Designing UX on The Fly with Digital Telepathy: Behind The Scenes at Elevate TV


Creative Cloud

Thanks to Elevate TV, viewers across the world are getting a behind-the-scenes look at some talented UX designers, creating on the fly with Adobe XD. The show was started by Digital Telepathy earlier this year, after designer Claude Piché stopped by Adobe’s studio in San Francisco to do a live demo.

He loved the challenge of creating prototypes in front of a live audience, so he decided to partner with different brands to tackle their design challenges on a live show of his own at watchelevate.tv (you can watch past episodes on demand anytime). We spoke with Digital Telepathy’s Claude Piché about the show, and asked him to share his best advice for designers on the cutting edge of UX design.

What can viewers expect when they tune into Elevate TV?

Every episode, we start by whiteboarding and focusing on the user’s story, which is a brand we’ve invited in. We’re never building a full app, so in order to focus we think about what the user wants. It’s a mix of showcasing Adobe XD’s features, and working really fast. The thing with Adobe XD is if you have an idea in your head, you can prototype it so it feels real in no time.

What’s the value of showing the process of your work?

I think showing off the behind-the-scenes of UX design is almost like putting on a cooking show. You say ‘hey it’s not the final meal, but we cooked it that way for a reason.’ I always learn just from watching people working, even here at the office, and it’s good to showcase your process and that gives back to the community.

What has doing the show taught you about UX design?

I’ve learned to think fast and move fast. Adobe XD allows me to move that fast, not settle on one idea and just iterate, iterate, iterate. Also it’s really cool, because on the show we have the stakeholder/client right next to us, so you don’t need to go work on something for a week, come back and have the client not like it. The client is right there, he or she will tell you if they don’t like your design right away and you can collaborate on changes.

What are the biggest challenges facing UX designers right now?

Putting work in front of users’ faces, or even clients, is a challenge. Prototyping can take a long time. Putting your prototype into your client’s hands, that’s the thing you need to be able to do fast. And that’s the thing Adobe XD is so good at. It’s really easy and fast to build and validate your ideas.

You fail faster, which will bring you to success faster as well. The speed of Adobe XD is really helping us meet those challenges, and also features like Repeat Grid help us eliminate the little tasks that take up so much time as a designer. Instead of me having to copy and paste and change things, in two seconds I can knock out the work it would take me an hour to do in other programs. I love the way they’re designing the product by asking the community what we want.

Why are you so passionate about UX design and sharing with others?

I love working with clients. When they’re having a problem, I love being able to see in their heads and share solutions.

That moment when they have stars in their eyes, and you’ve solved their problem and they’re super happy and they recognize your work, for me that is more significant than anything. Presenting a concept where the client is like ‘wow, approved’ and you know you’ve helped their business, this is something really powerful for me.

What’s your best advice for younger UX designers?

Maybe it sounds cheesy, but you have to have that inner passion for the work. Every morning you come to work, you have to feel you’re going to have fun and be with friends and have fun while you’re working. You can’t be taught passion, but you can let that passion develop.

Every morning you come to work, you should also let your ego go. The designer’s worst enemy is having an ego. Everyone thinks we’re artists, but we’re not in the business of being an artist. You have to put your work in front of people, and you have to be open to feedback. It takes a bit of time, and at first I was shy and afraid people would destroy my work, but you should let people destroy your work and make it better. You really have to be open to those critiques.

You have to a sponge at work too. You have to be always listening to people. Have a mentor, read a lot of blogs, and always stay fresh. It’s not something that’s always easy, but you have to stay alert as this is an ever changing industry and the moment you snooze you’re out.

Watch Elevate TV here, and to see more of Claude Piché and Digital Telepathy’s work, head over their website.