What I read this week #12

Last week, someone asked why I put myself in a position to voluntarily run four miles every day. If this article doesn’t state my case clearly, then all I can say is, “Because I’m crazy.” The thing about running and athleticism in general is that we do brutal things to ourselves to the point that we almost collapse – and then we push ourselves even further just for the satisfaction. We do it just to say, “I did it.” Last week, I was swamped with life so I couldn’t bring you an abundant list of articles but this week, I’m back with a solid batch.

1. The Important Skill You Might Be Overlooking In Your Branding
By Lewis Howes from Inc.
Everyone knows that storytelling is the most important aspect in building a brand. However, knowing is different from putting it into practice. What I like about this article is that it thoroughly explains what makes a story relatable to customers. The author also discusses the need to bring in users and frame the brand’s story in a way that makes it relevant to their lives. It completely makes sense.

2. 20 Common Typography Mistakes That Designers Make
By Prince Pal from Think 360
It’s interesting to visually see how typography affects the face of the brand and the user experience. The author gives a wide variety of examples rather than sticking to a few mistake trends. I’ve come across many of these as a user myself and completely understand why these mistakes can be barriers to an enjoyable user experience.

3. Want to Prototype in Sketch? Craft has got your back
By Marc Andrew from Medium
The opening quote on this blog is what grabbed me. “The easier it is to make a prototype, the less attached I am to it, making it that much easier to discard if I realise it isn’t the best approach.” In this piece, Marc talks about Craft, which is a plugin for Sketch. It’s great to see that the user experience of designing for user experience is improving significantly as different functions come together on one platform. When it is easier for designers to design, then it’s much easier to iterate and come up with better products.

4. The Current State Of Authentication: We Have A Password Problem
By Drew Thomas from Smashing Magazine
We have too many passwords to remember. Don’t you agree? If you do, then this is an interesting read for you. The argument here is that the process of authenticating passwords is not scaled properly. Most platforms are strict when it comes to entering passwords so people are less inclined to use it. On the flip side, being lenient isn’t going to solve the problem either because hackers would easily be able to steal information. This article provides various options to overcoming this problem.

5. Winning the battle between design and analytics
By Wes McDowell from UX Mastery
Marrying good design with the ability to track progress and gain insight from the analytics is crucial. This article gives four examples of designs that can disrupt a platform’s ability to obtain analytics and how they can be fixed. The examples discussed in this piece were all things I’ve seen but haven’t considered the analytics part of it.

6. How do you transition into a design career?
By Ram Castillo from AIGA
To me, there is no such thing as too many “how to transition into a designer”-type articles. Each of them provide valuable advice that I can apply to my life. I like the tips offered in this piece. I’ve already started doing many of them and I feel the benefits but there are still other things that I know I can do better with. One of the most valuable messages from this article was the importance of starting in this moment. Don’t wait to begin designing or networking around. Now is always a good time.

7. 9 Pieces of UX Advice I Stole From People Smarter Than Me
By Spencer Lanoue from User Testing Blog
These nine pieces of advice are anything but conventional. I was especially captivated with the first one of observing what people create. I absolutely agree with the fact that humans are more creative than they are given credit for. Whenever I go to networking events on design and technology, I, too, try to steal brilliant ideas from brilliant people. This is an excellent read for all designers, whether you are a beginner or an expert.

8. How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist
By Tristan Harris from Medium
This is such an engaging and intriguing article. Every single sentence made me say, “I never noticed that!” or “Gosh, this is absolutely true!” In fact, by the end of this article, I wasn’t sure if tools were genuinely giving me choices and allowing me to feel empowered or if I was actually being restricted and controlled. What a fascinating read!

I sometimes feel like an idea machine, which is good. I’m currently working on several fake business projects that came out of “Oh, I wish there was a business like this!” Since I started committing to learning UX design, I find that every pain point that I can think of leads to a business idea. I constantly complain about how I’m unable to find the perfect sheath dress or a comfortably wide shoe for my feet. If I can design a phenomenal user experience, then I could run that business. When I’m comfortable, I’ll start sharing more.




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