014 - How to Avoid Designing Only the Happy Path with Andrew Ditto

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Designers solve problems, it's what we do. However, when it comes to solving problems through experience design, we sometimes tend to only focus the "happy path" - the journey our users will take when they successfully complete a design solution.

But what about the "not so happy path"? What happens when an error occurs, or a certain user cannot interpret the design correctly? Many of us designers can admit that we have shipped designs that have only accounted for the solution and not the potential problems it can cause our users along the way. 

Andy and Patrick sat down with Andrew Ditto, a Quality Assurance Engineer at Canopy, to learn about how designers can get better at creating design solutions that also account for the "not so happy path".


  • What techniques quality assurance engineers employ to uncover bugs or potential user experience flaws in the design. 
  • How quality assurance engineers gain the empathy necessary to understand how users will break a design and how can designers tap into that knowledge.
  • How designers can learn to be more humble and parter with quality assurance to design "happy path" solutions while also accounting for the potential, "not so happy path" scenarios their users may encounter.



Andrew Ditto is a Quality Assurance Engineer at Canopy and a mad scientist who thinks Fahrenheit is BS and who the hell used Pascal anyway?


013 - How to Influence Stakeholders (feat. Andy Vitale)

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Andy and Patrick had a great conversation with Andy Vitale, the Director of User Experience at Polaris Industries, to learn about how designers can influence stakeholders. 

Listen in to hear: 

  • What designers can gain from building empathy for stakeholders and involving them in your design process
  • How designers can design for the business needs and the user needs in mind
  • How designers can more effectively communicate with stakeholders in their language


More about Andy: 

Andy Vitale is the Director of User Experience at Polaris Industries, a global powersports leader, where he leads user experience design across Polaris’ innovative product lines. 

Aside from his primary role at Polaris, Andy serves as Director of Design Impact for AIGA Minnesota and is an adjunct professor for Kent State University’s User Experience Design graduate program. He is also a member of the UXPA Cleveland Senior Advisory Board and the Program Advisory Committee for the Graphic Design & Interactive Media Program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Andy often writes about design and speaks at conferences and events.

Follow Andy on twitter at @andyvitale

012 - How to Avoid Confirmation Bias (feat. Nate Sanders)

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Andy and Patrick sat down with the mighty Nate Sanders, Product Manger at Pluralsight and former Product Lead at Canopy to help us understand confirmation bias better. We also chatted about how to discover if you are being bias in your design research and testing and different ways to prevent or even resolve it. We had a great time interviewing Nate and we hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.

If you want to continue the conversation leave a comment or two. If you think this topic would benefit another designer or even your design team, feel free to share it and get them involved in the conversation as well.