Joe Knowles: The Stoic Designer

Talk summary

Joe Knowles

Joe Knowles

We can’t control everything. This is a fact, but one that many people fail to realise and apply to their own work and lives. We can’t control when and why people ask us what a wireframe is, or why we’re only testing with six users, or in fact, what UX is; but crucially, we can control what our reactions to these questions are.

Throughout our careers and lives many events conspire to make us give up, to fret, be angry or sad, often to the detriment of our well-being and to the detriment of the users we ought to be advocating for every day at work.

This talk introduces stoicism as a concept and aims to put personal and professional development into that framework. Case studies from my own career and life will force a rethink of common design challenges, so designers can develop into more rounded practitioners and people – not by ignoring the problems out there or solving them, but by merely rethinking how they approach them. I will dip into specific detail in the case studies, looking at real problems I’ve faced, while providing a framework that will hopefully apply far wider than UX design.

Date & time: 17th July 2020, 11:15

Duration: 30 minutes

How to watch: All talks on Friday 17th July will be free and streamed on YouTube. The link to the stream will be published here, and on the BUG Meetup page closer to the event.


About Joe

Joe has been working in UX, research and design for over 11 years and have an academic background in psychology and ergonomics. He currently work at Nomensa, which is the largest independent agency in Europe, and has worked on a number of projects across government, commercial, education and the charity sector.

Joe has worked in companies ranging from small agencies to huge multinationals and, as a result, have a good all-round understanding of the application of UX and the inherent problems with trying to deliver great experiences.

He is particularly interested in lean UX, user research and strategy – and likes to explore the role of storytelling in UX.