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Weekly Inspirations: May 12th, 2017

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

Design Thinking Needs To Think Bigger

Design thinking is one of the most important ideas of the 21st century. The methodology’s impact on product design, how organizations go about solving problems, and how we live our everyday lives has been profound. And its influence has expanded far beyond business and design circles. Universities, nonprofits, even science labs run design sprints based on design-thinking principles. The most popular courseat Stanford is one on how to approach your life as a design challenge. The concept is even taught at some elementary schools. But it’s been 15 years—a generation—since David Kelley had his epiphany to stop calling Ideo’s approach “design” and start branding it as “design thinking.” And much has changed in that time.
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We’ve all encountered “best practices” at one time or another. Be it through a list-style blog post of prescribed industry-standard advice, a how-to speech given to thousands of attendees at conferences across the world, an unsolicited redesign of a popular site, or my personal favorite, a live landing page critique with a panel of industry experts. And yet, while we sit there scribbling down all of this advice, eager to take it back to the workplace, do we ever stop to think about the validity of the advice that we’re being given in the first place?
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Basic Patterns For Mobile Navigation: Pros And Cons

Once someone starts using your app, they need to know where to go and how to get there at any point. Good navigation is a vehicle that takes users where they want to go. But establishing good navigation is a challenge on mobile due to the limitations of the small screen and the need to prioritize content over chrome. Different navigation patterns have been devised to solve this challenge in different ways, but they all suffer from a variety of usability problems. In this article, we’ll examine five basic navigation patterns for mobile apps and describe the strengths and weaknesses of each of them. If you’d like to add some patterns and spice up your designs, you can download and test Adobe XD for free and get started right away.
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Design Thinking Combat Zone: Undermining Decades of Industry Progress

Recently the design community has developed a giant central rift over the concept of Design Thinking. There are those who absolutely love Design Thinking, what it stands for, and practical applications they’ve been able to employ in their workplaces. There are others who are blowing the whistle on Design Thinking and are trying to explain the reasons why, “It doesn’t exist.”
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Behind Fluent Design, Microsoft’s Vision For The Future of Interfaces

Over the past two years, the company has led the shift toward inclusive design, an approach that is now evident across the industry. It’s increasing its emphasis on real-world applications of machine learning and AI. It released a radical holographic device that no one saw coming, inviting developers and designers to collaborate on its development. In addition to evolving its popular Surface line, Microsoft launched a bevy of new hardware devices, like the Surface Studio, that are meant to eat Apple’s proverbial lunch: creatives. Perhaps more than anything, it’s been dramatically more transparent about its many experimental products and apps.
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Genius map tool sorts fonts by how they look

Sorting fonts by name has long been the conventional way for designers to sift through different sets of type families. This doesn’t mean it’s the easiest approach though. To make the process of exploring fonts more visually intuitive, software designer and IDEO project lead Kevin Ho has harnessed the power of machine learning with his Font Map. Powered by a machine learning algorithm that sorts fonts by visual characteristics such as weight and serif, Font Map gives designers a new and interactive way to explore type.
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Design student imagines really cool new approach to discovery within Apple Music

A design student whose work was praised by Apple as the company turned him down for an internship decided to take the feedback to heart. When Apple told Northwestern Uni student Jason Yuan they wanted to see more growth and training, he decided to work on this by redesigning the iOS Apple Music app. The project began with qualitative research – talking to users in depth about their approach to music and their experience of the app – and led to what proved to be a key insight. Yuan concluded that we all sit somewhere on a spectrum of Hoarders versus Nomads. Hoarders have a large library of purchased music, and want to selectively discover new artists who might earn their place in it. Nomads listen mostly to playlists and curated content.
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