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Design Review

Design Review

By Design Review
A bi-weekly podcast about products and design from a unique perspective! Your hosts are Chris Liu and Jonathan Shariat.

Each episode, we discuss important design principles and connect it to our own experience working in the field. We hope it will be interesting, informative, and entertaining!
Episode 74 - Overcoming Survivorship Bias
This week Chris and Jon talk about survivorship bias, what it is, and a few things you can do about it. Data is incredibly useful for understanding the impact of your decisions. But sometimes, the data you don't have is the key to understanding what you need to know! Listen in and let us know what you think!
February 10, 2021
Episode 73 - Making Products Accessible
This week Jon and Chris talk about the importance of accessibility and the value of being an a11y. When it comes to product design, accessibility is sometimes an afterthought, but it doesn't have to be. Jon gives a bunch of helpful tips and information on what the standards are and how to include them in your process. Listen in to this wonderful episode!
January 26, 2021
Episode 72 - The Responsibility of Designers
We interrupt our regular broadcast to bring you this special episode. This week, Chris and Jon have a conversation about the tragic events that transpired in Washington DC on January 6, 2021. What happened? What role did design have in this? And what can designers do to address the situation? Stay tuned for a very special episode.
January 12, 2021
Episode 71 - Embracing Creativity
This week Chris and Jon talk about being creative. It sounds like kind of an obvious thing (especially for designers) but Chris was inspired to talk about this after listening to a talk given by the actor, Ethan Hawke ( What does it mean to be creative? Is creativity important? Does any of it matter? How can we all be more creative? We delve into these topics and more, so listen in and get inspired!
December 23, 2020
Episode 70 - How to Improve your Product Design Skills
This week Jon and Chris talk about how to improve your product design skills when you're working as a solo designer. This is tricky because when you're working as a team of one, it can be difficult to find a sparring partner who helps you grow. So Jon and Chris offer some practical tips on what you can do to level up! 
December 8, 2020
Episode 69 - Reframing Enterprise Products
Episode 69... Nice! This week Jon isn't here so it's just Chris talking about how to reframe enterprise product design. It's a short episode this week to hopefully tie you over till we do a bigger show, when everyone is back from the holiday. Donate to the show at
December 1, 2020
Episode 68 - Communication Essentials for Designers
This week, Chris and Jon discuss the essential stuff you should know to help you be a better communicator at work. Good communication skills helps you be more successful, and we give you some tips on improving your communication skills! We also got our first voice message and played it on the show. You can leave us a voice message at 
November 18, 2020
Episode 67 - Negotiating Job Offers Like a Pro!
This week Jon and Chris talk about the art of negotiating a job offer, and give you valuable hints and techniques to help you get the most out of your next negotiation. Listen in for an incredibly important episode!
November 4, 2020
Episode 66 - Moving Beyond Senior Designer
This week Chris and Jon answer a listener question about "how to progress your career once you reach senior designer level". Even if you're not yet a Senior Designer, this is a good introduction to moving forward in your career so listen in and let us know what you think!
October 20, 2020
Episode 65 - How to Start a New Job
This week Chris and Jon talk about the best ways to start a new job on the right foot! Hint: it starts with making a plan. But we share a lot more useful information, so listen in and kick off your next job in the best way possible!
October 6, 2020
Episode 64 - Designing Peace of Mind
This week's episode is sponsored by Webflow! Visit and use promo code "designreview" to get 10% off on annual plans for any new account! This week Chris and Jon talk about peace of mind, and how important it is to design things that give users peace of mind. Tune in to get some things to think about and ideas on how to approach this important topic!
September 22, 2020
Episode 63 - Writing Design Documentation
This week's episode is sponsored by Webflow! Visit and use promo code "designreview" for 10% off on an annual plan for new accounts! Jon and Chris talk about the importance of docuentation for your design projects, and ways to approach the sometimes-arduous task of writing documentation. This is really important to help your projects succeed so tune in to this episode!
September 8, 2020
Episode 62 - Ethical Design and Principles
This week Chris and Jon discuss how to use principles in your work to be more ethical. There are many good reasons to bring ethical practices into your work, and leading a project with principles is a great way to get things started. Listen in to learn how to be a more ethical designer!
August 26, 2020
Episode 61 - Fear vs Productivity for Designers
This week, Jon and Chris talk about productivity and the fear. A designer’s work is creative which is inherently ambiguous and difficult. Design work can always benefit from more time to explore, research, polish, etc. This leaves the designer to contend with how much time to spend on each step, how good is good enough, and staying on task as they battle the fear. But fear not :). Jon and Chris have some ideas for what we can all do about this. So listen in and get productive!
August 10, 2020
Episode 60 - The Importance of Research
Jon and Chris are back with an all new show, discussing the importance of research in product development. There are many things you can do to help you do better work, and research is one of them. So stay tuned, you'll love this episode!
July 20, 2020
Episode 59 - Concluding the Design Process
At long last, episode 59 is here! This week, Chris and Jon conclude the discussion series on what makes a great design process. We talk about some of the issues that impact the "How", the part after you figure out what the design should entail. Stick around for part 3 of this series!
April 17, 2018
Episode 58 - You've defined the problem. Now what?!
This week, Chris and Jon continue their series on defining an effective design process. Once you've figured out the problem, what should you do next? There are so many things that can happen (and usually do!) and Chris and Jon give their insights on what to focus on next. Stay tuned to part 2 of this series!
November 28, 2017
Episode 57 - Defining our Design Process
This week, Chris and Jon talk about defining an effective process. Let's face it. Defining a useful process is hard! There's so many questions about what to do first. And worst of all, it's really easy to start jumping in and making mockups. Stay tuned to this episode to hear about why that may not be the best idea!
November 1, 2017
Episode 56 - The 10th Anniversary of the iPhone
This week, Jon and Chris talk about the recent keynote from Apple. The show starts with a quick product review of all the different product announcements made by Tim Cook & co. Then in the second half, they get into a discussion about what's happened with Apple over the past 10 years, and why they may no longer be the center of innovation in the post-Jobs era. Stay tuned for a different kind of Design Review episode!
October 3, 2017
Episode 55 - How to Succeed at Interviews
This week, Jon and Chris answer a listener email about how to handle job interviews. Both Chris and Jon give practical tips and information from their experiences as interviewees AND hiring managers! Stay tuned for an informative episode!
September 14, 2017
Episode 54 - Don't look... It's car UX!
After 3 attempts, Chris and Jon finally get this one recorded! Phew! Jon interviews Chris about what it's like to work on car stuff, what the future holds, and how YOU could be part of it! Stay tuned for the latest show!
August 9, 2017
Episode 53 - Good designers write!
This week, Chris and Jon talk about why good writing skills are essential for doing good design. Obviously other things are important too, but writing is just one of those 'core skills' every designer must have. Stay tuned to this episode!
May 30, 2017
Episode 52 - Meetings are a necessary evil!
This week Chris and Jon talk about awful meetings, why we have to have them, and what we can do about them. There's lots of useful information to help you have better meetings, so definitely stick around for this one!
May 9, 2017
Episode 51 - How to get things made
At long last, here's episode 51! Yay! This week, Chris and Jon discuss production design and how we transition from ideas to implemented products. This is where the rubber meets the road, and you don't want to miss this important episode!
April 26, 2017
Episode 50 - Improving Design Culture
It's episode 50 everybody! Woo! We made it! Thanks to everyone for supporting us! It's been a pleasure putting these together for you. This week, Chris and Jon talk about why companies STILL don't get design, and try to figure out some ways that we can all solve this big problem together. Stay tuned for a monumental episode!
March 14, 2017
Episode 49 - Our Tools of the Trade
This week Chris and Jon talk about the tools they use to get 'er done! From desks, to pens, to apps, we cover it all. Stay tuned for a more lighthearted episode!
February 21, 2017
Episode 48 - How to define an MVP
This week, Chris and Jon discuss a listener question on how to define an MVP. Then they discuss what to do with it after launch. It's a great show for people working in startups, and how to successfully navigate the pitfalls of early product lifecycles. Stay tuned!
February 1, 2017
Episode 47 - How to plan your design career(from start to finish)
How do you get started in Design? What's next after your first job? What positions should I build to? What are the possible paths for a designer to take? We discuss these important questions and more in this week's podcast!
January 5, 2017
Episode 46 - Designing for Formunction
This week, Chris and Jon have a discussion about form vs. function and created a new word: "Formunction"!!! But is it better to emphasize form or function? Can you achieve both? Listen and find out!
November 29, 2016
Episode 45 - The Dangers of Empathy
This week, Chris and Jon discuss the danger of using empathy in your design process. This show is based on an interview published in the Harvard Business Review where researchers conducted studies on how being empathetic can actually cause problems that you may not be able to see! Stay tuned!
October 18, 2016
Episode 44 - Polite vs. Impolite Software
This week, Chris & Jon discuss the differences between polite and impolite software, and how it affects the user experience! Believe it or not, politeness matters, so stick around and listen!
October 4, 2016
Episode 43 - UI Vs. No UI
This week on the Design Review: we discuss the principle of No UI and whether or not the best interface really is no interface.
September 8, 2016
Episode 42 - Pokemon Go!
The guys have returned to the studio! This week, we discuss everyone's favorite app, Pokemon Go!
August 17, 2016
Episode 41 - Designing A/B Tests
We're a little late with this show, but Chris and Jon are back in the studio to discuss A/B testing! We break down what it is, why it's important, and even go over some of the common myths about it. So stay tuned to another great episode!
July 12, 2016
Episode 40 - The Myth of the Power User
This week Chris and Jon talk about the "Power User"! Chris thinks is all BS, and wrote a post about it. But we discuss more about this topic on the show! Stay tuned!
June 21, 2016
Episode 39 - Designing a product launch and more!
This week Chris and Jon answer some listener questions on taking a product to market and then later, how to deal with monetization. Stay tuned!
June 1, 2016
Episode 38 - Unloading Cognitive Load
This week, Chris and Jon talk about the difficulty of dealing with cognitive load. Burdening users with many options or complex navigation systems can increase the amount of cognitive load. Reducing this burden can make your product easier to use! Keep listening for more tips on dealing with this tricky problem!
May 3, 2016
Episode 37 - Landing your first design job!
This week on the Design Review, Chris and Jon discuss what it takes to land your first job as a professional designer, and answer some of the most common questions on what to do. Later in the show, we have a short discussion on equal pay!
April 14, 2016
Episode 36 - Free your mind from design blocks!
This week, Chris and Jon discuss the ways in which designers can get blocked in their creative process, and what can be done about it. Later in the show, we introduce a brand new segment that we hope you'll enjoy. So stick around for another great episode!
March 22, 2016
Episode 35 - Designers, stop being so hypercritical!
The guys are back with another episode. This week Chris and Jon discuss the hypercriticism in the design community. It's a difficult topic, since everyone has an opinion, but if we improve how we talk about design, maybe others will too! Stick around for another great episode!
March 1, 2016
Episode 34 - Why do designers become jaded?
This week on the Design Review, Chris and Jon discuss some of the negative aspects of being a designer and talk about how designers can become jaded in their careers. Later they discuss how to stop it from happening based on their own experiences. Lastly, they bring back their stories of "Good UX of the Week"!
February 16, 2016
Episode 33 - Diversity in Tech with Melanie Araujo
At long last, the guys are back in the studio! This week Chris and Jon have a conversation with Melanie Araujo, a designer and founder of, an organization dedicated to solving the problem of diversity in tech, through design. Stay tuned for another excellent episode!
February 2, 2016
Episode 32 - The power of saying "No"!
Chris and Jon are back in the recording studio for 2016! This week, they talk about how to prioritize your work and the power of saying "no"!
January 12, 2016
Episode 31 - Defining a design strategy that works!
This week, Chris and Jon are back with another topic from the listeners! This time, we're talking about how to define a design strategy at the beginning of a project. Later in the show, we discuss measuring your designs by using metrics and data. Lastly, we close out the show with our stories of "Good UX of the Week". Stay tuned to another great show!
November 24, 2015
Episode 30 - Designing with Personas!
This week, both Jon and Chris are back in the studio to discuss personas. We go over what they are, how you use them, along with some tips on how to get started. We close it out with a discussion of why people don't use them more often, along with our "Good UX of the Week" stories.
November 10, 2015
Episode 29 - Usability Testing and User Experience
This week, while Jon is busy editing his new book, Chris spends some time talking (ranting) about usability testing, and addressing some of the common myths about it.
October 27, 2015
Episode 28 - Designing with Empathy
This week, Jonathan spends some time alone and talks about empathy in design. It's an important topic that is good for the whole company, not just designers. Stay tuned!
October 15, 2015
Episode 27 - UX Design Mentorship with Michael Darius
This week, we were LIVE on Blab with Michael Darius, formerly a designer at Apple, to discuss UX design mentorship! This is the audio version of everything that we discussed. Thanks to the team at Blab and Michael for a great evening of discussion.
September 22, 2015
Episode 26 - Stop having bad critiques!
This week, Chris and Jon talk about design critiques! We discuss what they are, what they aren't, why you need them, how to run them, and so much more!
August 18, 2015
Episode 25 - How to design a great portfolio
This week Chris and Jon discuss one of the most difficult design projects of them all, portfolios. We talk about what they are, how they can help move your career forward, and how we're faring on this journey to portfolio greatness!
August 4, 2015
Episode 24 - Dark patterns and the Apple Music experience
This week, Chris and Jon discuss the new Apple Music app! They go through the onboarding, discuss the app's design, and talk about some possible solutions. Do you think Apple did a good job? Or have they resorted to using some dreadful UX dark patterns? Stay tuned! We have a great show for you!
July 7, 2015
Episode 23 - Why ask "Why"?
This week, Chris and Jon ask the most important design question in the entire universe, "Why?". We discuss the "Why" of design and talk about what you can do to make your "Why" more obvious. Stay tuned!
June 16, 2015
Episode 22 - The glue that keeps your UX together!
This week, Chris and Jon talk about one of the design industry's least favorite topics, consistency! We discuss what it is, why it's important, who owns it, and highlight some real world examples. Stay tuned! You won't want to miss it!
June 2, 2015
Episode 21 - Designing Credit Card Forms
This week, Chris and Jon discuss Jon's favorite subject, credit card forms! Along with that we go over some general tips on form design. We have a lot to talk about this week, so stick around! This is a good one!
May 19, 2015
Episode 20 - UX and User Assistance
This week, Jon and Chris wrap up this series on usability heuristics. Lots of good information about how to handle error messages and help documentation, and how important user assistance is to good design. Don't miss this episode!
May 5, 2015
Episode 19 - Nielsen's Usability Heuristics part 3
This week, Chris and Jon talk about the next set of usability heuristics, "Error Prevention" and "Recognition Rather than Recall". Thanks to the SJSU library for (inadvertently) hosting us! :P
March 29, 2015
Episode 18 - Onboarding
This week, Chris and Jon talk about onboarding! What is it? Why is it important? After Chris asked on Twitter, we also answer the questions that people have about onboarding and what makes a good onboarding UX. Thanks to everyone that wrote in!
March 9, 2015
Episode 17 - Designing for user control and UI consistency
This week, Chris and Jon continue their series on Nielsen's usability heuristics; this time, focusing on "User Control and Freedom" and "Consistency and Standards". These are 2 very important principles in UI/UX design, so stick around and listen!
February 23, 2015
Episode 16 - Nielsen's Usability Heuristics: Part 1
This episode, Chris and Jon start a series of shows devoted to everyone's favorite usability heuristics! These principles in interaction design are critical to helping make your product successful. Later in the show, we talk about some different apps that utilize these principles and whether or not they did them well.
February 10, 2015
Episode 15 - Designing Playfulness into your UX
This week, Chris and Jon talk about how playfulness can help improve your UX. As an example of playfulness, we look at an app called Carrot: an app to help you track calories. It's a fun episode, so listen in and stop being so serious!
January 26, 2015
Episode 14 - Acorns
This week, Chris and Jon take a look at a new app for investing, Acorns! We also bring on David Keegan, Director of Design at Acorns, and talk about the highs and lows of using the app and interview him on working at Acorns. Stick around! You won't want to miss this show!
January 12, 2015
Episode 13 - Reviewing Affinity Designer
This week, we return (sort of) from the holidays! While Jon is still away, Chris takes a look at a new vector art program, Affinity Designer. It's available on the Mac App Store and could be a valuable replacement for Adobe Illustrator. ***Also note: This is the audio portion (slightly edited) that accompanied a video. If you would like to follow along with this week's show, please visit and watch the video! Thanks!
January 6, 2015
Episode 12 - Workflow
Chris and Jon take a look at a new programmable automation tool for iOS and chat about onboarding and the user experience. Can this app improve on IFTTT? Listen and find out!
December 15, 2014
Episode 11 - Sketch
This week, Chris and Jon try out Sketch by Bohemian Coding. It's a tool that many designers are already using, but can it really replace Photoshop? Listen and find out!
December 8, 2014
Episode 10 - The Recap Show!
We made it to episode 10! This week Chris and Jon take a look at the past 10 weeks of shows and talk about what we learned from all the apps we've reviewed so far. Plus we briefly chat about a few of our personal favorites!
December 1, 2014
Episode 9 - Webflow
This week Chris and Jon take a look at Webflow. Have WYSIWYG website builders improved over the years? Listen and find out! Correction: Chris recorded the promo at the end of the show without realizing the promo code had changed. So make sure you use "fanimals202" when you sign up.
November 25, 2014
Episode 8 - LayerVault
This week Chris and Jonathan take a look at Layervault, a new cloud storage solution for designers! And if that wasn't cool enough, later in the show, Kelly Sutton, cofounder and CEO of Layervault, joins us for an amazing interview!
November 18, 2014
Episode 7 - Spotify
Chris and Jon take a look at the newly redesigned Spotify app for iPhone and iPad!
November 12, 2014
Episode 6 - Facebook Rooms
This week, Chris takes a look at Facebook Rooms, while Jonathan was away! We talk about onboarding, the user experience, and the aesthetics of Facebook's latest app!
November 4, 2014
Episode 5 - Google Inbox
Chris and Jonathan take a look and review the design of the web and mobile versions, listen and find out what we like, and what we didn't and most important what we learned about design.
October 27, 2014
Episode 4 - Candy - Crush
Yes, Candy Crush. Why did we pick it? We chose it because it's controversial yet has a lot to be learned, good and bad. The game has been one of the top grossing apps in the AppStore for a long time. Join us as we pick apart Candy Crush's onboarding, UX, dark patterns, and style.
October 21, 2014
Episode 3 - Quad
Chris and Jonathan take a look at Quad, a new group messaging app by Appsurdity! Later in the show, we chat with one of the co-founders of Appsurdity along with some of the Appsurdity team and find out what it was like to make Quad. Listen to this unique double episode!
October 14, 2014
Episode 1 - 2by2! app
This week, Chris and Jonathan take a look at a new photo sharing app 2by2! We go through the whole experience of using it, from onboarding to visual design, to product enhancements. Listen for a unique perspective on product design!
October 8, 2014
Episode 2 - Ello
This week, Chris and Jonathan get access to Ello! We discuss the controversy around this product. We discuss the user experience. We discuss the visual presentation. We review it all! Will we like it or hate it? Listen and find out!
October 7, 2014