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Weekly Inspirations: August 25th, 2017

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

A Wild Vision Of The Future Run By Amazon And Whole Foods

Since Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, consumers have been left wondering what that partnership will ultimately look like. Will Whole Foods stores just become another face for Amazon’s anonymous distribution centers? Will Prime memberships include access to more local produce? Or will retail, as we know it, fundamentally change, as Amazon’s hyper efficiency mixes with the Whole Foods fresh, local mentality to create something entirely new? Austin-based design firm Argodesign is betting on the latter. As a thought experiment, the studio mocked up a provocative series of conceptssuggesting what an Amazon Foods could look like, if powered by drones, Echo refrigerators, and a sharing economy model reminiscent of Airbnb or Uber.
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IDEO’s Employee Engagement Formula

IDEO’s origin story sometimes sounds like a myth or a fable, but it’s actually true. David Kelley founded the company with a simple goal: to create a workplace made up of his best friends. In the beginning he did, in fact, bring in some of his closest buddies to launch the Silicon Valley firm that would become IDEO. More than 30 years later, we’re a global design company that employs more than 650 people. Obviously, we didn’t get to that size by hiring only our friends. But David’s early intention still greatly informs the way we work. There are, in fact, four elements of our culture that came directly from his founding statement. We think they’re essential factors in keeping employees engaged — not just at our company, but at any company.
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The Airbnb Tool That’s Changing UI Design

There’s a hot new design software being used today by major tech companies like Airbnb and Google to build new apps. But the tool, called Lottie, wasn’t born from your typical designer. Instead, it has its origins in a Madison Avenue creative. Salih Abdul-Karim spent a decade in New York City, creating commercials for clients like Nike and Sony, and networks like Comedy Central and HBO. Like many animators, he spent his days inside Adobe After Effects, building these visual spectacles a frame at a time. It wasn’t until he moved to the West Coast and took a job producing videos for Square that he realized the greater potential of his own talents. He was doing a typical compositing job: Square would shoot a commercial featuring some small business owner tapping away at the Square app on an iPad, but because tablets look horrible when shot on video, it was Abdul-Karim’s responsibility to edit out the iPad screen and replace it with his own reconstruction of the Square interface–built from scratch inside After Effects. He would recreate the words, the buttons, and the animations, and then superimpose them over the real commercial footage, all to make the Square app look as good as possible on TV. And he did this again, and again, and again.
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Integrating Animation into a Design System

Keeping animation choreography cohesive from the outset of a project can be challenging, especially for small companies. Without a dedicated motion specialist on the team, it can be difficult to prioritize guidelines and patterns early in the design process. What’s more likely to happen is that animations will be added as the product develops. Unsurprisingly, the ad-hoc approach can lead to inconsistencies, duplications, and rework in the long run. But it also provides space for creative explorations and discoveries of what works and what doesn’t. As useful as it is to be able to establish system foundations early, it is also ok to let the patterns emerge organically as your team experiments and finds their own voice in motion.
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Mirrored atomicity: designers and developers speaking the same language

The concept of atomic design and front-end development is already well established, but here is the problem: designers and developers tend to create different component structures. One day, I found myself thinking about why the atomic structure of my layout was different than the one used on the same project’s front-end. I had a “eureka” moment and the term mirrored atomicity came up to me. At the time, I thought I had all the answers to solve this problem, but I wasn’t even close… this article is about my failures, successes, and good practices around my experiences when applying this idea to the daily lives of a team in a real product.
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