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Weekly Inspirations: March 4th, 2016

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

7 Personalities You Need on Your Design Team

There is so much that goes into pushing great design out into the world. A good place to start is getting the right personalities on your team. Now, no personality is without it’s downsides, but here are a few that I think can be pretty helpful. Keep in mind that these may not be individual people. Depending on the size of the team, they might be all rolled up into one. This article breaks down the seven types of personalities you need to build a great team.
Read the article here

Making Branding Agile

Branding should work closely together with UX in an agile product development process. Both have great methods that combined help to build better products. During product research, ideation, design and development teams focus on UX while Branding often comes in during marketing of a product. Product and brand designer often work at different tables or even in different organizations. I think they should join forces in an agile way from the beginning on. Branding needs to sit next to UX at the product design table. Why? Both fields offer complementary design methods and I’ll give an example below. Complementary because both approach the same goal — great product — from different angles and ask complementary questions along the way. Yet being separated by time and space takes away the opportunity for them to join their forces. This results most times in branding an already designed product, which is never as strong as when brand and product are one experience.
Read the article here

Coke Creates Virtual Reality Goggles from a Soda Box

There is no doubt that the low-price and simplicity of a Google Cardboard VR viewer has helped millions of users around the world get a taste of VR with just their mobile phone, a few lens parts and some cardboard. Now Coca-Cola is showing us what can be done by recycling the cardboard from a 12-pack box of soda to make a Cardboard VR viewer from home, making this magical cardboard device that more accessible to the world. Coke recently showed off a new packaging prototype and how they converted the soda box into a VR viewer. Three 12-pack boxes are shown being folded and assembled into three different versions of a viewer – Origami, Custom and Insert. Now you just only need your phone, a few lens parts and some patience to create your own.
Read the article here

Convenience Store Operated Entirely Via Your Smartphone

Sweden’s recently got their first unstaffed convenience store as customers can drop in, buy their goods and be on their way without any human involvement. Customers just need to download the store’s app to get started. The app will grant them the ability to unlock the store’s otherwise locked door. Once inside, customers can select from an assortment of basic goods including bread, milk, sugar, canned food, diapers and other products you’d expect to find in a small convenience store. The shop measures just 480 square feet so there’s not really a lot of room for non-essential incidentals. Customers are billed for their purchases via monthly invoice.
Read the article here

Hound is a digital assistant that’s faster and smarter than Siri, Google Now, and Cortana

Hound is the first digital assistant that feels like a real step toward the future, albeit a handicapped one at the moment. It’s not that Hound feels more like you’re talking to a human — it’s quite robotic in fact — but it is without a doubt the smartest and fastest voice-based assistant I’ve ever seen. The app is so fast that it can produce near real-time translations of whole sentences in other languages, and it can spit back mounds of requested data faster than you could ever possibly glean it from Google with a keyboard. You have to open the app to ask it questions, which is a drag. Although the company has added 3D Touch support to its iOS version so you can jump right into a query and a “Ok Hound” voice command to make hands-free requests.
Read the article here

All Talk and No Buttons: The Conversational UI

We’re witnessing an explosion of applications that no longer have a graphical user interface (GUI). They’ve actually been around for a while, but they’ve only recently started spreading into the mainstream. They are called bots, virtual assistants, invisible apps. They can run on Slack, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, plain SMS, or Amazon Echo. They can be entirely driven by artificial intelligence, or there can be a human behind the curtain. I think this trend will have a major impact on the future of design and digital experiences and is something we all should be keeping an eye on.
Read the article here

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