Share What You Know - Interview w/ Zach Hill
February 16, 2021
In this episode, Zach Hill and I chat about sharing what you know, how to be more effective when selling design outcomes, and the importance of always having a growth mindset and be willing to learn from others.
Zach is a passionate design-centered strategist that combines an obsession for user experience, product strategy, and process with a foundation in visual communication. Zach uses the experience from the variety of creative disciplines he has been involved in to inform his decisions as a consultant and strategist and inspire his visual solutions as a design communicator.
Zach is currently a UX Strategist at Scorpion, a marketing and technology company.
Connect with Zach:
Website - zachhill.io
Dribbble - https://dribbble.com/zrhill
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/zrhill/
Ed Orozco (00:01):
Welcome everyone. To another episode of growing design today we have with us Zach Hill sack. Can you introduce yourself for the audience?
Zach Hill (00:11):
Sure. yeah, my name is Zach Hill and I am a UX strategist with a company called scorpion. Been mostly based in Southern California, but we have a few offices all over and I've had previous agency experience and with other web design shops and been around a little bit in both UX design and strategy.
Ed Orozco (00:33):
And that's seen mainly in the Los Angeles area, right? Yeah.
Zach Hill (00:37):
Yeah. We're in currently working out. We're primarily kind of in the greater Los Angeles area, but we've have locations and now people because of the pandemic, we have people kind of spread out all over kind of adjusting to the new work from home environment. But yeah, we're primarily, most of us are in Southern California.
Ed Orozco (00:58):
Yeah. Going remote. Zag, you have you have the S the Nielsen and Norman's group certification for UX design. Can you tell us a little bit about why did you decide to take the certification? What was it about and what can you tell for, what can you tell designers that are considering taking the certification?
Zach Hill (01:24):
Yeah, so in energy is a Nielsen Norman group, and it just, in my opinion, they're one of the strongest, you know, UX kind of law makers out there. I just, you know, obviously Don Norman deacon Nielsen are kind of gurus in UX salon before we even knew a UX even meant. And then, you know, the people that work there as you especially lists, and there's no what they're doing. And so they create a lot of research, a lot of articles that support their research, but they also do the certification courses. And that was really interested in that because of the pedigree and because of the people who lay have employed. And I just wanted to learn from the best. So I went through their program and it was a UX management. So it really, wasn't really focusing so much on the design, but more on the strategy and the research side of things.
Zach Hill (02:21):
And because it's kind of where my career has shifted over the last couple of years. So some of the highlights where, you know, a lot of stuff on workshops, how to create a certain kind of deliverables that are gonna make sense for your stakeholders or your clients PR high-level processes, how can you connect UX design and UX strategy to solid business decisions, which I think is becoming more and more important in our field. And it it's a little expensive, but to me it's not as expensive as some bootcamps or other things of that nature, but that was probably the only downside, but I highly recommend it overall.
Ed Orozco (03:00):
And this Nielsen or Normani is one of the most, in my opinion, reliable sources for UX knowledge. They are, they invest a lot in research. And like you said, they'd been doing this since, before UX was mainstream and like was a thing. So it's a, it's a very trustworthy source of information. Not only if you want to get a certification, but also to support you know, your research if you, if you need secondary sources research it's very recommended also, you know, don't Norman wrote the, the design of everyday things, which is like one of the most popular design books in the history of the sign books and, and and Neil's, and he's just this UX scorer. He's just a very he has a lot of authority in the, in UX and usability, so that's very cool. I so now you have Zach's recommendation. If you want to go and check it out, it's definitely worth it. Yep. And you're going to land, you're going to learn from the best. So you, you also mentioned something that really caught my attention is that the certification is very focused on business outcomes. And what's going to like, what's the business side of what we're doing instead of like how we make things pretty is how we solve, how do we solve a business problem? Can you like talk about that a little?
Zach Hill (04:30):
Yeah. You know, as, as I've kind of evolved in my career that the business side of things that become more and more important and to, towards my deliverables and outcomes and just everything that I do in a day to day basis, and it really should be more of a thing for designers in general, to your point, you know, making pretty things is to me, maybe just a quarter of, I think when a good designer should be focusing on. So, I mean, there's some basic stuff that I think UX designers, she just couldn't understand is I think you brought it up that, you know, just making sure you're solving a problem. I know you see a lot of that in social media, and it's a cliche because it's true in my opinion, right. If you're just trying to make things a little cool, that's only going to get you so far. And one thing I would add to this too, is that I think another aspect of this that's becoming more and more important is just that understanding of analytics and data and how that coincides with the business schools and the needs of the user. And I think data is a great bridge between the two and that's something I try to focus on day in Dallas and stuff that I do.
Ed Orozco (05:39):
Yeah. do you feel like, cause for me, it seems to developers have understood this concept of what's the business outcome for way before then designers. I always feel like the developers are one step ahead of the signers in, in a lot of and then we were sort of, we sort of catch up, but things like, how do you help the, the business save money or make more money or, you know, simplify this process through code, automate this process through code. So I think the same mindset should be the power of the, like sort of like the preparation and information of a, of a designer, whether that's UX or visual design, it doesn't really matter. Ultimately they're all like different angles of the same thing. That's just something that I've, that I've seen working with a lot of designers and developers in the industry. And, and on that line of thinking about the benefit for decline I know you have experienced facilitating workshops for, for many of your clients. Can you tell us about that?
Zach Hill (06:52):
Yeah. I've been facilitating workshops for probably four years now. All kinds of workshops I've been, I would say the foundation or workshop that I focus on is a design sprint. And besides the design sprint that I'm sure we could talk about more about that later workshops is a great way to create clarity and alignment between you as a designer, the business and the goals of the users. So everyone gets an opportunity to get on the same page. So a lot of the workshops I run day in and day out is usually around that kind of premise. Let's all get on the same page to solve the problems that we need to solve, to make the users happy in the way we want to make them happy. So yeah, there's all different kinds of workshops, obviously. But yeah, I've been doing it for a long time now and I just think it's, I would, if I, I joked at work, if I could replace every meeting with a workshop, I feel I've done my job. It's like my mission in life at this point. And that's how much I believe in workshops,
Ed Orozco (07:53):
You should tweet that.
Zach Hill (07:55):
I think I might have before it, I think it should again. So yeah, if someone asks me, what is, what is my mission to replace every meeting with a workshop because they just work. I've never had a workshop now work so far.
Ed Orozco (08:09):
Yeah. a couple of episodes ago we had Steph CouchOne on the, on the show and he was mentioning one of the things that came up during the conversation is that one of the reasons design sprints are so effective is that they organize the way in which people communicate, because traditionally what they call the brain store, man is just people shouting ideas at each other. And then the, you know, if you have a higher rank, you're gonna, everyone's going to be like, Oh yeah, your ideas are better. And, and in fact, it's not always like that. It's it's I think it was Jony ive that said won often is dope. Is the quietest voice the one with the brightest idea, a hundred percent.
Zach Hill (08:56):
Yeah. On that note, I've always, you know, when I'm talking about selling and workshops to stakeholders or wherever I'm talking to people, I always bring up some of the best ideas I've ever seen. No joke have been from the junior developer or the intern marketer or yeah, the junior UX designer. They have the solution that is the best one in the design sprint. It's not the HIPAA, it's not the highest paid opinion. Right. they're important. They need to make the decisions at the end of the day. But to your point brainstorming, in my opinion is one of the worst inventions in the history of business meetings. Because it's just a group think and whatever the leader says, well, we'll just do that. And there's just so many ideas left on the table when you just go and brainstorm.
Ed Orozco (09:45):
Yeah. Another cool thing about the sprints. And I think worships in general is that they bring people from different areas in the company. So you know, an idea coming, like you said, from marketing might seem like completely weird and bizarre for designers and developers, but my make a lot of sense from the business perspective.
Zach Hill (10:08):
Yeah, I know exactly right. I think he goes back to something that I always preach and it's kind of a popular term, which UX is a team sport. And, you know, there's a lot of people that need to be involved in UX, in my opinion, and workshops and design sprints, to your point, it is a great way to get all of those people in the room, the marketers, the salespeople, the engineers, the legal department, don't forget that, you know, things of that nature. So, you know, as a designer, you need to be okay to kind of let go of your process, your secret design process and let it, and let other people be involved in your product. And your end result is just, is just going to improve because of it. It's going to be served.
Ed Orozco (10:49):
Yeah. You mentioned the Le the legal team. Some folks, my thing that's funny is it's actually not, when you are working in business development and selling design projects to clients, it's very important that you know, what the legal procedures for your company or your agency are to make, to, you know, save a lot of headaches down to down the road. Things like why do we need to include in the contract? How do we manage extra work or, you know, how do we prevent scope creep from a legal perspective? What can we include? What can we not include? What happens if there's a term, if we have to stop the project for whatever reason. So it's no joke.
Zach Hill (11:34):
It's not, I've seen, you know, fortunately it hasn't happened to me too much, but I've seen it happen nonetheless, where a product gets stopped like two weeks before launch or an update because the legal department is like, Nope, no, we can't do that. No product can do this. Can do that. It can't say that it can't say this. So he had to go back to the square one. Now wouldn't it have been, she's just bringing them in the room in the first place. That's what I did.
Ed Orozco (11:58):
Yeah. That's yeah. I never thought about it, but yeah, the legal department can like make or break your all your, your, your work for months. So talking again about, about the benefit for clients hitting my microphone here, the benefit for clients and the outcome for, for businesses you have had the opportunity to do business development and take sales calls in the past for, for some of the agencies you've you've worked with can you tell us about how that experience has been?
Zach Hill (12:34):
Yeah, fortunately, especially in the last agency I worked before scorpion toy. I was involved in a lot of sales conversations. And just from my experience working in sales, I think it goes back to, I think, trying to kind of formulate my thoughts here. I think it starts with diagnosing the problem in sales calls. That's what I was, that was the role I played when I was taking those sales calls. And as a result, I was asking questions to kind of create clarification for the problem they wanna to solve. And just going to see where they're at as a business to going back to that kind of business element and analysis. Now you talking about ed. So I think a good sales person in this business is focusing on diagnosing first, or I've noticed that a lot of problems focus on. I see a lot of problems with salespeople in our industry, focus to focusing too much on a prescription. They're like, they want to, well, I'm gonna make this awesome app, or I'm going to make this awesome logo where they might not need any of that. You know, then you, because you weren't really focusing on the problem, you're just focusing on what you want to make them. So that's what I would recommend in the sales focus on diagnosing first and seeing how you could really help.
Ed Orozco (13:48):
Yeah. That's that's something that I've noticed when we've hired people's trade-off these boot camps. Let's not mention any names, but they're, they're really great. Prescribing they're really great on, you know, pushing the, a predetermined solution down the client's throat. It's like, Oh yeah, we're going to do the wire frames on that. We're going to do the visual design, and then we're going to do the design system. And here you go, without actually being mindful of what's the direction that we need to take. I don't, I don't see that in the in the curriculum, I don't see that in, in their, in their sort of like education, which is a little, it's something that worries me also, because they are like, don't get me wrong. They're great programs. And they managed to cram all of this knowledge that usually takes years to develop into, I think, six months he's now. Yeah. so he's great. But I do think if you're in an agency, if you're an agency owner or or you are recruiting for your, for your design team, be mindful that that's a training that you're going to have to provide for yourself because it's not something present in their, in their program.
Zach Hill (15:07):
Yeah. And I'll tell you with yet, I don't want to do too much bootcamp bashing either because I agree that they're, they're doing more good than harm in my opinion, at the end of the day, because I think UX education still, there's still a lot left to be desired. But I think the overarching problem with boot camps is I think it kind of goes off of what you're saying and that they're, they have this kind of the teacher's very well-defined perfect process. That really makes sense and looks really good, but that's just not real life. And I think you see a lot of junior designers, especially kind of making this mistake of thinking. They have to follow an exact process every single time where I think it's good to have that in your toolkit, but you have to be ready to be dynamic and fit your process around the problem that you're experiencing. Kind of going back to what you're saying, add like, I love processes, I'm a process nerd, but I also understand that sometimes I have to blow that process up and like, okay, we're going to have to have to do this instead, X, Y, and Z, because it's gonna help a, B and C event today,
Ed Orozco (16:16):
Which is something that workshops actually help you with because the workshops are gonna like bring up D elements that's gonna, that are gonna help you decide what's the direction that you need to take. And a lot of times what happens is you realize, Oh, we don't even need to do any wire framing. It's like, we already have this sort of like predetermined flows in the backend. So let's just go and prototype something let's do. And then you just save a few months of work or a few weeks.
Zach Hill (16:44):
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I mean, I think it goes back to how awesome the design sprint is. You know, it's all, it was easy for me to sell design sprints because like, Hey, do you want to prototype and design and test in five days? Who says no to that? Right. That was a really, it was really fun to sell them because you're right. Yeah. There's you, don't, there's certain parts of the process that you don't always have to follow. Sometimes you might need a bunch of wire frames and that's great too. But yeah, you get to F you get to find the, from my experience, this is what I tried to add to my process tool kit, because you have to match the right process and right. Technique or output with the, again, the problem you're trying to solve at the end of the day.
Ed Orozco (17:27):
Yeah. So we talked about asking a lot of questions, trying to diagnose what the problem is and try to connect the whatever the business outcome needs to be with, what the signs can do designers can do or what the sign can do to get there. So do you have any tips when you're like taking sales calls is like, do you have, like, what was like a particular experience that probably was like very enlightening for you when you were first coming into the signer and starting to do a sales calls and talking to clients for the first time?
Zach Hill (18:07):
Oh man, what was enlightening to me? Sales is a job in itself. That was one. It was enlightening to me that there's so much work that goes into sales proposal building. I mean, you know, they said obviously like proposal building, going through rounds of RFPs, responding to RFPs, getting into top three, is it a cattle call? Is it not? You know, like that was the stuff I was like, Oh my gosh, this is, you know, now I know why this is like, this is a thing, this is a job. So that was the most enlightening. I can't think of like a specific experience when it comes to sales, it was just knowing there's a learning that this was a separate job and counting. I was lucky enough to have a boss or really knew sales really well, as well as design. So he taught me a lot of the ropes or I wouldn't know, I have an idea what I was doing at the end of the day. So I don't know. I don't know if that answers your question, but sales is, sales is tough. It's tough. It's tough.
Ed Orozco (19:10):
It's great that you had someone that could offer that sort of mentorship for you because I don't think designers have any idea what of what sales is. Their designers are really great at their craft because most designers really love design, but again, that's sales and marketing is not something that designers are, or most designers are well-versed on. So w it was great that you had the opportunity to have someone you know, helping you make that sort of transition in your opinion. Do you think too, if you're part of an agency or you're yeah, let's say you're part of an agency. Do you feel like it is necessary for the person taking sales calls to have a design formation, or do you feel like anyone coming from any other sales background can learn the concepts and the vocabulary and star selling design?
Zach Hill (20:10):
That's a really good question. And I don't want to cop out and say either way can work, but I, in my heart, I think either way can work. I think it's easier to have a sales person with a design background or an understanding of design to sell design for sure. But it goes back to what I was saying. Sales is such a challenging job in itself where I think if you have a really talented salesperson that doesn't know anything about design, but they're just really great at sales, I think they can make it work. So I know that's a non-answer, but I really do think both can work the end of the day. Yeah.
Ed Orozco (20:49):
Yeah. I, I think it also depends, like you said, some salespeople are really, really smart and they can learn very quickly. I was just thinking, yeah, some salespeople can sell very technical things. Like, I don't know, specific parts from a very complex machine, or they can sell AI or things like that. I do think it's important for them to spend some time understanding the concepts. I agree with that so that, you know, you need to, to be able to explain to a certain level of detail and what I've seen happen. Sometimes these data during the sales process, the first stages are Prolia. So you know sales people, who's not a designer or doesn't have a design training. And then later on like call number two or three or four, you bring in a design leader from the company to explain the most the, the, the nitty gritty.
Zach Hill (21:49):
Yeah. I definitely think that's a good process. And I think it goes back to what we're talking about earlier. If you could be a designer that speak knows how to speak to the sales language, you maybe could be that design leader. That'll give you the fast track to be, you know, accelerate your career because that's what worked for me anyway. You know, the people I was working with was like, Hey, you know, Zach does that target a sales berm too? It's not just, he's not pushing pixels and run a workshops. He's he, he wants to sell as well. Right. So that helped me out a lot. So going back to when we were saying earlier, if designers learn sales, learn business or marketing, it's not just for themselves to get me be valuable to others and he can paint more and want that.
Ed Orozco (22:34):
Yeah. It opens a lot more doors is like, you know, it's, there's this joke or this like ongoing theme on the internet is like, should designers learn to code or should designers code? But no one is asking should designers know how to sale.
Zach Hill (22:50):
And how do you, you, you, you're going to get me on my soap box because I hate the whole designers. You're exactly right. You know, like, Oh, you should design your own to code. And yeah, it should know, Oh my gosh. Like, I don't think designers need to learn how to code. I'll start there. Okay. Do they need to learn business? Do you need to learn strategy? Do they need to learn how to interact with CEOs and CEOs to then, you know, know how to write? Do they need to know how to communicate? Yes, sure. If they want to learn how to code and especially to learn again, to communicate with engineers, that's why they should learn to code, not to actually do the coding, but when he had to speak and communicate the language. So I I'm rambling now because you just opened up this trigger for me. But yeah. It's like learned. There's so many other things that designers should learn first before learning how to code and that's where I'll leave it.
Ed Orozco (23:49):
Yeah. Well, you mentioned communication is for me a priority. Like if you're super creative and you have the best ideas, no, one's going to know, unless you can explain them to the rest of the team.
Zach Hill (24:01):
I, I hate to break it to designers out there, but you're going to have to sell your idea. I know you have this idea in your head, that all your designs to be so great. It's going to explain yourself, well, that's not the real world. That's never going to happen. People are paying you a lot of money and I hope they are. And because of that, they want to understand what you're creating. So you're going to have to sell it end of the day. You have to do it. Yeah.
Ed Orozco (24:25):
No matter what. Yeah. And like you said, all right, you can communicate with developers without being a developer. You can learn. So like the concept of code is not that complicated. You just need to understand logic and logic is really, you know, a process. So an algorithm is just a machine and following a process and taking sort of like taking decisions, air quotes based on, on certain instructions it's given, you can do this exact same thing with people. When you're managing people. When you become a design manager, you create processes and you establish processes for junior designers for them to follow and they'll make decisions based on hopefully their best judgment, but also the training and the processes that you've put in place.
Zach Hill (25:18):
Oh yeah, no, I couldn't agree more. And you know, that's kind of where my career is going is in the sense where I'm just like, I'm focusing, like I was saying earlier, just focusing on building processes, building culture, to your point, if you have that ecosystem in place that everyone from the junior designer to the engineer, to the marketer, whoever was the people that were telling me earlier, just buying into that, those processes and buying into that culture. And it just, the magic that comes out of that stuff is really awesome. But for me to see just, just the other way more talented people than me do what they get to do best. And that's really awesome.
Ed Orozco (25:55):
Yeah. At some point, I don't know who, who I was talking to someone recently, who said at some point you realize in your career, as you, as you mature and take a more sort of like management roles, you realize this young kids are doing fantastic things. They're so good. Probably way better than, than I think these happened to me is like, I started as a UX designer and I thought, Oh, I'm really good at UX. And then as the, as years when, when by I started seeing, Oh my God, these kids are like, awesome. I look way better than me. And then your job as a design manager is to serve like direct DOD role talent in the right direction and mentored them and like put those amazing skills into practice.
Zach Hill (26:49):
Yeah. I think a good manager, whether it's a designer or otherwise, it's just, it's just to elevate other people. If you're elevating other people, you're doing a good job of being a manager. Yeah. That's the advice I'd give to people
Ed Orozco (27:04):
That was the management. Yeah. I think this could be a, a great segue for sharing what, you know, because as a manager, a lot of a lot of your role is to mentor younger designers or younger, you know, developers or whoever's in your team in terms of processes, in terms of what's the best sort of way of navigating client requirements. And what's the best way to tackle projects. W w w would you agree?
Zach Hill (27:35):
Oh yeah. I think mentorship, I built, I believe in this cycle of learning and teaching, and I know you recommended Chris Doe's book on your website, and I got to learn this from Chris. A few years ago, just a cycle you're learning, you're constantly learning and you should being a professor in your profession, whatever it is, and take that in and teach it, teach it to the people you're working with whoever. But if you're creating that cycle, I think a lot of wonderful things will happen again. You don't want to match what happened, but yeah, I won't swear shortage.
Ed Orozco (28:05):
Yeah. Yeah. I think it was Chris that tweeted this a while back. It is not from him, from him, from someone else. And I'm so sad that I don't remember who that person was, but he posted surf. Like, I think it was like a pyramid or something of like learning or like a flow of learning. So there's different steps, different stages of deepening your into like the knowledge and the concept. And the first step is sort of like reading about it or like speed or being exposed to topic, then you start doing it. Then you start anyway, the last step is always teaching. Like when you teach it, you have to, you have to simplify the concept in terms, or, or in a way that other people who are not as, as experience will understand it. So you need to understand that very well. So you can explain it. I think it was also Richard Fineman, who, who used to say something like, if you can explain it, then you really understand it. Exactly.
Zach Hill (29:05):
No. Yeah. I was about to say, it's like, it's so it's a funny that a lot of juniors are here. You know, people that are just starting at career, whatever it is, designer, whatever. So afraid to like, teach, to share what they know. But in fact, you're going to be better. What they do understand what they're their craft way more if they just share and who cares if someone calls you out or whatever, that's, I don't know what you're afraid of. Maybe that's it. But then if you make a mistake or someone says, Oh, that's not true, then you've learned something again. Right. You know? So I've, I've been called out with whatever tweet or Instagram and cool. I didn't know that. Thank you. Now I do. So just share stuff and people get to share stuff back with you. We live in this awesome time where you and I, ed, we're talking right now, we're like 1 billion hours apart. And we're able to, you know, do this because it's just magic. Right. So just put yourself out there and meet people we're talking right now and find other people and share your knowledge. And I'm on my soapbox again. But yeah,
Ed Orozco (30:07):
Just get out there. Yeah. He's, he's like people take it for granted, but the fact that now you can communicate with people who know so much more about certain things than you, or are experts in different areas and you can talk to them and learn from them. It's just so amazing. And then that wouldn't be able, that wouldn't be possible if people weren't willing to share what they know.
Zach Hill (30:30):
Yeah, exactly. Obviously that's, it goes back to that cycle. We all, we need the people to share what they know, and then we get more people to learn that and hopefully they share what they know. So let's continue that loop. You know, I, I wonder if a few things, but I feel, I still tell so much more to learn. I'm making a mistake pretty much every day. Doesn't, you know, so make those mistakes, Sharon, share your failures, learn from them, and then people are going to learn from you and hopefully they'll spread it on and that's how we're going to all get better.
Ed Orozco (31:01):
Yeah. And, and like you were saying, don't be afraid of changing your mind about something. If anything, be grateful that someone help you better understand a concept that you were wrong about. You cannot, you're no, one's a hundred percent right. About anything. So we're just learning as we go. And the more we share with others, the more we exchange those ideas. The more we all grow,
Zach Hill (31:29):
Just be a humble, nice person as a looking to help others. And it's amazing how far that will get you, not just in design, but in life. Those are the kind of people I try to work with. Nice, humble people that want to teach me something and let me teach them something.
Ed Orozco (31:46):
Yeah. That's another quotable segment right there.
Zach Hill (31:50):
Perfect. And did the three list. Yeah.
Ed Orozco (31:54):
That's what storm talking about sharing what, you know, you have you started a YouTube channel in which you talk about strategy and your career as a designer among other stuff. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Zach Hill (32:11):
The YouTube channel? Yep. That, Oh yeah, I started it a couple of years ago or maybe even less. I've lost concept of time since the pandemic. I fully admit that I haven't spent much time on it recently and it has been really just logged into my work. Especially this year, you know, there was a lot of changes in the company are becoming that work for, you know, working from home. So we know I just really had to be heads down and focusing on helping my team be successful, you know, and helping our company be successful, but the YouTube channel itself. Yeah. I would just focus, you know, just focusing on ways to, again, just teach people what I've been. All of them teach people to learn from all the mistakes that I was making. As a strategist, as a workshop or as a designer, that's pretty much the idea for the channel. I have made a video in a long time. Thank you, ed, for bringing that up. I should probably do that again pretty soon, but yeah, that's what his YouTube channel was about.
Ed Orozco (33:11):
Yeah. You can read your tweet storm on life, on YouTube. Right.
Zach Hill (33:15):
That's a brilliant idea. And that's going to be the first thing I'm going to do is read my tweets.
Ed Orozco (33:21):
You also have you also have some writing, some medium, right? Yeah.
Zach Hill (33:26):
Those are, that's a little bit more recent. I have found myself being able, just to write more because there's less setup right. In effort to write a then to make a video. So yeah, I've, I've had an opportunity to reign a few articles and yeah. It's always been fun to, again, just share, share my thoughts in written form medium.
Ed Orozco (33:49):
Yeah. Yeah. I feel like sometimes, you know, going back to this theme of sharing, what, you know, another thing that people are afraid of is, or they think it's as an objection against sharing is that, Oh, w why do I have to teach to other people? And the answer is everything, you know? Yeah. Because there was a point in your life where you didn't know what you know today, and I can assure you, there's a lot of people out there who still don't know it. So if you share it, you make it easier for them to advance in their careers. And then everyone we just make for, for we build community and that just benefits everyone better trained designers.
Zach Hill (34:34):
No, you're making an awesome point. And it kind of reminds me of that imposter syndrome that a lot of, I think people have in general, they were like, Oh, I'm not good enough to teach. I'm not good enough to share what I know. And I think you make a great point that there's at least one person out there that will benefit from your medium article or YouTube posts or your tweet or your Instagram carousel. Right. If you just reach one person, then you've made the world a little bit better today. You know, so I understand the imposter syndrome. I've, I've had to get over that. I'm not entirely over it. I don't think I ever will be. But just looking at as a way to, like you said, you're just being a part of a community, an active community. Again, it's just going through that cycle and I keep talking about and don't, don't worry about again, sounding like a fool or anything.
Ed Orozco (35:27):
Yeah. What's obvious to you and to your inner circles, it might be totally mind blowing to, to someone outside your circle. Yeah, no, I
Zach Hill (35:38):
Agree. Sometimes, you know, when you're in it, in your heads down, you're doing the work and you're running the workshops for me, or, you know, helping with the research, whatever. If I talked about it, a design sprint to another designer, they might have no idea what I'm talking about or a workshop, or what's the quality what's qualitative research, you know, I didn't know, to your point, I had no idea what any of these things were like this time three years ago, four years ago, whatever. Right. So I had to go and figure it out to go and learn it. So yeah. To your point, not everyone knows what you know.
Ed Orozco (36:10):
Yeah. And then if everyone that advances their Curry or shares, you just make it easier for junior people to like learn faster because he, for you, I don't know, like for me, there's a few concepts that took me a lot of time to understand through, you know, working with clients, working with people, just, you know, doing the, doing the work. And these are things that if someone had explained to me like, like the insight came afterwards, but if someone had explained to me that at the beginning of the of this time I've would have made not even have the mistakes I did.
Zach Hill (36:47):
Yeah. No, I think that's a good point. It makes me think of another problem. I see. When it comes to Canada, this idea of sharing is that there's a lot of experienced designers or creative professionals or whoever that are, have this mentality. Well, if I share it, then my big secrets exposed and I, you know, like everyone's going to see the wizard of Oz behind the curtain rain. It was like, who cares about that stuff anymore? Anyways one and like, no, you're not so special. Like a breaking news, like the techniques and the processes and everything that you do is not special for you. We're all doing it. We're all running the same processes of doing the same thing. So just share your personal experiences. That's all you, I mean, so that just brings up a pet peeve of mine. I see a lot of designers that are protecting their processes. Like, you know, that something we don't know and know, no one's allowed to know it.
Ed Orozco (37:41):
Oh my God. That's so funny. This that's a recurring theme in the podcast as well. People who have this fear of sharing because of competition and that someone's going to take their jobs. It's like, like, let's just like, make something clear. You don't really have any special process. You don't really have any like magical solution for everything I can assure you. And even if you did, then you should write a book about it and you're going to get a lot of, you're going to get to reap the benefits of that new breakthrough that you came up.
Zach Hill (38:16):
Yeah. No, I, that's a, that's a really good point. If you have something that's that special. Exactly. Right. Go write about it or yeah. Go make a lot of money with this special thing. And then I'll learn from you and share it and it will just keep the cycle going in different way. And another thing I wanted to speak to on this kind of like hoarding I'm like call it it's there's plenty of when it comes to competition. In my opinion, you know, pandemic might've changed a lot of things, but there's still a lot of fishing to see when it comes to design work and creative work and be for you UX designers out there, have you seen the websites and apps out there? There's plenty of crap for us to fix. So there's plenty of work out there. There really is. So don't my advice to anyone listening. Don't worry about the competition and not having enough work. If you're good and you sell yourself, well, you're going to get work. There's a lot of great work out there
Ed Orozco (39:10):
And people, people need what we do. Yeah. As long as there's scrappy software out there, there's, there's going to be a job for you.
Zach Hill (39:19):
I was just looking on a website, you know, today, right before I started talking to you, I was like, what is this? I don't want to mention a name, but a big organization looking to make a lot of money off their website. And it's awful. So, and they're probably
Ed Orozco (39:34):
Making a lot of money out of their website. I
Zach Hill (39:36):
Know exactly. That's the thing. They would probably like, Hey, don't worry. Everything's fine. But someone like us, ed came in and said, Hey, you know, I'm sure you're making a hundred million right now, but you could probably be making 500 million if you fix these UX issues. And no one has probably told them that. So th th the works out there,
Ed Orozco (39:53):
And then you just charge them five to 10% of that exit, and they're going to be so grateful. And for you, you're going to go and buy the latest Tesla model, if you will
Zach Hill (40:05):
Still learn that. That's how I going to do find a crappy website, 10 X, it make your little piece of the pine drive a Tesla. That's, that's what we need.
Ed Orozco (40:15):
That's so cool. Yeah. also okay. We, we've been talking about the sharing. What do you know? And I also want to talk about the growth mindset because I think part of sharing what you know, or sharing what you know is part of the growing mindset. But I think it's, I, it's bigger than that. It's about you always learning more and you always trying to grow not only to accelerate your career, which of course is a great motivation, but also for you to better understand your craft.
Zach Hill (40:48):
Oh yeah, no, it goes back to too. This is a great topic because it goes back to what I was saying earlier, where like, there's a lot of designers that are in love with their processes and their ways where the growth of the growth mindset to me means that you're constantly working on your process and how you do things. And are you adding new techniques, new exercises do methods, mindsets. You know, I drive someone, I think I jumped my colleagues crazy sometime because, cause I'm always like, Hey, let's try this new workshop or this new process or this new thing. Cause I'm like, this is good, but it could be better. I use it in analogy with my colleagues. Like we won that game by 10 points. I want to win by 20 next time I used to be a basketball coach and basketball player. So I always reference that. And I'm like, Nope, that was a nice win. I want to win by more time. I want the process to be even better. I want us to be even better. So that, to me, that's a growth mindset. That's what it makes me think of.
Ed Orozco (41:41):
Yeah. Sometimes good enough is not good enough. Right? Exactly. Sometimes it is, but sometimes you can just make things better. Yeah. Yeah.
Zach Hill (41:49):
To me, that's a really good point. And I think there's times where good enough is good enough. And to me, for example an MVP or a, an, a good prototype, it's okay to leave your perfection at the door and ship it. That's a, probably a whole separate, separate topic, obviously. But to me, I think the processes can constantly be perfected. That's what I pursued is like, can we make our UX process better? My UX process better? And the answer's always, yes, it can always be a tweak. Tick, always be refined. And like we were talking about earlier, it could all, we could always find different ways to serve the stakeholders or clients and the problems we're working on because there's always going to be new problems. There's always going to be new stakeholders wanting new things. So we need to build processes for that
Ed Orozco (42:39):
Yet talking about improving processes and like the, this analogy we made between processes and logic before, there's definitely always room for improvement in the, in the field of, you know, processes and making processes. Otherwise Google wouldn't be updating their search algorithm a hundred times plus a year. If they keep doing that after being one of the most you know, one of, one of the tech giants in the world, one of the most successful companies in the world is because they always find new things to add to their algorithm, which ultimately is just logic apply to machines or man, or machine is applying logic. So if they always find something to improve, you can for sure keep improving your, your
Zach Hill (43:23):
That's a great example. Google's a perfect example of a company that could have said, Oh, well, we're done here. We got this all figured out and just everyone's in search and that's that, but then, yeah, you're right. They're constantly like, how can we make this better? And they fail plenty of times. Have you seen Gmail recently? Of course. I mean, it's not great. It could be better. And they know it and they're going to make it better to your point because they're finding new ways to innovate and grow and all of your favorite tech companies out there, that's what they're doing. You know, the Apple is a Facebook. The Netflix is, and that's what they're doing, Amazon.
Ed Orozco (43:57):
Yeah. It's all, it's all the growth mindset. Like they definitely have the growth mindset, maybe too much.
Zach Hill (44:04):
You could definitely argue that. I feel at some point Amazon's going to own the world. I think it's definitely on its way. But yet to your point, I mean, the reason why they're on that track is because they're never satisfied with their business model, with their business processes and their business results. I think that could be dangerous. And to your point, it was probably a whole other podcast we could have on the ethics of, and the growth mindset. But you know, especially if you're a young designer or startup, I think that's a good place to start innovation and growth.
Ed Orozco (44:42):
Oh yeah. The the ethics of growing, like at some point growth for the sh just for the sake of growth, I don't think it's a hundred percent exactly good for everyone. I mean, viruses leave just to grow and they're, and they're not good. And like, you know, just look at 2020,
Zach Hill (45:05):
That's a, it's a really good point. I think I read somewhere. I can't remember where I read this and it was a little while ago, but I read somewhere that I think Japan actively intentionally always tries to be like the number two or number three economy, you know, in other words, they're never trying, they never like, their mindset is like, we want to sustain and make sure we have a viable economy, but it's not always grow, grow, grow to the point where it's like eating itself, you know? So I thought it was really interesting when I was reading about, Oh, okay, well there's a whole country. That's not obsessed with growth. Basically. I thought that was interesting. I'm rambling. I can't even reference the article.
Ed Orozco (45:49):
Oh, that was, yeah. Okay. So I think this has been a pretty awesome conversation SAC. We talked a lot about sharing, which I, it's a, it's a topic that's very near and dear to my heart. I want to thank you again so much for coming on the podcast and sharing your experience and what you've learned in your career. Where can we people go to connect with you, ask you questions, be friends.
Zach Hill (46:19):
Yeah, I think the, the easiest way to start to find me on social media is actually there's all my websites, Zach Hill dot IO, Z a C H not K. Yeah. And they're at my dribble on my Twitter, my Instagram and my LinkedIn, I think now my LinkedIn, I don't know. I have my social media there. So I would start there. I killed that. I and you can find all my socials from there. It's basically not even a website. It's just my socials.
Ed Orozco (46:50):
Yeah. I'll, I'll make sure to include those links in the, in the show description. So people can go and just click. It's a lot easier, but I'm here. Sorry. Yeah. And and yeah, thanks again. And enjoy your evening for me. I don't know if you realize, but now he's like,
Zach Hill (47:13):
I signed to see it. I'm saying to see like some sun, there was some light out there. No, yeah. Enjoy your morning.
Ed Orozco (47:21):
Thank you. Thank you. Well, it was a, it was a pleasure Zach. Take care and I'll talk to you soon.
Zach Hill (47:27):
I appreciate that. And then hopefully I will, we'll keep chatting again in the future. Absolutely. Take care. Bye bye.