Method Podcast from Google Design

Google Design

Hosted by Interaction Designer Aidan Simpson, the Method podcast profiles designers at Google, giving listeners an inside look at their journeys and design choices.


Sydney Hessel from Design Sprint Team
2017-12-12 01:37:35 UTC 20:35
Sydney Hessel from Design Sprint Team

UX Researcher and Sprint Master Sydney Hessel talks about her unconventional research background, the ins and outs of the sprint methodology, and getting people out of their comfort zones to generate creative ideas.


Rachel Been from Material
2017-12-12 01:37:35 UTC 18:37
Rachel Been from Material

Material Design Creative Director Rachel Been on creating a design system at scale, emoji, and the creative power of curiosity.

A few highlights:

On the challenge of making a design system at scale, 1:23

“To create a system that potentially works for thousands of products to use. To define and spec a button that thousands of different product teams could functionally use. It’s a challenge to make that work.”

On becoming a designer, 7:18

“I have a really atypical background. I studied art history in college. I was a photojournalist. I was going to be a photographer. Thought I wanted to be a war photographer.”

On the surprising power of anxiety and curiosity, 14:11

“The anxiety of persistent imposter syndrome—as uncomfortable as that is on a daily basis—has led me to expand my capabilities and feel empowered in many ways. Not coming from a super traditional design background, curiosity was the only way that I could survive in this world and teach myself the skill set needed to do my job.”

Handy info and links for this episode:

  • Material Design: A design system, created by Google, for crafting digital experiences
  • PgM: Program Manager, the person tracking the day-to-day progress of a project
  • Unicode Consortium: A non-profit organization that coordinates the development of the Unicode standard, including emoji
  • Roboto: The standard typeface on Android
  • Eng: shorthand for “engineering”
  • Holo: The design system released with Android 3 and 4, which directly preceded the creation of Material Design
  • IC: Individual Contributor, a non-management member of a team

Rachel Been is a San Francisco-based Creative Director currently working on Material Design. Initially hired to be Google Play’s first Art Director, Rachel now works across multiple product teams to implement and evolve the Material Design system.


Roman Nurik from Firebase
2017-12-12 01:37:36 UTC 34:41
Roman Nurik from Firebase

In this episode, Design Advocate and host of the new Design Notes podcast Liam Spradlin speaks with Senior Interaction Designer Roman Nurik about Google’s Firebase mobile development platform, the unique challenges of designing for developers, and his approach to building design tools. Subscribe to the Method podcast on Google Play, iTunes, or RSS.

A few highlights:

On designing UX for developers, 18:00

“We really want to make sure that if you come into Firebase not having ever built a database, or not ever having done any sort of analytics, that you have a good experience.”

On the question of density in Firebase and Material, 21:30

“Density is one of those things that depends on what you're looking at, so we focus a bit more on the content… We make choices at almost an individual page level of what is the best way to present this information. Should it be dense? Should it be sparse?”

On building digital tools for designers, 29:15

“I love building tools that empower the designer to tell a computer how to do something rather than doing it themselves. Time is a very precious resource for everybody. Literally anything that can save time for designers, I try to do.”

Handy info and links for this episode:

  • Firebase: Google's mobile platform for quickly developing high-quality apps.
  • Android Asset Studio: A collection of tools to easily generate assets such as launcher icons for Android apps.
  • Sketch: Digital design tool built for product designers.
  • Figma: Collaborative interface design tool.

Darren Delaye from Daydream
2017-12-12 01:37:36 UTC 27:19
Darren Delaye from Daydream

In this episode, Aidan speaks with User Experience Designer Darren Delaye about the unique challenges of designing for VR, the future of Daydream, and Darren’s work across many products over his 12 years at Google.

“A new challenge is not knowing exactly what versions of your platform, your hardware, and the future, to design for. The easiest projects are the ones where you know the goals and you know the parameters. But sometimes, working on the Daydream team and in VR, we don't even know what hardware and capabilities we should be thinking about.”

Darren Delaye is a San Francisco-based UX designer currently working on Daydream. Google’s third-ever design intern, Darren has been with the company for nearly 13 years and has designed across a wide range of products and services including Google Maps, Google Ventures, and Google Docs.

Handy info and links for this episode:

Rita DeRaedt from Google Voice
2017-12-12 01:37:36 UTC 25:07
Rita DeRaedt from Google Voice

In this episode, Aidan speaks with Interaction Designer Rita DeRaedt about rising to challenges, crafting a new onboarding sequence for Google Voice, taking risks, and much, much more.

A few highlights:

On getting coffee with Google co-founder Sergey Brin, 2:44"The other design interns and I had this ongoing joke that we were going to get Larry and Sergey to have a one-on-one with us . . . and because I wanted to make it happen, I kind of volunteered myself."

On becoming a television presenter, 11:50"If something's just intimidating enough, or just scary enough, I have a tendency to throw myself into the situation.”

On getting unstuck from sticky design problems,12:52 “Call it imposter syndrome, but sometimes you don't want to ask for feedback on something until it's perfect. It's about being a little humble and knowing that for the sake of being productive, happy, and not in a rut, [you do have to] loop in other designers on the product.


Jay Wong from Project Fi
2017-12-12 01:37:36 UTC 23:17
Jay Wong from Project Fi

Aidan interviews UX Design Lead Jay Wong about her experience working as a designer with a computer science degree, some of the design decisions and challenges her team tackles on Project Fi, and much, much more.

A few highlights:

On why designers should learn programming, 9:35 “Learning to code forces you to get better as a designer because it forces you to think of everything as a system.”

On education and knowing your design tools, 15:00 “The faster you are at the tool and the quicker you are at doing things that are boring, the more time you can spend on real design problems and actually innovating and solving the things that the computer can’t solve.”

On the future of UX design in a world of fast-changing tech, 20:46 “There's always going to be room for problem solving when humans interact with technology.”