New Layer

New Layer

Oct 21, 2020 41 min

Building Your Brand

What is a personal brand and why does it matter? Should you care about building your personal brand? In this episode, Tanner and Jasmine answer these questions and more, to underline why a personal brand—how you show up every day, in any format—matters whether you've deliberately invested in one or not.
Oct 14, 2020 42 min

Accessibility Design

How do you design for accessibility? Accessibility means "access ability", the ability for an audience to access and interact with a design. We're not accessibility experts, but throughout our careers we've worked closely with or led design teams that have focused on accessibility. In this episode we share insights, resources, and tips for designing with accessibility in mind, and why it's easier than you might think. As Tanner says: "Great design is accessible design."
Oct 07, 2020 42 min

What Do Design Leaders Do?

From Directors and VPs of Design to Heads of Design and Design Managers, what do these formal leaders do all day? In this return episode of New Layer, Tanner and Jasmine talk about the various responsibilities and areas of focus for formal leaders. Everything from working with their product, engineering, marketing, and sales counterparts, to headcount and financial planning and ensuring the work of the team is having an outsized impact on the business.
Aug 12, 2020 48 min

(LIVE) Experience, Expertise, and Eagerness Live Recording

What matters most when hiring or being hired: experience, expertise, or eagerness? In this live recording of New Layer Tanner and Jasmine explore each facet as they relate to new and experienced designers. From how experience can bias us each, to why eagerness is often the most important (but also detrimental) skill for designers to develop. This episode was recorded in front of a live audience as part of Chicago Camps Leadership By Design August 2020 event.
Jun 24, 2020 42 min


What's a one-on-one and why do they matter? Who should you be having one-on-one meetings with and what should you talk about? Should you come prepared or not? In this episode Jasmine and Tanner share insights and anecdotes into what makes for an effective one-on-one meeting and how to plan for them.
Apr 29, 2020 29 min

30 Books Every Designer Should Read

Tanner and Jasmine share their must-read books for designers. Spanning everything from how to conduct design critique or present your work, to what makes a good manager and how learning about org design can help your understanding of the work you do. The full list of books mentioned are: 1. The Design Method, by Eric Karjaluoto 2. The Shape of Design, by Frank Chimero 3. The Design of Everyday Things, by Don Norman 4. How Design Makes the World, by Scott Berkun 5. The Creativity Challenge, by Tanner Christensen 6. The Making of a Manager, by Julie Zhuo 7. Org Design for Design Orgs, by Kristen Skinner and Peter Merholz 8. Sprint, by Jake Knapp 9. Radical Candor, by Kim Scott 10. The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni 11. The Messy Middle, by Scott Belsky 12. Redesigning Leadership, John Maeda 13. Discussing Design, by Aaron Irizarry and Adam Connor 14. Don't Make Me Think, by Steve Krug 15. About Face, by Alan Cooper 16. The User Experience Team of One, by Leah Buley 17. TED Talks, by Chris Anderson 18. Loonshots, by Safi Bahcall 19. Just Enough Research, by Erika Hall 20. Principles, by Ray Dalio 21. The Dance of the Possible, by Scott Berkun 22. The Elements of Typographic Style, by Robert Bringhurst 23. Thinking With Type, by Ellen Lupton 24. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, by Edward Tufte 25. Why are we Yelling, by Buster Benson 26. Resilient Management, by Lara Callender Hogan 27. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni 28. Articulating Design Decisions, by Tom Greever 29. Start With Why, by Simon Sinek 30. Mastering Collaboration, by Gretchen Anderson If you pick just four books to read from the list, Tanner and Jasmine recommend: The Design of Everyday Things, Org Design for Design Orgs, Discussing Design, and The Making of a Manager (even if you're not a manager!).
Apr 01, 2020 43 min

Joining a New Team

Joining a new team or company? There's a lot you can do up-front to ensure you set the stage for your career. More than that: the insights shared here are applicable for everyone, not just those joining a team for the first time. From dedicating time to meeting those on your team (and learning about them as individuals), to digging into understanding the history and context around the team, company, or projects. Jasmine and Tanner go into depth on what you can do when you're first joining a team to make sure you're successful, as well as what resources you can use to make the process of onboarding easier.
Mar 25, 2020 41 min

Working Remotely

When everyone on your team is working remotely—physically apart—how do you ensure you stay productive? How do you avoid burning out, unnecessary distractions, or worse? In this episode of the podcast Jasmine and Tanner share tips and insights into the world of working apart from your team. Why it's important to create a dedicated work space, how to create that vital transition from "home" to "work", and ways to stay connected when it's so easy to be removed.
Mar 18, 2020 41 min

Presenting Work for Critique

What's the best way to present your design work in a critique? There are a number of designers can do to ensure the feedback they get in critique is helpful, actionable, and levels-up not only themselves but their team too. Things like preparing by considering the feedback you're looking for, the stage of work, who will be attending the critique, and more. As well as learning how to be a great facilitator and using critique as a means for not merely sharing work but also uncovering new or different ideas.
Mar 11, 2020 40 min

Building Self Awareness

What is self awareness and why does it matter? In this episode of New Layer Jasmine and Tanner explain how the more you understand yourself, the more impactful you can be. If you're going to be an impactful designer you have to know how you work best and why, as well as how and why your peers do their best work. Thankfully there are a lot of things you can do to build your self awareness, like building an environment of feedback, taking a persona or archetype personality test, journaling, or getting a coach. All will help you improve your understanding of yourself as others see you, which is a powerful key to doing impactful work.
New Layer
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