Interview with Russ Wilson, Google UX Director
I first met my friend Russ Wilson, UX Director with Google, when we were speaking at the 2016 World Usability Congress in Graz, Austria. As a UX director, international speaker and leader of one of the top UX teams at Google it makes sense to learn what Russ thinks about UX, Leadership, Design and where UX is potentially headed in the future.
This is the first in a series of UX Leadership interviews I’ll be conducting in which we get a chance to learn first-hand from some of the key influencers of UX throughout the world.
I had a chance to sit down with Russ to record this very interesting video interview.
Russ Wilson, Google UX Director
Russ Wilson has a unique background, and an interesting perspective on where UX and UX leadership was, is and may be going. I spent some time getting to know Russ while we were speaking at the World Usability Congress. He’s had a very progressive career, starting out with a Master’s in Engineering from the University of Texas, but almost immediately making a switch into UX Design. He’s worked for big and small companies. He’s led and inspired UX design teams. And in no small part due to his leadership style his teams have produced amazing results.
The cool thing about Russ, and something he probably won’t admit, is how down to earth and humble he is. Russ is one of those rare leaders who invests all his time, energy and passion into helping each person on his team grow. It’s not about him and his ego, it’s all about his team and helping them to be the very best they can be.
UX Design and Living in Constraints
According to Russ, one of the biggest issues and opportunities that UX Designers face is designing the best possible user experience within the constraints the design must live in. UX design can only work when designers understand why there are constraints, what those constraints may be, and how best to work to achieve the optimum experience given those constraints.
I like to say that it’s not that design must always submit to constraints. Rather, it’s using the knowledge of what those constraints are and incorporating them into the best user experience possible.
Future of UX Design
Russ has a lot to say about what he considers as the most likely possible future of UX design. He talks about how voice coupled with artificial intelligence is already influencing user experience and design. As time goes by, he suggests it’ll be less about designing screens that provide a static user experience of input > output > input > output. Instead, the future he predicts is one of true two-way engagement and interaction with voice and text, with screens being less part of the experience, and with human-computer interaction being far more proactive and responsive to user needs.
Watch the interview with Russ Wilson, I think you’ll find it very interesting and very informative!
And stay tuned for the next UX leadership interview. And if you have any recommendations for people you would like to see interviewed drop me a note in the comments below!