives and and hey can you just do me a free job um and that type of thing and that going on and on so i think it’s a very real fact that let’s face the design industry in general is there any other things that you’ve got you’ve done the university you’ve built a portfolio you’ve worked with a number of companies is there anything else that you’d encourage designers to do to build their career especially let’s say more junior designers is that any any other courses short courses anything online that you’d encourage people to do no no courses in in particular i really think it’s just about building that portfolio i know that um places like uh adobe will run weekly challenges on their slack channel and so you can get on there compete in those well not compete but participate in those challenges and they have some of their senior designers who will then um review and critique that work yeah um and so that’s a nice way to get some feedback on your designs and also build up a portfolio at the same time yeah nice yeah that’s matt is very very helpful i think very good so mate you’ve grown your career obviously uh you’ve worked with some of the biggest organizations in in newcastle uh now principal principal designer of the greater what are the exciting projects that you guys are working on at the moment yeah so at the moment um well over the last two months that’s very over the last 12 months we have really um introduced this practice of ux2 grader before i started there that role didn’t exist and so um we’ve been working at establishing that that practice and also the processes where design flows into deliveries so that’s been really exciting as i mentioned before for the the team more broadly we’ve just hit this major milestone for us in um in isolation so that’s been a big win for us and also introducing some um deeper connection with customers in our development process so we started doing design sprints and for those that aren’t familiar with the design sprint it’s really about getting a five-day intensive period where you lock decision makers and experts in a room together and try and flesh out a concept um to the point where you can validate that in the market through some kind of survey or testing this is kind of a standardized practice that was developed by google ventures but we’ve been experimenting with it by actually bringing customers into that process with us so we’ve had a customer come into our design sprint sit with the team they’re sketching out ideas they’re designing interfaces with us to take and test in the market and that kind of stuff has really been exciting for me over the last couple of months very nice very nice i mean you’ve had some success with that obviously yeah look it’ll be a little while before customers see any of this um we’ve got a big project ahead of us but the success that we’ve seen already i think is in the feedback that we’ve gotten from test customers that we’re testing with but also just the you know that customer that came in and did a design sprint with us left just beaming and with a new appreciation for the effort that goes into the products that they love to use so i think that in itself is highlighting the value for us yeah very nice very nice and mate so you’ve obviously been as said around some of the bigger design teams or a bigger i would say just in general technology teams in newcastle how would you say the team is different the way it’s structured where you are currently versus any of the other organizations you’ve been you obviously as you’ve gone you’ve learned and you have a position now where you’re seeing you’re enough to have some influence on you know how you build a design team how you structure how that team engages with product and software engineering can you give some insights into you know what your sort of current structure looks like and what your views on best structure looks like yeah so i think our design team is quite unique by newcastle standards and i’m not personally wholly responsible for that i’m working with glen thomas who used to be at nib as well yeah um and and glean i think most designers in newcastle uh would know he’s just kind of a titan in newcastle when it comes to design practice and he really had this vision for the the design team at greater that would be would have these four kind of foundational cornerstones of um ux design research service design and exploration and so that was something that was really unique to have this centralized design team with incredible breadth that could provide value across the entire business and we’ve had some stumbling blocks um along the way with that especially around things like service design you know it’s very very new to our team and to the business but in other ways we’ve had a lot of wins especially in design and research i feel like we’ve gotten a lot of investment into that and we’re seeing the fruits of that but i think that centralized design team with a lot of diverse roles in it is something that if not unique to greater bank is certainly rare in newcastle how big would that design team be currently it’s five so two ux designers a design researcher a designer looking after content and brand and then myself and then we also still have glinda who’s looking after that exploration design role as well yeah no so that i have to be very close if not the biggest design team in newcastle very close to right yeah possibly i’m not sure about the structure of some of the agencies around but yeah maybe equivalent to nib may be slightly bigger i’m not sure yeah that’s that’s very interesting and in your experience how have you found that new structure versus you know how you’ve experienced different structures in the past so the structures that i’ve um experienced in the past usually have either the design team separated so you have service design separate to ux separate to research and they live within different areas of the business often ux is embedded within engineering and so what’s different about this is is bringing those roles together having them work alongside engineering rather than underneath engineering and i think that really helps with that kind of dynamic relationship that exists between development and design um not having design report through to development i think enables a bit more breadth of that design team yeah that’s i i guess i wouldn’t say controversial but it’s a point it definitely comes up when as the importance of designers actually acknowledge uh the relationship between engineering and design is it’s something that’s not always well navigated within organizations um and i think it’s starting to change as you mentioned before and you know when you started us probably wasn’t acknowledged as a role or is definitely not acknowledged as a role in itself and as designers become more and more acknowledged and respected as a as a really important part to i guess software engineering in general software development that relationship between the engineering practice and the actual design practice and how that fits together is something that’s evolving and probably continuing to involve again because i think that’s that by the sounds of it the greater is a long a long way further down that path than a lot of other organizations but a lot of other organizations as you said still see it if the design practice might be one person a ux person or it might be a designer that does every data design sitting under engineering yeah it’s interesting that you call that out because you know maybe five ten years ago uh it wouldn’t be uncommon to see a ux design and front-end development being the same role and you would call them just a web developer or something like that and over time we’ve kind of learned that ux is this unique discipline that should be separated out and and i think that that’s brought some um added respect to the role of front-end developers as well to say that it’s not it’s a full-time pursuit being a front-end developer without lumping on ux on on top of that so i think across the industry in newcastle that’s been seen as just a wholly good idea to separate those those two roles what greater is doing which isn’t unique um in a kind of broad sense but maybe unique to newcastle is understanding that there’s a distinct separation between ux and design research as well and giving those two roles the kind of distance that they need you know often you’ll see ux and research just being smashed together as as as one role research in itself is such a a deep a full-time pursuit that i think eventually i hope will separate those two roles as well and give them the respect that they deserve yeah i think that’s a part of that evolution i can i agree i think back in the day it was a front end depth that also did ux and then as you grow you pull ux apart from that and then there’s the different elements of ux i have a bit of a story about um design research and and the importance of it um being distinct from from ux uh we have a full-time design researcher at greater bank and um she worked to put together some personas for us and those were in part data driven personas so doing surveys across a thousand twelve hundred people in new south wales asking about their attitudes and their behaviors with money and financial management and then seeing the similar um trends in particular sectors of the market dividing that up and using those is kind of the the basis for our personas so what we ended up with was six unique personas that served as kind of a memory aid for those distinct attitudes and behaviors that people have towards their finances and what was really cool on top of that was that our researcher created a survey that you could take that would tell you which of those personas are you best aligned with and so we took this survey to a showcase one day there’s about 50 people there you know all the developers and product people we had a couple of members of the board who came down to this showcase as well and we all sat down and we took this survey and so as you can imagine almost everybody came out as the exact same persona we had three people that were separate and of those three two of those were the same so what that meant was of those six segments of the new of the new south wales market um three of those were not represented in our team at all which meant if you had ux without research and you weren’t engaging customers and you were creating designs and going around to everybody in your team and saying hey what do you think of this concept you know how would you use this feature do you like it that feedback that you got even if you asked or 50 people would still leave out three whole segments of the the new south wales population so i think that for me really underscores the importance of of those two roles separately and of of getting that customer engagement happening yeah mate that’s that’s a really good example um and quite surprising right um because there’s many many of teams that wouldn’t have that sort of that depth of research going on so um you can only only imagine how many problems or uh on different business contacts um you know dollars left on the table or uh customer journeys are probably not mapped overly well um well the thing is it’s not that that um outcome of almost everybody being one persona is not unique to greater bank there’s nothing about us that um it makes us all behave the same i think just the nature of being in technology there are certain things that that nudge you towards technology or exclude you from it you know if you say that you’re a software developer it it’s very likely that i could guess your your age your location uh how much education you’ve had and so um it’s yeah yeah your gender as well um and so and i think yeah unfortunately i think that i think there’s something the agenda’s slightly different in that um there’s no reason that that’s there it is and it’s unfortunate but that we are changing that but i think that the until the technology is good enough technologists will always live in metropolitan areas i think they’ll always skew younger with people who get more experience moving out of those roles into kind of management or into strategy the gender one i hope we can get rid of but uh yeah as we say there are certain things that kind of nudge you into into that role which means that there are certain people who are just not represented in any software team very nice hey if i had to take like all your experiences either you obviously worked at the bigger end of town with a lot of the bigger businesses and bigger technology teams if you were to go into a smaller team uh you’re a software development team who have let’s call it four developers and a software development manager they don’t have a design practice they don’t have ux practice and they’re going to build that out where where would a company start and i think there’s a there’s a relatively growing number of companies that are in this space that are starting to invest in software development and customer development for themselves and have a software development team somewhere between two and ten developers who may not have invested in ux or indesign today how would you prefer those smaller companies how would you recommend starting to build out a design practice who’s your first hire what’s their focus what’s the hire after that how do you how do you go about building a design practice yeah look that kind of stuff really excites me the idea of of kick-starting a new um team it’s it’s part of what took me to orica in the first place um and it’s part of what eventually drew me to to greater i think when you’ve got a development team most of the time the developers are hired first and the designers come in afterwards and so for me that that first step in establishing design is showing the value that it can add to the delivery stream um there’s often this impression that design is going to slow us down and they’re going to ask us to do some crazy stuff that’s going to make every story twice as big when in reality the uh good design practice should bring clarity to the stories that are coming into the team everybody on the team should start to get this really clear picture of what the expected outcome is of what the customer need is that we’re focusing on and then you start to get developers able to have more of a meaningful um impact on the conversation about what we should and shouldn’t build because everybody gets onto the same page about what that value is that we’re trying to deliver so they can ask questions about well you know i don’t think that this feature actually adds the value that you think it does um and so that’s that’s really powerful to to get everybody onto the same page and and bring that clarity in terms of you know research and strategy i think just a good all-around ux designer is always a good place to start and then i think once you’ve got that ux practice established then uh research would be my my next hire after that yeah nice i think i think that’s well i’ve definitely seen a couple of companies go through that journey and starting to invest there and continue to sort of build out that practice and there’s some other software development teams that haven’t gone down that route yet and as you said a lot of people are they might outsource the design part to to start with um and then build that software development actual engineering capability internally first and then and then build that out as they go um you can’t you know in a lot of cases it does come down to budget and head count but i think it is something that we’re starting to see more and more investment in that space yeah you’re right it does get outsourced and it is kind of uh if there’s budget for it then we add ux as a as a secondary thing but i really think that is a missed opportunity um the way that we work at greater bank with our engineers is in the fight team model so we have groups of three or four engineers with a designer and they all pick up a piece of work at the same time so they’ll receive that that user story together um and then they’ll collaboratively come up with what the the solution for that is and so when you’re outsourcing design you lose that opportunity um to to really have that collaboration from the start between design and engineering i completely agree i completely agree now you’ve mentioned newcastle a few times you’ve mentioned how the greatest maybe you know at the forefront or toward the forefront in newcastle in general and what’s your thoughts on the newcastle design and technology community yeah it’s it’s getting there it’s it’s emerging the the design community here is is starting to grow we’ve had the ixda meetups happening for a couple of years now for a long time there were only three or four people turning up to those um but yeah pre pre-covered we had ash rendell come in and do a presentation of her phd thesis on the impact of natural imagery on consumer trust in in e-commerce websites and she presented that to a packed house so there’s this real excitement i think and buzz that’s um building in the community at the moment yeah nice i completely agree and i think that’s technology across the board is building i think pre-coded we were starting to really harm along and hit a bit of a peak and i think those similar stories are happening with a lot of different meetups without they’re getting a bit more engagement a bit more growth which is nice is there any um big negatives that you’ve seen being in the newcastle community i imagine opportunities for a guy like yourself are probably more limited than if you did work internationally or if you did work in a major city is there anything anything you’ve seen in general which is a major limiter except for the size of just the size of companies is that is that the biggest one yeah look there’s pros and cons yeah the cons obviously are the limited opportunities and that is difficult for me personally in terms of um what my my next career movies though i think i’ve been quite fortunate to to get into ux at the time that i did and to be a senior at the time that i was um i think there were a lot more opportunities for me then than there are for designers who are maybe emerged five years before me though the other difficulty being in a kind of leadership role is um in finding talent in the design community in newcastle there is talent out there but it’s kind of calcified to the the companies that um already retain the talent you know it was a few months ago maybe a year ago now that we were we were hiring for a designer and we ended up getting some great talent but it was really tough and i knew that they were out there i knew you know over the the road at life without barriers and nib and other places there’s this great talent there but i don’t think anybody wants to move because there’s that um that insecurity of you know if i if i take this chance and it doesn’t work out where am i gonna go because it might be six to five months before another ux role comes up so that makes it really challenging i i agree it’s sort of like the broader technology community of five years ago where hey if you used to be the fourth the big four employers in the tech space and if you’ve talked if you’ve left one to go somewhere else you’ve only got three left and if you leave that or you’ve only got two spots left and technology in general more more opportunities have arisen i don’t think there is that that same thought process anymore but in the design community still i think it is a couple of years lag behind the i guess the software development or the technology teams in general so yeah you’re right i think much like the way that you would build a software team ux is kind of coming in after engineering um but but it’s coming we’ve got you know service new south wales has just moved into the area the city of newcastle is is spinning up a team so um those opportunities are starting to grow now i i completely agree and we’ll continue to grow um at just you know the pace and and some of that is driven by you know availability of talent it’s hard to you know build a design practice if you don’t have the right talent to build that so yeah yeah it’s tough and then you know if you’re looking at building a diverse team you know you want service designers you want design researchers then it’s a really small pool that you’re pulling from in newcastle and uh you know it’s it’s hard to tempt people out of um sydney and melbourne obviously there’s there’s the lifestyle that you can sell but on the flip side of that they say they face the same kind of problems about um what if it doesn’t work out but to a larger extent because you know i make that life change to move from melbourne to newcastle and it doesn’t work out well now i’m i’m stranded here so i think that there’s there needs to be a bit more competition a bit more churn and and i think that will pull people in from from the other major cities oh great i know great and i think covert covert will have an effect for sure i think there’ll be more and more companies that realize working from home uh is very real and very possible which might provide a further challenge for our newcastle talent because it’ll be actually good for talent harder for employers because for talent for a guy like yourself there might be a couple of companies in sydney or international maybe in the us where you had the likes on twitter and facebook who are saying hey people can work remotely i mean more and more companies in sydney actually uh making remote work just part and parcel of what they do opportunities are then going to come up for people like yourself hey you don’t actually have to live in sydney and you can work for one of those bigger companies now as well so i think that’ll be a challenge for our you know our newcastle talent pool as well for companies trying to hire and retain that talent because guys like yourself will no doubt be tapped on the shoulder by some of these bigger companies sydney melbourne brisbane and potentially also internationally yeah that’s true but it flows both ways you know there will be people um looking at newcastle and seeing some of the the great businesses and startups that are spinning up here and and may potentially have that opportunity to to work remotely for a company in newcastle so hopefully we see that opportunity flow both ways i completely agree i i think there’s also cover’s probably also shown another thing where people are all excited about working from home and you know working from home to the future but once you do that for six to eight weeks in a row people are starting to create that human interaction and being able to go and see your team members and hang out with them and have that as well so i think on the flip side of that it will there’s there’s an element of hey being able to have a local team that you can go and catch up with that you can meet up with have your have your meetings face to face and have that you know that engagement is a real human need right so i think in foster present challenges for someone to present opportunities for others be interesting to see how that plays out in the longer term yeah in some ways covert has given us the easiest model of working from home which is where everybody’s forced to work from home i think once this is over and we go back into the office that challenge is going to get even harder if we decide that some people are going to work from home and some people are going to be in the office we’ve dabbled with that um at grader and it is easy for people to get forgotten when you’ve got you know eight people in the office one person at home you know they get um forgotten when you’re inviting people to meetings or just you know chats at at the kitchen table over over lunch so i think yeah we’ll we’ll find new challenges for remote working once we go back to the office with a taste for staying at home i agree i completely agree i think that’s that’s definitely a challenge that all companies will start to face all right that’s very interesting let’s uh we’re we’re sort of getting toward the end with some of the rack up some some minutes here but i’m going to about just you personally for a little bit about you know how you manage your day and your career from a productivity perspective is there any tools um or methods that you use to help your productivity on a day-to-day basis yeah look i i love a little app called tick tick it’s really just like a a day planner but it’s really just light and efficient and integrates with um trello and my calendar so i i’m religiously using that every day from a design perspective i’m always using a combination of sketch and envision overflow and action for building prototypes but also i find those tools really are useful for communicating ideas visually and being able to just push them up to a place where i can host them and share them with other people in the business so i often find myself using something like sketch over say powerpoint to kind of communicate in a presentation and also not a software tool but a tool that i use all the time that i i think everybody should have a look at is the double diamond so double diamond is a framework of design thinking um it’s a it’s a model for understanding problems and um identifying solutions to those problems um there’s lots of resources around the double diamond online plenty of good youtube videos so i recommend people check that out for design or just for everyone in general anyone who has a role where they’re given problems without a clearly defined solution they will find value in in the double diamond as a way to evaluate all of the um potential solutions to that problem and um narrowing it down to the best one very nice mate i’ve not heard of that before it’s something i’ll check out but uh good piece of advice when it comes to education is there any books that you’d rather you’d highly recommend or a podcast you listen to all the time that you highly recommend i’m forever listening to podcasts but unfortunately not many related to uh to work but the ones that i do listen to um i’d recommend 80 000 hours um it’s a a podcast that revolves around uh effective altruism um so will mccaskill um is kind of at the forefront of this idea that we only have a limited time in our work life which is the 80 000 hours and we should be really picky about the things that we do with that time to get the most social good out of it and so there’s some great kind of potted biographies in that podcast of of people who have taken that to the extreme of um looking for the most valuable use of of their time for a greater social good very nice very nice any books or blogs that you read all the time with work or otherwise related yeah i think uh it’s an oldie but a goodie but i’m thinking fast and slow by dan kahneman if you’re interested in the way that the the human mind works and the impact that behavioral economics has you know gone are the days where we see customers as kind of walking calculators that make all of their decisions based on um you know cost-benefit analysis we we know now that there are all these underlying behavioral triggers and emotions that impact the way that people perceive and use products and thinking fast and slow is a good introduction to that for anyone who’s interested very nice very nice if you had to wheel it all the way back and give yourself some some advice to an earlier version of yourself when you’re younger any uh any advice in particular you give yourself yeah i think that question is is more than academic for me at the moment because i do have a junior on my team who’s fresh out of uni and so i’m i’m really glad to have that opportunity to give someone the advice that i wish that i had and for me starting out i was really worried about the way that my work would be perceived you know am i good enough am i doing this right and my solution to that was always to kind of hold my work back and perfect it before i took it to a lecturer or to a client or you know to a developer and what i’ve learned of course is that that’s the opposite of what i should have been doing i should have been really transparent from the start if i was unsure and so we use a process at the moment which we call 30 60 90 which is showing your work in progress at 30 complete 60 complete 90 so 30 is really at the point that i can communicate this concept maybe it’s a sketch on a napkin or a scribble on a whiteboard then i just get the team together and i say hey this is the idea that i’m i’m thinking about running with and you know sometimes that idea has legs sometimes it doesn’t but at least you found out it a scribble on a whiteboard rather than a finished product yeah i wish i had that ten years earlier that’s fantastic man that’s actually a really cool piece of advice i think that’s um save people a lot of time and that’s yeah that’s really i completely agree and then also at the 90 sometimes 90 is you know uh dance better than perfect because you know you can take you know uh 20 percent any time to get you know eighty percent and then that eight percent of the time to get that last twenty percent over the line is that actually worth it whereas you know that ninety percent sometimes nine percent you know let’s let’s ship it um so i completely agree with that i i really like that 36 designing yeah well for us the 90 that that extra 10 is um assistance for developers so we assume that even when we think work is done we don’t just hand it over and it’s it’s done done we still got to have 10 of our time um in in guiding that work through delivery um but yeah certainly by by showing that work at 30 showing it at 60 you find opportunities to go you know what actually we solve that problem here we don’t need to go any further yeah that’s fantastic man i really like that it might be a good way to uh sort of trying to wrap it up but mate is there anything else you’d really like to share that you think about would be valuable for a newcastle tech community community no i think that’s about it all i’d say is um yeah greater bank we’re we’re a growing team um we don’t have a lot of roles out there at the moment but we have a trickle of of roles always coming through so you know please consider us especially on the design side we’re doing interesting things um so yeah please reach out nice man and the best way to reach out to you is that is it buying linkedin is it twitter is it what’s the best way for people to get in contact with you if they you know want some advice yeah either of those look i’m trying to get off twitter it’s a bad habit for me at the moment but um yeah hit me up on twitter at ambarwick or preferably linkedin yeah nice mate appreciate your time today really uh thank you thank you for taking that time especially uh at home and during this uh during this period of october 19 so uh thank you i really appreciate it no thank you for for having me and just thank you to you in general for um for pursuing this i think i’ve learned a lot about the newcastle community it’s a lot deeper and more diverse than i realized and i’ve learned that through your podcast so i really appreciate the work that you you’re doing i hope you keep it up appreciate it diversity is something that is my goal uh going forward to build a more diverse podcast as well so watch his space yeah right really good appreciate your time cheers thank you.

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