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Weekly Inspirations: April 21st, 2017

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

5 Ways to Build an Extraordinary Team Culture

Employee teams are one of the best ways to get things done in any business. When you take a group of independently talented people and create a team in which they can merge their talents, not only will a remarkable amount of energy and creativity be released, but their performance, loyalty and engagement will be greatly improved.
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Work-Life Balance: Workaholic Designer Edition

I’m a workaholic. Finding a solid work-life balance has been a lifelong battle for me. My brain never shuts off, and I have a really hard time pulling myself away from something I’m passionate about. And it seems to be a REALLY common trait among designers, both the guys and women I’ve talked to in the industry. We work extremely hard, and that’s great… as long as we also take time to enjoy the fruits of that hard work. I will NEVER forget the day my daughter walked into my office and asked me if we could play, and I snapped back, “I’m working overtime right now so you can have your toys and video games! Please stop interrupting me!”
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Google Design Sprint Kit

A design sprint is a five-phase framework that helps answer critical business questions through rapid prototyping and user testing. Sprints let your team reach clearly defined goals and deliverables and gain key learnings, quickly. The process helps spark innovation, encourage user-centered thinking, align your team under a shared vision, and get you to product launch faster. The Google design sprint framework began when several teams studied and tested 300 different business strategy, design thinking, and user research methods from places like IDEO and Stanford We took the most effective ones and evolved them, arranging them into a framework that supports both divergent thinking (creative brainstorming that results in multiple possible solutions) and convergent thinking (using defined, logical steps to arrive at one solution). The methodology has evolved over time and continues to be refined and tested.
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When Design Feels Like an Uphill battle

This has probably been *the* most common discussion topic among designers over the past decade. Pretty much every designer I know (myself included) has, at one point or another, felt they were working with people who didn’t fully appreciate design. I chalk this up to a simple reason: not understanding the value of design. It’s a rapidly growing field, after all — a decade ago, very few tech or consulting companies had in-house design teams. It was very common, even five years ago for me, to meet an engineer who had never worked with a designer before. And even among the design community itself, the question of “what is the role of design?” has different answers.
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The Original Macintosh Emulator Allows You to Play MacPaint and Frogger From ’84

The Internet Archive just released early applications and games from the ’84 Original Macintosh. The black-and-white computer was introduced by Steve Jobs and was the brand’s first mass-market computer to integrate the user interface and mouse function. Now thanks to the Internet Archive, you can now play around with MacPaint, Frogger, MacWrite, among other archaic software and operating systems from 1984-1989.
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