Podcasting our way to Better Business and Design

The web industry moves incredibly fast. Depending on your definition of “Keeping up”, the pace can mean a nagging feeling of always being behind and having to constantly catch up, or it can mean the high cadence of the space we work in is uniquely exciting and rewarding.

I believe our team tends to the latter. There is no pressure of having to achieve the impossible and know everything, but plenty of enthusiasm and excitement when it comes to learning of new developments in browser technology, sharing an excellent blog post, ordering a new design book, and especially deciding which conferences to attend.

Podcasts are another medium we use to learn and make our business better. It’s nice—and I think healthy—that when you love your work, even after a full day of it, listening to more shop talk is often appealing. Although our podcast consumption is more leisure listening than work, we’re fairly systematic about applying what we learn. That can be adopting new software or techniques; skilling up in areas we realised we have opportunity to improve; introducing new systems for on-boarding clients; or improving various workflows.

Our system is simple. One of us hears something exciting and potentially useful. It gets added to our weekly meeting—Cake Event—agenda in Asana. We discuss the new info and decide if it’s right for us. Then we plan putting it into action, and assign tasks appropriately, with due dates, to make sure we apply what we learn.

Some of our Favourite Podcasts

The Businessology Show

Hosted by Dan Mall and Jason Blumer. This show has fuelled lengthly discussions about the type of work we do, the clients we choose, and has even influenced changes to our billing structure and how we create proposals. The last episode in the current season is Friday, November 1st 2013, with Greg Hoy.

The Happy Monday Podcast

Hosted by Sarah Parmenter and Josh Long. I picked up Josh’s book, Execute, after hearing the rewards of challenging assumptions about what can be done in a relatively short timeframe when motivation is channeled. The episode with Mark Bolton encouraged us to rethink our design review process. The episode with Kristina Halvorson was enlightening in terms of content and the web. We’re currently reading her book amazing book Content Strategy for The Web.

99% Invisible

Hosted by Roman Mars. This show pleasantly reminds me that design exists beyond the web, often in places I hadn’t considered. Roman is now KickStarting the 4th season.

Shop Talk Show

Hosted by Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert. Great for learning about the latest happenings in front-end dev while laughing, a lot.

What do you recommend listening to?

Paddy O’Hanlon is a web designer and one of the principals at Logo24. He is a lover of good semantics, well documented and architected CSS, and beautiful, content-driven design. (Really the design-guise is a cover-up so he can covertly feed his travel addiction and climb many rocks around the world). He tweets @Paddy.

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