Michael Riddering (@ridd_design) AKA Ridd is an experienced designer who recently found huge success teaching online. After strategically providing a ton of free value across multiple networks, he launched his Figma Academy in 2022 earning over $300,000 in the first 4 months. This green-lit and helped boost his next startup Dive, an online learning platform with a world class team to help level up your design career. We rap about what it takes to stand out as a UX designer, how AI could assist online eduction and we get practical with a value-packed case study on how to plan, hype and launch a digital product if you have no audience.
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- 01:37Michigan and Detroit pig law
- 02:51Intermission: No Context (watch video)
- 04:13Devising a launch strategy for designer wanting to sell a digital product with no audience
- 05:52Stage 1: Preparation
- 08:52Sponsor: Lemon Squeezy
- 09:35Naming and Pricing
- 11:45Pricing for teams?
- 13:35Stage 2: Hype
- 16:05What channels are we sharing on?
- 17:40LinkedIn thoughts
- 18:10 Next Guest Cameo: Matthew Smith aka Whale
- 18:30Freemium model?
- 20:10Do you split the product into 2 offerings? Lite and Premium?
- 20:59Stage 3: Launch
- 21:07What day of the week do we announce?
- 21:15Product Hunt launch tips
- 22:58DM’ing friends and family with PH link
- 24:29DM’ing influencers with launch Tweet
- 25:50Rob’s launch learnings and being vulnerable
- 27:22Are you creating launch checklists?
- 29:00Intermission: Overrated, Underrated
- 30:19How can AI aid learners in real skills and not just information?
- 30:19Learning Advice: MDS
- 34:20How can AI assist Dive students with accountability and completing courses?
- 37:21Promo: Yo! on YouTube – Yo! Newsletter
- 38:00Listener question: How can I become more hireable as a UX designer?
- 41:50How can UX designers stick out online?
- Ridd Website – LinkedIn – Twitter
- Projects Dive – Figma Academy – Maven
- People Dylan Field – Ivan Zhao – Johnny Ive – Dieter Rams – Jordan Singer – Rogie
- Mentions Design Subreddits – Automator
- Yo! Guests John O’Nolan – MDS
- Ridd Interviews Product Design Podcast – Design MBA – Make Lemonade
- Outro credit Strangers on the go by Mindme
- Music? All licensed and available on Epidemic Sound
Bonus Episode Content:
No Context Intermission:
Rob: Yo Ridd, welcome to the show, my man.
Ridd: Thank you very much for having me. I've actually been looking forward to being like on a podcast with you specifically for some time now. I've been listening for a while.
Rob: Appreciate that a lot. So I've been trying to dig up the dirt on Michigan and I stumbled upon this nugget. True or false? There is a law that pigs cannot roam freely in downtown Detroit unless they have a ring in their nose.
Ridd: Oh, I want that to be true so badly. I'm gonna say, I'm gonna say it's definitively true.
Rob: It's saying that's basically they have this bad habit of dragging their noses and causing damage to things. And if they have the ring there, they don't drag a nose cuz it drags on the ring.
Ridd: I am the Token Midwest Center in like most of my online social circles. And working at Maven, you're just reinforcing that, that stereotype right now it's, I just need to embrace it at this point.
Rob: But looking, doing the research on Michigan, it looks incredible. I want to say it's probably quite underrated in the us right?
Ridd: Yeah, I mean, so I moved from Denver, which is really beautiful. Got rare, used to mountains. Michigan's really beautiful. I, I almost think I like it more. I miss mountains, but like, it's just so green. Like I love the how green it is here and, and just being able to like look outside my window and it's like I'm in the woods.
Ridd: It's cool.
Rob: Let's go right into a fun intermission. It's called No Context, so simply shoot back either of the two options I give you no context given. No context needed.
Rob: Auto layout or automation.
Ridd: On a layout.
Rob: Dylan Field or Ivan Zar,
Ridd: Oh man, I gotta go, Dylan. I love his story.
Rob: February 23rd or May 12th.
Ridd: How'd you do that? February 23rd? I'm selfish.
Rob: Coming last in your Fantasy football league or spending New Year's Eve waiting tables at Buffalo Wild Wings
Ridd: Oh my gosh. Oh, I would do Buffalo Wild Wings. Oh, it hurts me to say
Rob: Framer or Webflow
Rob: ScreenFlow or Clean Shot
Ridd: plane shot
Rob: Gum Road or Lemon Squeezy
Ridd: lemon squeezy.
Rob: Serif or Sand Surf.
Ridd: Ah, stand there.
Rob: Inspiration or motivation,
Ridd: Wow. Motivation.
Rob: live cohorts or self-service learning.
Ridd: Live cohorts,
Rob: And lastly, CVS or side projects.
Ridd: side projects. Those were good. Those were, you did your research.
Rob: Thank you very much. Going through your work timeline on LinkedIn. It's obvious you have tried a lot of things and recently as you become a prolific creator and master launch executioner,
Ridd: Ooh, nice.
Rob: For anyone not familiar with your story, after pulling back the spring for years, you launched Figma Academy earning over $300,000.
Rob: In the first four months, it was a masterclass to witness from the outside. You know, I could just see Gary v's. Jab, jab, jab, jab, jab, jab, jab. Right hook right at the end. It was very impressive. Okay. For fun, and to try and add as much value as we can for the listeners. Okay. I want to try and devise the perfect launch strategy for a fictitious little designer project.
Rob: Okay. So we are gonna pretend we're a newcomer designer, not one with a big audience like you have. But what they're doing is they're sitting with some assets and they wanna just add a little bit more residual income every month, and they want to launch this hand drawn vector pack. Okay? So think of arrows, squiggle shapes.
Rob: These are assets that you can add to a design, even in a landing page to help bring life, to create excitement to a landing page. Okay? So he is sitting with these assets, he's going, wow, these are actually really good. I'd love to launch these and try and earn a little bit of an income. Okay, so let's break it down into sort of three stages and let's wrap about each stage.
Rob: Let's do preparation stage one, stage two. Let's talk about building hype and stage three. Let's talk about the launch. Okay, so what is the first thing you do ru
Rob: if you are planning to launch this vector pack?
Ridd: I mean, honestly the disclaimer for all of this is like if you want to be able to do things like launch vector packs, man, having even a small audience is a superpower. And so you're gonna have to put yourself out there. You're gonna have to like create some stuff. And it might not be all about the vector pack, like just sharing what you know and, and specifically thinking about like, what do I wish I knew like a year ago?
Ridd: And then basically writing to that version of yourself one year earlier. If you consistently do that, you will create value for a lot of people out there.
Ridd: Then you can kind of think about, okay, how do I weave this vector pack into this like little bit more broad stream of content that you're sharing?
Ridd: And, and then let's talk about like a channels too. So, I mean, obviously like Twitter's kind of the default right now. Like that's, that's where I focused almost exclusively when I had no followers. But it's not the only place, like Reddit is a super underrated channel. Find subreddits that people would be interested in and even like getting into like different LinkedIn groups and, and or Slack channels and things like that.
Ridd: Like spend an hour and just write out, oh, where do I think my potential customers? Live and kind of just like start there. And from that point, again, you want this, the stream of content needs to be like kind of broad, especially for Twitter, but you wanna strategically think about how can I showcase this vector pack in a way that is compelling?
Ridd: And if you don't have a following, a really underrated way to, to kind of just get some eyeballs on things is to. Reach out individually to people that you look up to. And I'm, I'm kind of going a little bit out of order
Rob: No, I love it. I love
Ridd: another thing that jumps out to me that it's like super underrated tactic, especially when you're early out, is if there's a designer that you think, wow, like this person is, is really just awesome, send him a dm.
Ridd: Just don't ask for anything. Just say, Hey, I like got totally LA lost down like the rabbit hole of your work. It's amazing, and I just wanted to say like, good job. Like you're, you're really inspiring to me, and just leave it at that. And they might not even respond. Or maybe you get just like a, they'll just like, you know, like it or give you like a heart or something like that.
Ridd: And that's okay because what you're doing is effectively, like you're priming this network around you so that when you actually do want to put something in front of them, They have like this context of this really encouraging message right above it, and it doesn't feel as cold. Even if they didn't respond, it doesn't feel cold anymore.
Ridd: And so like, I'm not kidding. I think one of the best investments you can do as someone that's like trying to break in or trying to create content, or maybe you're just like young in your career as a designer, send really kind messages to everyone. Like it's so har, it's so high roi. It's crazy.
Rob: Huge shout out to this episode sponsor Lemon Squeezy who Red and I both use to power payments for our products. Red accepts solo and team licensed payments for his Figma Academy course and I'm managing subscriptions for authors wanting to promote their templates on one page. Lo. Lemon squeezy have also just rolled out their brand new affiliate feature where your fans can start earning a cut by referring their audience to you.
Rob: They are customizable commission rates, advanced analytics and even automated payouts by lemon squeezy have a manure. They also handle the pain of EU VA laws for you. Sign email@example.com to streamline your online payments. Gold. Gold. So let me just interject there. So. Of course preparation and the building hype are intertwined.
Rob: You know, you have to use all the channels to prepare, and you have to use these channels to start actually executing. So let's step a bit more macro. You know, those are gold, but let's talk about deciding what we're gonna call it and maybe let's, let's lean after that into price. And again, it's like, you know, when you, when you're on the DM with someone, you can literally go to, to creative what you were saying, like on the dms.
Rob: Now, now you can say like, Hey, so I'm thinking about calling it X or Y. What do you think? Just by like throwing it out there, you can start collecting stuff on a one-to-one. Okay, so naming and pricing. How are you gonna figure this out?
Ridd: I'll be honest, man. Naming has been a very, very difficult thing for me. Forever. It's, it's always a lot of people look forward to it. Like the opportunity to brand something. I dread it cause I'm just like, this is gonna be so hard. I would probably do some research and try to, even just within the Figma community trying to find different files.
Ridd: It's kind of cool that you can like filter by paid. Now I'd probably only look at paid things because those are the people that are. Kind of putting this like product mindset on what they're creating and really trying to brand something. And I would take as much inspiration as possible. And then honestly, like, it's kind of cliche at this point, but man, I've started using Chachi PIF for.
Ridd: For, for writing and, and labeling and even just like titling YouTube videos, like I would cycle through a hundred different iterations and just try to word dump and start to, to map things out. And you want it to be memorable and kind of descriptive too. I'm also a huge fan of alliteration, so like the very first project that I ever launched was, was handoff helpers.
Ridd: And it worked great and it's like been a pretty good brand. Like people still mention that on LinkedIn years later kind of thing. I don't know if I have better advice for naming than, than just like get inspiration and try to iterate on it.
Rob: No, that's great. And then price point you basing, what are the other vector packs on Figma? When you're sorted by paid, you're seeing what's out there, you on Google going, Hey, you know, how much are vector packs? So there's a ceiling we don't have to go to. Too deep enterprising psychology right now, but I've learned from your launches and your debriefs that you, I think you said 40% of your earnings were from enterprise level licensing.
Rob: Are we going there from the start?
Ridd: I actually think it's more than 40% now. And it's interesting. I actually. Would've maybe been a little bit more hesitant specifically for this use case of Vector Pack in the beginning. But even just in the last couple weeks, I've started like using a little stick figure pack at Maven, and then everyone at Maven was like, oh, I wanna use that.
Ridd: I wanna use that in the decks. And now it's like in our decks. And so I could actually see a path where you could position a pack like this to help create more like cohesion and strengthen the visual language for your team. That's kind of a cool angle actually, and it would be a way to stand out in the market a little bit.
Rob: I'm feeling this.
Ridd: Yeah, I, I think I am too actually, cuz I was already kind of like, you know what, if I was gonna do this, I think I'd launched like at least five or $10 more expensive than all the other ones. I think like, just differentiating that way. There are so many cheap vector packs. Like if I see a a $5 vector pack, I don't really care.
Ridd: Honestly, I don't really care because I just assume that it's. Just another vector pack. And so you needed some way to make it very different. And I think leaning into that team, work with the other designers on your team or like create a bridge between design and marketing at your company. That's kind of cool.
Ridd: That's kind of cool.
Rob: bring life into your team's workflow and workday, you know, with a vector pack you know, unlimited team license. Drag it into your designs. You know, obviously you're gonna, we not talk about the features right now. I think that a differentiator on its own is if it's gonna be $29,
Ridd: I think so.
Rob: people are gonna be like, Hey, this is 29 bucks.
Rob: Why is everything else five? Obviously professionals are using this. Okay, cool. Let's, let's just hop over into hype. Okay, so now we've got our apac, we are gonna target teams. You know, obviously it can be used for personal use. Two. Now how are we going to start getting some excitement about this? So when it comes to phase three with our launch, we can help.
Rob: Actually set this one off, like set it on fire. So what are we gonna do to build some hyper, hyper on this pack?
Ridd: Yeah, so the context is you have been consistently sharing how you personally use this pack the entire time. What I would then do on top of it is I would try to build a relationship with like, Three to 10 people, depending on how big your network is, give the pack to them for free and just ask them to make something, one or two things.
Rob: I love that.
Ridd: A couple people have done this really well recently, so some tangible examples is, Jordan Singer with Diagram did this with Automator and he gave beta access to people, and then he said, send me your automations. And then he was constantly retweeting these things that people were making and kind of stringing them together into these really fun narratives and nobody had access, right?
Ridd: There was like 20 people that could do this, but.
Ridd: You knew exactly who the 20 people were because it was really cool. And Jordan kept pointing to them. And Raji did the same thing recently where he gave like just a handful of people access to his noise and texture plugins, and then would share them and constantly comment on them.
Ridd: And you would see all these beautiful things that people are making and you're like, wow, that is really, really cool. And then he would always say something vague about like, you know, like, it's coming soon. Like I'm working on it behind the scenes. You know? And, and that's kind of. That's your ideal playbook, I think, is you wanna, you want to build this little micro network of people who at least once have used your pack.
Ridd: And then you can point to people that are not you and say like, look at this cool thing. Look at this cool thing. It's coming soon. It's coming. Look at this cool thing. Oh man, I can't wait for you guys to get this. This is really cool. Look what this guy made. It's coming soon, I promise. You know? And you just run that playbook for like a couple months at least.
Rob: That is such a phenomenal answer. Got me. Like my ideas are going nuts for everything I'm building. I'm like, that is so good. So just back on pricing, is that the higher you price it from the beginning, the more sort of leverage you're gonna have in that negotiation? Cause you go up to someone privately and saying, Hey, this is 1 99, this pack, but it's yours.
Rob: But if it's $5, they'd be like I'm not really gonna design anything with, you're a $5 pack man. I'm pretty busy. So there is that leverage. Anyway, speak to me quickly about networks. It's, it's not digress too much, but obviously we are gonna go to Twitter. I know you're a advocate. I'm an advocate. So, so what other channels are we, are we trying to reach out to people trying to show our work in public?
Ridd: I, I think that there are really niche like Slack groups where maybe there's only 50 people, but you can find some really, really targeted groups. Like I'm in groups specifically for design creators that are focusing mostly on Twitter. You know, like, not to say that you have to get in that group, I'm saying like there is a group for you, I promise.
Ridd: There's like, there are smaller communities and. Just kind of doing a little bit of research and putting feelers out. Like you don't have to go for the big reach. You can go for like the really, really specific group that you know would be interested. And then I don't have data on this one yet, but there are Sure.
Ridd: Are a lot of stories of people with absolutely no audience able to, to, to make a decent dent on like TikTok specifically in reels
Ridd: where, It's just the, the fact that it is inherently algorithmic allows you to have the super high ceiling on day one, where you just don't get that on almost any other platform.
Ridd: I would definitely invest a little bit of time just testing. I would do four or five tests and just see what happens. And if it, if it really is absolutely nothing, then yeah, that's fine. You can, you can punt it. But man, I'd be quick to test right now. If I was starting out.
Rob: I, I was hoping you weren't gonna say that last one cuz I just don't want to admit it.
Ridd: I don't either.
Rob: I know it's so effective and I've seen it over and over again. Okay. So we have got joining these groups we're building in public. Are you dabbling on LinkedIn? I know you got quite a following on LinkedIn. Are you sharing this on LinkedIn?
Ridd: I don't know what to do with LinkedIn. I hate it. I hate it. Somehow I have like, I don't even know, like 13,000 followers. You'd expect that to move the needle. Right? And it like mostly doesn't, but then I see other people and I'm like, oh my gosh. They are like building an entire business off of LinkedIn engagement.
Ridd: So genuinely it is this thing that I feel like I have to do that I don't want to do.
Rob: Yeah, fair enough.
Ridd: kind of kind of try everything, especially doing an audience, like try everything. That's, I think that's kind of how I would start.
Rob: So we're not gonna talk about email service provider cuz you know you're a newbie designer, you haven't got a big audience. Sure. When launch comes, you're gonna, you're gonna email your list. That's, you're definitely gonna do that. But speak to me about the freemium model. Are you a fan? A free version of the pack, but diluted.
Ridd: Honestly, I'm typically not a fan. I think it's super easy for people to get a little taste and not pay. I just would be nervous about the conversion rate, and especially if you're just starting off like, I don't know how many times you can drive a bunch of people to this product. And there's two ways to look at it cuz it's like, on one hand it is you're, if you're doing the enterprise angle, you're kind of doing bottom up sales.
Ridd: You really need to just get one advocate in a company and get them to foot the bill or like to push the bill to someone else, like a little, like a hiring manager or use their like expense card or something like that. So that makes me hesitate because I could see a world where you could give that one designer a taste and a basically, Empower them.
Ridd: If you're thinking about like a Figma file, I would have a frame in the Figma file that is literally like my one page, my one pager, my sales sheet of like, this is what you get out of it. This is why you should sell your team and maybe even like. Here's a link to a, I don't know, maybe even a notion document of just like, make it really easy for them to forward something to someone else.
Ridd: Like you have to think about that journey of like, okay, they have, they've gotten my free taste, or how do I empower them to like sell to the rest of their team internally and making that as easy and frictionless as possible. I could see that working really well, specifically because it's enterprise with the freemium model.
Ridd: If it's, if you're not gonna do enterprise, I think I actually would just like 100% not do freemium, and I would try to come in at this impulse buy or this impulse buy price point and really, really nail it and just create, create this, this FOMO on, on a landing page or on like a cover page of a Figma file or something like that, and try to just get the sale.
Rob: Would you say that if we divided the product into two parts, whether one was a pack of S V G icons and then the more complete pack had Figma file, different colors, different weights and so on, would you advise that for a launch or We, I mean, I'm good at project creep at this point since we haven't launched yet.
Ridd: I think that it's, you shouldn't wait until you have the full thing to get it into some people's hands for free, just to see how they use it and what they think about it. But I think that if you're gonna go, especially for like the enterprise route and like the more of the premium route, yeah, I think you kind of gotta nail it a little bit.
Ridd: You kind of gotta nail it. I would, I would think that you'd have to air on the side of making it more robust and it's okay to plug people into the file as you're building. But yeah, I would, I would go for the premium angle.
Rob: Brilliant. Okay. Third step, the launch. So now you've got people using it, you've got your testimonials, you've got visual examples, you've put a landing page together. Okay, how are you launching this? What day of the week?
Ridd: Yeah. You know, it's funny, I spend way too much time thinking about the day of the week because. I would, I'll never launch something without launching it on product. Tons. There are just too many benefits. Even if you don't get to the top, you get an incredible amount of back links even to it. And so like, if you have like a landing page, it's great for seo, it's great.
Ridd: Like there's going to be eyeballs, you're going to get more eyeballs by launching this thing on product times. So then from the day of the week standpoint, Tuesday is the, the busiest that's the most competitive. After that, like most people would look at like. Wednesday, Thursday, and for something like a vector pack, you are not gonna beat the big tech companies, especially with everyone in their grandma launching an AI product right now.
Ridd: I would target a Saturday probably.
Rob: I love it.
Ridd: I try to compete with the smaller fish a little bit, specifically for a vector pack. If you're gonna launch like something really, really big, yeah, I think you can take a swing. But for Vector pack I would do a Saturday and I would, I would launch on product hunt. I would spend time creating killer visuals, make your cover image really, really great.
Ridd: Come up with some kind of a logo. It could, it doesn't have to be this like custom vector beautiful thing. It could be an emoji. But what I would do is I would make it a gif and I would have it move, and I would have it change colors because you wanted to really pop on that list, because chances are you're probably gonna be like in eighth, and you need to catch someone's peripheral attention in that eighth slot with a
Rob: Victor is bouncing all over the place. Some colorful gradients.
Ridd: just, just looping confetti, just exploding. And as a reminder, what you have hopefully done by this point is you have, you have some, some dms out in the wild that were, were kind of just icebreakers with, with different designers that you look up to, that you think. Might be interested. And from there there's, there's kind of, everyone kind of goes into two buckets in terms of like how to launch successfully as a designer on product hunt.
Ridd: I think about people in two buckets. One are kind of just like the friends and everyone else that I really just want like a vote in a comment from. And I would write a, a template and I would put it in and I would send it out In Twitter dms, I mean I get, I get 15 of these a week
Rob: Yeah. Yeah. Big
Ridd: and. They're all the exact same, and it's like, please support my product.
Ridd: Like I'm, please support us, support us, support us. I would come in with the ultra, ultra personal angle and I would say like, Hey look, this is my first time doing this. I'm nervous as hell. This is a really scary thing for me, and. I like really look up to you and you know, if you could just take like 30 seconds and just check it out, like it would look, it would mean the world to me kind of thing.
Ridd: And I think right, just by positioning it that way and really trying to connect on a human level first, rather than talking about like the product and the thing you've made, I think right away that would be a differentiating factor. And that's how I would reach out to like, Well, I kind of use that angle for everyone, but I would send people the product hunt link on Twitter dms, ping all of your family members, and, and I would create these lists of people upfront too.
Ridd: You don't want to be on launch day thinking, oh, who do I message? Who do I message? You gotta do all this work upfront. Create a spreadsheet somewhere and just go down the list on launch day. And then for the. Other bucket. These are people that have a little bit of distribution. They have a little bit of following.
Ridd: Maybe your, maybe your conversion rate is not gonna be as high, their message is different. You don't want to send them to the product hunt page. If they go great, but you can get a lot more value out of them if they just retweet your launch tweet. And so instead of sending them the product cut link, I send them the launch tweet and I say like, look, it would, it would, it'd mean the world to have your support or something like that.
Ridd: And again, leave with that human angle. And that way, even if you can get like two people to retweet or even just to comment on your tweet, that could, I mean, you could 10 x your, your normal reach on Twitter pretty quickly. So I would tap into those people and, and what I actually do is I have one template for all of my normal people for like, you know, the influencers, whatever you call 'em.
Ridd: When I was originally launching Figma Academy, I spent like eight hours on Christmas break. Creating a list of influencers. And I wrote very, very personal messages to every single one of 'em ahead of time. So on launch day, I could go through and just copy paste. I probably sent you one, let's be honest.
Rob: Yeah, I go one.
Ridd: And, and
Rob: Yeah, bet it was red there. It was red there.
Ridd: I'm spilling the beans on all of it kind of thing. I'm like, but yeah, that's, that's, that's that's the
Rob: That's super honest. There's, there's two things I wanna say here. Okay. First one is about being vulnerable in a launch. People love that and appreciate that you, you've just sparked a memory. When I launched the Yo YouTube show, and I'd never used a camera before and I really wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to learn video editing and I had no idea what was really creating, but I wanted to create some fun YouTube show with a bunch of goofs and design news.
Rob: So I created this thing and they took a month for the first episode and then, I launched it. I never forget, everyone was so supportive. Cuz I, looking back at the video quality now, I was like, it was, it was, it wasn't great. You know, like what I did was amazing for like a one, one man show and like someone who had never done this before.
Rob: And I'll take that, it was, I'm so proud of it. But I could see like, people were commenting man, and they were just like, dude, music levels a little high. But wow, man. Like, good for you dude. Like, you know, like, this is so cool. Anyway, I think I got 2000 subscribers in one day.
Rob: on, on YouTube from, from one episode, one launch, my first thing, it's just cuz it was so unique at the time and no one was really doing it anyway, point being is that I went there and I said I was vulnerable and that was my narrative.
Rob: And now you can't do it with every launch, but you just go like, Hey, this is new for me and I've never done this before. And if there's any way you feel like I could maybe improve this, that's a always worked well for me. It's like, hey, I'm trying, like when I launched email love. I'm trying to create email inspiration, if there's any way I can deliver it any better and add more value, like just let me know in the product comments.
Rob: And it's like that product hunt launch went crazy cuz people were just like, oh dude, I actually really would like to see this. Anyway. Then the, the second question I got for you is that it's like you got systems. I know you love your automation, but tell me how you are collecting these letters to everyone now using Notion.
Rob: Is there a massive checklist for.
Rob: Figma Academy. Yeah, a checklist on checklist.
Ridd: I have a, I have a, a series of databases in notion that are filtered by, I'm a, I'm a database geek in notion, so it, it all works out of there.
Rob: So the takeaway is that someone who's a newcomer design who's trying to sell his pack, does it start with creating a checklist in notion?
Ridd: Honestly, I think so. I, I really, really, I really think so because you just, you don't have the ability to just like hit send on a tweet and, and blow it up. Like you, you gotta do the, the personal grunt work manual one-to-one. But it can be a really, really awesome investment. And I think your point about, like, I want to be super clear, like this is not the playbook that you can run every three months for years.
Ridd: Like, that's not. That's not how it's gonna work. I've done this twice and honestly, I might not do it again, but for the very first time, you are putting something out in the world. This is your angle. This is what you got. You got the vulnerable card. You got the like, Hey, this is a big, scary thing for me.
Ridd: And like, it would mean the world for 30 seconds of your time. That's your angle.
Rob: it's actually like the way you've positioned that is sort of like when you're launching anything, this should kind of be the best thing you've ever done. You know, like that's like, Hey, this everything I've done has led to this launch. So here I am ready for critique. I honestly think this is the best vector pack anyone can produce.
Rob: Yeah, I love it, man. Dude, that was so fun. Okay, let's break into a final intermission. Let's have a laugh. Let's just look de-stress a little. That was actually quite stressful. Okay, so let's break into a final intermission called overrated, underrated. I'm gonna give you a topic, a brand, a person, and you just need a quick fire back if you think it's overrated, underrated, or properly rated.
Rob: You got it. Designers learning basic code developers learning basic design principles,
Ridd: I think properly rated.
Rob: design systems for teams of three or less.
Ridd: It's so hard not to give a disclaimer. Overrated,
Rob: Colorful gradients,
Ridd: properly rated,
Rob: subtle drop shadows,
Rob: layout grids,
Ridd: man. Maybe underrated,
Ridd: properly rated,
Ridd: It's, it's maybe properly rated at this point.
Rob: Design subreddits.
Rob: Twitter, blue
Ridd: honestly underrated.
Rob: ela, Musk,
Ridd: I, I gotta go properly. I'm gonna stay mutual on this one.
Rob: And lastly, chat. G P
Rob: Most people listening, no chat. G p t. It's an artificial intelligence. You ask it some questions, it's gonna give you some replies. You can retrain it. It's amazing. The only downside, I think at the moment, unless you have a protocol, it can be a bit sluggish. But secondly is that the data's about two years old.
Rob: If I'm not mistaken. I think it's still training on recent stuff.
Rob: Something I've been thinking about a lot is, is how you can become a little bit more reliance on it. Maybe makes you a touch more lazy. Maybe not thinking for yourself or like certain situations, but fair enough. It's gonna speed up your workflow for a ton of stuff.
Rob: Okay. So what I wanna ask you is how do you think artificial intelligence can improve learners actually finishing their online curriculums and becoming more skilled? You know, MDs talks about if there's no pain, nothing is learnt. And I think of chat G P T and think there is very little pain.
Ridd: That's such a good question because there are a lot of easy answers I think right now in ai, and this is not an easy answer.
Ridd: So I was like, I thought you were gonna put it on the T for me when you started talking. And then the question actually came out and I was like, whoa, what do I, what do I think about that?
Ridd: I think that Chat Chippy Tea can be a really, really great sparring partner. I'm, I'm gonna tell a quick, a quick example that I saw on the Wild that has really just like reshaped the way that I think about chat Chippy t and it was somebody telling a story about how their. Somewhat elderly mother was trying to list her house on Airbnb, and she was really, really intimidated by writing the listing.
Ridd: And so what she did, or what her son helped her do was telling Chay bt, Hey, I, my goal is to write this Airbnb listing asking me the questions that I need to answer in order for you to write the best possible listing for me. And that blew my mind because it's. It's constantly us asking Chad Chippy t questions, but that was the first time that I had seen a use case where it was flipped and you were the one answering and Chad Chippy t was asking you questions and when you, when it just kind of like popped my bubble of like what I thought potential use cases were.
Ridd: And when you think about it through that lens, I think it can be a really great sparring partner for learning, because you can say, look, hey, chat choppy t you are, you are my like personal tutor for UX research. I'm trying to improve the way that I go about like structuring and interview script and thinking about like the key objectives of my conversation or something like that.
Ridd: And then say, I want you to ask me questions that force me to. Answer and then you can like poke holes in my answers and just like getting, have chay PT be a forcing function for you to think critically and actually put things into writing and think about different strategies. I think that my entire goal of learning with Chay PT would be.
Ridd: Priming it to ask me questions, to force me to think, and I haven't really dove into that. I did a little test where I was like, CHATT helped me write a business plan, ask me the questions needed to write a business plan for dive. That was my hypothetical exercise. It was amazing. It was really, really cool, and I think that you could apply that model to.
Ridd: Almost any topic that you're learning, it would be a little bit more tough with things that are very, very visual, like visual design principles. I'm not exactly sure how to think about it for that specifically, but anything that isn't very visually driven, yeah, I would just, I would just get it to, to ask me questions.
Rob: Let's just segue into Dive Quick. So DIVE is your, your latest startup. Is it fair? Call it a startup.
Rob: You've got a bunch of incredible teachers there and you know, Figma Academy has now merged into dive. It's become one of the self-serve courses. Now I know you are. Obsessed with automation and you're trying to create the best systems, and I know you are, you are hugely passionate about online education.
Rob: Do you feel that there needs to be some level of, you know, actionable, there needs to see results? Right. So the, the, the way, the way I see it with education is that you can only learn so far and then you have to apply. And if the application has some level of like feedback and then all of a sudden you may be increasing your.
Rob: Let's call it social cloud, let's call it your earnings. And if that could happen while learning I've, that's just where I'm free styling with this. And I'm just wondering how chat G T P could make you more accountable. So it's almost like chat going to you and going, Hey, check it out. Have you shown your work from this chapter to five people this week?
Rob: You know, it's almost like you sort of talk about a sparring partner. It's almost like an accountability officer.
Ridd: I love that.
Rob: And then what did they say?
Ridd: I, I totally agree. It's kind of fun timing because it's we have a hackathon next week for Maven, so we're, we're kind of thinking about these, these different things and man, the ceiling feels really, really, really high. I love that you, you called it like the accountability officer because with the right systems in place, you could feed a lot of very specific.
Ridd: Very actionable content in terms of just giving chat bt the context for what you were learning and what you were hoping to achieve. And like, you know, we're, we're, we're thinking about different, like onboarding flows right now and trying to capture like what are your objectives upfront? Like what are you trying to, why are you here and what are you hoping to accomplish?
Ridd: And then using that as a frame of reference for all of the interactions that you would have with an AI to like, you know, very tangibly help you get to where you said you wanted to go. It just feels like it's really about to shake up the way that we learn in general. I'm still, I'm, it's still early, right?
Ridd: Like I'm still trying to think about like, what does that actually look like? And it's, it's kind of a comical scenario that I'm in because like, yeah, I like doing dive, but I'm also like designing the, the platform that we use to, to host like the courses. And, and I have been asking myself like, what does this,
Ridd: what does this look like?
Ridd: And, and what are the. What are the right visual paradigms for this type of interaction? Mostly unanswered questions, but I'm very, very excited to seek out the answers
Rob: I love it. I was just about to say, you're, you're like in this very curious phase where, and it's difficult now to focus cuz there's, so the ai launches on product on every day and every time you see one you're like, okay, well that could change everything we are doing.
Rob: Friends, it's Rob from the edit with two quick reminders.
Rob: I'm extracting the best advice from each interview into way more visual YouTube clips. Visit yo do fm slash YouTube to start snacking. And secondly, aligned with each interview I send a newsletter including my favorite and most recent design and development funds. Visit yo.fm/newsletter to subscribe.
Rob: It's also a RA to not miss new episodes. Cool, back to rid. You know what, there's, there's been some pretty good podcast interviews with you that I'm gonna link in the show notes. You know, just with your backstory and so long, I was so stoked to get, you know, a little practical exercise with you. I want to end things off with a question I have here from someone called Kumar and he says there's a lot of competition in the design space right now.
Rob: Okay? And more recently, UX design. What should I be doing? To become more hireable as a UX designer.
Ridd: Yeah, that's a really good question. I think that we are intriguing an era where in order to be successful, I think you're gonna have to be a little bit more of a generalist. As a designer, we're not gonna be able to operate in these silos because so many of the technological advancements that are happening are increasing the efficiency and increasing our potential for output that we can't expect to just keep being held accountable to the thing that we're doing in our little lane.
Ridd: And to have that be enough. And I think that's okay because it's gonna unlock us to, to focus on some really creative and, and high leverage things. So if you are a UX designer, I'm going to assume for the, the sake of this conversation that by UX you are implying that, that there is like a specificity to that, that maybe you wouldn't consider yourself a visual designer.
Ridd: Where I, if I hear product designer, I kind of think, well, you're probably responsible for both the UX and the ui. Not trying to get into that debate, but I think as a, as a UX designer, honestly, I kind of, I kind of think that everyone should have solid visual fundamentals. I think it should be like, I think it's one of the higher leverage things that you can do especially if you are more in the the UX side of things, but for a little bit spicier of a take and something that I really do every day, I believe this for strong me, is I think that the lines between how we think about product managers, front end engineers and product designers are just about to get really blurry, like really blurry in the next couple years and.
Ridd: I think what's gonna set our, or give us the ability to set ourselves apart is we're not just designers anymore. I think we should think of ourselves as builders and all of a sudden the cost and skill requirements to be a builder are, are low and they're gonna get much lower a year from now, and who the heck knows what it's gonna look like a few years from now?
Ridd: And so potentially the best investment you could make, especially if you were like a little bit like earlier in your career or something like that. Is just trying to understand the basic fundamentals of how front end code works. You don't have to be able to write any syntax, you don't have to know any of that.
Ridd: But if you can know what is possible and generally how to think about it, chat chippy. Tea is crazy. Like it's crazy. I mean, I, I don't think, I don't write any more syntax. I I'll know like, Hey, I want this thing to be possible. And like, I'll give an example. Like yesterday I was going through some linear tickets because we're working on this new feature launch and.
Ridd: There were, you know, like any early stage unshifted product, just a bunch of visual blemishes, right? I wanted to be as helpful as possible, and so I wasn't just saying like, Hey, like. Do this thing had had chat chippy T Open and I was like, give me the code for X, Y, and Z. Like make it so that this container scrolls and there's a shadow here and there's this border radius and have this kind of a gradient fill and you can just copy and paste it and put it into linear.
Ridd: And that's like a first step of a way to make yourself like really valuable, but. I just don't think that we're far away from a world where like we're all expected to contribute directly to production code. And if you're not going to participate on that front, you have to find something else. Maybe it's being, it's really doubling down on my product strategy and, and wearing more of the hats of like what a PM would wear.
Ridd: But I think, I think we're all gonna have to kind of move a little bit more into engineering land or move a little bit more into like product strategy PM land.
Rob: Speak to me quickly about, once you now have started to generalize more, you become more of a Swiss Army knife, you're a lot more valuable. How do you stick out, you know, You, are you sharing everything in public? You're learning? Are you creating side projects? Are you copying people's designs, you know, to replicate, to learn their style?
Rob: Are you providing value? Are, is it all there above?
Ridd: I was trying to not have that for the answer, but it kind of is. Something that's happening right now is there's been this like leveling of the playing ground. And I think AI is the, the forcing function for it all. Where like this is just as new to me. Someone like who's been designing every day for more than a decade.
Ridd: Then as it is to like anybody else who's like in new entrant into the market. We're all kind of figuring out the ways that this is going to change and evolve and hopefully really improve our day-to-day. And you are just as qualified to lead the charge on figuring that out as anyone else that's been in the industry for a long time.
Ridd: And so there's like this really fun shifting of the tectonic plates that creates opportunities for new people that maybe like don't have a bunch of Twitter followers. And if you go out there and just like explore and tinker and start to play around like, what does it look like for me to build. A side project, a really cool untapped area for like just pure content production.
Ridd: Like things that I think would be really, really engaging on, on social is start creating. Framer basic framer sites, framer. Framer's, amazing. I think that that's like if I was starting from scratch, I would, I would pick that as like the tool to use, but I would specifically look at ways to use chat p t to add custom code and do really, really compelling things within the ballpark of framer, because then you don't have to think about like what it's like to build this entire product from scratch.
Ridd: You can find the right little additions. And then shine a light on that. And I promise the framer community will be all over it. And it would be like the easiest way to catalyze an audience if you didn't have one.
Rob: This was so good, man. This was so, so fun. This is a format that I have to reuse forever and ever and ever. It is just better than than asking you. So when you were a financial advisor or
Ridd: I agree. This was fresh. This was, this was, this was definitely a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed it.
Rob: brilliant. Okay, red, thank you so much for chatting me. Where can people follow your online journey?
Ridd: Yeah, definitely. Rid underscore design on Twitter is where I'll be the most responsive. That's where I hang out most of the time. But also check out dive.club if you haven't already. That's kind of like the big thing that I'm focusing my attention on right now and, and my kind of big bet for the next few years.
Rob: Take care, Rud.
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- IntroductionWhat to expect from the show