Karen McGrane

Podcast Behind The Scenes


One of the best things I’ve worked on lately is a new podcast series with Ethan Marcotte, fittingly titled a Responsive Web Design Podcast. Ethan blogs about the podcast on his site too.

We offer a two-day workshop to companies that want some guidance as they embark on a responsive redesign. I will let you in on a secret—I learn as much from these workshops as the participants do. Hearing questions and stories from people at our workshops gives me a better understanding of the challenges that go into a responsive redesign.

The podcast really came out of our desire to tell more stories from people who have been through a large-scale redesign. We talk to the people who led the process—who can explain how they convinced their stakeholders, dealt with setbacks, and defined what success would look like.

It Takes A Village

The allure of a podcast is that you record a conversation and put it on the internet for instant radio show! This is, in fact, not how it works. Doing this podcast required the help of many people:

The good team at Campaign Monitor agreed to be the launch sponsor of our first four episodes. They have a new email builder called Canvas that has some nifty features, like styles and drag-and-drop layouts.

None of this would have happened without the help of my assistant, Selina Andersson, who is both gracious and enviably organized. She handled all the details of coordinating interviews and ensuring guests felt comfortable.

We’re working with an audio editor, Aaron Schroeder, who was referred to me by my UX designer friend Diana Turner. Having suffered through listening to my own recorded voice on these things, I can confirm that Aaron works magic.

The many anonymous transcribers working with Mechanical Turk have made it possible to offer a full transcription of every episode. Accessibility is important to me, and I think people should be able to choose if they want to read or listen to the podcast.

And finally, last but certainly first in my heart, my most genuine thanks go to Ethan Marcotte for working on these events and podcasts with me. Ethan spent the past couple of weeks building a new website at responsivewebdesign.com and I can confirm that making websites is really hard. As with any craft, it’s a delight to watch someone who makes it look easy.

Coming Soon to a Player Near You

The podcast will come out weekly on Mondays. Our first episode, an interview with Miranda Mulligan about the landmark Boston Globe responsive redesign, is already live.

Subscribe to the podcast or our newsletter so you don’t miss any of the great episodes to come:

02: Marriott, August 25
03: Fidelity, September 1
04: Capital One Part 1, September 8
05: Capital One Part 2, September 15
06: Virgin America, September 22
07: LA Times, September 29
08: Harvard University, October 6
09: Condé Nast, October 13
10: Weil, Gotshal & Manges, October 20
11: Code For America, October 27
12: Starbucks, November 3
13: Celebrity Cruises, November 10
14: The Guardian, November 17
15: Nationwide, November 24

Finally, if you’ve led a responsive redesign and you’d like to be on our podcast, we’d love to talk to you.