Last Tuesday, I announced to the world that I launched a UX Design podcast called Not Just Pixels.
It’s a show that helps listeners not only grow as a designer but also get closer to a design internship or job.
It was one of my proudest moments thus far.
Because, building a podcast for me, as an introvert, is a step out of my comfort zone.
Having at least 10 calls per week is not something I’m comfortable with.
But, I learned so much from this process. And today, I’m going to share with you everything I did to create this podcast and what’s next.
P.S. I use the word “podcast” and “show” interchangeably. They’re the same!
Alert: This article is long.
Okay not really. I first had the idea in December of 2021.
For some context, I’m a heavy podcast listener, meaning I listen to podcasts every single day.
Some of my favorite podcasts include
And a lot more... You get the point:
I love podcasts 😭
But, I remember the first time I felt like:
Okay, I’m going to do this 🔥
I’m a huge fan of Maze design and Brian Lovin’s work. So I enjoyed the episode, and listening to the podcast, I thought to myself:
How cool will it be if I can also create a design podcast where I can invite designers I admire to chat with?
So that’s how the idea emerged.
Life got in the way.
And school, socials, relationships, part-time internships, and more.
So though the to-do of “create a podcast” was always there, I never found the time to do the work to create it.
Until the beginning of March, I told myself:
Okay. This has been in the back of my head for way too long. I need to get started with this.
And what followed was a long and windy journey that I’m now truly grateful for. So, let’s begin.
I knew nothing about creating a podcast. Zero.
It’s hard to think back to the beginning. So what I write here is a recollection of my memories.
But I remember that the process was a mix of
Again, these are NOT linear steps. I was doing these all at the same time during the process.
So, how did I come up with the name “Not Just Pixels”?
When I was brainstorming, here were a few criteria I thought about
This was important since I know, at one point, I’ll say something like:
What’s up, everybody! Welcome to another episode of (podcast name)!
At the time, a show name that has four syllables will be most comfortable for me to say.
But... it’s funny that after I start recording, I realized that I’m always saying “Not Just Pixels Show” instead of just “Not Just Pixels.”
So I guess in the end, what matters isn’t the syllables, but whether it’s comfortable for you to say the show name.
I didn’t want another “What is Design” or “Product Design” podcast.
I wanted a unique name.
A name that doesn’t have the word “design.” And a name that designers can understand.
After many iterations, I landed on “Not Just Pixels” because if you’re a digital product designer, you probably know what a pixel is. And second, design is not just about pixels. There’s so much more to learn outside of design.
After I decided on the name, now onto the type of content.
What the hell will this show be about?
I really thought about this.
Obviously, I wanted to have fireside chats with industry professionals (long form).
But, I also wanted to provide something different that’s valuable.
So, thinking back to my application time, I remember that it was hard to find resources on how to land design internships at specific companies.
Thus, I decided to come up with the “How to Land a UX Design Internship” series.
This is a series that I wish I had. And I know it’ll be valuable for anybody who wants to land a design internship.
So, to sum it up, there are two main types of content on the show:
This is a method I learned from this article by Pat Flynn, and it’s a good one.
Because if you can’t even plan ten episodes, are you actually comfortable with the topic of the podcast?
Remember: Podcasting is a LONG game.
Thus, I created a long list filled with designer names and companies.
It went way over 25 episodes. And that’s when I knew there's a future for this podcast’s longevity.
Oh boy... This was the fun part.
As a designer who loves to build something from scratch, this was A TON OF FUN!
When I was designing, here were some criteria I thought about:
For colors, I wanted to create a sense of friendliness and softness.
Thus, I went with a linen color of #FEF2E6 with the other two brand colors of #CA2E55 (ruby red) & #083D77 (indigo blue).
In particular, I love Quando’s “x” and the softness of Rubik.
This was crucial to creating a cohesive podcast brand. I needed to make sure that every episode's art will look good and consistent together.
But on top of consistency, I also needed to make sure each episode's art is different. For example:
How can I differentiate between fireside chat & “how to land a design internship” series?
Or more specifically:
How can I differentiate each guest/company from the other?
Honestly, there were a lot of questions that I needed to answer when designing. Here were some more:
In sum, figuring out a balance between flexibility and consistency helped me create templates and a good visual style for the brand.
This is also important because:
People look at your podcast art on their phones. Thus, your art will be viewed as a small size.
So, I tried to mock up my art on Spotify to see how it’ll look. This gave me a good sense of how I should adjust my graphics.
I got a bit lucky here.
During my gap year, I became interested in music production and recording. Thus, I purchased an AKG P420 microphone, a Scarlett Solo audio interface, and a headphone.
Wait... what are those?
Great question. In simple terms, I speak into my microphone. And I use the audio interface to process my audio to something the computer can understand.
But the point is:
You don’t need fancy equipment to start and record a podcast. Not at all.
To get you started, here are a few good videos to watch:
For me, setting up the microphone and audio interface wasn’t too hard since I already had lots of trial and error during my gap year.
For the editing software, since I’m using Windows, I decided to go with Audacity.
I thought of using Descript, which is an audio-editing software that lets you edit audio like a doc. But, the fact that I need to pay to use it pushed me away.
I’m now using Zencastr because not only it’s free, but it allows me to have unlimited recordings.
Now, what I’ll share are the less talked about things about building a podcast.
And for each channel, I have different templates to edit. If you’re interested, here’s a Notion page with my sample episode agenda and templates.
My goal as a host is to help the guest feel as comfortable and prepared as possible. That’s why I decided to create episode agenda for every single guest.
In the episode agenda, I wrote down all the information the guests should know before recording.
If you’re interested, here’s the episode agenda template.
This is crucial for the call to actually happen. For my calendar invite template, check out this Notion page.
As I mentioned before, a podcast is a long game.
Thus, it’s important to create a production system for the podcast.
For now, I track everything in Notion. I keep track of the status of the guest & their relation to an episode.
This did the job for my first few episodes. But, I’m currently working on a new system that looks way better and easier to work with. I’ll show this in the “What’s Next” section.
Turns out, you don’t need to manually upload to the main audio platform one by one.
Instead, you upload your podcast onto a hosting platform, and they’ll do the work for you.
After much consideration, I decided to go with RSS.com.
Here are some of the reasons:
Compared to its competitors, RSS has one of the lowest annual costs.
This is huge. Most of the other platforms have a cap on the upload hours. And you have to pay more to upload more. Not with RSS.com.
I wanted to focus on the quality of the show first. Thus, it’s great that RSS automatically creates a website for my podcast. And it’s pretty decent as well.
RSS.com staffs are very responsive. And they don’t take long to reply to my ticket request.
This is also important. If I ever want to move my podcast to another platform, I can copy the RSS feed link and paste it into the other platform. Done.
For simplicity's sake, my show notes are the same as my episode intro for the guest.
I also included “Highlights” for listeners to get a quick glance at what to expect.
On RSS.com, I can automatically upload to platforms such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Samsung Podcast, and more.
And, I had to manually upload to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and other platforms. Thankfully, the RSS.com team provides detailed guides on how to do this.
When I saw my podcast on Spotify, I freaked out 😭
It was incredibly rewarding to see my hard work come to life. And with that, I announced to the world my podcast.
For my marketing, I posted on LinkedIn, Twitter, design buddies, and Taiwan UX & UI Designers.
Up until this point, Taiwan UX & UI Designers had the best reach. The post, right now, has almost 650 reactions and 29 comments.
The second best was LinkedIn (139 reactions, 16 comments, and 5,520 views).
And for design buddies and Twitter, both were minimal in terms of reach.
Because of this, my podcast passed 1k downloads! I’m not sure how accurate the RSS.com analytics are, but I’m grateful for every listener!
The past few days have been quite the roller coaster ride.
Finishing exams, moving out of my dorm, publishing the podcast, and traveling to NYC: It was a lot.
Yet, I cannot be more excited about the future of this podcast.
So, let me share my thoughts on the podcast’s future.
As I mentioned before, I spent the past few days revamping my system. Here are a few glimpses:
I hate it when there’s no new podcast for the weekends. As a result, I want to try something out:
I’ll post an episode every other Friday morning.
For now, I feel like biweekly posting is doable, considering that I have a full-time summer internship and a design blog to manage.
For now, my next episode is planned to air on 5/27/22.
Building a community will be crucial.
Yet, I admit I do not understand how to build an engaging community. Thus, for the week, I’m going to dive into these two resources:
And hopefully, in the future, I can build a great community around the show.
Of course, aside from the production, I want to improve my conversational skills.
I’ll be taking lots of notes from this one.
For the future, I’m going to stick with the two content types:
But in the future, there can be other types as well. For now, my goal is longevity.
My goal is to publish 50 quality and useful episodes.
I forgot who said this, but this quote has always stuck with me:
Don’t try to sound smart. Be useful.
Time to get to work.
Creating this podcast has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had during my college years.
And I can’t wait to pump out more content for the listeners.
Finally, if you want to get started with your podcast, I recommend reading this article by Pat Flynn.
Thank you for being awesome and reading this far! :)