Being Freelance
Being Freelance
Jul 5, 2020
The power of choice - Cultural Consultant Marge Ainsley
Play episode · 46 min

After she hit the ten-year mark in her freelance career, Marge took a step back to reassess. She hired a business coach and began reflecting on her values, her ideal clients and the way she structures her time.

In the process, she discovered the power of choice. The choice to work with clients who share her values. To take a month off every summer. To start a second business that fills a creative hole.

Marge chats to Steve about what she learned from that period of reflection and the changes it brought it about. She also talks about her joint side project, Museum Freelance, and the work they’re doing to support and lobby for freelancers in the Arts and Heritage sector.


This episode of the Being Freelance podcast is supported by Gold Stag Accounts.

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Set up a free chat today at

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Who the hell is Steve Folland?

You know how everyone bangs on about how powerful video and audio content can be? Yeah, well Steve helps businesses make it and make the most of it. Find out more at
Track him down on Twitter @sfolland or lay a trail of cake and he'll eventually catch you up.

Design Thinking 101
Design Thinking 101
Dawan Stanford
Rethinking Service Design + Student Projects + Community Systems with Amy O'Keefe — DT101 E56
Amy O'Keefe is the Studio Director of Northwestern university’s Master of Science and Engineering Design Innovation program, where she leads the human-centered service design studio. We talk about how the pandemic and the expanding awareness of systemic racism might change services, design, project partnerships, service design studio courses, and communities of practice in design education. Show Host: Dawan Stanford Show Summary Amy was always interested in experience design, but in the early 90s, there wasn’t a specific discipline teaching it, so Amy had to find her own path by way of studying English literature and architecture during her college years. Her senior thesis — an examination of how people experience memorial architecture, with a focus on the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. — was her first real foray into human-centered design and experience design. Her original intention to continue studying architecture in graduate school changed after taking a job at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she had the opportunity to dig into digital technology. Instead, she pivoted into a fifteen-year career designing digital products and services. Eventually, Amy returned to university for a graduate degree in product design. She began teaching service design while finishing up her graduate work. Our conversation takes a look at the world today through a service design lens and talks about how service design is changing — and how it needs to continue to change — in response to what’s happening around us right now. Listen in to learn more about: * Systemic racism and its effects on service design * Ways to ensure service design is focused on equity for marginalized populations * Some of the projects Amy and her students have worked on in healthcare and social impact spaces * Northwestern’s Student Health Leaders project * The value of design communities finding ways to connect and converse with one another * Fluid Hive’s Adapt, Respond, and Evolve experience * Service Ecosystems and Chicago’s Center on Halsted as a great example Our Guest’s Bio Amy O’Keefe is the Studio Director of Northwestern University's Master of Science in Engineering Design Innovation (EDI) program, where she leads the Human-Centered Service Design Studio. Amy frequently partners with physicians and healthcare organizations to bring a human-centered approach to addressing complex medical issues. Amy has consulted on service, experience, and integrated multi-channel initiatives for Fortune 50 retail and global Am Law 100 clients. Her professional background includes more than a decade leading multi-disciplinary service, product design, and development at a Chicago-based tech startup acquired by Thomson Reuters. Amy received her MS in Product Design and Development Management from Northwestern. As an undergraduate, Amy embraced the Liberal Arts, majoring in English at Davidson College and studying Architecture in Florence, Italy. A sampling of Amy’s recent studio collaborations includes: a partnership with Procter & Gamble that led to the 2016 launch of the integrated laundry service, Tide Spin; engagement with Northwestern Medicine and Lurie Children’s Hospital resulting in lead findings presented at the 2016 American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting; and engagement with Penn Medicine’s Anesthesiology and Critical Care team informing the best practices for patient awareness and management of postoperative delirium discussed at the 2016 American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Brain Health Summit. She is a founding member of the Integrated Design Innovation consortium (IDI) and is working with colleagues from peer programs at University of Pennsylvania, MIT, Carnegie-Mellon, Harvard and several other schools to establish, evolve, and expand the category of Integrated Design Innovation programs in engineering education. Show Highlights [01:36] Amy’s “crooked” path to service design. [03:35] Amy defines intentional design. [03:51] Her job at the Art Institute of Chicago was her introduction to the idea of digital design and creating digital experiences. [04:49] Pursuing a graduate degree in product design and teaching service design. [07:22] Looking at the world and current events through a service design lens. [08:15] Amy talks about how most of our daily and activity journey maps broke this year. [09:10] The responsibility of service designers in our current environment. [11:05] How systemic racism and other world events has affected how service design works and the way Amy teaches service design. [12:26] Amy’s work on a new framework to encourage a better understanding of all stakeholders and complex adaptive systems in a problem space. [13:28] The need for service designers to understand the various privileges, power, and identities of potential stakeholders. [14:39] How many service design tools are problematically designed for an idealized world that doesn’t reflect reality, and how Amy helps students to dig for more accurate insights. [15:22] Service design, acknowledging risk, and running design prototypes to test the impact on marginalized populations. [16:45] Putting ethics first as a service designer. [17:25] Amy talks about how she chooses projects for her classes. [18:35] Amy offers examples of some of her students’ projects. [19:30] The Student Health Leaders project at Northwestern. [23:58] Solving versus responding when it comes to problem spaces. [26:46] Ways in which the various design practice communities are starting to come together to share ideas and have conversations about the work. [32:06] Amy asks Dawan to talk about Fluid Hive’s Adapt, Respond, and Evolve experience. [34:03] The value of bringing leaders from many different schools together to talk about the current challenges and to share lessons learned. [35:38] The definition of a service ecosystem. [36:30] Amy talks about Chicago’s Center on Halsted’s LGBTQ service ecosystem. [38:42] Amy recommends looking up the Fogo Island Inn and Zita Cobbs’ Service Design Network conference presentation. [40:47] Books and other resources Amy recommends for learning more about service design. [42:27] Where to find out more about Amy and her work. Links Amy at Northwestern University Amy on LinkedIn Engineering Design Innovation at Northwestern University Zita Cobbs and the Crisis of Belonging Book Recommendation: Service Design: From Insight to Implementation, by Andy Polaine, Lavrans Løvlie, and Ben Reason Book Recommendation: Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life, by Eric Klinenberg Book Recommendation: Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, by E. F. Schumacher Book Recommendation: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein Other Design Thinking 101 Episodes You Might Like Mapping and Service Design + Implementation + Accessibility with Linn Vizard — DT101 E17 Designing Culture at Work + Social Innovation + Necessary Disquiet with Laurie Currie — DT101 E29 Adding System Awareness to System Design to Your Innovation Stack with Julie Guinn — DT101 E43 ________________ Thank you for listening to the show and looking at the show notes. Send your questions, suggestions, and guest ideas to Dawan and the Fluid Hive team. Cheers ~ Dawan Free Download — Design Driven Innovation: Avoid Innovation Traps with These 9 Steps Innovation Smart Start Webinar — Take your innovation projects from frantic to focused!
44 min
UI Breakfast: UI/UX Design and Product Strategy
UI Breakfast: UI/UX Design and Product Strategy
Jane Portman
Episode 192: World Wide Waste with Gerry McGovern
As product people, we handle vast amounts of data without thinking about the environment. We make copies and backups of everything, and even our devices are powered to the max. Can we do better? Our guest today is Gerry McGovern, the author of World Wide Waste. You’ll learn about the current risks associated with data waste, along with Gerry’s tips on digital sustainability and minimizing your footprint. _Podcast feed:_ subscribe to in your favorite podcast app, and follow us on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play Music.Show Notes * World Wide Waste — Gerry’s recent book * Episode 118: Customer Top Tasks with Gerry McGovern * Episode 140: Sustainable UX with James Christie * Website Carbon Calculator — a tool for estimating your website’s carbon footprint * Userlist — Jane's SaaS product * — Gerry’s website * Follow Gerry on TwitterToday’s Sponsor This episode is brought to you by Hover. Register a domain name for your design portfolio and choose from over 300 domain name extensions. No matter what area of the creative space you are in, there’s a domain name waiting for it — from _.design_ and _.art_ to _.ink_, _.photo_ and more. Check them out at _Interested in sponsoring an episode?_ Learn more here.Leave a Review Reviews are hugely important because they help new people discover this podcast. If you enjoyed listening to this episode, please leave a review on iTunes. Here’s how.
42 min
Design Details
Design Details
368: Teaching Design Fundamentals
This week, we discuss strategies for teaching design fundamentals and how to make the process engaging and fun for new designers. In The Sidebar, we discuss the pain of noticing problems right before you ship.Golden Ratio Patrons: Float Float has been a lifeline for teams working remotely in 2020. With float you can send your team their work schedule (daily or weekly) via Slack or email, and keep them in the loop of any changes to their tasks and projects with live notifications. You can also let your team know where you're working from with Float's scheduled status. Working from the lake house next week? Add it in Float to let your team know, ahead of time! Learn more at CuriosityStream Learn about any topic with CuriosityStream; the first on-demand documentary streaming service. There is always something new to learn about with thousands of award-winning documentaries on Technology, History, Nature, Food, Science, Travel, and more! Can’t decide what to watch? Try CuriosityStream’s new feature, ON NOW, to watch a continuous stream of the best documentaries. Get an entire year of streaming for just $14.99 when you sign up at VIP Patrons: * Flora * Kamil Wanzek * Frank Myles * Devin Rajaram * Kathy HatchThe Sidebar: The Sidebar is an exclusive weekly segment for our Patreon supporters. You can subscribe starting at $1 per month for access to full episodes going forward! Sign up at In this week's Sidebar, we discuss the pain of noticing things you want to fix right before a ship – and how to avoid this situation!Follow up: * Several of you volunteered to help transcribe (or proofread our transcriptions) for future episodes. We're going to figure out a process here - it will most likely live on GitHub!Listener question: This week, Carrie Rong asks: _I'm a student in Canada, where I just started my university's first design community to introduce product, UX, and web design to people who have otherwise never heard of it before. I want to make sure that I teach others to have the mindset of correct design thinking and fundamentals, but I'm self taught myself and not sure how to approach this when everyone seems to just want to jump on the software and make pretty things (especially when my personal style is try to make stuff first, and basics later). I know that being a designer is more than knowing how to use Figma, and I don't want to breed mediocrity in design._ _Do you have any suggestions on getting people excited about design fundamentals and how to teach them? Or are the basics more something that you learn with time and practice?_ * Laws of UX * Abstract on Netflix * The Gap by Ira GlassCool Things: * Brian shared Schitt's Creek, on recommendation from listener Manny Xu * Marshall shared Sideways, a YouTube channel that dissects the use of music in pop culture. For film essay nerds, this one is for you.Design Details on the Web: * 📻 We are @designdetailsfm * 🎙 Brian is @brian_lovin * 🎙 Marshall is @marshallbock * 📬 Don't have Twitter? Email us at * 🙌 Support us on Patreon - your support literally makes this show possible. Thank you ❤️ * ❓ Got a question? Ask it on our Listener Questions Hub, and we'll do our best to answer it on the show :) * ⭐️ Enjoying the show? Leave us a review on iTunes Au revoir!
28 min
Smucker Up & Start A Podcast
This week on Overtime, you asked and I’m going to do it—I _finally_ acknowledge Smucker’s unexpected new logo redesign. Plus, we talk about why building communities is so important right now and how to start making friends with your design peers. Then, have you ever thought about starting a podcast? We answer all of your burning questions around what the heck you should even talk about, how you’re supposed to edit it, and why you should even start one in the first place. Get a little pep talk on creating some awesome content, because designers can be great podcasters too! * [00:10] Host Meg Lewis introduces the episode * [02:22] Akron Beacon Journal: J.M. Smucker’s New Corporate Identity Grows Beyond Jams and Jellies ( * [09:28] The importance of building community, big or small * [16:23] Should you start your own podcast? * Links mentioned in this episode: * Ashley Ochiagha’s website: * Get Together Book: * Thanks to the sponsors of this episode: * Collective: * Leave some feedback: * What do you think about our new format? Please let us know in the comments below! * Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. * Connect with us: * Meg Lewis * Dribbble profile * Twitter: @yourbuddymeg * Instagram: @yourbuddymeg * Website * Interested in sponsoring this rad podcast? * Email
32 min
User Defenders: UX Design and Personal Growth
User Defenders: UX Design and Personal Growth
Jason Ogle
074: Designers, Mind Your Business with Pek Pongpaet
Pek Pongpaet teaches us how to be business-minded designers. He reveals how designers with business knowledge and more tools in their tool belt will get hired more often than ones without and with less. He shows us how to get a seat at the table while challenging us to count the costs of actually having one. He motivates us to measure and quantify our designs. He also inspires us to get out of our comfort zones and talk to other disciplines and become consumers of information in the area(s) we desire growth in. * Why Should We Listen to Pek? (05:04) * Why Should Designers Understand Business More? (7:07) * How Do I Begin to Care More About Business? (11:05) * How Do I Learn More About the Business Model? Who Do I Talk To? (14:22) * How Can Designers Influence Product/Business Strategy and Quantify Their Work? (16:52) * How Do I Know That Something I Designed Achieved Its Business Goal? (20:18) * What Do You Look For In a Designer When Hiring? (24:50) * Why You Should be Best Friends with Your Analytics Person/Team (26:20) * How Can Designers do a Better Job Communicating the Business Value of Design to Non-Believing Stakeholders? (30:21) * How Does a Designer Get a Seat at the Round Table? (33:29) * What's Your Best Advice for Designers Wanting to Grow in Business Side of Design? (40:45) * Best Way to Connect and Keep Up? (45:45) Check out the detailed show notes including mentioned links, transcript and Cesar Lemus’s astonishing superhero artwork at This episode is made possible by the world’s best one on one coding classes for kids between the ages of 6 and 14. WhiteHatJunior's unique teaching methodology makes it easy to absorb tough concepts because the teacher is able to focus completely on one student. Give it a shot: go to to book a free coding class to see for yourself just how easy it is for your child to learn coding!
53 min
Design Better Podcast
Design Better Podcast
InVisionApp, Inc
Seth Godin: Learning to take risks, be generous, and make a ruckus
If you don’t know who Seth Godin is, just type “Seth” into Google or DuckDuckGo. The first entry will lead you to his blog, where he writes—every day—about marketing, design, writing, how being a better human will make you better at your job. Once you’ve started to read his blog, you’ll probably be hungry for more of his wisdom. He’s written over eighteen bestselling books on business and marketing, including Linchpin, Purple Cow, and The Dip. We’ve been following Seth for a long time, and his writing and speaking have influenced how we think about creating and marketing products. So it was a huge honor to have him on our show, where we spoke about subjects ranging from how to take risks in your career, to why being creative is an act of generosity, to the idea of “creative destruction.” We hope you enjoy our conversation with Seth as much as we did, and after you finish, we encourage you to go make a ruckus. Takeaways: * Why the counterintuitive idea of “surplus” means that, despite everything going on in the world, we all have access to more resources than the last King of France did. * Why writing is often the best starting point for almost any type of creative work. * Why a company is more like an organism than an organization Bio Seth is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker and teacher. In addition to launching one of the most popular blogs in the world, he has written 19 best-selling books, including The Dip, Linchpin, Purple Cow, Tribes, and What To Do When It's Your Turn (And It's Always Your Turn). His most recent book, This is Marketing, was an instant bestseller in countries around the world. Though renowned for his writing and speaking, Seth also founded two companies, Squidoo and Yoyodyne (acquired by Yahoo!). By focusing on everything from effective marketing and leadership, to the spread of ideas and changing everything, Seth has been able to motivate and inspire countless people around the world. In 2013, Seth was one of just three professionals inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. In an astonishing turn of events, in May 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame as well. He might be the only person in both. Seth created the altMBA and Marketing Seminar to transform online education and help people connect with their audience.
44 min
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