UX + Navigating Rough Design Waters + Design Leadership with Dennis Lenard — DT101 E82

Dennis Lenard is the CEO at Creative Navy. We talk about user experience, navigating rough design waters, and design leadership.

Portrait of Dennis LenardListen to Learn About:

  • User experience (UX) and User interface (UI) design
  • UX in the healthcare industry
  • The role “people politics” plays in the design process
  • Mistakes made when it comes to leading design teams
  • A good design team leader’s qualities
  • Working through challenging moments in the design process

Our Guest

As the CEO of Creative Navy, a London-based agency that takes an evidence-based approach to UX design and user-interface design, Dennis combines pragmatic vision with a thorough understanding of research practice. He has coordinated more than 500 design projects across the globe. His team has provided design-innovative solutions to worldwide companies such as Jaguar, Ford, and Philips, using a structured process in which decisions are grounded in rational methodology and meticulous data review rather than intuition, blind convention, or whim. Dennis has had a diverse education with degrees in law, psychology, economics, and philosophy.

Show Highlights

[00:58] Dennis’ background in cognitive science and how it led him to UX and UI design.
[01:58] The challenges in creating embedded interfaces.
[03:33] How a company can develop blind spots about its own product.
[05:35] The ways Dennis works with companies to help them see past their blind spots to the value in user research.
[07:09] Dennis offers one example from a large company with 4,000 users of a particular piece of technology.
[09:09] Two reasons design projects can see resistance and pushback: identity and uncertainty.
[12:06] The unique challenges of developing UX for the healthcare industry.
[14:59] Dennis talks about the COVID-19 case tracking project his company worked on.
[16:51] How Dennis’ team worked through resistance from the client.
[19:04] Managing people and relationships is fundamental to design.
[21:05] The responsibility of designers to try and make a better world – physically and digitally.
[23:34] The less-glamorous side of design work.
[25:23] Building a strong team and creating a safe space for working through difficult moments in the design process.
[26:36] Two patterns Dennis has noticed when it comes to leading design teams.
[28:50] How Dennis helps his team members push through challenging moments.
[31:24] Two key qualities of good design team leadership.
[35:46] Dennis gives three pieces of advice for designers.


Dennis on LinkedIn
Creative Navy
Creative Navy on Twitter
Creative Navy on Medium
Why Creativity Matters in UX Design
Top Developers’ Interview with Dennis
Interface Design UK

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