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Weekly Inspirations: April 14th, 2017

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

Everyone is a designer. Get over it.

Recently, Jared Spool caught my attention with an article about how Netflix’s performance engineers are actually designers. It’s a provocative idea, but it makes sense. His argument is that everyone in your organization (including performance engineers) designs the product, not just the people with “design” in their job titles. From some of the reactions, you might think Jared had kidnapped someone’s baby for ritual sacrifice. What exactly did Jared write?
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I Turned My Boss Into A Chatbot, And So Can You

She’s quick with a joke and decisive with her judgments. She loves shopping at Target, prefers New Balance over Nike, and, for some reason, despises my coworker Meg. She’s not my editor, Suzanne. She’s my editor’s digital clone, Suzannebot. Suzannebot is a Slack bot that I built on Dexter, a new startup out of Betaworks. In a world that’s filled with more and more bots–all the way from Apple’s highly complex Siri AI down to the rudimentary shopping assistants you might talk to on Kik messenger–Dexter is a platform that wants to bring bot building tools to people who don’t code.
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Google Updates Material Design and Adds Color Tool

Designers, Material Design is packed with a new color tool! Launched three years ago, Material Design, Google’s in-house design language influenced the shift from ancient user interfaces to the modern look of the contemporary web. Material Design was the final blow to skeuomorphism, glossy icons, gradients, and especially, those ugly “special offer” badges. Developed to add some cohesiveness to Google’s products, Material Design documentation became a must read not only for Android developers looking to build great looking apps but to every web designer focused on delivering great user experiences. We’ve got a great article on Material Design, so if you are just starting your endeavor in UI/UX or in need for a recap, enjoy it.
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Enter mixed reality with new Gorillaz app

Gorillaz – the co-creation of Blur’s Damon Albarn and cult comic artist Jamie Hewlett – has always operated just outside of normal reality. But you can get a bit closer to the animated band with this brand new app, just released today. Launched ahead of the band’s new album, Humanz, the Gorillaz App provides the first look at the latest manifestation of the band. There’s also exclusive content including a first play of new album in the form of the Humanz House Party – a worldwide shared listening experience allowing fans to visit the Gorillaz’ house and hear the new album together across 500 locations, from Tokyo to Santiago.
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From Frog, 3 Myths About What Makes A Designer Great

Of the evolving list of dream jobs for designers just out of school, the global design firm Frog might have the broadest appeal simply based on the nature of its work. In addition to pushing forward the design industry with sharp, curiosity-driven projects, its approach to design is interdisciplinary—which means it employs designers that work across digital, industrial, and interactive design. A couple of weeks ago, two Frog product designers took to Reddit to give advice to young designers. What emerged from their Reddit AMA—led by Inbal Etgar, from the San Francisco office, and Francois Nguyen, out of New York—were some key insights into what a place like Frog is looking for in new talent, as well as a more general view of how young designers should be preparing professionally.
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The 10 Commandments of Brand Design

Over 25 years of working in design & brands have led me to some conclusions as to what brings about success.  I’d like your feedback – have I got the list right? What is missing? Do you agree with my choice of the most important principle? I fell in love with the idea of being a designer because it sounded like an enjoyable way to earn a living.  I remain grateful to my 17 year old self for such a good decision, working in Design has been deeply satisfying.  Over time I have realised that my job is more than just a great answer to “what do you do”, it’s fundamental to the success of brands and a key growth driver for business.
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A Component-based Workflow for Sketch

Give people a tool, and they’ll find different ways to put it to use. No two designers work the same way, but I’m predicting that will change over the next couple of years. Modern digital design grew out of hacking photo editors to draw user interfaces, losing track of work inside systems designed not to lose work, and an endless cycle of recreating existing screens when things get lost in translation… Over the past decade, designers began to re-evaluate their approach and gravitated toward a component-based workflow. Photoshop introduced Smart Objects (being able to “place” other Photoshop files in a PSD. This new feature allowed designers to share a centralized version of a component, without worrying about having duplicates of that component across their files. Sadly, this never really turned into a workflow across design teams — it was more of an exception than a rule.
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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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