Social Confoes 026 – Mortal Kombat, Good UX Design and Working Remotely w/ Pek Pongpaet
This Tuesday on #SocialConfoes we will be joined by Pek Pongpaet. He’s the CEO and Chief UX Strategist at Impekable, a world-class agency that designs and engineers SaaS and mobile applications. Additionally, if you are a fan of Mortal Kombat, you don’t want to miss it.
- 0:00 – Intro
- 2:15 – A Mortal Kombat Story
- 8:41: – Naming Impekable
- 15:38 – Moving to the US and starting a career in UX and UI
- 25:26 – Quickfire Questions
- 32:10 – The importance of UX and UI
- 37:57 – Western vs Eastern UX
- 43:15 – Changes in UX for the next 5 years
- 47:55 – Personal privacy in an online world
- 50:57 – Working remotely from the start
- 1:03:33 – Government regulation in a tech integrated world
- 1:07:50 – Closing off
Video Version of the Episode
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Jean-luc: [00:00:37] Hello. Hello. Hello and welcome to brand new Social Confoes episode. It’s a time for a brand-new episode Diego and we have our first comment already. Gregory was getting worried. Where are you guys? Well, right. You’re right on time at nine o’clock and yes, I agree. I gave the Diego was scared today for making him think that I wouldn’t show up for today’s episode, but I’m really excited about today’s guest. So I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Diego: [00:01:05] This is going to be an exciting one. We have a, our guest is currently based in Chicago and as you’ve seen in the announcement we have Pek Pongpaet, founder and CEO of Impekable a UX design firm based in the U S and they serve clients globally. And I got to say, when I checked it out, I was blown away by the portfolio.
The work they’ve done. If you asked me now, if I knew beforehand, what everything was that Pek has done, I would have been intimidated to ask him, but I I’m glad it happened the other way around. We go into that a bit, but yeah, he also has two podcasts, so just like us, he hosts his own podcast.
The, what is UX podcast and a founder with Pek podcast. So if you guys get a chance to after this episode, also check those out and fun fact. I think I’m going to ask him to tell us more about this himself, but I’m going to bring back up right now that Hey, Pek welcome to Social Confoes
Pek: [00:02:11] hey thank you. Nice to meet you. Greg thanks for hopping on the show.
Diego: [00:02:15] Yeah. And quickly, the first time I met back in a Zoom call and we were all introducing ourselves and this is the funnest fact I’ve heard anyone just, you know, casually say, yeah. I used to, you know, you know, mortal Kombat Sub-Zero in motion capture. I used to do that. So can you tell us a bit more about that on your history with Mortal Kombat and motion capture and in the DC universe as well?
Pek: [00:02:46] Yeah. So there’s a video game that was big in the early nineties called Mortal Kombat and it started out as an arcade game. And over the years, it’s I don’t know how many years it’s been, but it’s been at least two decades since a mortal Kombat has been around.
And there’s recently a movie Mortal Kombat movie, but I’ve been involved in doing the, was involved in doing the martial arts moves for Mortal combat starting with Mortal combat five till about mortal combat 10 for 10 years they, they did about a game every two years. You know, I’m sort of older now and I don’t do that anymore, but yeah, I did that for 10 years. Mortal combat. It was like the first game was I think 2000, 2001. I want to say. Yeah, 2001 to 2011. Right? So I’m already combat denigrate Alliance, mortal Kombat, Shaolin monks Armageddon. I forget.
Yeah, there’s a, there was an MPK versus DC universe or shell and monks and maybe it’s deception. I forgot deception. And then, and then the reboot called mortal combat.
Diego: [00:03:50] That’s quite a lot. Yeah. I think mortal combat, if you ask anyone around our generation, they, they grew up with Mortal Kombat I myself have played it. I have a few friends who, you know so it’s kind of really cool to have someone here behind who has behind the scenes and maybe shed some lights, how that, that was
Pek: [00:04:09] well, the cooler, the cooler fact, like, you know, the, the, the games that I’m in are, we’re not as famous as the original games, right.
More combat one, two, and three, right. Mortal Kombat two is probably in the okays is one of the best games and three, the cooler cooler fact is some of my instructors, right. In those games. So like Johnny cage was my instructor and the, the, the guy who played is a, an, a real martial artist named Danny Pesina and then the guy who played Khan Lau was also a real martial artist who they both had come from the same lineage of martial arts and same martial arts instructor. But he also has his own school. And his name is Tony Marquez. And both of them, I studied, I actually studied with both of them. So I know knew that those people who played those characters and Tony, my kids actually also played a ninja teenage mutant ninja turtle in, in one of the movies or maybe two of the movies, two and three.
Jean-luc: [00:05:04] Okay. So, so our audience, our audience is fishing already. So there are a couple of questions of course shadows from Gregory once again, but he wants to know what’s your martial arts background and also. Is there any significance of the Mario poster behind you?
Pek: [00:05:21] the, the style that I did was it’s called Wushu which is a Chinese martial art. I grew up watching a lot of Kung Fu movies and Kung Fu like soap, opera, Chinese soap opera in, in Thailand where I grew up. And of course, I saw Jet Li, Jackie Chan.
And I was very, you know, I always wanted to study martial arts, but being a very strict Asian parents, you know, they’re just like, just study, just don’t do anything else. Just study, just get good grades and follow that very narrow path. So I it’s, it was always something in the back of my mind, but it’s not something like parents encouraged or, or were going to support.
How I started was when I graduated college with an engineering degree, you got my job. My first paycheck, I started looking for a Kungfu school near my house. And as luck would have it Daniel Pesina who played Johnny cage in the original mortal combat video games was teaching out of a school that happened to be close to where I live.
And yeah, I just happened to pick a school that was close cause so that I could go because of traffic and convenience, if I didn’t, you know, it was far away, then I probably wouldn’t go. So I got very lucky to, to study there. The significance of Mario, it’s not a poster, it’s actually a, an art piece made out of wooden blocks.
And it’s supposed to be a sound diffuser. So when you have say a podcast or something they have those really ugly foam diffusers that I bought. And I was like, oh, this is so ugly. I would never put this up. And then I’ve heard about these wooden blocks that are, you know, I found them on Etsy that were, did sound diffusers.
And some of them are just bland, boring blocks. And some of them have like some paint on them and, you know, I, as like I looked at it and like, yeah, this is kind of cool, but not what I want. And then I was like, oh, this is like, they’re like pixels. It could be like pixel art. So I actually commissioned someone on Etsy to make this special for me.
Diego: [00:07:13] That’s really cool. We should get some, I have no sound. I have
Pek: [00:07:19] white walls. Yeah. If you just have like straight, like flat walls, right. Without anything kind of breaking the sound of like I’ve listened to my own podcast, and I can tell that it sounds. Tinny or echoey. Yeah.
Diego: [00:07:33] Yeah. I I’ve, I’ve noticed that a few times as well. So it just kind of like more of a, you know, right place, right time for you. That’s how you got kind of roped into the scene from what I’m understanding.
Pek: [00:07:43] Yeah. Well, I got lucky to be met up with good coaches. I mean, like the mortal combat thing, I mean, it is cool to be part of video game history. But my passion for martial arts was, you know, because of like the jet Lee’s you know, Jackie Chan’s of the world.
And you know, I, I really enjoyed the model combat piece, although, you know, it was very small, you know, I studied it for over 10 years. The, the, the motion capture work didn’t take a lot of time. So every year it would only take up a few days, you know, whenever we did it, you know, they try to cram it in and I go there and it was you know, they have a whole huge move list.
They have like the. Loose plot for the cinematic trailer intro, like who fights who, and who’s supposed to win. And then we martial artists figure out the details of the fight. But it’s really only a few days a year versus, you know, the training competition stuff is that, that was a good chunk of my life after work.
Jean-luc: [00:08:41] Quick transition to business. how hard was it for you to come up with a name for your company?
Was it easy or was it actually more difficult than that? We would have to imagine,
Pek: [00:08:57] you know, uh, really lame name for the original company name and which I won’t even share it because I’m so embarrassed. But the Impekable one is, somewhat an early client came, came up with, for me she, she had an idea and she brought it up and I was like, wow, that’s a lot of pressure impeccable.
You know, that, that means flawless. Like that’s like that’s aiming super high and that’s a lot of pressure to put. And then plus it’s got my name in it and that’s, that’s kind of vain. So I didn’t really like it at first, but then I would ask, I would test it out. I asked all the other clients, I said, Hey, I’m thinking about changing the name of the company.
So even, you know, the name of the company, how about this new one impeccable as like, oh, impeccable so much better, so much. It’s like a, and after hearing that many times, I’m like, okay, fine. I guess I just gave in and leaned in, but it is, it is a good name. And I, even people who know me know that I like puns.
So this is a great pun.
Diego: [00:09:57] No, yeah, it’s amazing. And it’s like, it rolls so easily and it’s quite memorable and take the coincidence that it really fits with you with your name that’s even better. And I love puns as well. But yeah you, you mentioned, you know, grew up in Thailand, had the traditional upbringing.
We’ve heard this time and time again, you know, traditional upbringing through the engineering economics and the basic doctor, doctor, lawyer, doctor, lawyer. Yeah. We, if we are this time and time again, but you ended up one of the, yeah. The, the, the most creative Spaces in tech, especially. So how to make that finally make the transition from the traditional trajectory to having a serious hobby in motion capture and then starting your design UX UI.
Pek: [00:10:47] I discovered my passion, I, at some point maybe like junior high or high school, my, my, like I got to like learn about computers and we, we didn’t my first computer, of course I think was in interaction. Was it school, but then You know, I would, after school, I would go to my dad’s office and, you know, I, I got, I borrowed, you know, I had copies of, of games from friends.
So like Prince of Persia, like the old Prince of Persia and all these other old games I would play them and had a lot of fun. And, you know, I discovered that I liked computers or at least playing computer games. And that’s not saying that I didn’t really think too much about it as like, oh, I like playing computer games.
Therefore, I must like computers. But I would also tinker with it. The, the computers you know, learn basic commands and learn dos that was in the age of dos. I learned programs and how to execute programs, copy programs. We learned basic dos stuff. I enjoyed it. I tinkered with enough of it that I went.
And we, we also had an introductory computer programming course in, in, in high school, which I enjoyed. So. After that I decided that I really wanted to study you know, computers. I didn’t realize I went into computer engineering, which is sort of like computer hardware plus computer software. I actually didn’t like the hardware part at all.
I don’t like circuits and, you know, capacitors and circuit diagrams and all the third about dynamics and all that stuff. Didn’t interest me at all. Like I think if I could do it over again, I’d probably just be a computer, computer science major and just study software as hardware had no interest for me, but actually my, yeah.
Yeah. But my, my parents really did want me, or at least my father didn’t did want me to be a doctor. And at the time in Thailand, I don’t know if it’s kind of still true now, but in Thailand if you want to go into medicine, they have this thing where you have to be an intern, you know, Like be sort of an apprentice or intern and, and try it out before dedicating your life, you know, into this field.
when you apply, they, they assign you to a random hospital. so when I was going into medicine, I had to go and I was assigned this sort of like on the edge of the, of Bangkok, like not, not like a downtown in the city hospital. So it was kind of like more, slightly rural. And I worked in the emergency room and I can tell you, I lasted two days, like one of the first day a guy came with an infection, the size of a tennis ball, and they had to like cut it open and it smelled up the whole room and it just shot up in pus, you know?
And then another day, or maybe it was the same day, but a guy, he had a bullet wound. But it, he didn’t, he, he didn’t come right away. he had gotten shot in the leg and it was infected. It had been either several days or whatnot, but it also he didn’t report it right away. So he came in because it was infected and we had to deal with that as well.
So after days of experiences like that, I went back to dad and I said, look medicine is just not for me. I like, there was just like too much blood and, you know, blood and smell and stuff like that. I was like, I, I can’t do this. My, my cousin had a very different experience. So when he did the same thing, he was assigned to like pediatrics.
So he, he got to like cuddle babies for his internship. So of course, he went into medicine and now he’s a great doctor. But my experience was so traumatic. yeah. It totally scared me off. So as I told dad, like, look, medicine I just can’t do it. And like I’m just going to study computer engineering. So, so that’s what happened. There was no sending me back to that, that
Diego: [00:14:41] assignment to the hospitals was like random for everyone who like applied.
Pek: [00:14:46] Yeah. Yeah.
You don’t get touched to this. Ridiculous.
Diego: [00:14:49] Wow. So it’s basically a lottery ticket, like okay. You have a great experience or a horrible experience.
Pek: [00:14:55] Yeah. Yeah. You know? And, and I didn’t pass the test. So how I got into that yeah. That’s, that’s basically how I got into the field of engineering.
And then again, you know, I always grew up watching Kung Fu movies. So I always wanted to, you know, do martial arts at some point, but I, I didn’t get the support of my parents. So when I finally could get it, you know, with my own money I did. Yeah. So that’s kind of the story of how I get into tech through school and then how I got into Kung Fu or Wushu
Diego: [00:15:27] But you basically grew up like your whole childhood in Thailand basically. And did your school there?
Pek: [00:15:34] No, no, not entirely, but we can get into that. So w
Diego: [00:15:38] when was the move to the U S actually and like, and you decided to, you know, to, to stay in the U S not go back and develop yourself and your business and basically your career.
Pek: [00:15:48] So, so my parents are, were Thai diplomats, so they we grew up traveling around the world. So both my, both, my mom was a diplomat and my father was a diplomat. When, in fact, when they had me, they were still, also both working. And I grew up for the first few years, just with my mom in Malaysia. So we, we ended up in Malaysia just my mom and I, and then my dad at the time was in as a diplomat Thai diplomat in Beijing.
And actually that’s how I got my name Pek so like the old name Beijing is Peking so PEK is the international airport code. So yeah, that’s, that’s what Pek comes from. But yeah, at some point so, so, you know, both, both my parents traveled for work and we kind of, as kids, you know, grew up traveling like diplomat kids or military kids.
But my dad always put us in both my sister and I in like American schools or international schools. So it was I didn’t really grow up like with a very Thai mindset. So it was always like, you know, at some point I was going to go to the U S for college and yeah, I got, I’m not very tight, I guess, in that sense.
So, yeah. And then as luck would have it, my, my father around the time I became like, just about graduating high school, my father got assigned to, to the U S to Chicago as a, as console general. So he got. Come move to Chicago and brought us with along with, and that was right at the time when I started college.
So I started college. So I applied to few universities and I, I got into the university of Illinois, which is in Chicago and my sister’s still in high school and that’s how we ended up in the, in Chicago. And then you know, fast forward a few years I am after about a decade or so in working in tech, in Chicago, I decided to move to the bay area, San Francisco bay area, Silicon valley, because that’s where my heart is, is like tech startups.
And, you know, I love reading about that. And you know, the tech scene in Chicago in the early 2000 was pretty lame. So we, you know, other, other than a few companies so I decided to move there and then that’s how Impekable started.
Diego: [00:18:02] Cool. We got some quick comments here, like a blood from Anil blood in games is different. So that, that doesn’t bother you at all, especially in Mortal Kombat as the gore in MK.
Pek: [00:18:14] And, you know, the funny thing is I liked fighting games and it, but I didn’t really like the game Mortal combat as much. Yeah, I felt like it was like needlessly violent. But I did play games like you know, I liked one of my favorite games was virtual fighter.
Two, two was one of the best Tekken in virtual fighter and Tekken and Soul Calibur were my go-to fighting games.
Diego: [00:18:36] Yeah, I I’ve had, yeah, I’ve had my share of Tekken. And I just quickly thought about this. So quick, quick, fun fact here, since Anil mentioned this comment in a way, cause you used to work for Accenture as well, right? In your early days. So we had Anil here a few months ago and that’s where he started as well. They weren’t con Accenture, but he started in the Netherlands.
So in a way you guys are maybe
Pek: [00:19:03] yeah. I was at Accenture in Chicago for almost five years. Yeah. It’s my second or third year. Yeah,
Diego: [00:19:12] but that doesn’t really explain yet are so tech more engineering, computer science background, because UI UX is really more visual. So that transition from the code tech software to the more front-end visual side. When did that happen? When did the products that you guys made were like, like visually like, wow.
Pek: [00:19:37] right after college graduated as software engineer. So the first years were pure software engineering. So writing code, I think around, for about seven years, I was mostly a software engineer, software developer with like, especially Microsoft one.
So I had all these Microsoft technology certifications. So like MC. Microsoft solution developer, Microsoft DBA, all that stuff. I was very into the Microsoft enterprise world, but around, yeah, around towards the end of that, I think you know, when Steve jobs came back to apple and then you saw this like surge of, well well-designed consumer software and then like the Facebooks and the Googles and the PayPals and the eBays kind of started coming up and software like was good.
Right? Like had a great user interface was well-designed was usable. I decided, you know, I at some point everybody writes good code and it’s like diminishing returns, like, like that’s table stakes, right. Where you can have a differentiator. I N I at least in the consumer space. Right. Or prosumer good software. It’s not just good code it’s also well-designed and I really appreciated that. And I was like, oh, that’s where I want to be. You know, I want to make I really enjoyed using good software. I want to be part of that side and the back part of that camp. So I started studying self-teaching software design and eventually became pretty decent at it.
But that’s how it started was seeing all that proliferation of internet, consumer software, you know Apple’s kind of going, coming into the field with Steve jobs and Johnny Yve you know, and, and later on the iPhone. Yeah, that’s, that’s really what got me into software design UX.
Diego: [00:21:29] Ah, thanks. Thanks for that. Yeah, I said that’s really cool. And that quickly brings me to the next question, because you are inspired by, you know Steve jobs, the UI, that, that internet space. So how much do you think that’s the environment like Silicon valley, San Francisco, the bay area that shaped someone or helped shape you? If, if you look back from growing up in Thailand, moving to Chicago and then to being exposed in that environment, do you think it would have ended up a different way if you weren’t like in that environment at that time?
Pek: [00:22:04] I think my, my, you know, my choice in career would have been very different. I think so yeah, I think me for me, yeah. Had I not gone to Chicago and Chicago Chicago’s proximity. So while I was in college, so at U of I you know, the, the other campus U of I you know, this was like the days of Netscape or mosaic, the first browser mosaic. And then right after that Netscape, like 95
Jean-luc: [00:22:30] around
Pek: [00:22:30] midnight. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
This was all happening while I was in college taking computer classes, like all of a sudden, Hey, we have this thing called a web browser, mosaic, you know, from, from the other campus, U of I, the other campus, check it out, we download it, use it like this. Cool. And then a couple months later, like mosaic is no longer cool and there’s this thing Netscape.
And we’re using that. And then we’re using that to browse Yahoo. And we’re using that to browse all of a sudden, you know, there’s like Hotmail, there’s like you know, Google and stuff like that all, all while we’re in in college and all that was happening. I don’t, you know, if you were not as close to it while it was happening, you might not have been exposed to it for many other years.
Right. So I think that’s that that proximity helped me kind of be exposed to it at an early time when all of those things were happening. You know, recounting, you know, somebody else’s interview that I interviewed you know, she, she was YouTube’s first designer. She went to UI the other campus where she had met Steve Chan and Chad Hurley, the founders of YouTube, you know, that they were working on it as a side project as an evening project, you know, as a cool thing.
So being, being close to, to all those things helped me get exposed to it early on which I don’t think would have happened. Had I stayed in Thailand, you know? And, and. You know, even now, right? Like if you look at the startups in Thailand or any other place it’s very different, right? Like they’re there, for example, I think in Thailand, startups tend to be more there’s like tourism tech or, you know there’s, agritech agricultural technology.
There’s sure there’s like stuff here and there, but you know, also like probably very similar to Suriname, right? The scale is very different because the population is different, you know, it’s a much smaller, right. You know, if you have, you know, even if you like, there’s like a Yelp clone in, in Thailand, right.
And even if you have 50% of the population using it, that’s still not, not that big a number. Right. Like, I don’t know. I don’t remember the population in Thailand, but I do know that, you know, like that, that app probably has like 50%, but 50% is still a pretty small number compared to like an app that’s popular in the U S.
Jean-luc: [00:24:46] Yeah, I think in the U S China, for instance, as well. But I think our population is even much smaller than Thailand. So just imagine. Yeah.
Diego: [00:24:57] So I, I quickly checked to know the population of Thailand is about 70 million and we aren’t even near a million.
Pek: [00:25:04] Well like, yeah. Yeah. Like there’s a Yelp clone kind of call Wong NY, which is, it means inner circle. But like, I think there there’s like 30 million users, right? Like 30 million users is, is decent. But you know, when, when you’re talking about Facebook scale, Instagram scale, WhatsApp scale, where we’re talking about, you know, a hundred million users or a billion users and yeah.
Jean-luc: [00:25:26] Okay. I do have a couple of quick fire questions before we head off to the more serious stuff. The first question I have to ask, what was your first personal email address?
Pek: [00:25:40] First oh, personal. Well, yeah, the first email address was the school email address. First personal one was, I want to say it’s either hotmail. It was like ppongpaet at Hotmail.
First initial, last name at Hotmail. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Jean-luc: [00:25:58] Okay. Yeah. I started with Hotmail as well.
Pek: [00:26:02] Yeah. I mean, technically I had an AOL and an ice. Yeah. I had technically I had an ICQ and an AOL email, but I never check their email. I just use the AOL instant messenger. Right. Like I used it for the chat and ICQ. I also used it for the chat. I didn’t use their email in any way.
Diego: [00:26:21] So are you more like a Mac or windows user?
Pek: [00:26:25] It’s funny. I’ve come full circle in the beginning. I was a windows user. And then, you know, during Apple’s time and when my baby came, you know, fully became a designer as a Mac user. And I up until recently was a Mac user for a very long time. But now if you think about other than a few desktop apps, most of your apps are in the browser.
Right. And you know, I had bought I traveled for work a lot, like as a traveling businessman, traveling salesman, and I had a MacBook pro. 15 inch or something. And at some point I got like, man, I’m tired of lugging this thing around. It’s heavy. So then I got a Mac book air, and that thing is lighter but it’s so underpowered.
And then now COVID has happened and I have this Mac book air, and it’s like this huffing and puffing thing that like gets out of breath. Right? Like the fan is always on blaring because it’s too underpowered, like to have zoom and my work stuff on and all these slack and all this stuff, but I’m not moving anywhere.
Right. And I need a big monitor. So, so I switched to, to a desktop PC with like a 49 inch monitor. And it was like with a Nvidia graphics card. And right now that, you know, CPU is at 5%, you know, there’s, there’s nothing going on it. It’s not even breaking a sweat.
Jean-luc: [00:27:52] Oh, you’re so confronting me right now.
Diego: [00:27:56] Oh yeah,
Jean-luc: [00:27:57] yeah. Yeah. You’re really confronting because I’m on a Mac book air now. And for those who have been very sharp, it has seen that I switched around and I changed browsers in during the show because one of the browser that I originally planned on using was it just with the internet connection, wasn’t cutting it. The feed can disappearing. So I completely understand
Pek: [00:28:22] the cpu is always like a hundred percent. Right. And the fan is like ridiculously. Yeah. Where that problem has gone. Like with the, I got the, I went overboard. Right. I also thought I was going to start gaming, but I had really haven’t at all, but I bought like a, you know, one of those Nvidia 30, 90, whatever RTX thinking I was going to game, but I don’t.
Jean-luc: [00:28:46] Yeah. Somebody did point out. Did you say a 49 inch one there?
Pek: [00:28:51] Yeah. Yeah. Like I have a 49 inch curved monitor. So it’s feels like three monitors. It’s great. Yeah.
Jean-luc: [00:28:59] So basically that’s also part of the extra light for the setup.
Pek: [00:29:03] Yeah. Yeah.
Jean-luc: [00:29:05] Okay. Next question would be, what would you consider the first networking website?
Pek: [00:29:14] Networking website? Like good to define networking. Yeah. Yeah.
Jean-luc: [00:29:19] Networking. It’s a website that you could go on, get a membership and connect with others around them.
Pek: [00:29:25] There was high five before friends day. I don’t think I joined high five. I used Friendster and then my space funny story is yeah, I met a girl on Friendster. She was my girlfriend for awhile. And then I met with my wife on MySpace. Yeah.
Jean-luc: [00:29:40] Oh, that’s pretty cool actually,
Pek: [00:29:43] but they weren’t dating sites. Right. They were just networking, and they were like friends. Yeah. Yeah. One of my old girlfriends, she was a friend of a friend. And that’s how we met through Friendster.
Jean-luc: [00:29:54] That’s pretty cool. I think in high five was pretty big in Suriname as well. And you Hives, which was connected to the Netherlands. So it was either one of those two. And I think Facebook really became popular insurance. Right. Late two thousands,
Diego: [00:30:09] 20, 20 10 around 2010. I remember that. That’s when I got into it as well.
Pek: [00:30:14] I liked, you know, like my space was getting, like, people are installing crazy scripts that would just kill your browser. You know, like all these slide shows and like three MP3s playing and 10 slideshows. And it was just like slowing down your computer. And then Facebook came and I was like this clean, you know, no nonsense, just the content.
And then the feed was actually useful. Cause you didn’t have to go to everybody’s page to see what they updated. Right. Like if you had like 10 friends, like my space didn’t have a notion of a feed. Right. So you had to go to their page to see what happened, what they wrote
Diego: [00:30:48] speaking off of in space. You just mentioned, what is your opinion on Facebook’s latest UI and user experience? What they changed it to like.
Pek: [00:30:58] I don’t have a problem with the clean cleanliness. I think my, my bigger problem is you have all these designers designing on really big monitors and everything is huge. I’d rather see more information. Like I’m more of an information dense guy. Like I can tell when like maybe young, young designers have a problem with this.
Like they’ll design, you know, sometimes it’s like they, yeah. They design some of the stuff that’s like ridiculous either. It can go two ways either. Like when they’re designing on a mobile app where they don’t test on their phone, they design on a big monitor, and it looks okay. And then when they put it on the phone, it looks really small because they don’t really test on the phone.
So that’s one problem. And then the other problem is you know, they designed something that, you know, on a, on a, another monitor. It’s the lower resolution monitor. It’s just huge because it’s designed on a very high-res monitor. And I think part of the problem is like the, this, yeah, the, the design UX design.
I see a lot less content. Like if I were to go to Facebook right now, you know, maybe I will see, see one post or one and a one a quarter versus like more, I’d rather have more information density. Yeah.
Jean-luc: [00:32:10] That’s a very, very interesting point. And people have pointed out, which is a reason why I read it works as well. So as well, that it’s kind of fairly basic, but it, it gives the people what you need. And I think like for most of our, like our weekly viewers, they are very familiar with, with user interface and user experience, but, but for a new, for somebody, right. Who’s brand new is listening or seeing this for the first time and is like, okay, but why is UI and UX? Why is it important? Could you give people like a, a short, yeah, I would, I wouldn’t see UI and UX for dummies, but why is that so important for, for a website or an app when people start using it?
Pek: [00:32:55] Yeah, well, there’s I guess a good analogy is like, when something is well designed, you just enjoy using it more. Or it’s easier to use, you know, and I’m not talking about engineering. When, if something doesn’t work like, Hey, the video doesn’t work. That’s like an engineering problem, but, you know, I’ll, I’ll contrast like maybe like Google, Google Hangouts versus zoom. I have actually like two cameras that I switched between and with zoom to change cams you know, for both of them, sometimes they always by default pick the wrong one.
But it takes like six clicks through Google to switch cameras. Whereas with zoom, it’s already a, just a drop down from the camera, the, the, the video, like stop cam or a show cam, but there’s like a by default, there’s a dropdown and you just pick one and then that’s it. So you drop down and you select it.
So it’s two clicks. Whereas with Hangouts, it’s like you have to go into the dot, go into the click settings, pick video, click the dropdown, select the right one click. OK, click close. I just named at least six clicks to get, you know, so that is a much, you know, full of friction. And it’s like the, just changing that setting is so painful to me that it’s like, Ugh, you know, and maybe that’s a conscious decision.
Maybe like their data says that Hey, 99% of the people who use Hangouts only have one camera. So we’re going to just bury this Right because 99% of the people won’t have this problem, but for the people who have two cameras or more, and, you know, and by default, these apps pick the wrong camera, then it’s a real problem.
Like today, you know, we had this problem with stream yard where by default it pick the wrong mic and we were trying to figure out, and it was like, so painful to just pick the right mic, you know, it’s several clicks. But yeah, so something well-designed, people enjoy using more something or, or use or use it at all period, or don’t, they, you know, something that is not well-designed tends not to be used or tends to be uninstalled. So, so that’s kind of like maybe like the, the high level of why user experience is important.
Jean-luc: [00:35:10] It’s interesting. And brings me back to the early ages. Going live where all of a sudden Periscope and meerkat cat came around, like these new apps. Yeah. You can go on Periscope America, then you can go alive. And YouTube was like, well, wait a minute.
You can go live on YouTube already for such a long time. But getting through that, you had to go to a hangout and then you have to figure out how to configure it. And then of course, Facebook came and blew them all away because there were much more users. And on Facebook it was just two clicks and you were done.
And it it’s, it’s, it’s interesting from, from that perspective where we often think as innovation is like something, creating something completely new, whereas sometimes it’s just like, you want something that’s so simple to use that anybody can use it. So, yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense. And then to follow up the question like, do you, do you see certain websites or certain ideas that are actually really good idea? And then when it comes out, it actually doesn’t work because the UX is so terrible that people are like, even if it’s a great a solution to a problem, a this just doesn’t work for me.
Pek: [00:36:26] Hmm. I can’t think of, let me think about that for that, that problem that the easy example, but a different, I thought you were going to ask a different type of question, but so like one, one thing thought that I had in mind was like, you know, you can like, if we’re talking startups and products, you can build a whole business on, on a feature that another company already has that it’s like, so darn buried, right?
Like, like, like you said here, that was a great example. Like Calendly, Google calendar actually has that feature. It’s called events and it’s like a totally different tab. With Calendly is like, simplifies that to just a few clicks. Right. And you just share your Calendly link and that’s your schedule you know, versus Google calendar, that, that one little feature is buried first of all, if you don’t know it, you probably have to Google how to find that feature and how to turn that on and how to set those things. Whereas like with Calendly, it’s just a few clicks.
Jean-luc: [00:37:24] And, and that’s also better integratable into your website for instance Calendly. Yeah. Yeah. Not to think because now that you mentioned it, you can actually, yeah. It’s really upsetting that Google always already had those features, but they very keep burying
Pek: [00:37:41] those fees and it’s harder to use.
So people will still, like, we still use Calendly even though that feature exists, because it’s easier for someone to grab my Calendly link, then, you know, sharing that other link and stuff like that.
Diego: [00:37:57] Yeah. When you mentioned the Google events to me, I didn’t even know of it. I looked it up and I think they buried it even further. Now that you have to have the, the Google business subscription before you can actually use it. So yeah. And like, okay, never mind. Sticking to Calendly. So I, I I’ve experienced that firsthand after you told me the first time.
But yeah, I stick, but quickly sticking to. That the UI UX for a bit I was watching a few, you know, YouTube videos awhile back, and this thought came that Western, like, as you said, that the more modern Western world is very minimal. The designers are blowing things up, making it like focus on one thing, not enough information, but if you look at the Eastern side China, Japan is flooded with I can now read a bit of Chinese and Japanese, but is flooded with characters is flooded with texts.
There’s very little white space. So I’m not sure you work with the Asian companies as well as, as well as us. What’s the difference there. Do you think in philosophy, but also in experience in that UI, UX the Asian markets go more for like flooding with you? A lot of texts and the Western is more white space.
Pek: [00:39:10] Yeah, it’s a, it’s very different design sensibilities. I, I can’t, I can’t claim too much experience with Chinese and Japanese design. I, I would say I have a very cursory knowledge, but I do understand that they, they prefer less clicks and more information upfront, and they prefer them have more information density, whereas Western mindset or sensibilities prefer, you know, cleaner, more white space, cleaner design, you know, kind of simpler workflows.
And that’s why also, I would not to generalize, but you know, kind of maybe like, like Eastern Asian culture, you prepare for less clicks and then you want information all in one page that they can just see and scan, whereas you know, Western or U S design sense
one is more visual. One is more space and to kind of, they don’t mind clicking more, right. Having more clicks to go through more pages just, but as long as it’s clean and it’s sort of a narrow, narrow workflow I think Thai is a little different because it’s, it’s somewhere in between like Thai you know, speaking of having Thai customers in the past, we, you know, they do like clean design the Thai vocabulary and Thai words tend to do, you know, kind of like maybe certain languages like German, like, you know, a simple word in English, maybe translate it to Thai
it’s like several words. So the buttons are, you know, kind of like you have that problem where it’s more verbose. So, you know, you run into those problems where, you know, what, what would take, you know, one or two words or. Blow up in Thai, but generally speaking, they, they also prefer cleaner sensibilities.
I think more though Thai consumers are, are at least kind of in e-commerce, but the difference is like they’re very sales driven and promo driven. So they, you know, so you have these gotti like on sale now, like all these in your face sales. So which, you know, for my Western sensibilities, like it’s not very clean.
Right. Cause it’s just like glaring and Gadi, like sales, buttons, and graphics.
Diego: [00:41:26] There’s a quick question here from Anil on the UX and he asks, how will UX change now that we have more conversational interactions with tech? So like Alexa, like voice activated, how does, yeah. How does UX play a role in that in moving more?
Pek: [00:41:45] Yeah. UX has expanded, right. I think you know, in, even throughout my career, right in the beginning, UX was mostly thought about for web desktop.
Now we think about UX. A lot. Most of the UX we think about is still web desktop now, plus mobile, or depending on which customer we’re talking to mobile might be more important. But sometimes there’s also watch interfaces and you know, now, now UX has expanded right. It might be voice interface. So UX designers, now there’s more gen specializations, so there’s more to learn.
There’s more to specialize because the web desktop experience is different than the mobile experience is different than the tablet experience is different than the voice experience. So, so UX designers now also can, or need to, you know, for four different companies have to work on building voice interfaces as well, or like in-car interfaces even, or like large screen display interfaces or TV interfaces.
So like, for example, like now, you know, there’s a lot of smart TVs. I think what’s happened during COVID is my consumption of YouTube has changed. Now. The, now that I’m home, I spend a lot more time on TV and like I, a lot, I would say a good chunk of my YouTube consumption is actually on TV now through a smart TV interface.
So somebody had to design this design that, and that’s different than a click. Web interface. So it’s just more, more things.
Jean-luc: [00:43:15] A very interesting part as well, because we ended up coming back to a YouTube is not really Google, but it still is. And you had this terrible interface for making the cover photo for the YouTube channel work on a, on a television.
I was like, it didn’t make any, the dimensions didn’t make any sense. And, but what you touch upon is something very interesting. And I want to follow up on that because I think 20 years ago I had a discussion or yeah, 20 to 15 years ago, I had a discussion with my dad and we were discussing at the time mobile phones were kind of still, still new.
And I was having a discussion like at a certain point, the computer is going to do everything that the mobile phone does. And he was like, no, no, no. It was going to be the other way around. And mobile phone has got to do whatever the computer does. And of course he was right at the time I was still young.
I was, I just had the thought in my head and that’s kind of the, the change where of course we still use the desktop and you just told us you went full circle and why, but all of a sudden you see that things that you would usually do on bigger devices are going on phones, which you’re seeing with, of course, young children who like just take the toll, the four of their parents and they watch YouTube.
And they’re used to like a screen that is way too small for me. Like, I’m not gonna watch on this screen when I have a big screen for them. It’s like, yeah, but I’m used to it. They don’t even click away the ads, you know, I have like, yeah, the ad is disturbing me because they don’t even click on ads. They just watched through it.
So then my question comes and you’re in into that part as well. And the UX and UI as well. So I do want to, where do you feel we’re going towards, are we definitely going towards more. The voice integrated systems. Are we going to more towards an internet of things that everything is connected in your living room?
What kind of changes do you really see? Like, and see like, okay. In five years time, people don’t think about it yet, but this has got to be a pretty normal thing, which now is kind of a techie or a geeky thing.
Pek: [00:45:21] Yeah. Well, I, you know, being a techie and geeking out over stuff, you know, we, I’m an enabler and of, of connecting, you know, E my company is an enabler of connecting things to the internet and we worked on IOT related projects and I also geek out on stuff.
So I think we’re just going to see more and more connected devices. One, because. We’re tethered to our mobile phones for better, for worse. In fact, funny story today, we actually, I actually just installed some water sensors. So these are their sensors to detect water leaks, you know, and, and of course I bought smart ones.
They have like dumb ones that are just, if they sense it, they’re just Blair alarm, you know, from their stuff. But this one does that. And it’s also IOT. So you didn’t install the App and you connect the Bluetooth. But the idea is, you know, if something like, Hey, a washer, dryer, leaks, or, you know pipe leaks and the floor gets wet I’ll get an alert from my phone, even if I’m not home.
So that’s the, I think people want that because of the convenience, right? You’re not always going to be home and you want to be alerted. You want to be, you know, I think somebody had a, there was like a really funny video where I recall, this was like maybe a couple of years ago where, you know, people, somebody had a ring doorbell, right.
And then there was a delivery package. if they weren’t home, what they did was there was a Tesla parked in the right driveway. What they did was they opened the Tesla for the delivery person to put the package in the car. So they remotely opened the door, unlock the Tesla so that the delivery person can put, put the package in the Tesla and then they could lock it.
So they turned the Tesla and a doubt into a smart locker using, you know, like the combination of ring to let the person know who it was. And then Tesla as a storage was very interesting and fascinating, but something like that wasn’t possible many years before. Right? Like the person could just, they bring the doorbell a couple of times nobody’s home.
So I’m just going to leave the package here and risk the possibility of getting it stolen. I think people are willing to. There’s not much of a trade, like, you know? Yeah, of course there’s some, some privacy issues and stuff, but connecting things to the internet makes it more convenient. So I think people more and more people want to do it, you know, even the lights in the back.
I actually connect them with kinda smart switches. So, so I’m just turning them on and off from my phone now.
Jean-luc: [00:47:55] So now we do have to ask the question, where do you stand on the privacy? Like we’ve, we’ve seen, like, for instance, I, I still mock my friends because of the beginning of the year when WhatsApp kind of unknowns that they were changing the, the, the privacy settings, like everybody jumped onto other messaging platforms.
And now, and I was, of course, like, yeah, that’s fine. But like we have on a, on a, we have several 0.6 population million population in Surinam and we have over 1 million active mobile phones. So we have 1.5 active mobile phones per, per inhabitant. And considering you still have youngsters as well. So basically two are more phones per person, and everybody uses WhatsApp.
So WhatsApp is kind of the main app that’s being used here. And people were like, yeah, we’re switching over. We’re now going to use signal. And then of course I’m getting our own six months later saying like, so how’s it going on a signal? Are you still using signal? And it was of course for convenience sake, but there is of course the issue with, with data and how much data is being given now from a marketing perspective, I of course love the data, the user data, because I can target better, but from. Yeah, for more community, the social perspective, it is kind of discomforting how much information you’re giving away. So where do you, do you see there is a boundary between what kind of information people are allowed to know from you and what they aren’t allowed to know from, from you?
Pek: [00:49:30] Yeah. I, I guess my stance on that is a very pragmatic, you know, stance of, of a business owner or, you know, an entrepreneur.
And there’s a there’s a saying, right? I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. It’s like, if you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product. Like, how do you expect Facebook to host all the photos you’ve ever uploaded or all the videos that you ever uploaded, you know, that you take, you know, everybody and all the private messages between all you and all your friends, like they have to operate a business.
They are they’re operating, there’s real, tangible costs of data centers and engineers. Right? You know, designers like their whole, I can tell you like, like they’re just maybe their iOS mobile design team is probably bigger than my whole company. Right? Like, so that’s, those are real hard costs that they have to bear.
So like, how do they do that for free? They can’t, they can do this for free costs money. So they have to pay for, if you are not paying a member of, you know, like, Hey, if you’re paying for proton email or, you know you know, Salesforce, CRM and stuff, you’re, you’re paying for that. Right. So there’s, there’s a, an exchange in value somehow, right.
Where you’re giving money. So there’s an expectation of privacy where here I’ve know, I use this product absolutely for free. So, you know, I look at it as well. They have to make money somehow.
Jean-luc: [00:50:55] Yeah, no I do use proton mail, but
Diego: [00:50:57] I I’ve seen it around, but I haven’t really delved into it. But yeah, I’m, I’m pretty much the same as it is. It’s gotta be practical and if there is straight up always and you got to decide for yourself, which trade off you want and then you go, go down that path.
So I want to tie this up a real quick, full circle with a, basically a final question. Final, big question. And this is more. Directed are enabled by you wish and look as your company, culture is this way, but as COVID has, you know, a force, a lot of people to work remotely and working from a distance deciding your own times deliver I’ve noticed from your website and the background you’ve done, you guys have clients internationally.
You guys are kind of like a global team or a spread out team remote, firstly, your team is like correct me if I’m wrong, like mostly remote working. So they just start from the start since 20, 20 12, 20 11, when you started Impekable why was that? The philosophy start remote first before all this COVID that shifted all the companies to think that way.
Pek: [00:52:09] Yeah, we were always well, we started out as high. Where we, so I get a lot of my influence from a company called a Chicago startup called 37 signals. If you’re kinda in the startup space you know, you might know a project management tool called base camp. So anyways, they’re one of the, you know, there, they have an office in, in Chicago, but they are also a very remote culture and they’ve always kind of talked and had been very vocal about hiring remote.
When I started Impekable in the bay area we, we always hired some people remote. And then there was also some people in the bay area and for the people in the bay area, we had an office that we, we went to why we hired a remote one financially. It just was more feasible because in the bay area I’m competing with like Google and Facebook and stuff.
can’t compete on salary, like, like that it’s just not realistic. So we, we were forced to hire a remote just to be able to get the talent from anywhere. So we, we were remote first from, from the very beginning. Some people were local, but I would say at any point in time, 75 or 80% of our team was always remote.
So yeah. So it’s always been remote. So we we’ve, when COVID happened, you know, the, the, the thing that did change was mostly for me is we, we shut down our office and I stopped going for, to an office. So we, we were, we went from 80% remote to now a hundred percent remote.
Jean-luc: [00:53:38] How difficult was that? How difficult was it to shut down the office?
Pek: [00:53:42] Well, so, you know, when COVID happened, you couldn’t go, right. Everything was locked down and you couldn’t go to the office. So we were spending money for an office we weren’t using anyways for like three months. And then I decided, okay, this is just wasting money. So. We, we were able to get out of it, but I think psychologically or emotionally I was probably, I was one of the people who probably had the most difficult time shifting a little bit because I always had an office, you know, I went to an office, I got up in the morning, got dressed for work, drove, drove to work at a parking lot and then walk from the parking lot to an office.
Whereas 80% of my team, they just got up and worked at their computer. So for me it was the biggest adjustment of like work. I guess maybe like work-life boundary. Cause I didn’t ha I had a very clear delineation, right. I went to an office. And then now also like I was also like the traveling work, the nature of work for me change because.
As the CEO slash sales person of the company. So like for the local bay area, San Francisco clients, I would, you know, it was not unusual for me to drive and go see them for other clients. Obviously I didn’t, you know, that weren’t in the bay area, obviously I didn’t go see them, but I was used to also commuting, you know, going see clients.
So that completely changed. And we had to change how we, you know, attracted new clients or new business. And like, I think the companies that had an advantage, just like the companies that did remote before COVID got, you know, where we’re already used to it, the companies that were already great at online marketing, digital marketing, I think did really well in COVID because it’s, they were already doing it for me.
I was relying a lot on personal relationships, you know, like, like to me, like if people, you know, they’re, you’re, you’re like impressed by The logos, like my, I guess my superpower is I’m great at developing relationships and having face-to-face relationships, you know, I would drive and see people I’m good at that and thinking of them and having coffee with them.
So like all that was just blown away, you know, and I had to rethink on how I create new business. You know, I feel like, you know, in some ways my Mike, my legs were cut off, you know, like at the knees for like I was, I was handicapped because you know, how I was, I was overly relying on offline channels and face-to-face contact and personal relationships, whereas companies that were digital, native and digital, online marketing, you know, now, now they had the advantage.
And then, you know, I, I had wished that, man, I wish I’d started learning these skills and doing these things sooner because now the world’s kind of.
Diego: [00:56:31] So a quick follow-up from a UX expert perspective, your team was basically already on board on that. So in the early days, how did you kind of from a, an employee user experience side, how did they, what was the feedback you got from them and or was that kind of, you know, you, you drew inspiration from others, but finding these people for where they already, you know, thinking in that same direction on remote first and how did you even find these remote employees, but what was the feedback you got?
Pek: [00:57:04] Well, I, I think as we, were able to attract great customers, I think it was it wasn’t hard for us to attract talent. I think people really enjoy it. You know, we attracted the people who really enjoyed you know, a sense of work-life balance that enabled them to work remotely or they wanted to work remotely.
So we, we had, we’ve always attracted kind of the remote first work remote first workers. What I think what’s changed now is that everybody, every company is, is remote work remote first, not by choice how the, the user experience for us, we, we always had to, we had to be remote from the very beginning, remote friendly from the very beginning.
So the user experience has always been video. So like even when we had a meeting in the office you know, we, we would want to join, even if everybody was here, we always create a zoom meeting. We always create a Google hangout meeting so people could join, you know, we, we use the Google tools, judicious, you know, very diligently so that people could feel people who were remote could feel inclusive.
Stand-ups, you know, we, we record them. So if you’re in another time zone, you could watch my, our all hands to stand up later. So we, we designed a culture of remote first. We do a lot of documentation, you know, we write things down a lot. We use confluence as our Wiki Google docs, Google slides to present, and those are always made available to the team.
So, you know, even if so yeah, we made it so that in as much as possible people felt You know, included if you’re a remote worker and then pre COVID. We, what we did was twice a year, we would have a get together. So we do value face-to-face relationships, especially, you know, being who I am. I that’s what I value.
So we, at some point we started a tradition of like, you know, in the summer we kind of take sort of a break for the week and we fly everybody in for the week and we hang out. We, we do a lot of team building. We did a lot of eating together, having lots of meals together and fun activities. So we try to do that. We tried to do that pre pandemic twice, twice a year, you know, summer and winter.
Diego: [00:59:30] That’s really cool. Is there any one on your team that you haven’t met personally? Face-to-face yet?
Pek: [00:59:38] Oh, now there’s a lot. Cause we’ve also grown. So we’ve since hired many people since the pandemic. So I haven’t met many, many of those people.
Pre pandemic, if we hired someone new one of the things I did was they would spend a week at the bay area headquarters. Now, now we have no headquarters. So I don’t know what we do now, post pandemic, but you know, that, that was one thing that, you know, they, they got to spend time at the, the office and you know, we, we put them in a one week Airbnb and two, typically we like, you know, the people in the office, we take turns, taking them out to lunch.
You know, I sometimes take them out to dinner you know, spend as much time with them as possible cause, and to develop those, those face-to-face, you know, real life relationships and build those bonds. I don’t have a good answer on how to replicate that. During a pandemic. Of course everybody has to be locked down.
But I think now that things are opening up, then people are starting to get vaccinated in us. We can kind of get back to a little bit of that where, Hey, you know, we can maybe spend some money to fly people in, but I’m not sure, you know, with everybody being remote, there’s no central place to fly now, you know, that’s yeah. Maybe that’s even better because then we can,
Jean-luc: [01:00:52] Yeah, let’s go there because everybody wants to go. But what, yeah. So the question is that, how do you find these people? Like how, how does the selection process to work at an Impekable look like?
Pek: [01:01:06] Yeah, we, well, we, we lean, we have a recruiter and we, we put our job postings.
That’s like one of the first thing is the hiring manager writes a job description of the role that they need. And then our recruiter will put it out there in various job boards and, and they’ll kind of be the first gate, if you will, to filter out. And it’s actually, she deals with a lot.
She’ll get like she’ll, you know, they might like by the time that people start interviewing. So I remember one stat where we, our team interviewed like six people. Well, she had to get, she narrowed it down from 60. She had like 60 good candidates that, you know, in the funnel, the top of funnel is even bigger, but then she narrowed it down to six from the 60, that, from that, you know, maybe 60 was okay.
And then from there she, she whittled it down to six so that we don’t have to deal with the 60 and then we, we have a process an interview process, like at least three gates of interviews where, you know, the, who whoever’s hiring will interview. And then finally at some point I may get to talk to them, but companies, you know, at a size where I don’t really, even by, by the time he gets to me, most people, they just want me my, my approval, but we, we also reach out to our network.
We’re encouraged to you know, if you obviously, you know, if you know someone good from our team, you know, we, this is an opportunity to, to work at Impekable yeah, one, one great thing that we’ve, we’ve adopted from, from other hiring practices is screening for our culture and our culture values. So that’s not something that we did before in the early days.
You know, I was never, nobody ever taught me how to hire, but, you know, having. Brought on people from, from more who have more experience hiring, we’ve adopted some really good hiring practices. So, so that’s something that we do now is we, we, we have questionnaires that, that also screened for, for cultures, culture fit and stuff like that.
Diego: [01:03:08] That’s really, really elaborate, I’d say. And the rate that you’ve grown as well, even during COVID Medea, there’s actually still much more to follow up on, but we we’ve hit our mark. And I think it’s time we, we wind it down. So to close it off I’m going to leave it at that. Jean-luc Did you have anything else burning that you wanted to ask?
Jean-luc: [01:03:33] I mean, I’m gonna leave Gregory off with. Another rough question, if I might say so, as tech has become more integrated and powerful, is there a place for government regulation to get involved are really through in the purity of the art?
Pek: [01:03:49] Well, I mean, tech is a tool. It’s not an art, right? I think art, when I think when people, you know, this is the same analogy, like what design, in my sense, solves a problem. UX design is not art artists. You know, you, you know, if a designer, if it was a UX designer has too big of ego and it’s a, it’s about their design and their work, they, they don’t have a place that Impekable design has to solve a problem for the users has to solve a problem for the stakeholders, the business that’s hiring us.
And it’s not really about the design as created by the designer. You know, there’s no place for design. Like the ego of the designer in, in that sense, you know, tech is similar where a tech needs to solve a problem. And if tech is being a tool that’s taking advantage of people in a gray way that like here’s a, I just read something interesting.
Now that’s a headline that caught my attention. I think a firm bought like an old power plant in New York, upstate New York. And this was in recent news and they’re using that power plant to just mine Bitcoin. And that is creating so much heat that it’s, it’s heating up the one of the lakes.
Right. That’s actually that, that has a negative impact on the environment. You know, it’s, to me, it’s sort of like the equivalent of, you know Dumping waste into, to a lake. Right. You’re, you’re destroying the ecosystem of the lake by, by doing that. So I think there should be some regulatory thing, you know, or, or like, you know, you, maybe you tax that, right?
Like there’s the carbon tax because there’s carbon emissions, you know, you’re, you, you have to tax that. So I think there’s you know, and just like monopolies, right? Like I think now there are monopolies, but it’s not clear to the government that they are monopolies, like before, like those telcos in the U S that were broken up, like baby bell telcos, because it was obvious that was a monopoly now, now, like Google is so big that it’s essentially a monopoly, right?
Facebook is a monopoly, you know, because they control what’s WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, like all the major social networks, right? Like it’s still all Facebook like Google tracks. You, even if you have an iPhone, because you have. Some Google app, right? If, if you don’t have Google maps, you, you have Gmail.
If you have Gmail, they’re tracking your location, whether you like it or not. Right. So if you want, you don’t want Google to track. You don’t have any Google apps on it. And even then, if you don’t have any Google apps, like maybe you have a consumer app that uses Google ads as their advertisement platform. So they’ll track you anyways. So, you know, so they, they essentially have a monopoly on tracking you. Yeah, I think a big brother can’t escape, you know, a big, big, big, big co.
Jean-luc: [01:06:46] And, and we’re thankful for them because when you drive somewhere and you want to check the traffic, then they also use that
Pek: [01:06:53] you trade that. Right. You trade that convenience. Yeah. Right. You trade that because you’re not paying for anything. Right. So most people are not paying for like, I, there’s no way for me to pay for Google maps. It’s like, I’d rather, you know, some people would like, Hey, don’t track me. I’ll pay for it. You can’t right. They want to track you and they’ll monetize in other ways.
Yeah. There’s not a no opt-out right. There’s no like option to like, Hey, let me pay you and don’t track me. So, so those companies that, that is their business is, is the dealing of data. So it’s yeah. At some point it’s when it becomes too invasive, I think. Yeah. I guess it, government should do something about it when it’s too.
Yeah, that’s beyond the point. Yeah. This could go on forever
the taco, but this is a really good conversation that was a really good question.
Diego: [01:07:50] That there’s so much actually it opened more floodgates, but we’ll, we’ll probably have to do a follow up somewhere in the future. I’m not sure, but hope you’re satisfied with that answer, Greg. And I guess time to close off could you quickly tell us about the two podcasts you have where people can find them and learn more about that and then
Pek: [01:08:08] One, one podcast is a design, a UX design podcast called what is UX and you can go to what is ux.co. And I, I interview designers example like it’s designers from Netflix, YouTube, Yelp. So those are great, great conversations to learn more about UX design. And the other one is a founders podcast where I interview startup founders.
And that is yeah, it’s called founders with Pek you can find it on YouTube is the primary format, but you can also find it on popular podcasts for the audio version on, on apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, and that stuff. The UX podcast is mostly an audio podcast. There’s no YouTube version of that.
Diego: [01:08:45] Awesome. We’ll link those in the description as well. Once we release this episode, guys check out Impekable as well. They do amazing work and Pek appreciated you coming on here with us and just sharing your perspective. I think we’ve definitely learned some, actually a lot from the different.
From coming from Thailand and the different Asian perspective, but also the work culture that you’ve cultivated over the years. So appreciate that you sharing that with us. With that being said, guys, in the comments. Thanks for showing up. Thanks for the questions, especially Greg and yeah. Look out for next week, then the release of the audio version on the website and our podcasting platforms. Jean-luc look, I guess you have a final word and then you can throw us out
Jean-luc: [01:09:31] as always get back to us next year as a, at nine o’clock Surinamese time, eight, 8:00 PM. Eastern time. This was Social. Confoes see you back next week.