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The 5 Best TED Talks Every UX Designer Should Watch

| November 12, 2015
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Every year the world’s greatest minds gather at the TED Conference to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging way they can.

Their talks cover a wide range of topics including technology, design, science, and culture. And many of these talks are given by the most prolific, well-respected designers of our generation who share a wealth of experience and expertise.

So in the spirit of spreading remarkable ideas, here are 5 TED talks that every UX designer should watch.

1. Design is in the details

IDEO’s Chief Creative Officer, Paul Bennett, explains that design doesn’t have to be about grand gestures, but can solve small, universal and overlooked problems. He uses several examples of products designed by IDEO (and the process used to design them) to illustrate his point.

Time: 14:10

Views: 623,531

2. How giant websites design for you (and a billion others, too)

Facebook’s Director of Product Design, Margaret Gould Steward, outlines three rules for design at a scale so massive that the tiniest of tweaks can cause global outrage. But also so large that the subtlest of improvements can positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Time: 12:56

Views: 1,425,902

3. The first secret of design is… noticing

Tony Fadell, the designer behind the iPad and Nest thermostat, explains how we become used to doing things in a certain way over time, and how it can prevent us from noticing the subtle problems all around us. Problems we’ve become numb to. He argues that our job as designers is to not only notice these things, but to fix them.

Time: 16:41

Views: 1,268,887

4. How to build your creative confidence

IDEO co-founder and Stanford D.School professor, David Kelley, discusses the divide between “creatives” and “non-creatives.” And he shares stories from his legendary career about how to build the confidence to design things that make a difference in people’s lives.

Time: 11:46

Views: 3,309,865

5. Three ways good design makes you happy

Don Norman, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group and director of the Design Lab at University of California, San Diego, shares what he calls the three levels of design: visceral, behavioral, and reflective. He draws on fundamental principles of cognitive science to illustrate the distinction between each level, and to highlight the importance of emotion, happiness, and pleasure in design.

Time: 12:41

Views: 939,682

The final word

I hope you enjoyed these TED talks as much as I did. And I also hope you learned a few things you can apply to your work and life. Now I want to know: what’s your favorite TED talk? Which one do you think every UX designer should watch? Share your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook.