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Custom Build: An Acquisition and Ties to Higher Ed Led UX Thoughtleader to Capital One’s Garage

Q+A | Stephen Anderson, head of design at Capital One’s Garage, (literally) wrote the book on “Seductive Interaction Design.” He talks about finding talent and how design thinking is applied to daily life.

My second year (in teaching high school English), things began looking up. I cracked the code and figured out how to motivate students. I had lessons I could improve upon. And I started getting curious — what could the sciences teach me about how we learn? Most of what I read at that time could be classified as pop psychology — secondhand accounts of “brain science” studies. ...One particular study involved our sense of smell and memory. I had been reading Robert Jutte’s 2004 book “A History of Senses,” and I stumbled upon this interesting remark: “Our sense of smell is most directly linked to memory.” Hmm — smell and memory are linked. I began to think how this could be applied to some of our creative writing assignments... Excerpt from “Seductive Interaction Design,” by Stephen Anderson [Sources: Capital One, Stephen Anderson]

The Design With a Big ‘D’ series digs into the scope and depth of the Dallas-Fort Worth UX/UI industry as the region becomes a hot spot for design talent and companies. To follow the series and get the news on what’s now and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, sign up for Dallas Innovates Every Day.


Stephen Anderson, head of design at the Innovation Garage at Capital One, says Dallas-Fort Worth is a business powerhouse. He talks with Dave Moore about how he got to Capital One, finding UX talent, and applying design thinking to everyday life. Here’s our Q+A — and an excerpt from Anderson’s book.

Were you born in the Dallas Region?

Yep! Born and raised in Lewisville, Texas. Attended the University of North Texas.

How did you land at Capital One?

Capital One’s acquisition of Adaptive Path and care for its customers were intriguing to me. I had several friends from the speaking circuit join Capital One who were genuinely happy in their roles, and at the Big Design conference in 2016, I had the chance to catch up with a friend working at Capital One in Plano. When a position opened up in Capital One’s innovation space that aligned well with my passions for learning and education at scale, I jumped on board.

Why is the Innovation Garage located in DFW?

Dallas-Fort Worth is a business powerhouse, and Capital One is excited to help galvanize it as a tech hub. Capital One has several innovation spaces, but Capital One’s Plano innovation space was named “The Garage” for being a place where many start-up innovations have occurred, and because it’s the place where our auto business lives. We take pride in our “maker culture,” where all associates are builders and creators.

How do you find your UX talent?

The Capital One Financial Services Design team has strong relationships with universities (both locally and outside of Texas), sponsors local events such as the Big Design conference, hosts meetup groups including Ladies That UX, and has different leaders that speak at local, national, and global events. Additionally, my boss, Jamin Hegeman, teaches as part of SMU’s UX certificate program, and we just hired a former student from the program.

Care to discuss how you apply design thinking to your daily life?

More than anything else, design thinking is a mindset. As such, it’s hard to separate who I am — as a designer and human being — from the design thinking pedagogy. As a design-minded person, I see the world as it could be and not as it is. This includes empathy, but it’s also about wrestling with complex, ill-defined problems.

BOOK NOTES

Seductive Interactive Design by Stephen Anderson

Seductive Interactive Design by Stephen Anderson

My second year (in teaching high school English), things began looking up. I cracked the code and figured out how to motivate students. I had lessons I could improve upon. And I started getting curious — what could the sciences teach me about how we learn? Most of what I read at that time could be classified as pop psychology — secondhand accounts of “brain science” studies. …One particular study involved our sense of smell and memory. I had been reading Robert Jutte’s 2004 book “A History of Senses,” and I stumbled upon this interesting remark: “Our sense of smell is most directly linked to memory.”  Hmm — smell and memory are linked. I began to think how this could be applied to some of our creative writing assignments…

Excerpt from “Seductive Interaction Design,” by Stephen Anderson

A version of this story was first published in Sept. 2018 in a Dallas Regional Chamber brochure: “Design With a Big ‘D'”.


READ NEXT

PART 1: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
The DFW Experience

Part one examines DFW as a UX hotspot. Today, four out of 10 Texas user-experience professionals work in Dallas-Fort Worth.

PART 2: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
How the Big Design Conference Came to Be

Part two looks at the beginnings of the conference. Big Design co-founder Brian Sullivan shares its origin story.

PART 3: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
Corporate by Design

Part three shares insights for how design pros help companies such as Walmart, Accenture, Bottle Rocket, Sabre, and more gain competitive advantage.

PART 4: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
Leading by Design

Part four covers a few big thinkers who are leading by design at companies such as Capital One, BBVA, Intuit, and USAA. Whether it’s slaying piles of paper receipts at tax time or making shopping an adventure, these Dallas area thoughtleaders are making their marks in their respective industries. The common thread? Dogged persistence. 

PART 5: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
Meet 6 UX/UI Experts Delivering Solutions

UX/UI designers and experts are integral parts of many company operations and span across almost every industry. The Dallas-Fort Worth region has no shortage of thought leaders who are helping create the solutions for some of today’s most popular products. Here are six you need to know.

#DesignThinking #UX/UI #DesignWithABigD

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