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Weekly Inspirations: March 18th, 2016

The things that I think are worth reading this week

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

The Store of the Future

Toms shoes have opened a pop-up store in Chicago. Within the store is 30-foot wide pixel wall which enables the retailer to broadcast messages across the length of the store. There are interactive tables that detect products placed on them through an RFID chip which is placed on every product. The customers can then read more information about the product. There are interactive mirrors which can be used to check out product information along with these are also large touch kiosks within the store to allow customers to browse from the extended range or lookup and order products in a size or color they couldn’t locate in store. Upon walking in the store, customers will probably wonder where the changing rooms are – that’s because they emerge from the ceiling when the customer requests them.
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5 Articles That Will Make You A Better UX Designer.

Everyone should know how important reading is for learning and getting better at something. That’s why that’s why this article put together a list of great articles about User Experience that will help you to get more knowledge in certain areas of UX design.
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John Maeda on What Really Matters in the World of Design

Last year at South by Southwest, John Maeda, a design partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, presented his inaugural Design in Tech report. In a slideshow modeled after Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends reports, he showed that design has indeed become integral to the business of technology. Figures like 27 (the number of designer-founded companies acquired by giants like Google and Facebook), and $13 billion (last year’s valuation for Airbnb, a company founded by designers), helped make Maeda’s case. Maeda presented his second Design in Tech report Monday, again at SXSW. In his wide-lens look at the industry, Maeda doubled down on his original thesis: That big businesses want, need, and will pay for design. He supported his argument with data on mergers and acquisitions: This year, he counted 42 design firms that have been acquired since 2004. Roughly half of those transactions happened in the last year, and Accenture, Deloitte, and IBM—not companies you’d traditionally associate with design—were the main purchasers.
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Common UX Misconceptions

What exactly does a user experience designer do? Even within industry circles, the definition of UX is often varied, vague, and simplified. “UX designers figure out how things are going to work.” “UX designers make things pretty.” But there’s so much more to it than that. UX is rooted in research, testing, and balance.And when organizations fail to place value on it, it’s hard to be successful. Maybe one of the best ways to get everyone on the same page about UX is to break down its misconceptions. So we’ve put together some of the most common ones we’ve come across at Clearbridge Mobile.
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Retailer Uses Apple Watch to Improve Customers’ Experiences

Associates working at True Religion stores in Beverly Hills and New York’s SoHo neighborhood will soon be wearing Apple Watches. They will serve as a tool intended to raise the level of customer service in the specialty apparel retailer’s stores. The initiative known as Band by True Religion, which requires customers to download an app from the retailer, enables associates to share a virtual endless aisle of products with shoppers. The associates will also gain access to information about customers’ preferences for products and forms of communication. True Religion announced its endless aisle capability earlier in the year. In January, the company announced that its app enables employees to tie-in to its inventory system to quickly locate the exact items customers seek. Once located, an image of the item is displayed on a high-definition monitor inside the store. The image, which includes a bar code, is scanned by the sales associate to complete the purchase.
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@MichelleObama: An exclusive look at how the First Lady mastered social media

For decades, social initiatives have been a mainstay of the First Lady’s office: for Lady Bird Johnson, it was the environment; for former librarian Laura Bush, literacy. Over the last seven years, Mrs. Obama has focused on four major initiatives: Reach Higher, for teens pursuing higher learning; Let’s Move!, to fight childhood obesity; Let Girls Learn, for educating women and girls around the world; and Joining Forces, for aiding veterans and their families. But Mrs. Obama’s tenure also coincided with the rise of social media: during the Obama presidency, Twitter went from upstart to global newswire; Facebook now counts over 1.5 billion users; and Instagram and Snapchat — platforms that didn’t exist a decade ago — dominate pop culture. With a click of an iPhone, Mrs. Obama can now reach audiences Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Bush could only have dreamed of.
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