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Weekly Inspirations: October 2nd, 2015

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:

Next-level Collaboration: The future of content and design

During the making of Toy Story, Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull recognized that their editorial workflow was unlike that of traditional animation, where work was easy for one person or team to own and then neatly pass off their part after completion. Pixar’s complex digital animation process made for fuzzy individual roles where no one person or department could completely claim ownership for a certain piece of the puzzle. Looking back at his team’s accomplishments, Ed realized his greatest achievement wasn’t launching the world’s first full-length computer animated film—it was the creation of the type of working environment that allowed that film to be made in the first place. This article is a great look at how to create a culture that really tries to fix so many tradition problem and create something that really works.
Read the article here.

Why is it so Easy to Get “Mobile First” Wrong?

There’s definitely some logic to the underlying philosophy of the “mobile first” approach to design, but there are also some hidden problems that cause even experienced designers to make some fundamental user experience mistakes. Doing it wrong serves only to reverse the underlying problem, creating a painful desktop experience instead of a painful mobile experience, which only moves the problem around rather than actually solving it. This article is a pretty comprehensive look at how and why it can go wrong and some of the things you can do it fix it.
Read the article here.

A list of creative exercises for creative teams

Every Friday afternoon, the Product Experience team at Foursquare gets together and ends the week with a creative exercise. Each week, a different person on the team is the meeting lead, and they come up with the exercises and lead the meeting. Because they’re a large and diverse team, the breadth of exercises was pretty wide, as were the results. This article goes through a long list of all the exercises they did over that two-year span and there are some really cool ones.
Read the article here.

Mentoring Junior Designers

I’ve been in a lot of training sessions; some were company mandated, others were ones I designed and ran myself, still others were sessions I paid money to attend. For a number of years, I’ve been in charge of a design team, and that means being responsible for training and development for my team members. While they are, of course, active participants, it’s important to acknowledge that training is about the transfer of information and the building of skills. The junior members of your team do not spontaneously gain skills. Instead, you need a clear process in place to train and mentor them. This article is a great starting blueprint for who you can create a culture that helps mentor junior designers and lets you grow future leaders in-house.
Read the article here.

Build a Design Thinking Culture that Creates World-Class Innovations

This article is brief but it looks at how in order to be a top brand, companies need to build a Design Thinking culture that supports world-class innovation. Many organizations are focused on operational efficiency that does not have room for the design-thinking’s explorative and iterative process where mistakes must be made for innovation to occur. It looks at the five core parts of designing thinking that need to be a part of any great brand.
Read the article here.

Microsoft is preparing to take on Google Cardboard with VR Kit

After Google paved the way for low-cost VR experiences on mobile with its Cardboard program, Microsoft is following in the search giant’s footsteps with its own effort for Windows devices. The company is wooing developers to attend a hackathon in Russia that’s scheduled on October 17. It’s inviting participants with ideas for VR apps and is offering cardboard headsets to those with ‘successful’ suggestions.
Read the article here.

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