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Weekly Inspirations: January 26th, 2018

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

Watch a young Steve Jobs explain why most professional managers are “bozos”

Nobody ever accused Steve Jobs of lacking strong opinions. In a video posted to YouTube, a young Jobs talks candidly about his approach to management and leadership. As the founder of Apple, and the guiding force who transformed it from emerging upstart to one of the world’s most innovative and valuable companies, his thoughts are worth taking seriously. Though professional managers may not exactly like what he has to say.
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Don’t take design critique as an insult

Design critique sessions are nothing new. They are an integral part of the design process, and over the last years modern companies have found smart and efficient ways to incorporate these sessions into everything they design and build. Design critique sessions help the team be on the same page about what is being designed, and also help the designer understand the needs of every team and department in their company — to make sure that their design solution accommodates for most of them. You show the work. People comment. You learn about what their needs are. But some designers get really defensive when hearing feedback about their work. They take critique as an insult. And in the impulse of pushing back on every comment that’s coming from other team members, this type of designer tends to lose themselves in illogic arguments and fight for things that are irrelevant considering the broader scheme of things.
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Interface designers — you need to be thinking product

As interface designers, our primary focus is on the look and feel of a product. Clients may not know how to create an interface design from nothing, and so engage us to design something that they, and their users, will find visually pleasing. However, designing an interface inherently involves way more than just the look and feel. We need to have a stack of different skills beyond just UI design. More than ever, designers need to be thinking about the holistic product. We need to be able to go beyond the visuals and into the heart of a product
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10 Laws Of UX, Illustrated

Good design tends to follow general principles that give designers overarching guidelines to work within. But for user experience and interface designers, there are also laws that govern the nitty-gritty. For instance, it’s helpful to know that the time it takes for a user to make a decision increases when there are more complex choices–known as Hick’s Law–or that because users spend most of their time on other websites, they want yours to work similarly to what they know–the premise of Jakob’s Law. A new site lays out 10 of these laws using simple language and graphic design to explain each one. Created by the front-end designer Jon Yablonski as a way of codifying the maxims he relies on in his day-to-day work, Laws of UX draws on well-established ideas from psychology, as applied to UX design. Yablonski’s contribution is to collect several in one place and create visual representations for each.
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As designers, we know our work has an impact. We see the power of design in every aspect of our lives. But not everyone is able to connect the dots between design and business growth. It is up to us, as designers, to help tell our own success stories. When we’re able to demonstrate the value of our work, design becomes a critical contributor to the business. We can advocate for bigger design teams, higher salaries, and more integrated design systems. This article is for anyone who wants to get more involved in product analytics. Far too often, designers don’t have direct access to the tools they need to measure the impact of their work. If this is the case on your team, I hope this post can help you overcome those barriers.
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Inside Amazon Go, a Store of the Future

The first clue that there’s something unusual about Amazon’s store of the future hits you right at the front door. It feels as if you are entering a subway station. A row of gates guard the entrance to the store, known as Amazon Go, allowing in only people with the store’s smartphone app. Inside is an 1,800-square foot mini-market packed with shelves of food that you can find in a lot of other convenience stores — soda, potato chips, ketchup. It also has some food usually found at Whole Foods, the supermarket chain that Amazon owns. But the technology that is also inside, mostly tucked away out of sight, enables a shopping experience like no other. There are no cashiers or registers anywhere. Shoppers leave the store through those same gates, without pausing to pull out a credit card. Their Amazon account automatically gets charged for what they take out the door.
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A formula for how to say no

Nobody wants to be known as the person who always says no. But for leaders, the pressure to say yes can be especially intense. You may be worried that if you decline, people will stop approaching you with great opportunities. You want to be seen as a team player who’s always up for a new challenge. But always saying yes can be destructive. Taking on too much can cause you to be stressed and scattered, lower the quality of your work, and ultimately set you up to let people down — which is exactly what you were trying to avoid. Great leaders like Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs have championed the importance of saying no. As Tony Blair put it, “The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It’s very easy to say yes.” Being able to decline effectively shows that you have a clear sense of direction and enables your team to stay focused. And it takes practice. Here’s a formula for how you can go about it, along with a few sample phrases to help you get more comfortable with saying no.
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