A UXA Podcast with Karen McGrane: Why Marc Rettig?

There are always burning questions about how to get organizations to be more design-centric and what better way to learn than from someone who has done it. Marc Rettig has been helping organizations make the transition for 30 years. In this podcast, Karen McGrane shares why he was chosen as one of the keynote speakers for UX Advantage.

Full Transcript.


Sean Quinn: Hey now everybody. I’m Sean Quinn, here with another “UX Advantage” podcast. Today, I’m joined by the co-executive producer of the UX Advantage Conference, Karen McGrane, who along with Jared Spool, have been working really hard on putting together a unique conference that focuses on the UX strategy issues no one else is talking about.

How are you doing today, Karen?

Karen McGrane: I am doing fantastic. I hope you’re doing well too.

Sean: I’m doing exceptionally well. That’s my default setting. I think it’s why people like to be around me.

Will you take a few minutes and share with our listeners how Marc Rettig was chosen to give one of the UX Advantage keynotes, and what makes him uniquely qualified to do so?

Karen: I am so excited that Marc Rettig is going to be joining us. I personally find him to be genuinely inspirational.

Marc, a while back, wrote a little talk called “Interaction Design History in a Teeny Little Nutshell” that was so interesting, and exciting to me, that it genuinely sparked years of research. I wound up teaching a course at the MFA in Interaction Design program at SVA, a short course on the history of interaction design, basically as a result of seeing Marc’s research.

I think that if I was that inspired just by one little talk that Marc put together, think how inspiring it will be to have him share what is literally his 30 years of insight, research, and case studies on how you move organizations to be more design-centered.

I just don’t think there’s anybody better out there to speak to a range of different companies, a range of different types of problems, and what he has learned in working with all of these companies over the years to make this sort of change happen.

Sean: Then what do you think would be the most valuable things people will take away from Marc’s UX Advantage keynote?

Karen: He’s going to speak to what it actually takes for organizations to become more design-centered. I would imagine that pretty much everybody who’s going to be in the audience is attending UX Advantage because that’s one of their primary goals or concerns.

To hear Marc talk, not just about some of the case studies and examples in his past work, but he’ll also present a framework for what organizations do, or what kind of transitions that they need to go through.

I would imagine that Marc’s talk will be both inspirational and practical, that it will give people in the audience a sense that there’s some genuine hope, that there’s something that they’re moving toward, and that there’s some things that they can start doing in their organizations today to make that happen.

Sean: Do you think that this talk, this addition of Marc to the line-up was a key to making this a more valuable experience for attendees?

Karen: When Jared and I were thinking about who would be the right keynotes for this talk, Marc was one of the very first names that came to mind. There are so few people in this industry that have 30 years of experience with guiding organizations on how to be more design and user-centered.

Marc is, I think, one of the people who has the most solid understanding and experience in this space. I’m really excited he’s going to join us.

Sean: In listening to you talk about this, having never heard or seen Marc speak, I know I’m looking forward to it. [laughs] I’m counting down the days to UX Advantage in Baltimore on August 18th and 19th.

It was short, but informative, and I thank you for your time.

Karen: Thank you again.

Sean: Be sure to check out the conference speakers and all of the topics at uxadvantage.com. You don’t want to miss this event. We hope to see you in Baltimore August 18th and 19th. Check it out and register at uxadvantage.com. Bye for now.

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