Ryan Harasyn & Zachary Smith

Experience Director at Context Digital

Ryan Harasyn & Zachary Smith

Vice President of Design & Vice President of Technology at Substantial
Episode 08

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

Gary:
Hello, and welcome to Episode 8 of Design Edu Today, the podcast series discussing topics concerning the state of interactive design education at institutions of higher learning. I am your host, Gary Rozanc, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Today, we have a two-for. Our guests are from Substantial, a collection of passionate product creators based in Seattle and San Francisco, driven by the challenge of solving problems, helping clients crystallize their vision and delivering quality experiences that make people happy.

Zachary Smith is the Vice President of Technology at Substantial. Zachary is a technology, design-thinking and innovation leader with more than nineteen years of product development and client services experience, serving a wide range of industries and organizations including start-ups, Wall Street banks, automotive manufacturers, enterprise software platform providers, creative studios and consulting agencies. As a partner with Social Venture Partners, a Seattle-based philanthropic organization, Zachary serves on the Portfolio Grant Committee and is dedicated to helping to strengthen non-profit organizations committed to the mission of improving K through 12 education and making the Puget Sound region a place where sustainable communities thrive.

Ryan Harrison is the Vice President of Design for Substantial. Ryan is a forward-thinking product designer and strategist, shaping how people interact with the world through digital products. After spending his early adulthood representing the United States in Short Track Speed Skating; yes, everybody, that’s right, Ryan entered his career developing both physical and digital products for high-tech defense applications, quickly gravitating to the power of invention, Ryan transitioned to client services, focusing on interaction design, bonding the philosophies of design thinking with agile software development to create experiences that beautifully blend form and function. Ryan’s experience and approach allowed him to successfully adapt to industry and user needs and has helped start-ups and enterprises like Google, NewsCorp, American Express, Getty Images, 3M, Optum Health, ReSound and Distiller successfully launch in scale diverse products, touching millions of users worldwide.

Welcome, Zachary and Ryan.

Zachary:
Thanks Gary; great to be here.
Ryan:
It is great to be here. We really appreciate the opportunity.
Gary:
And I greatly appreciate it and actually, before we get started, I want to let the listeners know that just over a year ago when I was awarded the AIGA Design Educators Community Faculty Research Grant, I also happened to be at AIGA Seattle’s Hive Conference where I first met both of you, so I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me in the very beginning when I was just fishing for ideas and starting my research; so you gave me a lot of insight that has now come full circle and has really helped lead to and launch this podcast. So, thank you. And I can’t tell you how much I really do appreciate that.
Zachary:
Yeah involved that’s really cool, to be involved from the beginning and this is just a wonderful opportunity to chime in again and talk to you a little bit more about where you’re at
Gary:
And actually get it out in writing. In writing, in the end; these things are transcribed. But the first question I’d like to ask you pertains to both of your personal bios and Substantial’s. Nowhere did I read the words “website” or “website design”. I don’t think I read the term “interactive design” either. Instead, you strategically used the word “product design”; not web or interactive design. Or even digital design. Can you explain the reasoning for this distinction?
Ryan:
Yes, absolutely. One of the things that is really important to both Zach and myself in Substantial is when we work in the digital space is focusing on delivering a lot of value to a company’s business. So, when people come to us, what differentiates us from website or marketing is the work that we do fundamentally drives our customers’ business; it is actually a key element of the business itself. In that sense, we resonate more so with the notion of product. The design that we do and development that we do might tactically look like a UI; we might have iconography and we definitely have fun and development to do things from a web standpoint, but the way that we think about it is much different. We’re thinking about, how does this not only affect the users but how do we set this thing up to actually work and function as the business, as part of the business, so we often consult with the service design aspect about how the businesses operate. We look at more than just the end artifact that we create.
Gary:
So, actually I like that idea about that and you’re more than just the end artifact. So that actually kind of leads…I’m going to jump ahead in my notes to a question that I wanted to ask later, but I’m going to ask now. I like to think, when I assign, in general, when design educators, they assign a project, they’re assigning in fact an artifact; we’re assigning a poster; we’re assigning a website; we’re assigning a logo. And I think that kind of takes away from the discovery phase where the students actually learn about the root of the problem that the client faces and that’s where they determine the proper solution themselves, which may not be a poster; which may not be a website and which may not be a logo. And this is how they can better articulate and defend their solutions. So, how do you…how is that, as a process, a working process, at Substantial: how do you facilitate that?
Zachary:
Well I think…you’re talking about it sounds like the distinction or I guess the tension if you will, between assigning…giving students the assignment to create something that’s pre-determined and they’re going to the output and the value of that versus trying to teach somebody how to understand what asset needs to be created in the first place.
Gary:
Yeah, and that sounded like to me what you do at Substantial is that’s why you like that term “product” instead of just a specific artifact.
Zachary:
Right, and I think that what Substantial really wants to be able to do with our customers is get involved at a strategic level to really understand how, what Ryan was saying, what’s the business need? And so in terms of how do we go about doing that, how do we go about understanding the problem versus determining that assets are going to be created or what digital applications are going to be developed. I think it comes down to…I’ll tell some design thinking in there. Really going in with an empathetic mind-set to understand: who are the stakeholders? What are they trying to accomplish? And really try to understand where they’re coming from, so there’s just a lot about understanding and really trying to put people into a space; we’re trying very hard not to respond to specific feature requests or, this application must have this many tabs. Those are usually red flags for us because it’s sort of robbing the opportunity to really dig in and understand and bring what we think is our value to the process. And then, from there, we really want to be talking with users; almost from day one, we’re insisting on access to users, to partners, so that we can get a sense of what they’re after as well. If they already have an existing user-base, can we meet with them? Can we do some user testing with them? If they’ve done any user testing, can we get the results? What’s unique, I think, about Substantial, at least in terms of what we see in the market, is that that’s not just a function of design; that’s not just a function of strategy; it’s not just a function of development. It’s the whole company and the whole team that’s going into working with the client has to bring that same sort of empathetic mind-set to really have those insights and to uncover what we’re actually trying to solve.
Ryan:
So, as that relates to the designer in design education, the best analogy that I can come up with right now is the notion of theoretical physics versus applied physics: you have to have an understanding of how things operate together and you have to do exploration to figure that out, and you need that in order to figure out what’s the best way to actually then create something to make use of that. So, how that relates to designers today and what we look for in designers at Substantial and from an education standpoint is, the critical thinking aspect. So, the first piece is ensuring that whatever artifact you create, you should know why you’re creating that; what intent are you trying…what are you trying to do with that? So, if it is a logo, then why a logo? And what application is that logo going to be used in? What are we hoping to drive? Who is going to be viewing it? How are they going to be viewing it? Really thinking through all of those constraints, and that’s where the designing thinking piece comes in, is being able to synthesize that; that critical-thinking problem-solving aspect is the most important thing that I look for in a designer, because the tactical execution of those things, all the important, you need to know good principles of design but in this digital world, the medium is constantly changing. So, you’re going to have to constantly learn new tools and new ways to execute to bring those things to life.
Ryan:
For instance, let’s take a look at animated graphs as an example of something that we might employ in a digital product. The concept of that can be represented in an application like Photoshop or Sketch or Illustrator, but when you get it into the real world, the best way to develop that and to make that really sing from a production standpoint, which gets to the actual artifact, is to do it in code, so you can get those animations, you can work with the timing; you’re in the actual medium. So, by over-emphasizing the development of the artifact in and of itself at the detriment of the critical thinking piece, you’re just, you’re losing so much.
Gary:
So, I’m basically putting my students at a disadvantage from the very beginning then, portfolio-wise when I assign them, you design a logo, because then during your hiring process, you’re going to ask them, well you would really like to hear, why that student designed the logo and the student’s going to say, well, it was assigned to me; I was told to design it. So, is that a correct kind of assumption there on my part?
Zachary:
I don’t know that I would describe it as a disadvantage because I think one of the things I heard Ryan say is that the design principles and fundamentals are necessary. Having the skill-set to create the artifact is a requirement but that the next level away from that is going to be like the deeper meaning and understanding about why it is that you’re creating those things in the first place. When you’re learning how to paint, you’re learning about mixing colors; you’re learning about the difference between oil and acrylics; you’re learning how to stretch a canvas: there’s all those technical things that have to be understood; you’re working on gradients and shading. But then at a certain point, your art has a meaning. It has a purpose that’s beyond whether or not you can draw a picture. And I think another…the way that I think about this myself is that, if you look at something like design thinking as a process, a process that is meant to be followed in sequence, I think you’re often missing the real power of it, which is a shift from, I’m going to do these things in this time-frame or in this context to, my intention is to understand these things in this context. And so, for me, something like design thinking is more about a series of intentions as opposed to a series of steps. And I think that you can apply that back to the technical craft which is, at the beginning: yes; how do you go about creating a logo? What’s the craft and the skills that you need to have to deliver that? But then later, what’s the intention of the logo? And, having…that’s where you see, I think, the best designed products are ones that have the story and meaning behind the elements of them that everyone can be passionate or enthusiastic about.
Gary:
All right. I regret not getting a comment made by Jason Dziak. I think you guys know him? He used to be in Happy Cog in Austin, during the previous episode of Design Edu Today into the recording, but paraphrasing, he said things like, posters in student portfolios don’t give him much indication of a student’s future success as an employee at a digital agency. Basically, he said, when you’re hiring a designer…when you’re hiring a designer for Substantial, what are the contents of the ideal student portfolio that gives you insight to that, not only their design proficiency aesthetically, but also design thinking and their problem-solving. What kind of portfolio displays that to you?
Ryan:
Right, so this is how I generally balance the two. In a general statement, I tend to agree, it is very difficult to look at one poster alone, or even a series of posters, to understand how well someone would be able to operate in the digital sense. But I don’t discount that altogether because as you know, we were alluding to before in the logo statement, the craft is important and if I can see a good understanding of hierarchy in design and intent from the work that was created, I can glean certain things. However, it’s really important to talk about those things, so in the portfolio, the way a student can best get my attention from a digital sense is to just talk about it; tell me why those decisions were made. Why the type treatment was the way it was, what they were trying to do with it. Again, to those earlier statements about the critical thinking, the problem-solving aspect of that. But then, how it relates to digital is I start to turn the corner and I start to see, are they thinking about visual hierarchy? Can they tell me where they’re trying to draw the user’s eye and why they’re trying to draw their eye to that particular element. Do they understand the notion of a grid? Do they understand good principles of typography? And if they can talk through those things and they can understand those concepts, there’s enough there for me to work with. But it takes a lot to get that out. Our hiring process here, not the jump the gun a little bit, is quite intense: we do a full day to day and a half interview process where we do a very rigorous portfolio review and then we break things out into actual working sessions where we try and get this information out; we put people on the spot, we get them on the whiteboard. We really want to see how they’re going to react and be able to come up with these ideas and think through these concepts, or apply something from their portfolio to a digital product in that setting, and that’s how we end up having to assess that. And I’ll say the unfortunate thing about portfolios right now is, I don’t just have to do that with designers coming out of school; there are people that have been in the field for years that we still have to do that because they’re not showing enough of their work in the portfolio for us to really understand if they’re going to be successful or not.
Zachary:
Yeah, and if I could add to that too, this is Zach again: I think that one of the things that’s challenging in any interview process, whether it’s designers or developers or really anybody is, it’s around the portfolio is very much about the individual; it’s about their work and their thinking and that’s critical and it needs to be represented, but I think the thing that we’re also looking for in our own hiring process is around collaboration. How do you work in a team? How do you share ideas? How do you share your ideas and how have your team-mates move them forward? How do you take ideas from them and help move them forward? Because at the end of the day, at Substantial we’re trying to be a very collaborative cross-disciplinary co-located project team, so you’re always working with somebody else and there has to be ideas going back and forth and that’s something that you’re not really going to necessarily get from looking at a poster in a portfolio. But being able to speak to those kind of things in a portfolio, I think, I’d like to see ways of finding designers, helping designers find ways to represent their ability to operate in that context as opposed to being the lone student or the lone creative trying to demonstrate a particular technical skill.
Gary:
I love that we’re on the same wavelength because I’m going to jump…here’s the next two questions. One of them was: since design has looped back into being a team sport rather than the solo rock-star model, how do you gauge if a new hire is going to work well in a team? So do you want to expound on that one a little bit? As you alluded to it?
Ryan:
Absolutely. And as Zach pointed out, that is a critical piece. One of the things that you mentioned in my bio and also spoke to with Zach’s background is, we really do, not to keep the buzzwords here, but we really do try to take the best of design thinking and invest in agile software development. So there’s a notion, we’re bringing in those principles from both those pieces and at the heart of that is being able to interact rapidly and being able to collaborate and work with people from different perspectives, prioritizing different needs and coming at the problem from a different point of view. And that can be very difficult because as designers we tend to think broad. We think broad and move narrow. And not to over-generalize, but at times development and engineering can think more focused and them move out to be more broad and we need to bridge the gap between that and you’re constantly moving between those things. So, just again, it’s a challenge. So, what we do from the interview process is we do have those working sessions. When we’re interviewing a designer and they go through these sessions, there’s a designer and a developer in every session and those interviews are being run by both of them, so the designer will be asked questions and be challenged from development and engineering just as much as they will be from design. And not only does that apply to our design hiring, but it also applies to our engineering hiring as well. And we actually field test on the spot; we have collaborational sessions where we’ll pose a few problems and we’ll have a forty-five minute session to work with engineering on trying to identify a solution. In the portfolio review, we’ll ask questions about development or how someone might approach this, or how they would work with a different constraint; we’ll throw those curve-balls in there to really see how people react.

One of the interesting things that I’ve noticed which was a surprise for me in this whole process was, designers tend to be more introverted than developers and the funny thing about that is I think the perception is the opposite.

Gary:
Yeah.
Zachary:
Another thing I want to toss in there too, just on the specifics of collaboration, I just want to make it clear that in those collaborative interview sessions, we’re not expecting the designers necessarily to understand the technical pieces of the implementation, nor are we expecting the developers to understand the design. It’s really, honestly, what we’re often looking for is, what are the questions that they ask? Where are they showing their willingness to collaborate as opposed to trying to insist on something being a certain way? Nobody knows all of the pieces and so we want, in a collaborative environment, it’s really about what questions are you asking and how are you leveraging the skills of your team-members and finding ways to trust them. Admittedly, that’s a very hard thing to model on an interview; it’s always going to be somewhat contrived, but really it’s the inquisitiveness and it’s a curiosity around what are the skills of the various people in the room, what are they bringing to the table and how are we collectively going to solve this problem in front of us?
Gary:
Again, we’ve leaped into some other questions that I had, so I’ll back into this one. When you’re putting these teams together, these teams consist of a developer, a content strategist, an information architect, an engineer as you said. How much knowledge and training does the entry level designer need to have about these other complementary disciplines that they will have to collaborate with to work successfully? I guess, what gives them the advantage: how much…does that make sense?
Ryan:
I think I’m following you. It’s also not an easy problem for us to solve. Substantial…I would say it’s a difficult environment for designers entering the field because we do things very differently. It does require a lot of background skill and experience in developing for digital space. So, we understand that that’s not scalable and education and training is a huge part of our culture and the way that we do that is by pairing. So you may have heard of a concept of pair-programming but we try to do that with design as well. So what we do is, on a particular project, we will identify what are the core skills needed to ultimately deliver a successful experience for the client and for their users, and then we’ll look at who are the appropriate people and try to make a good pairing across design development and then the subsequent skills therein. So, as that trickles down into the specifics of the design team and a potential new designer, you’re just entering the field for the first time, we look for someone who has depth in a specific area. So, if it’s, for example, in creating UI, someone who has an incredible attention to detail, creating SVGs is very useful for use because we need to make sure that those things are accurate and they’re as efficient as possible and so what would do is we would have a younger designer or a new designer into the field potentially working in that space and paired with someone from a more user-experience design background, so they’re gaining skills in other areas and we’re trying to cross-pollinate those skills as much as possible and again, as we said, from a personality standpoint, we do look for people who are eager to learn and be a little bit self-motivated in that sense and who are ready to pick up those skills. So, we do it with a lot of pairing and being really intentional about that and then just to summarize: so, what do we look for in a new designer is someone who does have that passion and that skill in one particular area and then we grow it. We don’t break the design team down into, here’s your user-experience designers, here are your graphic or visual designers and here are your content strategists; we’re all one pool of the same and we’ re all, everybody on the design team’s equally responsible for every element of the design and that pushes our team to really understand the big picture.
Gary:
So, at least cursory knowledge of these other disciplines would greatly benefit them just walking in, they know it exists.
Zachary:
Or even an enthusiasm and an interest; that’s something that can be demonstrated even in an interview; it’s lack of understanding or expertise in an area is not necessarily a detriment if you can demonstrate genuine enthusiasm for being tossed into the fire, so to speak, and the opportunity to learn that, so it doesn’t have to be…cursory knowledge: sure, that can be helpful, but really even more than that I’d say, genuine enthusiasm and the attitude to dive in and try.
Gary:
Do you…this is a totally off the design question, but do you think that enthusiasm is something that can grow and can be fostered or if it’s just something you have or you don’t? Because I struggle with this in the classroom. How do I get unenthused students enthused?
Zachary:
I don’t know that have an answer to that. Yes, I want to believe that it’s something that can be taught; I think you have to…enthusiasm to put yourself in something has, I think, a lot to do with confidence and where confidence comes from is pretty…it can come from many places. I’m going to be more confident throwing myself into a technical challenge with a programming language that maybe I don’t know, but because I have some confidence of having learned things and applied it in the past, I can go into it more confidently and enthusiastically than if I was asked to, if Ryan came to me and said, well I need you to go in and do all the interaction design for this project, I think I’d be much less enthusiastic because I don’t have the experience necessarily to succeed in the way that I could in other areas. So, I have to imagine something around foundation and context.
Gary:
Well, I love that comment about enthusiasm. I mean, not enthusiasm but confidence, because I think you can inspire confidence and I think that is an inhibitor to enthusiasm because if we’re not comfortable with something, we’re not going to hit it with a full head of steam, regardless of who you are and I think that confidence is something that we could, as educators, could easily spend more time on building student confidence in things like HTML and CSS and JavaScript and even working with CMS; things that they’re not going to have to do on a regular basis but they’re having experience with those things would greatly help them and I think we could build their confidence in them.
Zachary:
Yeah, I mean one thing I tell pretty much everybody who comes here asks me about, I hear questions sometimes like, what do I need to be successful at Substantial? And pretty much universally what I say is, you have to have enthusiasm and an attitude to learn quickly and apply that learning confidently. Pretty much verbatim. That’s a line that I use a couple times a week! So, getting people in the academic environment to be enthusiastic about what they’re learning and then try things quickly. Another thing that we get a lot of and I think to a certain extent this happens in schools, you’re getting graded on the output of the assignment and that has to be with the finished product and so there’s some notion of: I need to get it to that point then it’s done. What we’re looking for often is, don’t try to get it done; try to get it moved forward and so perhaps there’s a way that we can incorporate it into the training that mind-set or attitude about taking incremental steps forward and understanding each step, what have I learned and what can I do next and what needs to change and am I moving in the right direction. And having that be a lot less about our ego when it’s not the right answer and a lot more to do with, oh, I’m glad I learned that quickly; let’s do something different.
Ryan:
I’m glad Zach brought that up: that is a critical principle. Absolutely critical is being able to work through that and recover from those learnings and not viewing mistakes as necessarily failures but being able to build off that, as he said, really apply those learnings. If we write down a wrong path, that’s no problem; let’s quickly figure out what the next path is.
Gary:
You know what? I have to thank you guys for this particularly: what you just mentioned I’m going to describe as, that’s my understanding of the agile process and so I’ve kind of incorporated that, since meeting you guys and actually our talk is where I fully wrapped my head around this idea that when I assign a project, if it’s a website and they have to code it, I try to beat them into this idea that this is only Phase 1; this is not the finished product. Instead, this is, you get to this stage quickly and then you iterate, add to, refine after you get this initial phase going and instead of focusing on the aesthetics of it but just how quickly did you get to a minimal viable product, I guess and I like that idea because I think designers are really bad at…personally, I was working on the website for this podcast; my first instinct was to design every single aspect of how it looked, how are the transcripts going to look, what are the individual pages going to look like, what are the download buttons going to look like; what do I add once I have the transcripts and all this other stuff, which I didn’t even have yet, so I said no: what do I have? I have an mp3 and that’s it! It’ll design that first. OK, now I have transcript, now I’ll add that. Oh, no I have…OK, now I go back and I had that and I think that kind of iterative agile process is something that we need to, design education really needs to emphasize instead of this finished product idea.
Zachary:
Yeah, I think that’s really great to hear that you’re taking that back to the classroom and are experimenting with ways of incorporating it into the learning process. I do want to toss one thing in there from the technical side of things is that I think that developers also have a role in trying to empathize more with their designer colleagues in the sense that, and here’s something that I came to realize a few years ago, which is that everybody reacts to design whether or not they know anything about the design process or the value or the quality of it. I see it and I have an emotional reaction, and that’s a burden that designers have that developers don’t. And so I just want to be really clear that we’re not asking designers to become, to work like developers, nor are we asking developers to work like designers; it’s something about understanding the value of each other. What is the meaning of the work that you’re doing? What do you need to have to feel good about what you’re doing? And difference. And so I think I just want to make really clear, developers have a role in understanding how to do iterative product development that’s going to be of a quality that is necessary for the design colleagues to feel as though the product’s getting moved forward.
Gary:
I just noticed, we’re getting close on time, but before I let you guys go, is that an actual problem in the industry, where there’s designers and developers not working together from Stage 1 to make sure design considerations are considered in the engineering phase and so they’re not phases but they’re symbiotic relationships; is that really that big of an issue?
Ryan:
You know, it can be. Every organization is different and I don’t want to speak for everybody, but what I will say is, workflow is incredibly important; it is really challenging to do this well, to be able to blend these principles. As I mentioned before, broad level thinking to more specific feature level thinking is, both of those are required and the different stages in a product’s life require different approaches and it’s very important to understand those elements and be able to have a conversation about when and where it’s best to apply the tools and tactics to bring this stuff to life and I think that from what we have found, that it can be very difficult because everyone feels the pressure of delivery and there’s always a lot of work to get done and never enough time to do it: that’s just the nature, especially from a client service perspective, that’s the nature of the beast; things move really fast. And so everyone feels that pressure and kind of deals with that pressure in different ways and there’s always that knee-jerk reaction to go back to what I know; let me just go back and finish this thing and hand it off and then I’ll feel comfortable and good; or, let me just create and knock this bit of code out because I can consider it done and I think that has more to do with human behavior than anything else and I think it’s just important to really watch that and just make sure that you work as a team as much as possible and you communicate your concerns and have an open discussion about them is the best way to combat that.
Gary:
I think that’s going to be the biggest challenge for design education is to re-create that team because departments and degree programs are so siloed that it would take a monumental undertaking to get a team of designers working with a team of developers from the IT department and both designs usually in the architecture are in the art department and then the writing, that’s over in another department; that’s something that I think is going to be, once design education figures out a way to sustainably form these teams, that you’ll be getting a better product from us in the end!
Zachary:
One thing that might help in that regard might just be encouraging the students to just do this on their own. And I think that to a certain extent they are, but just that invitation at all of those different silos to reach out and maybe even have some way of helping facilitate those relationships such that it’s not really tied to, initially to the program but certainly the opportunity is presented and encouraged so that the people on the CS program get to work with some designers and make an amazing iPhone app; it’s becoming easier to do that with the technology; it’s not going to be in the same class together, at least make time and space or facilitate those relationships.
Ryan:
I would leave it with one phrase: I’d say, it all matters. It all matters. For a product to be useful and a quality; everything has to work in concert. Time and time again you hear examples of someone changing one word on one button and completely changing the revenue stream of a company and it’s very easy to overlook that and say, I’m just writing; I’m just saying click now. Or one with the wrong color or the way that it functions; everything matters, it’s all important and it should all be looked at and balanced appropriate.
Gary:
Well, you know, on that note, Zach and Ryan, before I let you go, is there anything you are personally working on or Substantial is working on that you would like to share or something you guys want to promote personally?
Ryan:
Yeah, absolutely. Substantial is a great company; we have a great team of designers and developers and we’re constantly looking for great partnerships. There are opportunities to work with new companies or new organizations who want to bring a new product to life, from an education setting to from healthcare to more commercial needs; we’re always looking to talk to people and find any opportunity we can to work with exciting and engaging folks.
Gary:
And you are very approachable too! So just to let everybody know that; that was really amazing! So, that’s all that we have time for today on Episode 8 of Design Edu Today. I want to thank today’s guests, Zachary Smith and Ryan Harrison of Substantial, for being so generous with their time…again. I want to thank the audience for listening and the Design Edu Today web hosting sponsor, DigitalOcean, for making the hosting and the distribution of these podcasts possible. I want to thank the AIGA and the AIGA Design Educators’ Community for their generous support of my research that led to this podcast series.

Finally, I want to thank my newest sponsor, Fastly, for providing Desigin Edu Today use of their content delivery network to help speed the distribution of the podcast.

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