April 2019 #DesignInTech Briefing

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From the April #DesignInTech Briefing

Four Things That I’m Thinking About Design In Tech

* With the 2019 Design in Tech Report now out and available in short-form and long-form on YouTube, I’ve started collecting material for 2020 from all the interesting (and interested) feedback that I’ve received online.

* My biggest “a-ha” has been a strong reminder that creativity is like Gordon MacKenzie would say, something that takes time. Or as Wieden+Kennedy dogma puts it, “It’s the idea buried ten feet under the ground.”

* Tony Ruth’s exquisite four-frame illustrated take on inequality, equality, equity, and justice emerged in the final minutes before the report went live. It literally came from nowhere, and not a moment too late.

* I’m in love with long-form blogging again after remembering how it’s so easy for a 2nd- or 3rd-party’s clickbait-y article title, or even a tweet, to be interpreted just as if it were a complete summary of all your thoughts.

Three Things I’ve Noticed In The Last 30 Days

* Accenture’s acquisition of Droga5 made me look deeper into what pundits say about consultancy versus agency. Conclusion: AI and data science look to be pit against humans and creativity — it doesn’t have to be that way.

* The Google People (HR) team released their new study on “distributed work” acknowledging that a third of their meetings involve folks in more than two time zones. Expect more tools for increasing timezone inclusivity on teams.

* Nieman Lab reported that Facebook’s News Feed algorithm change last year to increase user engagement has succeeded by as much as 50%. Divisive topics are more easily pushed up by peer networks in priority over publishers’ content. Yay?

Two Unsolicited Non-Tech Products That I ❤

* B.LeekS luggage suitcase wheels make my roll-about bag glide better than when I first got it. Pro-tip: The first size spec pertains to the actual diameter of the wheel.

* Twelve South has discontinued their Surfacepad for Macbook leather wristpads, but you can fight with me on eBay for them. Use an X-Acto blade to cut and fit for your laptop.

One Special Link

* I’m a bit behind on this month’s briefing because I needed to re-draft my upcoming book. Pushing out the 2019 Design in Tech Report changed a lot of my thinking, so the book needed some refactoring. https://howtospeakmachine.com

One Final Point

* AI is a topic that is moving from “oh no!” to “what is it?” — which means we have the opportunity to move from crisis to curiosity if the invisible forces of computation are eventually understood instead of summarily feared.

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