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Weekly Inspirations: October 27th, 2017

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

Good is really good at design

The stuff Google showed off on October 4 was brazenly designed and strangely, invitingly touchable. These gadgets were soft, colorful… delightful? They looked human, but like something future humans had made; people who’d gotten righteously drunk with aliens. You could imagine them in your living room, your den, your bedroom. Your teleportation chamber. A fuzzy little donut you can have a conversation with. A VR headset in stunning pink. A phone with playful pops of color and an interface that seems to presage what you want, when you want it. It’s weird. It’s subtle. It’s… good. It’s Google?
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How storytelling can improve UX

When designing mobile and web apps, there are plenty of ways to inject UX storytelling to create a memorable user experience. Whether it’s a parallax scroll that reveals a narrative, or data-heavy content that transforms numbers into a captivating story, storytelling opportunities are everywhere. UX designers benefit from understanding the foundations of UX storytelling and how these foundations can be applied to create designs that will touch audiences and, hopefully, keep them coming back for more. Children all over the globe have experienced the joy of getting into their pajamas, snug in bed ready to be read a story by their parents. Anticipation, intrigue and suspense all play a big role in keeping our attention on the story over the course of the book. Some of us couldn’t wait until bedtime. That’s the power of stories. Good stories even have you wanting more. The same method can be used when crafting user experiences. But how?
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The Three Qualities of People I Most Enjoy Working With

Several weeks ago, I shared the above Venn diagram in a status update. With 20k+ likes and comments on LinkedIn and over 2.2k retweets and favorites on Twitter, it’s become the most viral update I’ve shared to date. As a result, thought it might be interesting to provide some additional context on where the diagram came from. It all started in a meeting where a talented team was presenting their plan for a potentially high impact initiative. Midway through, they covered the measurable results they expected to achieve in three years. Granted, they were being somewhat conservative, but their objectives were still way off what I would have expected them to be targeting based on the addressable opportunity and the assets we were bringing to the table.
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Wireframes, flows, personas and beautifully crafted UX deliverables for your inspiration

When people think of UX Design documentation, the first image that comes to mind is dense, long, and heavily annotated wireframes, full of boxes and arrows that indicate how a system is going to function and behave. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are a few examples of UX deliverables that are well polished, legible and simple to understand.
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Everyone has a price. For a freelancer designer, it can be difficult to get that price—especially when clients have a set budget in mind. Does this mean that you should compromise your talent, time, and worth? Not necessarily. The most successful freelance designers are comfortable setting top-tier pricing and sticking to it, even if it means missing out on projects. This may seem risky to someone starting out or barely making it. (Who can afford to turn down work?) If you’re willing to commit to only doing profitable work, however, I can guarantee the results will speak for themselves. After speaking with thousands of designer using Bonsai and looking at their freelance rate, we were able to put together 5 strategies the highest-paid designers use every day—no special selling skills required.
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Why do people keep giving Magic Leap money?

Magic Leap, an augmented reality company that has never shipped or even shown a product, has just gotten a $502 million investment on top of its nearly $1.4 billion in existing funding. The round is led by Singapore holding company Temasek, and includes major existing investors like Google, Alibaba, and J.P. Morgan Investment Management. It adds to the mystique around the secretive company, which has been on the verge of unveiling a pair of compact augmented reality glasses since at least 2015. Two years later, its main output is still flowery paeans to its own greatness. Investors have proven more than willing to throw money at overblown tech startups, like Theranos and Juicero. But Magic Leap still seems like a potentially viable company — just one that I doubt will deliver exactly what it’s promised.
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Applying human-centered design to emerging technologies

When you dream of the future, what do you see? Do you dream about concurrent odometry or horizontal plane detection? Do you fantasize about hot words and utterance capture? Probably not. Most likely, when you dream of the future, you imagine the places you can go, the things you can do, and the people you can be… just like you did when you were a kid. Earlier this year, Google Play approached IDEO to find out what emerging technologies like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, digital assistant, andephemeral apps (apps that you don’t have to download and install) may actually be good for. With the advent of these new technologies come infinite possibilities for their application. In this future, many things are possible, but what is useful and desirable? How will people integrate these technologies into their lives? When they think of what these technologies can do for them, what do they dream of? Where do they want to go? What do they imagine? Google was eager to find out.
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