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Weekly Inspirations: October 14th, 2016

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

Using Adobe XD for Commercial Projects

Over the past few months I’ve been testing Adobe XD’s viability by using it exclusively on new commercial projects. It was admittedly risky trying to adopt so early — XD was/is still in preview and each client needed convincing in one way or another — but I thought the benefits outweighed the negatives. Visually speaking, and assuming you’ve done all the necessary project preparation, designing for the screen is just reordering shapes, type and colour, then trusting your eye enough to pull them together. The fact XD didn’t (and still doesn’t) have grids, layers or the ability to underline text didn’t really stop me doing any of those fundamentals, so I thought it was as good a time as any to give it a shot.
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One of the most popular weapons these startups are now wielding is a process developed by Google Ventures called design sprints—a framework designed to help your company discover viable, customer-validated solutions to your biggest business challenges, while also shrinking product development timelines from many months to 5 days. Plus, design sprints provide the tools to bring stakeholders together from across all business and technology departments, while checking ego at the door.
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15 Things You Need in Place for Creating Your Personal Brand

But it also takes a considerable amount of work. As I’ve built my personal brand over the past few years, I’ve discovered that one’s personal brand doesn’t merely grow when you achieve some level of business success. Instead, you have to work hard at it. Building a personal brand is almost like building a business. You have to identify your target clients, discover the best marketing methods, and relentlessly work to deliver what they want. But the results? Worth it! As you build your brand, it becomes much easier to connect with prospective clients, close deals, and grow the opportunities that weren’t possible when you started. To get to that point, you’ve got to start with the right foundation.
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Young greenhorn chefs get to the kitchen hours before service to chop every vegetable, trim every filet, and prepare all of the sauces (among many other duties). In doing so, they’re enabling the restaurant to prepare exquisite dishes with multiple courses to feed your fat face and get you out the door in under 2 hours. If they waited until they received an order to prepare all of the ingredients, service would take hours, dishes would be inconsistent, and the kitchen would simply not be able to sustain itself. Product designers should always prepare their mise en place before diving into design “dinner service.” Before you start designing dozens of screens and workflows, it’s important to set yourself up for sustainable design success. Here are 5 tips for preparing your design mise en place.
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The Dangers of Being Too Hard On Yourself

There’s a mantra that pervades our culture: “No Pain, No Gain.” Stress and strife and constant busyness are worn as a badge of effort. In this world, any spare time not spent on your passion project is an indication that you’re not fully committed, you’re slacking. As the motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, put it: “When you are tough on yourself, life is going to be infinitely easier on you.” But this tough guy philosophy is misguided. Of course dedication and honest self-reflection are important, but studies are showing repeatedly that beating yourself up too often is counterproductive, as is excessive self-criticism. Rather, showing yourself kindness and respect isn’t being self-indulgent, it will help you overcome setbacks and find greater success.
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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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