Technically Speaking with Harrison Wheeler

Technically Speaking with Harrison Wheeler is a podcast about the human experience and all things design, entrepreneurship, and technology. Motivated by the power of community and sharing our stories, Technically Speaking aims to affirm listeners and fill the gaps left in traditional education by focusing on thought processes, self-awareness, growth mindsets, and other soft skills.

Every two weeks, BIPOC designers, entrepreneurs, and technologists sit down with Harrison to share their challenges, triumphs, and the “why” behind their decisions. 

Latest episode

The First Step: Stephen Green's Lessons Learned as an Entrepreneur and Investor

What does it take to start a business? Is it by having the money or by having investors? Does it depend on having social capital? Or both? Would you believe that it all starts in your head? It all starts with ONE idea that solves a problem. And it's not impossible that 3,000 miles away, someone will pay for that solution you came up with. By taking that first baby step, you're choosing to embark on your journey, from which you'll learn a lot, whether it becomes successful or not. Listen to this episode with Stephen Green to learn about how he started his career in finance and as an entrepreneur. Learn how he uses his background to support Black-owned businesses in Portland through PitchBlack, and how he helped A Kids Book About to start challenging, empowering, and important conversations with kids.

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Inclusive technical writing with Dr. Cana Uluak Itchuaqiyaq

Did you know that technical writing is all around us? From manuals, recipes, to tribal codified values, they have served as guides and instructions about how to live our lives for ages. But what would you do if instructional design didn't apply to you? How do you ensure that all voices are heard, included, and valued? To help with that, listen to this episode as Dr. Cana Uluak Itchuaqiyaq shares how to challenge the status quo and be inclusive through socially-just technical writing and equitable research that's relevant to your life and community.

Design systems, working with engineers, and object-oriented UX, with Principal Designer Keith Rich

Wouldn’t it be nice to do every day for our careers the same thing that brought us joy when we were kids? Keith Rich was able to do this by merging his creativity in the soccer field with his work in design and development to come up with solutions for people to use and enjoy throughout their day. With his combined love for soccer and design, he’s created a unique career that allows him to be creative every day. He knows it’s important for people to enjoy their work, and he wants to help others find the same joy in their careers. So check out this episode to learn more about design, development, design systems, OOUX, and why he uses “dev-ign” whenever he can.

Stretching the bounds of creativity and Advancing Women in Technology with Mindy Duong

Mic test. 1, 2, 3. You know, this interview should have been done in between karaoke songs. Why? Because Harrison and his guest share a love for singing. As a creative since the age of 3 and a pioneer in the field of UX and design, Mindy Duong is an eyewitness to its challenges and improvements, one of which is being the only woman in the room. So to give back to the community and show strong support to women in technology, she's been trying to help the younger generation, especially women, get into technology through Advancing Women in Technology. By helping promote technology, explaining, and sharing her experiences, she helps inspire the younger generation of women to stay creative. So listen to this episode to get to know more about Mindy, her advocacy, as well as her love for the arts.

Stranger Creatives mindful approach to building an equitable design practice

If you were told you were about to die, how would you respond? Steven Wakabayashi didn’t wait long to use it as opportunity to turn his health, life, and career around. His three programs are his best approach to prevent others from going through the same thing he did. Do not wait until something bad happens to start taking your health seriously. Steven's story provides valuable information and support to help you make lasting changes in your life, so that you can become your best self today. You would love what he said about how there isn't only one way to work and talk about things. By providing a space where people can observe other options, we can help empower them. The world needs more stories like these. So check out this week's episode where he shares not only his accomplishments in UX, but also his vulnerabilities. Discover how he changed how his team works, processes, and still produced impactful results.

Healing, quarantine scheming, and HmntyCntrd with Vivianne Castillo

One positive thing about the pandemic is quarantine scheming. Many innovative ideas were born out of it, one of which is HmntyCntrd. What the industry needs are finally being addressed, thanks to Vivianne Castillo and her team. They are passionate about it and can call it out for what it is: How to be human-centered. Because to be human-centered, you must go above and beyond being relevant and performative. For issues as systematic as this, no matter where we end up on our corporate journey, there will always be things that aren't right. Not everyone is willing to think about these things. So check this episode out to learn more about Vivianne, her team, their work within trauma's context, its cycles, and how to be a trauma-informed leader with HmntyCntrd.

Building Community with David Silva

David Silva is a web developer and founder of Techqueria, the largest community of Latinx professionals in the tech industry, with over 18,000 members. In this episode, we explore his tech path, from learning to code as a young child in Colombia to studying religion in Israel, working in startups in San Francisco, and finally settling in New York. We also talk about how difficult it can be to start a business as a minority and how important it is to find and create a community.

How to lead and what we got wrong about imposter syndrome with Temi Adeniyi

Temi Adeniyi is a design leader and product designer who’s making wonderful things for the internet. In this episode, she takes us through her journey into the design industry, from London to Berlin, always following her curiosity. We also dive further into her four principles, which are: collaboration in all directions openness, giving trust, and fairness. Join us to know more about leadership in the field of design!

Reimagining design with Kevin Bethune

Kevin Bethune is an author, designer, and entrepreneur. He is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Dreams Design + Life, an agency that offers design and innovation services with a human-centered approach. In this episode, we explore his remarkable background, which ranges from engineering to finance to design, while maintaining a creatively curious eye. We also discuss the future of design in an increasingly interconnected world. Listen and learn how to help the world by delivering important innovations that will benefit everyone.

Freelancing and leaning into your own style with Monique Wray

Monique Wray is a San Francisco-based animator, illustrator, director, and the founder of Made by Small Studio. In this episode of Technically Speaking, we discuss Monique's path as a black artist and the challenges that come with it, as well as her art style, which is heavily influenced by her Jamaican roots. Join us to discover more about her introspective and creative journey, which resulted in some great projects with a wide variety of clients and content.

Designing for safety with Eva PenzeyMoog

Eva PenzeyMoog is the author of "Design for Safety," the founder of The Inclusive Safety Project, and the principal designer at 8th Light. She is a strong supporter of protecting the weakest, particularly when it comes to interpersonal violence. In this episode, we addressed design ethics, how technology may harm other people, and the most frequent and alarming violations. Join along and learn more about how the Process for Inclusive Safety may be able to resolve the problem.

Recognizing transferable skills and creating equitable out comes with Chris Thoms

In this episode of Technically Speaking, the Experience Designer at NWEA (and my Clubhouse friend) Chris Thoms joins the show to unravel the events that led him into the creative business after dedicating his life to soccer coaching. We touch upon the value of transferable skills and creating safe spaces to reframe the conversations inside a work environment. Plus, he shares how he got in touch with the children and communities that he is designing for and how that is part of his purpose.

Chaotic good with Timothy Bardlavens

Timothy Bardlavens is a Product Design leader that works to combat misinformation and harmful content inside Meta apps. In this episode, Timothy has some interesting advice and views around chaotic-good leadership, transparency and accountability. Join us while we discover more about how integrity manifests itself organizationally and within a product inside Meta!

Designing your career and embracing the individual contributor role with Catt Small

Catt Small is a cat lover, karaoke singer, writer, and gamer. She’s currently leading the design of Goals at Asana and in this episode, we go deep into her vision of design management and the key elements to building a successful design team, as well as senior designers’ leadership. Do you want to know what the day-to-day work inside Asana’s Goals Product Team is like? Get ready to join this interesting conversation and discover it.

Creativity, Building SuperFriendly, and Design Systems with Dan Mall

The Creative Director Dan Mall joins the show to talk about his career path and the moments that led him to start SuperFriendly, his own agency that is all about design systems. Dan shares his ethos and explains why he considers himself an intentional person. We explore some of the key moments within the foundation of SuperFriendly and we talk about the practices that companies value the most when it comes to working with agencies.

New Principles, Open Environments and Design Beyond Screens with Jasmine Orange

Jasmine Orange works as UX lead at Ernst & Young. In this episode, we talk about her background in industrial design and her passion for designing beyond the screens. Jasmine shares her vision on design principles that need to be fixed and the value of open communication within design environments. Join us and connect with Jasmine’s philosophy of hard work (and taking breaks)!

Career Reflections, Creative Intuition, and Breaking The System with May-Li Khoe

In this episode of Technically Speaking we are joined by the great May Li-Khoe (former Khan Academy and Apple) designer, engineer, DJ, and writing enthusiast. We take a look back at her career and the generational changes that are now leading to a new way of working in the creative industry, as well as the value of creative production and the new possibilities that are rising in the remote work schemes, comparing the situation as it was before when May-Li started working at big tech enterprises. Don’t miss this interesting conversation with an inspiring artist and a beautiful mind.

The Internet is a 'Fad,' Filling the Void, The Origin Story of 'Where Are Black Designers with Maurice Cherry

In this episode of the Technically Speaking Podcast, Harrison Wheeler talks with a designer, creative strategist, and podcaster who doesn’t need introductions, Maurice Cherry. Maurice’s podcast Revision Path is an award-winning weekly showcase of Black designers, artists, developers, and digital creatives from all over the world. Today, Maurice shares his experience going into design, how he found his first big opportunity, and his advocacy work highlighting black designers. Join in and learn about this designer’s approach to design work and how he’s built so many successful events and projects.

Hype Docs, No Code, and Building The Second Brain with David Hoang

In this episode our host Harrison Wheeler is joined by David Hoang, Director of Design at Webflow, to have a dynamic conversation around coding, remote work, the importance of community building, and why everyone should have their own “Hype Doc” around. Self gratitude is so important, yet we all tend to care for others while forgetting about our own needs. You don’t want to miss this inspiring episode, so tune in now!

Value-Based Decision Making, Hiring with a Growth Mindset, and Design for Cognitive Bias with David Dylan Thomas

In today’s episode our host Harrison Wheeler is joined by David Dylan Thomas, speaker, filmmaker, and author of Designed for Cognitive Bias, to talk about the fascinating world of cognitive biases, how they influence our day-to-day lives, the importance of sticking to a growth mindset and how to deal with impostor syndrome. Googling and learning from Wikipedia will never make you an expert, but it will definitely open doors for you. You don’t want to miss this conversation, so tune in now!

Nothing Ever Really Dies, Designing in Public, and Tapping into Your Super Power with Rafe Chisolm

In today’s episode our host Harrison Wheeler talks to Rafe Chisolm, product designer, twitter veteran, writer and design generalist, to talk about the potential of Twitter’s DMs, the value of networking, his trajectory in design, and the importance of using your talents in smart ways. Join this conversation to learn why a single weekend could transform your entire life if you’re willing to take the challenge.

From Agency to In-house and How UX Relates To Branding with Mathew Barnes

In this episode of Technically Speaking, our host Harrison Wheeler talks to Mathew Barnes, Senior Art Director of Brand Design at Amazon Web Services. Mathew is an artist in the B2B space and a passionate beer brewer who knows that having a strategic process is key to a successful outcome. Join in and learn how this art director works focusing on the user experience and the edge this perspective gives the brands he creates. 

East vs West Working Culture and the Bamboo Ceiling with Jason Demetillo.

In this episode of Technically Speaking, our host Harrison Wheeler talks to Jay Demetillo, lead designer at Grab in the Singapore team. Jay tells us about the differences he’s found since moving to South East Asia almost four years ago, both in the social aspect of life as well as in the design scene and the workflow within companies. What can we learn about Asian design and what has Jay been bringing to the table? Join in and listen to how to navigate cultural differences and contribute to growing the UX community abroad.

Design Operations, Systems, and Service Design with Dominique Ward

In this episode of Technically Speaking, our host Harrison Wheeler sits with Dominique Ward, Design Operations Leader at Atlassian to talk about design operations, how to build a successful op team, and how to get into that career path in 2021. Join this conversation and learn what this silent but crucial part of design is pushing the industry forward every day. Plus listen to this amazing leader share her experience!

Voice Content and Usability with Preston So

In this episode of Technically Speaking, our host Harrison Wheeler talks to web designer, content management expert, and author Preston So about the new user experiences in web design enabled by spatial and spoken content. He explains why the web is in the middle of a massive transition and how you can be part of it as a designer. Join in and listen to Harrison and Preston discuss the future of the web and the latest challenges these changes have brought to the industry.

Leadership, Individuality, and Balance with Aastha Gaur

In this episode of Technically Speaking, our host Harrison Wheeler talks to UX Director at Google Aastha Gaur. She takes us on a journey through the different teams she’s been a part of in Google, how the insides of this enormous company work, and the story of how she got into UX Design and leadership. Join this conversation and have a sneak peek into the job of the people who make our online user experience flow effortlessly in our day-to-day!

The Creative Process with Mathew Barnes

It is Friday and the end of the Technically Speaking Podcast broadcasting from the San Francisco Design Week. To wrap it up, our host Harrison Wheeler talks to artist, beer enthusiast, and design veteran, Mathew Barnes. Mathew shares some of his 24 years of experience in the design world, plus he tells us how he discovered his passion for beer. Join to discover this expert’s creative process and have a sneak peek into a live beer tasting!

Identity and Transformation with Jacob Hernandez and Julia Fernandez

Welcome to day 4 of the Technically Speaking Podcast at the San Francisco Design Week. This time our host Harrison Wheeler talks remotely with Julia Fernandez and shares the stage with Jacob Hernandez to talk about the power of transformation. Julia is a Product Design Intern at Facebook and the Co-Creator of Students of UXD; Jacob’s current position is Senior Product Designer at LinkedIn on the Equity Team. Tune into this profound conversation around the power of design and its link to social justice, community building, and overall empowerment. 

UX Research Corner and Clubhouse

In this Wednesday episode of the Technically Speaking podcast live on the SF Design Week, our host Harrison Wheeler talks to the UX Research Corner crew, a 30k+ follower Clubhouse room where they talk about the nuances and intricacies of the UX research field. Tune in and learn how these awesome women opened up the conversation on tech and built a community through such an innovative space as is Clubhouse. 

Wellness Through Storytelling with Mercy Bell and Alyssa Hart

In this first-ever Technically Speaking live stream from the SF Design Week, Harrison Wheeler talks on stage with Alyssa Hart and Mercy Bell, the creators of T4ke Care, a unique virtual wellness event and platform. Join in and listen to Mercy and Alyssa’s journey creating this beautiful multi-sensory project built on heartwarming human stories.

The Revision Path with Maurice Cherry

It is the second day of Technically Speaking at the SF Design Week. Our host Harrison Wheeler takes the stage today to talk with Maurice Cherry, host and creator of the Revision Path Podcast, an award-winning weekly showcase of black designers, artists, developers, and digital creatives from all over the world. Join in and listen to Maurice talk about the design world, his journey creating this project, and the lessons he has learned from talking to over 400 guests on his show.

Influence from the Past, Present, and Future with Maurice Woods

My latest guest is Principle Designer and Executive Director of the Inneract Project, Maurice Woods. Maurice takes us through the origins of the Inneract project and its mission to empower underrepresented youth through design education and opportunities to explore design in career and life. We reflect on how his upbringing and professional basketball career brought to consciousness the duality of existing in different spaces and how the mentorship of the prolific Seattle-based music and design pioneer Tony Gable kept him on the right track.

Self Empowerment and Advocacy with Lily Konings

Lily Konings and I have a wide ranging conversation about the importance of empowerment. Back in December Lily played a major role as the founder of the Lift Her Wealth conference which touch on financial literacy across personal finance, retirement, investing and more. It all started out of a viral tweet that resulted in 15 speakers, and more than 4,300 sign ups. We'll dive into some her learnings throughout the process and what's next. Later in the show, we talk about the importance of advocating for yourself when it comes to career growth, her concept of an ideal product organization and some of the struggles that she had with burnout back in 2020.‍

Building Better Connections with Kat Vellos

Todays conversation is around connection. Around 60% or so of Americans were reporting, feeling lonely on a regular basis. What do we do when we don’t have the physical connection in a socially distanced world. In this episode my guest is Kat Vellos, creative, facilitator, and author of the book, We Should Get Together. We dive into her journey from designer to entrepreneur, the importance facilitation and the four seeds of connection so you want to stay tuned in.‍

Where Are The Black Designers with Mitzi Okou

Black designers make up 3% of the entire industry.That was the report that came out of the 2019 AIGA design census report. That includes graphic designers, illustrators, web designers, UX designers, a wide sweeping set of roles. This number is also the foundational problem addressed by an initiative turn movement called where are the black designers? It was co-founded by my guests in this episode, Mitzi Okou. We walked through exciting developments in her career and the origins behind the, Where Are The Black Designers movement and what's in the organization's future.

Students of UXD with Vicky Vo and Julia Fernandez

What does the path of getting into UX design look like? Julia and Vicky share their experience moving into the design industry around and their motivation to start their group, Students of UXD to help empower the next generation of aspiring designers.They'll share tips on where to start and how you can get involved in the group.

Enterprising Innovation with Theresa Slate

My guest is Theresa slate and she is a multidisciplinary designer in diversity and inclusion consultant. Who's been crafting meaningful experience. In a range of industries, including consumer electronics, retail, and healthcare. She supported organizations, both in-house and outside as a consultant, which we'll get into. She'll take us from school in Cincinnati to Seattle, Palo Alto and Chicago where she is currently a design lead at Northern Trust. We dive into designing systems at scale and the challenges associated with that, and what innovation means when working at a large legacy companies.

The Craft of Management with Farai Madzima

I have the pleasure of speaking with Farai Madzima. He is a design manager at Shopify and the founder of South Africa's premier design conference, PixelUp!. Today's theme. The craft of management. Farai takes us in his meandering path to becoming a user experience designer as well as his transition into management with some helpful tips. I'm sure folks that are going into a leadership pathway are sure to take some value out ofBut don't take my word for it. Here's him in his own words. "When we build trust, if you and I are working together on a team, And when we built trust, that is beyond trusting in our work skills, but trust that is based on us having spent time, no, each other's individuals.And what's important to you. What is Harrison, you know, working towards this organization and what am I working towards? Harrison has felt comfortable to share with me, you know, the areas that he's developing. And he said, you know what, I'm really, you know, I'm not good at this yet. I'm trying to work on this when you, and I feel comfortable to say, you know, you're better than me at this.Can you teach me how to do that? When we have that kind of trust where I can say that we work entirely differently, because then we can have the conversations that really help you and I grow. And when you scale that up and you've got, you know, a team of eight 16 people doing that, um, you can have much more vulnerable conversations that allow the team to grow that where mistakes are allowed to be made."

The Art and Science of Research with Renee Reid

Renee Reid has over 20 years of professional experience, including Project Management, Sales, and Customer Success, which has contributed to her successful career as a Staff UX Design Researcher in Silicon Valley. We dive deep to answer how any team, big or small, can refine their design process through research. Additionally, we discuss tactical ways to apply foundational, discovery and evaluative methods in business settings.‍

Becoming a Master Builder with Randall Wilson II

In this episode, my guest is Randall Wilson II. I found the title 'Becoming a Master Builder' fitting for this episode because he is well on his way to achieving Lego Master Builder status (which we'll get into on the show), he build brands, has a background in architecture, manages a design team at Capital One and is a co-founder of the Hue Design Summit. I'll seek his wisdom, observations, challenges, and advice on how to execute a vision from the designer's lens.

The Start Up Pivot with Erika Hairston

On this episode Erika Hairston is my guest. She is the co-founder of EdLyft which is on a mission to equip more students for in-demand jobs they’ll love. Her motivation started from her own experience getting into the field of computer science and the mission takes on a new meaning given the remote nature of work and education. We’ll talk about the importance of taking a leap, her journey to becoming a Y Combinator backed start-up and tips for female founders.

Illustrating Equity with Angelica McKinley

I sit down with Angelica McKinley, who is currently a Creative Director at Google. She has such an array of experiences that go from design and writing for the New York Times, coding, and communication design. In this episode, we’ll talk about what equity in illustration means and the important role it plays as brands need to have a point of view on social issues and set courses of action to address them.

Amazing Design People List with Felix Lee

In this episode, my guest Felix Lee. He is the creator of the Amazing Design People List that was started in March amidst the global pandemic of COVID-19. It has grown from a mere spreadsheet to a global movement of over 4,000 designers and 300 plus mentors.

Consequence Design with Ron Bronson

In this episode, I speak Ron Bronson about Consequence Design. Ron says as “All designed interactions have consequences. Whether it's someone getting stuck buying a train ticket from a kiosk, hidden menus inside of web applications, or card-only convenience stores. In an "always-on" world, an increased constellation of digital tools can bring both significant benefits, but also harm with every notification, menu, or poorly researched interaction."

Fashion Activism with Andre Wright

The “Black Lives Matter” movement questions the narrative of black lives across the country. It uncovers important dimensions of stories that have been distorted, including stereotypes of wearing hoodies and its association with violence. In this episode, I sit down with Andre Wright, Co-Founder of Humanize My Hoodie, to debunk stereotypes through campaigns designed to humanize people of color, rather than criminalizing them.

Inclusive Design for a Digital World with Regine Gilbert

When we encounter or engage with any sort of product or service, we're using all of our senses. But if you take any of those senses away, what does that experience look like? In this episode, I sit down with Regine Gilbert, designer, educator, and author of Inclusive Design for a Digital World, to discuss steps to making a more inclusive and accessible design for all users. From visual, audio, motor to cognitive design, the discussion covers a variety of topics on accessibility and inclusion, and most importantly “where to start.”

Coaching Through a Crisis with Brooks Scott

How can you build trust, manage a team and lead effectively in today's new norm of remote work? In this episode, I speak with Brooks Scott, founder, owner, and executive coach of Merging Path Coaching. With 15 years of management experience , Brooks shares how you can drive meaningful connections through deep listening, speaking honest truths, and asking the right questions — in the comfort of your own home.

Q&A with Noah Bond

Harrison sits down with Noah Bond, a User Experience Researcher at LinkedIn. The duo fields questions from aspiring UX designers on topics around job hunting, design tools, and superpowers those have when making a career pivot.

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