What I read this week #4

This past week was incredibly busy at work and also with the amount of events I attended. However, busy is a good thing so I’m not complaining. I was also working on reviving an article on my favorite Vietnamese foods that has sat in my drafts folder in my Drive for two years, which took much longer than anticipated. This week, I spent quite some time on the User Testing Blog. I’m seeing examples of designs that were defective because proper user testing was not administered. This is a huge deal.

1. Cognitive psychology for UX: how to avoid the false consensus effect
By Spencer Lanoue from User Testing Blog
This such an important topic. I’m glad people are talking about it. Empathizing with users and designing for a particular audience requires self-awareness. This article is a great starting point to build that awareness of the false consensus effect and learn how to get rid of assumptions. I also appreciate that this article nicely balances out the use of formatting. There’s a lot but not overwhelming and distracting.

2. Better Interface Design: Logins, Menus, Toggles And Other Fancy Modules
By Cosima Mielke from Smashing Magazine
This article is a compilation of the innovative ways people are redesigning boring UI. I’m not fully convinced that some of these items need a redesign. But I like seeing how people take normal things and marry them with innovative features to produce something unique. It’s great to see how designers are incorporating clean movements and unexpected color combinations into their products as well.

3. Invisible UI: a hidden opportunity for great UX
By Jennifer Winter from User Testing Blog
When I saw the title of this article in my feed, I was confused. What the heck is UI without UI? However, the more I read, the more I understood what it means. I think the biggest takeaway from this piece is the importance of approaching UX with a mindset where it goes beyond the screen. We interact with our screens the most but it should never get to the point that the task can’t be completed. I wonder what a fully screen-less world would look like.

4. Why a Career in UX Design is Perfect for Dissatisfied Architects
By Gavin Johns from arch daily
I’m not sure how I found this article but I’m glad that people from other industries are talking about UX. Although I’m in a different industry, I could still relate this piece because I’m also seeking a career change. This article nailed it with the three aspects that were missing from his architecture career and brought it all together by listing the transferrable skills. It helps me analyze what I want in a career and how I can look for skills that can carry over into the tech and design world.

5. The Power of Talk: Who Gets Heard and Why
By Deborah Tannen from Harvard Business Review
This is by far the most detailed article that I’ve read on the power of talk. In any professional field, verbal communication is powerful but it is a difficult skill to master. A lot of different professions have equipped me with good speaking skills but I definitely know that I have more to learn. This article gave me insights on the things that make a big difference and how to pick up verbal habits that increase my ability to be heard.

6. Internet of Things: Are We There Yet? (The 2016 IoT Landscape)
By Matt Turck from Matt Turck
Give yourselves ample time and patience to get through this article. It’s not a breezy swipe. Plus, this is an engaging and fascinating discussion so I advise you to read it when you’re ready to dig into it.  The landscape of the “Internet of Things” is so massive. We can’t deny that. But it definitely is an interesting territory to explore. It’s a mixture of going down memory lane, living in the present and envisioning the future. Do yourselves a favor and read this. It’s good stuff.

7. 10 Ways Millionaires Set Their Goals
By Daniel Ally from Entrepreneur
I just published an article about my goals and then came across this right after. These points are great and I find them to be really encouraging. Someone told me that people only accomplish about 10% of their goals. That’s why it’s important to set big goals. If I accomplish a tiny fraction of what I set out to do, then I better be making huge goals. Ideally, it would be great to accomplish more than 10% but if that’s really the case then I have to dream bigger.

8. Silly Things You Do That Make You Less Likeable
By Dr. Travis Bradberry from LinkedIn
I do about half these things. I know I’m not a fully likeable person but I am working on it. Articles like these are great reminders of habits that makes people less likable. There are areas of myself that I’m considering reevaluating because it’s not a pleasant feeling not to be liked. These are definitely things that I also notice in other people and I find myself deducting points from them for doing some of these things. And if I’m not likeable, I doubt I can accomplish big things in life.

I’m also reading “The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman. I started reading this a month ago. I’m usually a quick reader but I’m not even halfway done. It’s hard to do so many things at once.  But so far, it’s been a great read and I’m learning a lot about design. I introduced two new pages on this blog, CONTRIBUTORS where I credit my friends who help make this blog possible and CALENDAR for all the events and workshops I plan to attend. I hope to see you at these events. If you read anything great recently, make sure to let me know!




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