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Weekly inspirations: July 10th, 2015

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out for the week of July 10, 2015

Sorry for the week off but I was buried under the redesign of the site and just forgot to publish my weekly inspirations last week. So as a result this weeks installment will be supersized since I have been reading more and found a lot of interesting articles over the past two weeks. Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:

Why Tomorrow’s Best Digital Experiences Will Feel Analog

It seems to make a lot of sense to engineer natural spaces into our increasingly urbanized, mechanized, and computerized lives, doesn’t it also make sense to consider the role of natural materials—that is, materials we tend not to think of as synthetic—in our technology and user interfaces? This article is an interesting look at the bond between ourselves and the natural world and how that connection impact the bonds we form with our devices.
Read the article here.

32 Productivity Tips From The World’s Top Designers

Even if you’re working your dream job, staying productive can be tough. That’s why designers are such productivity experts: time after time, they overcome the temptation to slack so they can brainstorm new ideas, find fresh solutions, and get things done—all while hitting deadlines and keeping things under budget. This article asked dozens of designers from Google, Argo Design, Huge, ustwo, Sagmeister and Walsh, Moving Brands, OKFocus, and more about their best tips for staying productive. The answers range from the physical to the mental to the chemical. Staying productive is a personal thing, but I’m guessing at least one of these tips will work for you.
Read the article here.

4 Ways Pixar Keeps Its Passionate Employees Engaged

If you were lucky enough to visit Boston’s Museum of Science Monday, when the “Science Behind Pixar” exhibit debuted, you waited on long lines packed with screeching kids and paid $29 for your ticket. Then you entered a 10,000-square-foot, nonlinear exhibit hall whose immersive displays and kiosks silenced those children with visual awe and hands-on activities. While the kids busied themselves with the displays, many of the adults stood raptly in front of kiosks showing videos of employees explaining what it’s like to work at Pixar. This article looks at some odd the ways a creative company like Pixar keep learning and innovating.
Read the article here.

A Quick Puzzle to Test Your Problem Solving

This test from the New York Times is insanely simple but I think it has some profound insights into the way people solve problems and as the leader of a creative team you have to know how to overcome a problem like this.
Take the test here.

10 Interesting Talks Designers Must Watch

This article has 10 amazing presentations on topics dear to every designer’s heart, covering everything from dealing with clients to web typography, responsive web design to impostor syndrome. Some of the talks are new and some are older I but they are all really good and they all have content that are things every creative needs to understand.
Read the article here.

What Is Zero UI? (And Why Is It Crucial To The Future Of Design?)

For better or worse, a large amount of design work these days is visual. That makes sense, since the most essential products we interact with have screens. But as the internet of things surrounds us with devices that can hear our words, anticipate our needs, and sense our gestures, what does that mean for the future of design, especially as those screens go away Last week at San Francisco’s SOLID Conference, Andy Goodman, group director of Fjord, shared his thoughts on what he thinks the new paradigm of design will be like when our interfaces are no longer constrained by screens, and instead turn to haptic, automated, and ambient interfaces. He calls it Zero UI. This article explores what he thinks it is and why it might matter to all of us.
Read the article here.

Give better fucking creative direction.

As art directors, educators, and even self-critics, I believe there is a distinction that we often fail to make when evaluating the early stages of creative work. It’s a forgivable mistake, because often it can be hard to spot. However, having an awareness of it can help immensely when providing criticism and feedback—even to ourselves. The distinction I’m referring to is the difference between wrong and not good enough. This article is short but it is something I really agree with.
Read the article here.

How to Silence Your Irrationally Harsh Inner Critic

Your harshest critic is often yourself. You might not even realize it, especially as you go around administering fair attention and wise advice to others. Yet anyone listening in on your internal monologue, particularly in times of nerves, anxiety, or fear, might hear a verbal rabbit hole of unreasonable negativity and self-berating. The focus of your internal mumbling turns out to have important consequences, because there’s a particular type of self-talk that actually lifts you out of the irrational darkness. According to research by psychologist Ethan Kross, there’s more to the idea of “your best self” than New Age-y life affirmations spoken to your reflection in a mirror. In other words, how you talk to yourself can impact your success.
Read the article here.

UX Hero

For all the information architects who have always felt that their work has gone unheralded your dreams have come true with a new comic book called UX Hero. The first issue which is free to download is out now chronicles the adventures of one information architect as he becomes a UX Hero.
See the comic book here.

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