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Descender

Welcome to Descender, a podcast where we dive deep into the design career topics we all think about, but don’t talk enough about. Each episode we’ll talk with different designers about how they’ve navigated these tricky questions, and what milestones or bumps they’ve hit along the way.

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Can we really get users to build better financial habits?

Improving financial literacy is a lofty goal that is not always easy to achieve. We can’t pretend that we know it all but we want to help the best way that we can and get users to make the most informed decisions possible. Ola Trytek (UX Researcher) and Felipe Sbravate (Product Design Manager, formerly at Dreams) both offer their insight into how we can provide the right guidance in a responsible way as well as how to navigate the many hurdles users face in attempting to improve their financial literacy. Questions we uncover in this episode include: How do we conduct effective user testing with sensitive financial data? How do we ensure the information we provide is comprehensive but not intimidating? What assumptions can we make about age when it comes to financial habits? Descender is hosted by Melanie Löff-Bird, and produced by Francesco Cutolo, Minna Engelmark, Anushae Hussain, Jonatan Andersson, Rachel Rosenson and Melanie Löff-Bird. This podcast is brought to you by the design team at Klarna. Have thoughts you want to share with the team about this season? Get in touch with us via email at descender@klarna.com, on Twitter @KlarnaDescender or Instagram @klarna.design

37mins

6 Jul 2022

Rank #1

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How does app design change overseas?

There seems to be a lot of buzz around super apps such as WeChat and the influence of Asian UI design across the world but what does it even mean we say east vs. west? Do the considerations and dynamics of designing for an Asian audience really differ? This week we talk with two Berlin-based designers Helen Chang (Taiwan) and Cupi Wong (Hong Kong) to get their thoughts on the challenges and benefits of working abroad in a new cultural context. Tune in to hear Helen’s reflection on the pressures of designing for an app with over 1 billion users as well as how both her and Cupi have seen the social norms of their respective countries play out in the apps used by these billions of users. We also provide some advice on what designers should think about if they are tempted to take the leap and move to work in a new country. Mentioned in this episode:  Meituan Descender is hosted by Melanie Löff-Bird, and produced by Francesco Cutolo, Minna Engelmark, Anushae Hussain, Jonatan Andersson, Rachel Rosenson and Melanie Löff-Bird. This podcast is brought to you by the design team at Klarna. Have thoughts you want to share with the team about this season? Get in touch with us via email at descender@klarna.com, on Twitter @KlarnaDescender or Instagram @klarna.design

32mins

22 Jun 2022

Rank #2

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Is just translation enough?

As we saw in our mini-series on UX writing, words matter but success doesn’t translate in all languages. The Klarna app supports 17 languages which means a lot of opportunity & risk when it comes to communicating with users . In this first episode of our new season we talk with product designer, Justyna Piwowarska and UX researcher, Selina Burzler about how they have tackled localization and getting research done in a way that allows people to express themselves most honestly despite language barriers. Mentioned in this episode:  Nimdzi Descender is hosted by Melanie Löff-Bird, and produced by Francesco Cutolo, Minna Engelmark, Anushae Hussain, Jonatan Andersson, Rachel Rosenson and Melanie Löff-Bird. This podcast is brought to you by the design team at Klarna. Have thoughts you want to share with the team about this season? Get in touch with us via email at descender@klarna.com, on Twitter @KlarnaDescender or Instagram @klarna.design

38mins

8 Jun 2022

Rank #3

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Introducing Season 3: Global issues, local solutions

Welcome to Descender Season 3: Global issues, local solutions! In this season’s episodes, we reflect on the big challenges facing the world today and dive into how we designers tackle those issues in our day-to-day work. Whether it be the question of inclusivity with language localization, how to responsibly pull in influence from different cultural design trends or how to build financial products that take into consideration users' varying sensitivity with saving money. We don’t have all the answers yet but talking with Klarna’s diverse team of product designers, researchers and writers we have uncovered some interesting reflections on how to frame our role as designers in an ever-evolving, culturally expanding world. Descender is hosted by Melanie Löff-Bird, and produced by Francesco Cutolo, Minna Engelmark, Anushae Hussain, Jonatan Andersson, Rachel Rosenson and Melanie Löff-Bird. This podcast is brought to you by the design team at Klarna. Have thoughts you want to share with the team about this season? Get in touch with us via email at descender@klarna.com, on Twitter @KlarnaDescender or Instagram @klarna.design

18 May 2022

Rank #4

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Establishing the Process Between Design and UX Writing

In our final episode of Season 2, we get into the nitty gritty details of what makes a successful UX Writing & Product Design collab. From Klarna Berlin, Alfonso Maestro and Haerin Song peel back the curtain on how they’ve built a strong foundation for the Klarna Bank product. These two will share with us practical examples of how to create foundational alignments on ways of working, setting up Figma to work best for UX writers and engineers, and understanding how and when to involve legal and marketing in the work. Their insights span newmarket launches, localisation, and good old error copy improvements that you can take back to your team.

36mins

11 May 2022

Rank #5

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Bonfire Connections of a UX Designer & Writer

From a chance bonfire meeting in South Africa to becoming a Gemini design duo for the ages, Luci Badenhorst (Praekelt.com, South Africa) and Lee Mavuso (Klarna, Sweden) share with use there working journey. As a designer, Luci shares why working with UX writing and story is essential to the work, and how to bring writers into the team and client projects. As a writer, Lee gives a peak into her shift from copy to UX and how she pivoted her love of words into the agency world. But their advice above any process is how to form connection and common understanding with anyone in the room.

31mins

27 Apr 2022

Rank #6

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Seeking inspiration in UX Writing

Our Focus on UX Writing continues as we explore what inspires the words we work with. We’ll speak with Ben Davies in London (former English teacher and PM, current cheese-balloon artists and UX Writer) and Meaghan Cooper in Stockholm (academia escapist into the world of UX) about how they stay sparked. Ben shares how they comb through app for awareness, and building awareness of how their own style can creep into their tone of voice. While Meaghan shows how her background in poli-sci and text analysis lends itself to UX Writing thinking and the critical need of having a crazy section in your Figma board. Both will speak about vomit drafts, so it’s a conversation for the ages.

35mins

13 Apr 2022

Rank #7

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Getting into UX Writing

Last episode we were introduced to the world of UX Writing. Now in our latest UX Writing deep dive, Joe Bertino and Sergio Valero start to show us the scope of this field. These UX Writers take us through their organic journey of how they pivoted from marketing and ads into the user focused discipline of UX Writing, and pick apart the similarities and differences between these roles. They talk about the different ways to get into this field, through formal education, bootcamps, or lateral career moves within companies. But most importantly, they speak about how to reflect for yourself if UX writing is the right field for you.

36mins

30 Mar 2022

Rank #8

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The Pitch as a UX Writer

Descender is back! The design podcast where we deep dive below the surface is coming up for air to share with you more conversations for designers by designers.In our new mini-series, we’re peeling back the lid on the world of UX writing. Or is it the world of content design? Or are they really just UX designers who work with words? Nicolaas Netherland and Alex Tkachenko are the word experts who will help us pick apart the impact of this new and evolving job title as they share with us their best, their worst, and hopefully their future ways of describing UX writing.

29mins

16 Mar 2022

Rank #9

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How do you keep your perspective fresh?

We’re wrapping up Season 1, and hope that some of these stories have freshened up your perspective along the way. But if you still need some ideas on how to broaden your mindset about your design career, listen in to Anushae Hussain and Ahmed Aarbaj’s tip on how to think fresh in any project or design process

36mins

10 Nov 2021

Rank #10