Tentative is a podcast about digital product design.
Hosted by thoughtbot's Chief Design Officer Kyle Fiedler & Boston Design Director Jaclyn Perrone.

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    73: 11:15 is a Time, Too

    Jaclyn puts together a role-playing workshop for consulting your way through difficult conversations, and building empathy for the other parties. Kyle discusses conducting team 1<>1's all on one day vs spreading them throughout the week. Plus, some techniques for dealing with context switching, blocking off time, and calendar hacks.

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    72: Good Crafternoon

    Jaclyn designs wristbands for a 5k, fiddles around with CSS Grid, and kicks off a new project. Meanwhile, Kyle attends many serious meetings. We discuss up-front user-research, timeline interviews, and pacing interviews for sustainability.

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    71: Get Back Up Again

    This week Kyle follows his calendar, while Jaclyn wraps up a research project and celebrates a fruitful sales-call, and we discuss trying to focus on positive reinforcement, the importance of being able to communicate your design work, and 'clicking' with the sales process.

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    70: Down the Doughnut Hole

    Jaclyn is frustrated with calendars, and Kyle continues work on the thoughtbot.com redesign. Also skills evaluations, and lots of interviews.

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    69: Stand in Your Emotion

    Kyle deals with a "dentist situation" and writes a blog post, while both he & Jaclyn return to IC design work. Also, manager training, partnering with an offshore development team while on a tight deadline, and the "good problems" of a large design sprint.

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    68: iPod + a Case of Beer

    Jaclyn goes on a ski trip, Kyle eats cake on the microphone (sorry). Also, de-stressing techniques, Austin weather (surprise), daylight savings time, the UI of car clocks, making the most of small gaps in your schedule, enriching collaboration with developers, clarifying the title of "designer", and iterating on podcast recording. Plus, the introduction of a new segment "good, bad, and ugly".

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    67: In This Kitchen, We Iterate

    Jaclyn hosts a cooking show while Kyle does what his calendar tells him to. Also, being excited by invalidating ideas, devoting more time to synthesizing, taking TL;DR level sprint-notes, how switch interviews can influence your design sprint, and end of week recuperation strategies.

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    66: Drink Punctuations

    Jaclyn starts a new Meetup and wonders about ice-breaking activities & community building. Kyle tries his hand at video editing after filming a skill interview, and starts work planning a thoughtbot.com redesign. Also, stress around social media email / notifications and why we should design them more humanely.

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    65: No Tangents Friday

    Jaclyn and Kyle discuss remote interview methodology, skillset tracking, Design Sprint 101™️, and Kyle's skills as a Beer Ninja.

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    64: I Know, That You Know, That I Know What a Progress Bar Is

    Jaclyn & Kyle wish you a (very belated) Happy New Year, and discuss the shortcomings of video-chat during interviews, using GitHub as a project management tool for company policy, the weirdnesses of user-interviews, and de-jargoning the term "prototype".

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    63: Solutionland™️

    Jaclyn sells some art, kicks off a giant design sprint, and prepares a presentation on how to co-facilitate a design sprint. Kyle deals with new-office echoes & internet woes. We share the projects that we worked on for this year's Ralphapalooza; plus, reactions on designing for React Native.

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    62: Down With Portfolios

    Jaclyn & Kyle discuss the value of in-person meetings, the philosophy of Trello backgrounds, nostalgia for antiquated recording mediums, refining thoughtbot's designer hiring process, and design implementation.

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    61: Zebras Drinking Mint Juleps

    Jaclyn & Kyle chat about the new thoughtbot Austin office, designing for Android, feelings on maintaining Sketch file tidiness, trying to make tabular data exciting to present, and commiserate over call-center software workflows.

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    60: Mimosas on a Tuesday

    Jaclyn wraps up a project to hand off to a client's design team, Kyle looses his voice after giving a design sprint presentation, plus personal habits to pursue before speaking engagements or while in Product Design Sprints, design patterns in children's apps, and screen-time controls in iOS.

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    Jaclyn & Kyle discuss prototyping with a different tool, providing feedback for teammates, and practice spooky voices for Halloween / team 1-on-1 purposes.

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    58: I Love Little Notebooks

    Jaclyn & Kyle discuss disrupting a good flow state, quitting coffee, balancing support & client work, and negotiating a healthy work/life balance.

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    57: Summit Shenanigans

    Jaclyn & Kyle record in person (for the first time ever!) as thoughtbot gathers for our annual Summer Summit, and discuss the language around design / development, switch interviews, opinions about post-it notes, and the point of design sprints.

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    56: From Entomology to Etymology

    Dawn & Sam take the reigns this week and discuss designing filter systems, World Emoji Day, a11y in Emoji, and how 'design goals' should merge with 'business goals'.

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    55: Hired to Help (Robert Indries)

    Jaclyn and Kyle are joined by Robert Indries of DG Studio to discuss applying design principles to other industries, deadlines (and procrastination), as well as the importance and difficulty of communication.

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    54: Solutionize: Test the App, Not the User

    Sameera Kapila, a designer from thoughtbot Austin, joins Kyle to talk about prototype user testing, being wary of leading questions, challenging assumptions, and ways to take action on your findings.

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    53: BAM! Here's Your App!

    This week we discuss the importance of keeping a tight feedback loop on communication, and allowing time for experimentation & validation. Also, are retro notes helpful?

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    52: Kyle's Think Hut™

    Dealing with React Native, designing email templates for Outlook, "Designer News", and combating distraction.

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    51: Batman's Fanny Pack

    This week, we discuss approaches to prototypes in User Testing, Sharpie preferences, how Batman arrived at the final design of his utility belt, and defining thoughtbot's design values.

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    50: Immersed in Chaos

    While recovering from SxSW Kyle & Jaclyn discuss design experiences in day-to-day life, and surviving conferences / networking events.

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    49: Food for Thought

    Kyle & Jaclyn discuss weather apps, maintaining focus in User Interviews, tips for managing frequent contexting switching, and documentation during a design sprint.

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    48: Remove Thy Bias

    Jaclyn & Kyle catch up and chat about user testing, and empathizing with user-problems you haven't personally experienced.

    Other tangents include: sleep, traveling to NYC, the weather, spelling & pluralization techniques, the annoyance of advertisements, Netflix confessions, misadventures with torrenting, Kyle's new voice-acting career, and motivational speaking.

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    47: Cubital Fossa

    We're a bit giddy this rare pre-coffee morning recording, before Segway-ing into naming conventions in CSS, as well as communicating about the design process and decisions.

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    46: The Danger Zone

    Jaclyn and Kyle ponder their past lives and spirit animals, and manage to squeeze in some design talk about condensed sprints, tips for managing remote user testing, reinforcing best-practices, and time management.

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    45: Happy Mistakes

    Kyle & Jaclyn are back for 2018! This week they discuss Die Hard, designing on an iPad, the importance of community to creation, and embracing the flaws in your art.

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    44: Helvetica Wasn’t Designed Yet

    Kyle & Jaclyn chat about Stranger Things, design approaches to personal sites, using improv to build better trust & communication on a team, & the importance of naming and language.

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    43: I Don't Know What NeoPets are Either

    Brenda and Dawn talk about early experiences with tech, CSS DevConf, code review, performance considerations around the world, and refactoring legacy sketch files.

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    42: Start Building, Start Meeting

    Jaclyn and Kyle talk about ways to start a design career, as well as what happens when you're deep in the trenches building products.

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    41: Happy Birthday Kyle

    Reda & Kyle discuss color consistency across tools and devices, as well as the inefficiencies of design workflows.

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    40: CoolGraphics.com

    Kyle & Reda discuss search engines, documentation searches, reminisce about Photoshop Slices in Dreamweaver, and question Reda's Google-Fu.

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    39: Too Much Fiddling

    Kyle & Dawn discuss end-of-project planning / organization, jobs vs user stories, and the merits of Austin TX.

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    38: Grid Locked

    Brenda joins Reda to discuss CSS Grid Layout, the reasons they don't use grid frameworks as much anymore, iPad design, and the pros/cons of client vs product work.

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    37: That Sounds Very Obvious Coming Out of My Mouth

    Dawn and Kyle talk about Dawn’s recent experience running usability tests, and what learned from running them. Kyle discusses how he's using Jobs-to-be-done theory to build a marketing landing page. Finally, how they approach which resolution screen to design for first.

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    36: Floating in Space

    Reda and Jack talk about design from the perspective of a developer, why CSS sucks for layout, retro game making, and App Store things.

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    35: Design Debt

    We talk about the dichotomy of perfection in design, versus shipping something that is 'good enough'. Reda discusses how he is keeping track of the places in the app that he wants to improve while trying to hit deadlines. Also, recent experience jumping on print design and branding projects, and the different tools used when tackling them.

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    34: Big Human Aspect

    We discuss whether it is better to have a bunch of work waiting for you or none when getting back from a vacation, what it’s like being the only designer on a project, documenting design, and trends / style specifically for iOS (and how it relates to the web).

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    33: Design Speak

    Kyle is joined by Jaclyn Perrone to talk about designing with seed data, and how to make a new interface not look empty. They discuss using jobs-to-be-done to influence a product through interviews and job statements, as well as how they approach designing with users in mind, and the value of real users' reactions when testing interfaces.

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    32: Sprinting Remotely

    Kyle is joined by Dawn Delatte to discuss the different tools and methodology employed in tackling a remote design sprint. They cover some of the success and failures of a recent sprint and how they split up work afterwards.

    Dawn talks about diving into JavaScript which leads to a discussion on how they learn new technology and design techniques. Kyle is back on a rails app and is enjoying planning out the product.

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    31: A Whiff of a Story

    They're back! Reda and Kyle team up for a new season of Tentative. In this episode we discuss the thought process, tools, and execution plan for goals and resolutions in the new year. Plus, books for Reda to read over the coming year, and the importance of reading not only as a designer but also as a person.

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    30: 50 Shades of Blue

    Using Instagram’s redesign as an example, we discuss the new wave of apps that are starting a trend of black and white UI. This leads to a debate on having concrete style trends, and why it doesn’t always make sense to follow them (but why it might make sense for Instagram).

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    29: A Midsummer Night's Podcast

    Reda and Kyle talk about how Kyle is tackling a branding project for a fantasy sports app. They then dig into how both are planning for upcoming design sprints, and the methodology behind their different approaches.

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    28: A Big Blob of Happiness

    This episode Reda and Kyle talk about WWDC. They review new features for both iOS and the Apple Watch before discussing Apple's public attitude towards design, and speculate about the process Apple follows building software.

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    27: Rollercoaster of Feelings

    This episode Reda and Kyle start off by talking about podcasting competition and Reda's childhood psychology. Then they talk about how both are tackling SVG and walk away with different feelings about it. Reda wraps up by bashing HAML while Kyle tries to defend its pros.

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    26: Vector of a Tack

    This week Reda and Kyle talk about content and typography, how both apply to the web, and why they try to use real content as much as possible. Also, the problems that they run into when designing forms and the trade offs between usability and style.

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    25: Everything's a Nail

    Reda and Kyle talk about the new thoughtbot.com. Kyle explains some of the reasons why they redesigned instead of iterating over the existing design. They talk about parts of their process and how tools like code and graphical editors fit in. They discuss the balance between shipping and getting pixel perfection. They wrap up talking about how they balance multiple projects and multiple tasks.

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    24: Hunky Dory All the Time

    On this episode Reda and Kyle rehash their conversation about Should designers code. They talk about teams and how design should fit in. They discuss design and design thinking at a high level in the company and design leadership in our community.

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    23: Darkish-Gray Patterns

    Cheerful Reda and Kyle talk about ethics in their work. Discussion hovers around dark patterns in design. They talk about dark patterns with cable companies, airlines, and domain registrars. And how dark patterns can effect the long term sustainability of the business. Kyle talks about the technology he's been using on parental leave and his purchase of an Apple Watch.

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    22: Best of Both Words

    Reda and Kyle talk about writing as a designer. What their process is for writing, what the process is like writing for thoughtbot, and how they differentiate posts on thoughtbot’s blog and their personal blog. Plus Reda goes on a rant against Medium.

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    21: Snapchat For Design Feedback

    This week Reda and Kyle talk about tools for collaborative design feedback. They talk about how they’ve used tools at thoughtbot and what are the pros and cons of each of the tools. They also talk about how they use these tools to get feedback from other designers in different thoughtbot offices for more varied design feedback.

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    20: Minimal Viable Design

    In this episode Red-A and Kyle talk about product design and development at thoughtbot. They go over how they use tools like Trello and Slack to communicate with their teams and their clients and how design fits into that process. They talk about how they validate design decisions and argue about the proper pronunciation of GIF.

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    19: Death to GUIs

    During this episode, Reda and Kyle talk about conversational user interfaces. They talk about popular implementations of conversational UIs, how they use these tools and what effect it has on the future of graphical user interface.

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    18: It's Not Satisfying Unless You Blow Into the Cartridge

    In this episode Reda and Kyle talk about the homogenization in web design. How styles have evolved in the past and how they see style trends in graphic design evolving in the future. They discuss the issues and problems facing archiving application design. What they use Dribbble for and what kind of a tool it is now.

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    17: Let's Talk About CSS Baby (Lets Talk About You and Me)

    During this episode, Reda and Kyle talk about their qualms with CSS. They talk about CSS naming conventions, how they tackle layout and the wonderful world of flexbox. Kyle tries to educate Reda on some early 90’s pop music and fails.

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    16: Master of IE

    In this episode Reda and Kyle talk about browser testing. They discuss how they approach testing each browser and operating system and devices. They talk about the differences in type rendering, browser user interface, and layout. Reda talks about how he approaches a simple fluid layout, Kyle talks about his most recent project and some layout challenges and they talk about using CSS for layout.

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    15: X is bad for Y

    In this episode Reda and Kyle discuss iteration and design process. They talk about the differences between how a junior designer takes on a project and how a senior designer takes on a project. Kyle talks about how jobs to be done fits into his design process. They also go on a few tangents of tracking personal data and posting articles on medium.

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    14: Photoskop and Other Tools

    This week Reda and Kyle talk about the tools that they use during their design process. They touch on everything from graphical editors, color pickers and task list applications.

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    13: Designing For Human Emotion

    This week Reda and Kyle talk about empathy in design and keeping in mind a users state of mind while designing. They give examples when when humor and playfulness are good to add into user experience and some cases when it isn't.

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    12: How Many Questions Do You Ask?

    This episode Reda and Kyle talk about the thoughtbot hiring process for designers. They talk about what they look for in designers, what they look for in a portfolio, and details about each step in the hiring process.

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    11: Your Favicon is Ugly

    Reda and Kyle follow up on SVGs, talk about differences between Chrome and new Safari's pinned tabs. They discuss some of the ways of allowing users control over design and themes of the app they are designing. Lastly they talk about how they design with real content or as close to as real as possible. BONUS: Kyle sings a line of Aerosmith.

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    10: Doing Things the Hard Way (Brenda Storer)

    In this episode, Brenda Storer stands in for the vacationing Reda. Brenda and Kyle talk about Brenda's recent talk on SVG's. The in's and out's of her process of learning about them and talking about them. They also talk about giving talks.

    This episode of Tentative is sponsored by Code School. Entertaining online learning for existing and aspiring developers. Leave a review on our iTunes page to be entered to win a free month of Code School.

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    9: Should Designers Code?

    In this episode, Kyle and Reda tackle the 'should designers code' debate. They talk about the differences between designing vs implementing, what to look for in a good designer and if developers should know how to design.

    This episode of Tentative is sponsored by Code School. Entertaining online learning for existing and aspiring developers. Leave a review on our iTunes page to be entered to win a free month of Code School.

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    8: Padding Rocks & Kerning Waves

    In this episode, Kyle and Reda talk about vacation as a designer, some of the signs that they are burning out and how they deal with burnout.

    This episode of Tentative is sponsored by Code School. Entertaining online learning for existing and aspiring developers. Leave a review on our iTunes page to be entered to win a free month of Code School.

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    7: Hamburgers Are an Abomination

    In this episode, Kyle talks about his current project, Reda talks a lot about accessibility and how he designs for it, and Kyle trolls Reda into a rant about the Hamburger icon.

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    6: Peeling Potatoes With Scissors

    In this episode, Kyle & Reda finally talk about design sprints, they discuss the process at thoughtbot, argue about prototyping and how they pick the right tool for the right job.

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    5: It's Pronounced Al-u-minney-um

    In this episode, Kyle & Reda follow up about product focus, then move on to talk about designer job titles and experimentation in UI design.

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    4: Leggo' My Ego

    In this episode, Kyle & Reda talk about giving design feedback to peers, and receiving feedback from clients and users.

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    2: Game-changing UX

    In this episode, Reda & Kyle—mostly Reda—talk about game design versus app design, juggling between projects, and creativity.

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    1: Don't Say UX

    In our inaugural episode, Reda & Kyle discuss the latest browser announcements, React Native, and buzzword pet-peeves.

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