Inside Audible

Follow the Passion: The Key to Creating a Great User Experience Team

A headshot of Audible UX designer David Eisner against a light grey background. His head and shoulders appear in frame. He is wearing a plain black crew neck t-shirt. His brown hair is styled back, ending below his ears. His head is angle slightly but he is looking straight at the camera with a closed mouth smile.

One of David Siren Eisner’s favorite things about being at Audible, where he is Senior Director of UX Design, is the reaction he gets when he tells people where he works. “People who use Audible, love it,” he says. “Not only is it a recognizable name, but often times people have stories where Audible made a difference in their life — how a title changed their perspective, or helped them learn, grow, become better, or get through a difficult time.” Reactions like these help motivate Eisner and his team to make Audible’s user experience the best it can be.

In 2019, after two and a half years at Audible, Eisner was offered—and pursued—an opportunity to head up product design for a healthcare innovation startup that was, like Audible, within the Amazon family. But after a year, Eisner returned to Audible and the team and company culture he likes so much.

“One of the great things about Audible is that when people have different opinions, it doesn’t cause conflict. It’s actually celebrated, because it means we found the hard part of the problem, which is usually the most important part to solve.” Eisner says that Audible’s culture of approaching problems with curiosity, mutual respect, and humility allows his team to go further with their solutions and “innovate in spectacular ways.”

As head of the UX team, Eisner oversees the full range of work from ideation and strategy to design, development, and implementation. He ensures our UX team is performing at their best so that our business and our listeners have the best experience possible. This means encouraging them to focus on areas they find most captivating — whether that’s process deep dives, teaching their skills to others, or pursuing research. Eisner is a firm believer that people do their best work when they’re passionate and have a sense of ownership. And he believes Audible is “the sort of place where you get a lot of support from those around and above you to make an impact on the things that you think matter.”

Eisner and his team adapted to a completely remote working setup during Covid-19, ensuring that they maintain the social aspect of working together while still striking a healthy balance of work and life. “It’s not easy,” he admits, “but taking breaks and completely unplugging at the end of the day are really important. Audible has worked really hard to make sure our team has moments to be human and connect with others, even if it’s just five minutes at the start of a meeting. We make sure we keep up those personal connections.”

Eisner is looking to the future and has plenty of ambitions for next year. He thinks it’s an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the Audible story. “My team is playing a crucial part in Audible’s next chapter.”

Eisner’s favorite listens:

Gotham and Greater Gotham by Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace. “I love New York City history, and I recently finished both of these. They’re these huge tomes. Gotham walks you through life in the New York starting from the first Native Americans until 1898, and Greater Gotham goes until 1919. Together they are about 160 hours, but it’s definitely worth it."