Josh Cole and Creativity
Posted February 16, 2022
|Last year, at the Leadership and Mindset conference-ACHIEVR Live, Josh Cole, Xpanxion’s UX/UI Practice Lead — that's User Experience/User& Interface Design, spoke about a topic he’s passionate about: Creativity. First, he invited us to “Let It Go” and smash some stereotypes about being creative. Using various examples of snow(wo)men, he showed how different people can view the creative process in creating the snow persons. This section culminated in the analogism that if you can think, then you can create, and if you create, you are creative.
Same Resources + Imagination (Thinking)
With the above equation in mind, he showed examples of how people thought differently to solve problems. Backpacks with water containers, single-serve coffee makers, and robotic vacuums (and you thought the Roomba was the only one out there). He suggests “How might we…” instead of “I want to do…” Ask Why? What If? How? Then there’s Diversify and Converge. As we get older, we converge (making decisions and being judgmental) rather than diverge (coming up with a diversity of ideas, open discussions, and suspending judgement). His final advice is to destroy the stereotypes you were raised on and free the way you think because thinking is the definition of creativity.
This year, Josh was invited back to ACHIEVR Live as a special guest. He got a different badge, hung out with some folk from last year, and had the opportunity to share stories and knowledge with his peers.
Upcoming for Josh: an interview with Nashville Voyager, a magazine about inspirational people in the Nashville area, where he’ll talk about his life experience, how he ended up in the career he's in, Xpanxion, and our Step It Up program.
Josh believes in Xpanxion as a forward-thinking technology company. We are grateful to have him as a part of our team.
“I'm incredibly excited to join the Xpanxion team for so many reasons. As a manager it's so great to find a company that cares at this level when it comes to raising up new talent and leaders, individual development, personal growth, and mentorship, all in addition to delivering technology development at the highest level. Then there's the diversity of thought, talent, and personalities that comes with it. There's so much good that can be done from within a forward-thinking technology company like this one. I look so forward to further developing and growing Xpanxion's UX team, delivering top-level delivery management to our partners and their customers, and learning from all the incredible talent throughout the organization.”
B I O G R A P H Y
NAME: Josh Cole
JOB TITLE: UX/UI Practice Lead
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Every day brings with it the need to wear many hats. My primary role is to lead, develop, and grow the user experience and interaction design practice.
- Worked with a team to create a Kids’ educational experience at Compaq Computer Corp. before computers were a household item.
- Experiential and design for Bonnaroo Festival
- Creative Director for Alison Krauss
- Created a VR 7D motion experience for LP Building Materials
- Eight-piece limited edition silkscreened poster series for Martina McBride
- Was part of building the Flexwise Healthcare web and mobile software application, comprised of over 400 patterns and components creating an experience that assists hospitals and healthcare staffing in predictive and pre-emptive scheduling.
WHY I JOINED XPANXION
I have worked in creative and UX roles of some sort for over 20 years. I eventually knew I no longer wanted to work in advertising and wanted to spend more time applying creativity to online, mobile, and IoT technology. I was working freelance/contract when the opportunity was presented to work at Xpanxion. I was hesitant at first to leave my own practice. However, after better understanding the vision that Xpanxion has, how they treat their people, and about the opportunity to help grow the UX practice, it was no longer a question. I’m incredibly happy I did.
WHY I STAY
Xpanxion has proven itself to be constantly open to evolving, a culture of candor and respect, and the leadership truly walks the walk when it comes to caring about people, and not treating them like another asset. And Xpanxion’s intention to help grow and elevate people is probably the best I’ve seen in my career.
MY PROUDEST MOMENT
The birth of my sons.
MY BIGGEST LESSON
There’s so many. Not sure I can choose the “biggest.” That said, one of the lessons that continues to stick with me was learned from being an observer on a large project. I learned that even if you have hundreds of years in combined experience in software and building fortune 500 companies, a simple question to an actual product user can prove everyone wrong. Just because time in an industry is there, doesn’t always mean you know, or have listened, to what the user truly wants.
LIFE OUTSIDE XPANXION
- Spending time with my wife and two sons, dog and two cats (actually, I only enjoy one of the cats, the other is insane).
- Fishing when I have the opportunity.
- Gaming, preferably survival and building games.
Several Addy awards. I’d have to go back and look. I don’t really think too much about awards these days. The advertising industry burned me out on them.
MY SECRET WEAPON
From a personal perspective, my faith and a mindset coach.
From a professional perspective, Figma, Notion, Todoist—a very nice journal with multi-color Hi-Tec-C Coleto pen.
Join us and welcome Josh to Xpanxion.
We look forward to his contributions and improvements for usability.