February 18, 2020

Nancy Douyon: Listening is the best hiring skill

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Nancy Douyon

Nancy Douyon

Tech World Ethicist
About The Episode

Nancy Douyon has a remarkable story that lead her into a career in technology. From her childhood in Haiti, to moving to Boston and taking part in an MIT program as a kid, to running away from home and then teaching as a teenager, and on to design roles at Google and Uber, Nancy’s unconventional path gives her a unique perspective on how to approach product design for an audience that includes everyone.

We chat with Nancy about her initial reluctance to enter a technical field despite her talent, how she thinks about making sure research represents a diverse set of users, and understanding global perspectives in product design.


  • How to approach hiring by looking at someone’s story
  • Tips for making user research more representative
  • How to approach ethical product design

Roundtable Discussion

This episode kicks off with a roundtable discussion with special InVision guests Alison Rand (Senior Director of Design Operations) and Mike Davidson (VP of Partnerships and Community). Aarron and Eli chat with them about three recent articles on workplace culture, ethical design, and the design debacle at the Iowa Caucuses:

  1. Designer Confidential: How do I create a healthy team culture when my own boss is toxic?
  2. Instagram, Juul, and why it’s time to start answering ethical design questions
  3. The important lessons every designer should learn from the Iowa Caucuses

Meet Your Hosts

Aarron Walter
VP of Design Education

Aarron Walter is Director of Product on the COVID Response team at Resolve to Save Lives. Previously, he was VP of Design Education at InVision, and founded the UX practice at Mailchimp where he helped grow the product from a few thousand users to more than 10 million. He’s the author of a number of books, the latest of which is a second edition of Designing for Emotion. Aarron’s design guidance has helped the White House, the US Department of State, and dozens of major corporations, startups, and venture capital firms.

You can find Aarron on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Eli Woolery
Director of Design Education

Eli is the Director of Design Education at InVision. His design career spans both physical and digital products, and he has worked with companies ranging from startups (his own and others) to Fortune 500 companies.

In addition to his background in product and industrial design, he has been a professional photographer and filmmaker. He teaches the senior capstone class Implementation to undergraduate Product Designers at Stanford University. You can find Eli on Twitter and Medium.

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