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Weekly Inspirations: March 30th, 2018

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

How Clark Valberg Accidentally Discovered The Weakness In Adobe’s Empire

If you work in design, or work with designers, you’ve almost certainly used InVision, which has become a standard way to share digital prototypes. The ability to send a link to people, and have them be able to click through a design and comment on it, seems like an utterly obvious piece of software to invent. But, of course, it wasn’t. There’s a bigger idea behind InVision’s beginnings, a founding assumption, which runs totally counter to that behind Adobe’s multibillion dollar empire. Before Clark Valberg founded InVision, he was running a small, hyper-specialized design and development shop. His main client at the time was a company that made instructional coursework for schools. The client had never launched a piece of software before, and now it was trying to do a web app that would spread out its course on the web. When the time came to pick a project leader, the company picked its elderly assistant. She’d never been a product manager before, but she happened to know everyone in the organization. “She was the one who was supposed to collect requirements for the app,” Valberg recalls. “But she didn’t know what requirements were.”
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Three Lessons From John Maeda’s Design in Tech Report

Every year, John Maeda releases a report called Design in Tech. It’s a nearly 100 slide, 30,000-foot view of the design industry as seen through a technology lens. In the report, Maeda, now the global head of computational design and inclusion at Automattic, teases the Big Ideas that he, from his perch as Silicon Valley’s design evangelist, views as important for the year to come. This year’s report focuses primarily on artificial intelligence and the rise of the computational designer, who, in Maeda’s view, is a distinctly different species from a “classical designer” (read: a traditional graphic designer concerned with form and content) or “design thinking designer” (read: a designer who works in business). We talked to Maeda about some of the findings from his report, and asked the big question: in a time of constant technological evolution, what does all of it mean for graphic designers? Especially for those who don’t code? Here are the major takeaways.
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How I Use Milanote & Figma for Product Design

In a new series of process posts, there are a few tools that I want to discuss that make my professional life easier. First, I want to start with part of UX design and product development process with two tools that I have used extensively over the last year: Milanote & Figma. As a designer, I value my process as much as my end result. A good process allows for a certain level of predictability and flexibility. If it’s too strict and prescriptive, it becomes too narrow and rigid for change. If it’s not defined enough, it creates confusion and communication breakdowns. So for me, a good, repeatable process in creating products and features is the living proof of a well thought out, tested way to do things.
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If you were stranded on an island and could only bring one book to read for the rest of your life, what would you choose? What might best keep you motivated? Last month, 19 accomplished design leaders gathered in New York City for a member dinner as part of InVision’s Design Leadership Forum. Before digging into their meal—and the more serious part of the conversation—the group took turns sharing what keeps each of them inspired. It didn’t have to be business-related, design-related, or even a book at all.
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Netflix Created a Clean, Custom Font That Could Save the Company Millions

Netflix has developed a new bespoke font called Netflix Sans that is clean, functional, subtly inspired by the brand’s famous logo—and perhaps most important of all, economical. One of the design leads, Noah Nathan, posted about the project on his website. He says the new font is meant to serve “both display and functional purposes,” but there is a serious economic component at play, too.
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3 Ways for Leaders to Be a Calming Force

I once had a team member (we’ll call her June) who never seemed fazed by any crisis. She seemed to lack a sense of urgency, no matter the situation. She was very thorough and hard-working, but her pace and attitude rarely fluctuated. So even though we’re talking about the opposite—people who consider everything an emergency—I’ll start by saying that I would always rather have someone who overreacts than underreacts. They are often your most productive and attentive employees. That’s not to say the Team Member Who Cried Wolf should be left to their own devices. Quite the opposite. Here are my strategies.
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3 Essential Branding Lessons From A Rare Steve Jobs Interview

The year is 1986. Steve Jobs meets Paul Rand, the genius responsible for branding IBM, UPS, and Westinghouse. Having just been ousted from Apple, Steve asks Rand to create a logo for his new company, Next Inc. Rand accepts the job. Over the following months–and years–Jobs would learn from Rand, who came of age in a very different era of company-building. Those lessons would include how to brand a startup, but also what a logo can–and can not–do for a company. In this 1993 interview, Jobs talks about the experience.
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Here’s everything I’ve learned from designing 10,000+ UI screens as a lead product designer.

I learned all of this from amazing designers like you, fantastic mentors, and lots of trial and error. If you learn something from this article, share it with another designer. I’ll love you for it, and they will, too.
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Space gray Mac accessories now sold separately from iMac Pro

If you’ve been wanting to get your hands on the cool space gray accessories sold with iMac Pro, the latest Apple Store update has good news for you. Apple is now selling the space gray accessories separately. The space gray Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad is available for US$149, that’s a $20 premium when compared to the Silver model. The space gray Apple Magic Mouse can be purchased for US$99, the Magic Trackpad is US$149.
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