Cover art for podcast New Layer

New Layer

63 EpisodesProduced by Tanner ChristensenWebsite

A conversation on everything related to digital product design, with hosts Tanner Christensen and Jasmine Friedl. Discussing design careers, tools, education, critique, and much more. New episodes on Wednesdays!

episodes iconAll Episodes

When to Call it Quits

June 2nd, 2021


We are indefinitely calling it "quits" on New Layer, this is potentially our last episode. When is the right time to call something "quits?" Quitting never feels good, it even has many negative connotations surrounding …

Dream Jobs

May 25th, 2021


What's a dream job and how will you know it when you see it? In this episode of New Layer, Tanner and Jasmine break down what it means to have a "dream job" and why so many designers end up in their dream job only to …

Building Influence

May 19th, 2021


What is influence and how do designers build it? In this episode of New Layer, Tanner and Jasmine uncover the various ways designers can build influence in their lives and careers. Influence is built through showing up …

Hosting Design Workshops

May 12th, 2021


What exactly *is* a design workshop? What's the difference between an effective meeting, a workshop, and an email? In this episode of New Layer, Jasmine and Tanner ruminate and discuss, as well as share experiences of …

Looking at Evidence Without Bias

May 5th, 2021


In this short but sweet episode of New Layer: Tanner covers for Jasmine, who is out sick, by reading one of her highly regarded article How to look at evidence and not translate it into your own agenda. We'll be back …

Dealing with Ambiguity

April 21st, 2021


What is ambiguity and why do product designers talk about it so often? A listener to the podcast emailed us for help on the subject, so we obliged. Whether you're just starting out in your career and hear the term come …

When Do You Stop Doubting Yourself?

April 14th, 2021


When you start a new job, take on a new challenge, or join a new team, you probably find yourself experiencing some form of doubt. Worse is as you progress in your career and that doubt remains. When do career …

What We Mean When We Talk About Strategy

April 7th, 2021


What is a "strategy" and why does it matter? What responsibility do product designers have to be good strategists? In this episode Tanner and Jasmine discuss the meaning of strategy, why it's important to invest in, and …

What to do When You're Wrong

March 31st, 2021


Have you ever been wrong? Of course you have, we all have. What matters more than being wrong or right is what you do when you're wrong (and therein after). In this episode of New Layer, Jasmine Friedl and Tanner …

Design Certification

March 24th, 2021


What's the value of being a certified designer? For designers interested in getting certification or those hoping a certificate program will help …

Keeping Track of Work

March 17th, 2021


How do designers track their work? Should they? In this episode, Tanner and Jasmine discuss the importance of tracking your work—through journaling, …

Getting Unblocked

March 10th, 2021


What do you do when you get blocked? That is: what's the best course of action when something is obstructing your path forward, to success? In this episode of New Layer, Jasmine and Tanner share examples of times …


March 3rd, 2021


What are you responsible for at your job? To find out you'll have to talk with your team, your manager, and even your customers. But often we don't have those conversations, why? To do your best work you must understand …

Choosing a Manager

February 24th, 2021


What should you look for when choosing a manager? What type of manager would you work with best and what signals might you use to determine as much? …

How to Talk to Recruiters

February 17th, 2021


Recruiters are a vital, but often neglected or otherwise belittled, part of the job-finding process. In this episode of New Layer, Jasmine and Tanner share what it is exactly recruiters do, how they do it, and why it's …

Developing Personal Values

February 10th, 2021


Personal values are how we measure our lives and evaluate trade-offs. They enable us to quickly and effectively make decisions while ensuring a high quality of work and livelihood. In this episode of New Layer, both …

Remote Communication

February 3rd, 2021


What does remote communication offer that in-person can't? What challenges, opportunities, and unique value does communicating remotely provide designers and the teams we work on? We discuss all this and more in this …

Types of Jobs

January 27th, 2021


Looking for your first design job? Thinking of making the switch to a larger or smaller company? Moving from freelance to in-house? Each type of job has different benefits and drawbacks, as with most things we discuss …

Age and Design

January 20th, 2021


Is there space in the product design industry for older designers? What should designers do as they reach ages 40, 50, 60 and beyond? A New Layer …

Interaction Design

January 13th, 2021


What is interaction design, why does it matter, and how do you go about it? In this episode of New Layer, Tanner and Jasmine outline what interaction design is and why it's a core part of digital product design; from …

A Portfolio Without Work

January 6th, 2021


How do product designers build a portfolio when they don't have much work to show? Jasmine and Tanner explore the question in this episode of New …

Predictions About Product Design

December 23rd, 2020


What does the next few years hold for product design? If you're starting out in design today, or studying to work in product design, what should you …

When is Design Done?

December 16th, 2020


A question designers ask at one point or another: when is a design actually done? In this episode of New Layer, Tanner and Jasmine discuss what it means to design, how that definition helps define when the work is done, …

The Importance of Taking Breaks

December 9th, 2020


When it comes to taking breaks: are you proactive or do you wait until you're burned out and need it most? In this podcast episode, Tanner and Jasmine discuss the importance of proactively taking breaks from work. …

How Do Leaders Define Success?

December 2nd, 2020


Each December presents itself an opportunity to reflect over the past year as well as look ahead to the next. Both activities are prime for defining success, for yourself and your team. In this episode of New Layer, …

Systems Thinking

November 25th, 2020


What is systems thinking and why does it matter for product designers? Tanner and Jasmine share why they believe systems thinking is a critical skill most designers today are missing, and what the root cause of that …

What's Challenging About Working in Design

November 18th, 2020


When it comes to working in the modern design industry, there are challenges all designers must face. Tanner and Jasmine talk about the two most daunting challenges from their own career experience, as well as what to …

Designing Responsibly

November 4th, 2020


How do we, as product designers, ensure the work we do is responsibly designed? Tanner and Jasmine share lessons learned in the world of ethical, moral, and responsible design during their time working at Facebook. From …

Having Effective Meetings

October 28th, 2020


Meetings: we love them or hate them, but it doesn't have to be that way! In this episode of New Layer, Jasmine and Tanner share insights and examples around what makes a meeting effective. If the meetings you're running …

Building Your Brand

October 21st, 2020


What is a personal brand and why does it matter? Should you care about building your personal brand? In this episode, Tanner and Jasmine answer these …

Accessibility Design

October 14th, 2020


How do you design for accessibility? Accessibility means "access ability", the ability for an audience to access and interact with a design. We're not accessibility experts, but throughout our careers we've worked …

What Do Design Leaders Do?

October 7th, 2020


From Directors and VPs of Design to Heads of Design and Design Managers, what do these formal leaders do all day? In this return episode of New Layer, Tanner and Jasmine talk about the various responsibilities and areas …

(LIVE) Experience, Expertise, and Eagerness Live Recording

August 12th, 2020


What matters most when hiring or being hired: experience, expertise, or eagerness?

In this live recording of New Layer Tanner and Jasmine explore each facet as they relate to new and experienced designers. From how …


June 24th, 2020


What's a one-on-one and why do they matter? Who should you be having one-on-one meetings with and what should you talk about? Should you come …

30 Books Every Designer Should Read

April 29th, 2020


Tanner and Jasmine share their must-read books for designers. Spanning everything from how to conduct design critique or present your work, to what makes a good manager and how learning about org design can help your …

Joining a New Team

April 1st, 2020


Joining a new team or company? There's a lot you can do up-front to ensure you set the stage for your career. More than that: the insights shared here are applicable for everyone, not just those joining a team for the …

Working Remotely

March 25th, 2020


When everyone on your team is working remotely—physically apart—how do you ensure you stay productive? How do you avoid burning out, unnecessary distractions, or worse? In this episode of the podcast Jasmine and Tanner …

Presenting Work for Critique

March 18th, 2020


What's the best way to present your design work in a critique? There are a number of designers can do to ensure the feedback they get in critique is …

Building Self Awareness

March 11th, 2020


What is self awareness and why does it matter? In this episode of New Layer Jasmine and Tanner explain how the more you understand yourself, the more …

Estimating Design Projects

March 4th, 2020


How do you scope the work of a design project? What do you do when someone asks: "How long will this take to design?" An important component of product design is the ability to estimate how much time and effort a task …

Giving Feedback Part 2

February 26th, 2020


This is the second part of a two-part episode. Previously, Jasmine and Tanner discussed why it's important to give constructive and timely feedback to those we work with, as well as how to best take critical feedback …

Giving Feedback Part 1

February 19th, 2020


As product designers it's important to learn how to give constructive, actionable, and timely feedback to everyone we work with. That means not only feedback for our design peers, but also to product managers, …

What's Next for Design

February 12th, 2020


What should designers focus on in order to build a future-proof and sustainable career? VR, AR, AI, blockchain, neumorphism, what's next for design? …

The Right Tool for the Job

December 4th, 2019


As a designer, how do you pick the right tool for the job? What should you look for in your design tools and what should you avoid? Trending tools …

IC or Management

November 27th, 2019


Should you work to become a director-level individual contributor (IC) or work to become a people manager? Both roles are critical in a mature …

Considering Research (with Guest Paul Derby)

November 13th, 2019


What is design research, how does it work, and what can product designers do to integrate research into their process today? In this special episode …

Asking Questions in Interviews

November 6th, 2019


When it comes to interviewing the last thing you want to do is follow a template of questions to ask. Instead, treat the interview as an opportunity …

Making Time for Thinking

October 30th, 2019


Making time for thinking and giving yourself space to think about the work you do as a product designer is crucial. But time away from what we often see as the "work" of a designer—the pixels, the prototypes, …

Myth of the Lone Designer

October 23rd, 2019


Do designers show more value when they go off on their own to solve a problem, or when they include others in their process? It can feel …

How to Set Yourself Apart

October 16th, 2019


In an industry that is growing more every day, how do product designers set themselves apart from the competition? The answer, as Tanner and Jasmine discuss in this episode of the podcast, might be in specializing, …

Avoiding Burnout

October 9th, 2019


Burnout is what you experience when everything that fuels you gets used up too quickly. In this episode of New Layer, Jasmine and Tanner talk about what it feels like to have burnout, what typically causes burnout, and …

What to Look for in a Job

October 2nd, 2019


If you're seeking your first product design job or you twentieth, what exactly should you look for? From compensation and company culture, to …

Setting Expectations for Yourself

September 18th, 2019


When it comes to your career: how do you set expectations for yourself? How does setting your own expectations for a project differ from that of setting them for a promotion? When it comes to expectations we can often …

Soft Skills

September 11th, 2019


What are soft skills and why do they matter for product designers? How do you identify what soft skills matter most for a specific role and how do …


September 4th, 2019


What makes mentorship valuable, and should everyone have a mentor? In this episode Tanner and Jasmine discuss their experience with mentors …

Dealing with Rejection

August 28th, 2019


Rejection can be difficult when searching for a design job. In this episode of New Layer, Jasmine and Tanner talk about the different types of …

Product Design Skillset

August 21st, 2019


What skills go into product design? At its core, product design consists of: product strategy, interaction design, and visual design, but how do new designers demonstrate each of those skills? And what about …

Design Critique

August 14th, 2019


To do our best work we need to get feedback. For that reason critique is a fundamental part of the role we play as product designers. And yet, …

The Design Process

August 7th, 2019


What is the design process? There's a universal, time-tested, overarching process for design that many of us are familiar with, but when it comes to applying that process to any project, you may find it needs to be …

Building a Portfolio

July 31st, 2019


When it comes to showing your work in an online portfolio: how do you decide what goes in it? How much information is too much and how much is not …

Communicating the Value of Design

July 24th, 2019


How do designers communicate the value of design? When it comes to collaborating with business partners or clients, how do designers help others …

Interview Design Exercises

July 17th, 2019


Should design exercises be used as part of an interview process? Tanner and Jasmine talk advantages and disadvantages of design exercises and take …

Career Paths

July 10th, 2019


Formal education or self-taught? What's the best way to get into product design today? In the first episode of New Layer, Tanner and Jasmine discuss the various career pathways to becoming a digital product designer. …

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