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Weekly Inspirations: April 15th, 2016

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

THIS PIXAR-ESQUE MUSIC VIDEO WILL BREAK YOUR HEART

It sounds like a simple problem, but being caught in a rut can be such a harrowing experience. It’s not just the question of “Am I getting anywhere?” It’s the fear that everything you’ve done has gotten you to a place where you can’t get anywhere else. It’s feeling trapped. The thought that you’re living life in an endless loop without a break in the action. I think of that when I watch this music video. Tel Aviv’s Jane Bourdeaux created this video for their song “Ma’agalim” and it’s gorgeous. It shows a lonely figure in a music box walking down a bucolic country road. Time passes, people age, and people even die in her tiny little town, but that’s all she sees. The beauty in the scene gives way to a kind of sadness at the idea that this is all there is. The lyrics bear that out perfectly.
Read the article here

Great Leaders Embrace Office Politics

One of the hardest things to manage in a client side role is office politics. Instead of being chained to your desk delivering great work, you should do some networking with the most influential executives, ensuring your contributions are noticed by those above you, and confirming that she was being perceived as executive-suite material. Managing a career in these ways is critical, but surprisingly few people do it. It is also hard to do this in a way that effective and isn’t just walking around like a pointless kiss ass. This article from the Harvard Business Review looks at how embracing politics can be a good thing after all.
Read the article here

A COMPREHENSIVE READING LIST FOR AND BY DESIGNERS

The bibliophiles over at InVision, asked some of their favorite designers to recommend the book that inspired them the most this past year. Check out the 90 most popular answers and the top designers who recommend them, plus 5 inspiring periodicals.
Read the article here

Design For Humanity

This article is a great primer into understanding how to design with the customer and empathy in mind. I think this is a critical part of the design process that too few people really understand. The article is also a nice gateway into seven other article written by the author that go into more detail about how to evolve beyond the basic understand of design empathy.
Read the article here

GOING FROM LO-FI TO HI-FI IN ADOBE XD’S PREVIEW RELEASE

“Is it possible to go from low-fidelity designs and information architecture to high-fidelity designs?” A week before we launched Adobe Experience Design CC’s first Preview, someone asked this question about the product on Twitter. The question, of course, is really what distinguishes UX and the rest of the design world. One lesson that learned is that the process of designing at low-fidelity helps designers to focus on the application’s structure and how users should interact with it. This is a critical step in designing an application or a website that forces the designer to work through a certain set of problems before delving into the more detailed issues of color and style. What things would I do early on in XD that would make it possible to launch myself into a high-fidelity prototype? So, they put on my scientist hat, pulled out a timer, and designed an application. This is the story.
Read the article here

THE STRATEGY OF DESIGN

Designers don’t just make things work and look good—they’re also problem solvers. Problem solvers tasked with the tricky challenge of integrating business objectives with creative solutions. The truth is, it’s not easy. Designers must balance the needs of the client with the needs of the user, all while creating a highly functional design that creates an emotional connection with its audience. Luckily, there are ways to make the process less difficult. Over the years, our design team at Upwork has fine-tuned a few practices to help us consistently produce engaging designs that meet the company’s business goals and the goals of our users. Here’s how we do it.
Read the article here

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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