Extraordinary Collaboration (with Michael Buzzard)

"When you collaborate with people and get their input and perspective it can be extraordinary and that's what gets me out of bed every day."

51 Minutes

Extraordinary Collaboration (with Michael Buzzard)

Mike Buzzard is a Design Manager on the UX Community and Culture team at Google where he works on shaping, resourcing, supporting, and guiding a range of programs and projects that are designed to ensure the health and success of UX at Google. He also recently helped design the first of its kind undergraduate degree in User Experience Design at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He’s currently working with other design leaders to elevate the craft of design in emerging design cities and is an investor and advisor to many awesome companies.

Previously, Mike co-founded the design agency Cuban Council with his friends and collaborators, Toke Nygaard and Michael Schmidt. They created a company that could focus on making great things the way they thought it should be made. In their 10 year run, they were able to design cutting edge digital product design solutions for companies like Facebook, Google, Zendesk, Rdio, Quora, Evernote, and Epitaph Records.

"It's hugely important to understand what you're capable of contributing and being surprised with the outcome when you partner with someone that brings a different aspect to the work.... When you collaborate with people and get their input and perspective it can be extraordinary and that's what gets me out of bed every day."

Back in day as a “Creative Developer”, he helped usher in early generations of web designers and digital product designers through his commitment and contributions to sites like k10k.net, newstoday.com, designiskinky.net, and many more.

On this episode we discuss:

  • How Mike helps evangelize, elevate, and grow design at Google by
    working with a wide array of design teams, design leadership,
    business units, partners, and agencies.
  • What it was like doing web design back in the old school days when folks were hacking art and code to make unique web site and
    discovering the vast opportunities. Remember pixel fonts?
  • The story of building Newstoday.com.
  • His experience being hired by Brett Gurewitz from Bad Religion (one of his personal heros) to redesign Epitaph Record’s.
  • How Cuban Council was started, how they grew, and why they eventually closed the doors.
  • Why collaboration and a perspective of value is important to doing great work, and why it's important to always be sharing.
  • Why designers needing to trust and believe that we’re “doing what’s right for people most of the time” and that before being able to deliver a argument that's convincing and compelling, you have to be confident.
  • The story about a time when a young Mark Zuckerberg asked him to define design while they were working on the Facebook Logo.

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