UXD Inspired Reads 2016.08.20


Another set of links for the weekend, your commute, or your porch.

1. Zero Days Film (from Don)
“Wanted to add a good Documentary I saw on the weekend”

2. National Aviation Day (from Tony)
“Apparently today was national aviation day. Anyway, found this: (PDF warning) Not really UX/UI related, but Iove the design aspects of it.”

3. Former Google Team Builder Explains How To Overcome Your Team’s Weaknesses
Sabeen Ali, founder and CEO of AngelHack, a global network of 50,000 programmers shares her insights on how to build and manage a team all over the world.

4. 5 Vital Steps to Improve Company Culture
Regardless of what field or industry you are in, building a strong and engaging company culture within a team is at the core of any business’s success.

5. Tim Cook, the interview: Running Apple ‘is sort of a lonely job’
Apple’s CEO talks iPhones, AI, privacy, civil rights, missteps, China, taxes, Steve Jobs — and steers right past the car rumors.
Have a great weekend.


UXD Inspired Reads 2016.08.12


Hello All

It has been a busy couple of weeks for us all. Some great programming links in this week’s edition.

1. 16 JavaScript Libraries for Creating Beautiful Charts
I normally dislike drive by listings of the ten greatest X for your Y articles. However, this one seems to be a good primer on JavaScript charting libraries. “It is practically impossible to imagine any dashboard without graphs and charts. They present complex statistics quickly and effectively. Additionally, a good graph also enhances the overall design of your website.”

2. Carolyn Gregoire and Scott Barry Kaufman: “Wired to Create” | Talks at Google
“Carolyn Gregoire and Scott Barry Kaufman stopped by NYC to discuss their new book “Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind”.”

3. The Power Of Introverts
“In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.”

4. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
“At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.”

Have a great weekend!


UXD Inspired Reads 2016.07.31


Hello All –

1. Experience Design Will Become Increasingly Important.
“Retail shopping is not solely about the transactional experience any more. It’s about going into a store, feeling the vibe of that brand and getting that bigger lifestyle out of it. Right now that’s very much an urban, high-end experience, so how do we do that in a more populous way? We are looking a lot at the mall K11 in Hong Kong, and how they have incorporated so many different things in their experience, from having art everywhere to farms that are growing mushrooms that you can pick and have incorporated into your meal to programs for kids. And it’s all very-well curated, so there are always new exhibitions and programs.”

2. Don Norman: The term “UX”
“We asked Don what he feels about the way people are using terms like “UX” and “user experience” these days.” Don Norman, Ph.D., is co-founder and principal of Nielsen Norman Group: User Experience Research, Training, and Consulting.

3. Heidi Grant Halvorson: “No One Understands You and What To Do About It” | Talks At Google
In particular, she talks about what it’s like to communicate with people in business settings. How we write emails and our “Warmness” when speaking to strangers can change people’s perception of our knowledgeability.

4. Mythical Perfect Hour Estimation
“I like to share this blog post I wrote up a while back. I’ve seen companies map Fibonacci sequences to hour buckets and some straight up use hour estimations which actually complicates the SCRUM process. This question comes up very often during scrum adopting. Feedback much appreciated. – Kwan”

5. The Secret Code To Unleashing The World’s Most Amazing Flavors
“MY FIRST RESTAURANT, Momofuku Noodle Bar, had an open kitchen. This wasn’t by choice—I didn’t have enough money or space to put it farther away from the diners. But cooking in front of my customers changed the way I look at food. In the early years, around 2004, we were improvising new recipes every day, and I could instantly tell what was working and what wasn’t by watching people eat. A great dish hits you like a Whip-It: There’s momentary elation, a brief ripple of pure pleasure in the spacetime continuum. That’s what I was chasing, that split second when someone tastes something so delicious that their conversation suddenly derails and they blurt out something guttural like they stubbed their toe.”

Woo hoo!


UXD Inspired Reads 2016.07.15


Hello All

Several great videos in this week’s UXD Weekly Inspired Reads edition. Note the great Sketch3 VR plugin, this could be quite useful! The Nasa code is amazing.

1. Hardware Hacking Sega Saturn
Great example of hardware reverse engineering hackery.

2. Sketch Plugin: Sketch to VR
This is pretty cool: “Turn your mocks into VR.”

3. Top 10 UX Blogs You Should Start Following
“Creating a good user experience requires diligent research, inspiration, staying up to date with latest trends and of course, your own instincts.”

4. These Are the 5 Best TED Talks Ever, According to the Guy Who Runs TED
“The event’s boss names the talks that have taught him the most.”

5. The code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time capsule
“When programmers at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory set out to develop the flight software for the Apollo 11 space program in the mid-1960s, the necessary technology did not exist. They had to invent it.”

6. Lepton Image Compression: Saving 22% from Images at 15MB/s
“It’s finally here! Middle Out!”

7. Johnny T’s NYC Tourist Tips
“Planning a trip to NYC? Listen to Johnny T, and you’ll have a great time.”

Have a great weekend!


UXD Inspired Reads 2016.07.11


Hello All –

Another week, another set of great links.

1. A Product Manager’s Job
“Product management is one of the hardest jobs to define in any organization, partially because it’s different in every company. I’ve had several recent conversations about “what is a product manager…”

2. Snapchat and the Art of Upstreaming
A friend has some good commentary on SnapChat & upstreaming:
“Thoughts on Snapchat’s move into photo management: For many people, myself included, Snapchat has become their primary camera/video app. The decorations, captions, filters, lenses, drawing etc are incredibly powerful tools for storytelling and…”

3. Mark My Words: Medium Will Win — Here’s Why
“People laugh at me and my ideas all the time.”

4. Meet the Man Who Settled Catan
“Move over Monopoly, there’s a newer board game in town. “Settlers of Catan,” a game night classic modeled after the Vikings’ journey to Iceland, has sold over 24 million copies since its release in 1994. Creator Klaus Teuber lives in Germany, where running the Catan empire has become a family affair and a global operation.”

5. The Man Who Built Catan
“In the eighties, Klaus Teuber was working as a dental technician outside the industrial city of Darmstadt, Germany. He was unhappy. “I had many problems with the company and the profession,” he told me. He started designing elaborate board games in his basement workshop. “I developed games to escape,” he said. “This was my own world I created.””

6. What the Heck’s a Hyperloop?
Amazing: “From CNET Magazine: If Elon Musk has his way, we could soon travel at nearly the speed of sound.”
Article: http://www.cnet.com/news/what-the-hecks-a-hyperloop-elon-musk/
Hyperloop Paper: http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/hyperloop_alpha.pdf

Have a great week!


UXD Inspired Reads 2016.07.01


This week’s links center on more UX assets. The Medium links are always worth reading offline. Also making the list are some interesting YouTube videos on the Multiverse. Well worth a listen. Happy Fourth of July!

1. How To Get Value From Wireframes
“Eleven years ago, I joined a small design agency. I was 21, and it was my first full-time design job. I spent the first few years at the agency focused on visual design. Can I make this texture more realistic? Would this website look better if the light-source was from a different angle? How could I get my buttons to be even glossier…”

2a. What Game Of Thrones Can Teach Us About UX Design
“Nothing! It’s a f*cking TV show! I could probably make something up about how Robb Stark should have “paid attention to what his advisors did and not what they said” or whatever, but what’s the…”

Which feeds well into this

2b. What Game Of Thrones Can Teach Us About Programming
The first article is a dud, but this response is well stated. Plus, great family tree diagram although it has some errors.

3. No One Gives A Sh*t About Your Product
“Why you don’t really sell what you think you do – When was the last time you woke up and said “today I’m going to buy some [software/consulting/services/apps/etc]?”. Seriously, when was it? I’m guessing you’ve never purposefully done that. I know…”

4. Do Templates Make Good Design Accessible to All or Diminish the Role of the Designer?
“Should we really expect everyone to hire a designer?”

5. The Washington Post is using Slack to create a reader community focused on the gender pay gap
“Our favorite thing is to be able to see people start conversations among themselves without us participating at all. That’s the kind of space we want to build.”

6. How 7 news organizations are using Slack to work better and differently
“Here’s how Fusion, Vox, Quartz, Slate, the AP, The Times of London, and Thought Catalog are using Slack for workflow — and which features they wish the platform would add.”

7a. Multiverse Explained

7b. 11 Dimensions Explained

7c. 11 Dimensions Part 2

Stay safe this weekend.


UXD Inspired Reads 2016.06.24


Loads of great links this week! Six more for the weekend.

1. Stop. Using. Periods. Period.
“Seriously. Stop it.”

2. Design Insights for Virtual Reality UX
“Daily interfaces follow a common pattern that allow us to engage, cultivate our identities, accomplish our goals, and disengage. These may be deep, prolonged sessions or momentary fly-bys.”

3. Top Seven Sites for UX Inspiration
“We asked our UX team for their favorite websites for UX inspiration.” What sites inspire you? Please send them my way!

4. Improving Your UX Process – Five Strategies for Making Order Out of Chaos
“There are a lot of examples out there of “ideal” UX processes. A few popular methods I’ve seen recently condense the UX process into a five-day sprint going from ideation to prototype, like the buzzy Google Ventures product design sprint. As a disciplined process, it’s valuable to absorb. Unfortunately, it requires five days of uninterrupted work and full-time participation from everyone from developers to C-level stakeholders, which means it’s near-impossible to pull off if your office is anything like mine.” Sounds familiar.

5. Drawing for Graphic Design: 6 Exercises to Sharpen Your Skills
“When talking about drawing for graphic design projects, we’re very often talking about a digital process. We’re so used to sitting in front of our computers, plugging away at pixels in Photoshop and Illustrator, that we sometimes forget to step away, grab a pen or pencil, and just draw. Here, we provide six simple drawing practice exercises that revolve around drawing for graphic design.”

6. Comparing Google Maps and Apple Maps
“Former Apple cartographer Justin O’Beirne is writing an extensive, detailed and even-handed comparison of Google Maps and Apple Maps. The first part is online now and it’s a fascinating read. In surveying what cities, roads and places each product displays at given zoom levels, O’Beirne shows that the two systems, whose visual presentations might be easily confused with one another, are in fact not very similar at all.”
“It’s clear that Google thinks transit is important, while Apple thinks that airports, hospitals, and landmarks are important. Two very different views of the world!”

UXD Inspired Reads 2016.06.21


Hello Folks

A few funny links this week – some are a bit tongue in cheek, and some are quite enlightening. My favorite may be the one about Alan Adler. He invented the Aerobie and the AeroPress. Love espresso? Hate wasting money at Starbucks? Buy an AeroPress on Amazon! It’s life changing.

Have a great week!

1. Sunspring | A Sci-Fi Short Film Starring Thomas Middleditch
This is hilarious and awesome at the same time. And a little bit disturbing I may add.

2. UX Case Study: Kill Bad Ideas with Rapid Prototyping
“A bad idea—even well-executed—is still a bad idea. And, ultimately a waste of time and energy.” YES.

3. Five Designers Draw: One Icon
“Why Design Specifications Matter” – I cannot agree more.

4. The Most Important TED Talk Ever.
Khoi Vinh demands: “This is so mind-blowing that I demand you watch it.”

5. The Invention of the Perfect Cup of Coffee
“How the creator of the Aerobie became the King of Java at 76” – Never stop prototyping.

6. The Reading Habits of Ultra-Successful People
“Want to know one habit ultra-successful people have in common? They read. A lot.”

UXD Inspired Reads 2016.06.06


Hello All

Some great reads, listens, & videos out there this week.

1. Elon Musk Code Conference 2016 interview
Elon Musk is a brilliant visionary that enjoys spending time with his kids. Great interview.

2. Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report
KPCB’s Mary Meeker spells out some very useful information.

3. Video Of The Week: Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends
Follow up comments on Fred Wilson’s blog.

4. Marc Andreessen isn’t admitting there’s a tech bubble, but he’s coming pretty close
“This ‘fail fast’ thing is, frankly, completely out of hand,” Andreessen told Tim Ferriss, an entrepreneur best known for the “four-hour work week” notion, in a recent interview. “When I was a founder, when I first started out, we didn’t have the word pivot, right? We didn’t have a fancy word for it. We just called it a fuck up.”

5. Marc Andreessen — Lessons, Predictions, and Recommendations from an Icon
Marc’s aforementioned interview with Tim Ferriss.

6. The inside story of Apple’s forgotten project to change how we explore the world from our computers
My former professor at NYU had worked to develop Apple QuickTime VR. An interesting view of their work.

UXD Inspired Reads 2016.05.27


Hello All –

Here’s the weekly UXD Reading list. This week’s theme is thinking about the end user, the customer, the ones who keep the lights on for all of us. Read something great? Please send over some submissions! Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

1. When Websites Won’t Take No for an Answer
“He even has a name for the exploitative techniques: “dark patterns.” To him, these are debased versions of the typical sign-up, sharing, shopping, checkout and download processes that are standard practice online. “It’s a term for patterns that are manipulative, that you are doing on purpose to get one over on users,” Mr. Brignull said when I recently called him.”

2. Your Media Business Will Not Be Saved
“Compelling voices and stories, real and raw talent, new ideas that actually serve or delight an audience, brands that have meaning and ballast; these are things that matter in the next age of media. Thinking of your platform as an actual platform, not a delivery method. Knowing you’re more than just your words. Thinking of your business as a product and storytelling business, not a headline and body-copy business. Thinking of your audience as finite and building a sustainable business model around that audience — that’s going to matter. Thinking about your 10 year plan and not a billion dollar valuation — that’s going to matter.”

3. Why (and how) marketers should build empathy for their customers

4. Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey
Guess where our next team trip will be? Right across the street!

5. Boeing VIP Jet Turns Heads
Eye candy!

6. Adobe XD
Adobe has launched XD as their Sketch3 app killer. It is interesting to see how Adobe reacts to all of the tremendous Interaction Design tools like Sketch, Balsamic, OmniGraffle, Flinto and their counterparts. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are tools meant for another purpose. I spend 90% of my time using Sketch on OS X. Let’s see how this product fares.

7. studioJDK: An arch-vis story
For those of you who have never used SketchUp – it makes 3D rendering simple. Great for designing structures, additions, places.

8. Design at 1x—It’s a Fact
More great design tips, no matter what medium you be in.

9.1 Ferris’s interview with BJ Miller
A long one, but another good one. Perfect for a long drive.

9.2 What really matters at the end of life.
Sometime last week about death and hospice care. Really makes you put things into perspective about life. Also recommended.