Aarron Walter on jumping from fine arts to software and the future of product design

Episode Summary

Welcome to the second episode of our new show, DN FM. Through interviews, news and Office Hours community segments, DN FM aims to spark a meaningful conversation on design.

Episode Notes

We're joined by Aarron Walter to discuss his early life embracing fine arts, his transition to software, and the interplay between the two. Aarron also shares his philosophy for user research, why he joined InVision, and the feedback-loop future of product design.

Aaron is the VP of Design Education at InVision, and previously founded the UX practice at Mailchimp. He's also the author of Designing for Emotion.


Invision helps make DN FM possible. InVision is a design platform to prototype and collaborate with your team - we use it internally and it makes things effortless. If you’re not familiar with them, go to invisionapp.com and check it out.

Community Announcements

Upcoming Designer News Meetups:

Minneapolis is coming up August 18

Seattle is taking place August 25

Episode Highlights

###Top Stories:
New Mastercard logo: Pentagram rebranded Mastercard for the first time in 20 years, simplifying the logo and updating the identity.

Sidebar redesign: Sacha unveiled a revamped design for sidebar.io. New functionality includes search, filters and a brand new layout.

Really Good Emails AMA The RGE Team joined us for an AMA to talk shop about email marketing & design.

Github default system fonts: Github now uses the default system font on its site.

Aaron’s background in fine arts, teaching, and the creative process (14:00)

The transition from fine arts to software design (20:50)

Being curious and working at Mailchimp (24:20)

Early design challenges at Mailchimp (30:00)

How to work around a manager who doesn’t believe in research (32:05)

Why every company should value research (35:30)

“Our work isn’t done until we turn research into a story” - presenting research to the rest of the team with storytelling, user personas, and jobs-to-be-done (38:00)

Why Aarron was attracted to Invision (44:00)

Using the history of animation as a guide for creating prototypes and getting feedback (48:00)

The future of product design (53:00)


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