Weekly Top 5 #43 – Tetris, Stickers and 2016 Predictions

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One Article
Tetris vs Chess

“In life, no one tells you when you’ve won.” I absolutely love this article, the author talked about how most people is approaching life like a game of chess, seeing enemies where there aren’t any, instead he suggest it’s actually a bit more like Tetris.

One Shock
The dangers of stickers chart

Were you ever given stickers as rewards when you did something good as a kid? I was, it turns out, that might not be the best idea! It’s training kids to look for extrinsic rewards instead of natural internal ones. It becomes “What would I get if I’m nice to my little brother” instead of truly wanting to be a nice person.

One Report
Tech Trend Predictions 2016

From one of my favourite studio Frog Design, a list of 15 space to watch out for in the tech industry for 2016. I don’t agree with all of them, but it’s certainly worth understanding why they made these predictions.

One Experiment
An Artificial Intelligence poster ad

What does the most eye catching ad looks like? Using the “Darwinian approach to advertising” an algorithm was used to design hundreds of variation for the same product, testing what imagery / layout / copy attract the most eye balls and “evolve” into the ultimate ad, fascinating stuff.

One Video
Busy vs Productive

[Facebook Video] A quick video of something I have to regularly ask myself, am I being Busy or am I being Productive. We have limited energy, that’s why it’s important for us to concentrate on the right tasks.
 

Final Words

Hi everyone,
It has been a pretty good week here in London. I’m still working on what exactly I’m hoping to create for myself in the next 2, 5 & 10 years, I’ve been watching and learning from those who inspires me, there is much to learn. However, it had a negative affect on me – I forgot to be confident and speak my own mind.
I was so tuned in as a student and observer, I forgot I too am smart in my own way and I too have a voice (it’s also why i started this newsletter). I need to carry on listening but also need to be a bit more outspoken to train up my thinking and communication muscles.
This week
[The Good] I’ve noticed I’m getting better at catching my own negative emotions. Now the hard part, learn how to deal with them.
[The Bad] Dealing with umbrella companies as a contractor. I just want to be paid… why is it so hard?

Weekly top 5 #42 – The right adventure, language and Scissors

Someone I really respected asked what I was hoping to create for myself professionally? Where do I want to be in 3, 5 or 10 years time? The frightening thing was, I didn’t have an answer… and I still don’t, but it is something I have been working on and it’s slowly taking shape.
Have you thought about what your future look like?
 


 

One Article
The Psychology of Language

Not a new new article but very much worth paying attention to. Have you heard how “it’s 55% body language and only 7% what you say?” That’s a myth. You might also want to remove “is” from your everyday speeches, check out the article for WHY.

One Product
Right Angle Scissors

Whoever thinks there are no more opportunities for being innovative need to check these scissors out. Designed by ReExcite these scissors with a slight twist can make a huge difference, specially for those with visual or motor control impairments. What everyday object can you innovate on?

One Adventure
Make sure it’s the right one

For me, this is a slap-in-the-face wake up call. Life is an adventure and you need to be take responsibility in making sure it’s the right one for you. We can’t all be successful chocolateteers, but please don’t go around chasing something you don’t even want.

One Skateboard
that I really need in my life

It’s a real shame we are so far away from Christmas, because this is definitely on my list. The attention and craftsmanship that has gone into designing the user experience for the Boosted Boards only makes me want one even more, only 10 months of pretending to be good to go…

One Website
For DIYers

Another amazing example for creating innovative products that makes perfect sense. Partpic’s pitch is incredibly simple If you need to order an replacement part, simply take a photo of it and it’ll tell you where to get it from!


 

Progress

[Good] I am so blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people, I honestly have no idea what I have done to deserve these wonderful friends and opportunities.
[Bad] Nothing, not a single thing.

Weekly top 5 #41 – Fighting, User Psychology & Water

Happy year of the Monkey everyone,
Hope everyone had a good week, the past week has been very positive, my contract role has been going well, I’m really enjoying working on my current projects, the role is rather suited to my abilities and what I don’t know I’ve been given space to learn. The people are pretty cool too. I’m a happy chap.


One Argument
U
X Designers need to be fighters

This article perfectly demonstrates both why UX designers are necessary and also why it’s not a simple job. It also offers some very helpful insights into how to argue (fight) for what’s best for the customer without pissing everyone off.

One Study
Data Mining Reddit

Reddit might not be for everyone, but you should at least know how powerful it can be. What gets upvoted to it’s front page has a really really good chance to gain traction in mainstream media a short time later. Here’s a fascinating piece on what works by analysising over 4 million data points on the reddit homepage. It’s a bit long, but there’s some nice graph to make it easy to scan/read.

One Slide Deck
Designing Habit forming Products

From Nir Eyal author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products a fascinating slide Deck on what makes addictive products, why are we so obessed with our smartphones and social media? Really looking forward to reading his full book.

 

One Article
Semantic Animations

Animations we see in websites and apps are supposed to be metaphors for what we know and best understand from the real world. That’s why designers need to think carefully how everything fits together. It should not be a series of cute animations, but one consistent language.

One Video
Commencement Speech by David Foster Wallace

“This Is Water” speech by author David Foster Wallace offer a very intelligent and at point humorous comparison on Water, Life and Humanity. Deserve re-watching to better understand his points.


 

Progress

[Good] Relationships, with my wife, my family, friends and even colleagues. All are making me very happy and grateful
[Bad] It’s not a big issue, but it’s still bloody cold

Weekly top 5 #40 – Rules, Hospitals and Habits

Hello,
How’s it going? So my new journey has officially began last Monday as I start my first contract role in UK at an consultant agency. The role is a bit more UI and a bit less UX then I imagined but it’s still pretty darn cool.

One Trick
Shorthand for UI flow

From the folks at BaseCamp, an awesomely simple way to draw out UI flow for your web application for early stage products, absolutely zero drawing skills needed.

One Rule
For Developers 

“Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.” ~ John Woods
(I’m so guilty of writing bad ugly hacky code…)

One Video
Design is in the details

IDEO’s Paul Bennett famous TED talk on designing for the user. With examples of how they helped design empathetically for a slightly better experience for patient in the hospital. It’s about designing “From the person out” instead of “Organisation inwards”

One Change
Respecting Woman

Leila Janah tells it beautifully “Men: if you want to help women achieve gender parity in all aspects of life, which is one of the greatest struggles of our time, you can do something. Introduce the women in your life as full human beings with interesting stories, talents, and ambitions, rather than accessories. 

One Site
UX Timeline

A fascinating site showing how different tech companies’ website has evolved over the years, the link about shows how Spotify went from a very boring eyes melting HTML site, to a stylish yet functional product.

Progress

[Good] I’m rather enjoying the company I’m working with at the moment. The challenges are interesting, the people are super nice and I’m loving the area (Oxford Circus)
[Bad] Waking up at 7:30am in the morning to the freezing cold

Weekly top 5 #39 The Akrasia Effect, Awkwardness and Broadband!

Hello!
It’s been just over 2 weeks since we arrived in UK, we finally have a place to live for the next 6 months (it even has heating and broadband now!!!). My task this week is now 100% on finding a UX design gig in London.


 

One Article:
The Akrasia Effect

“Our brains prefers instant rewards to long-term payoffs. It’s simply a consequence of how our minds work.” So it’s actually natural for us to procrastinate and struggle to finish what we started. One of my favourite writer James Clear discuss several strategies we could use to battle our nature.

One thing
About bad Awkward UIs

Awkward UIs are when is design confuses the user, it’s when a website is loading but there’s no indication something is happening, it’s when you see Window XP’s infamous Blue Screen of Death. Designers need to bear in mind any given screen could have as many as 5 different states (Ideal State, Empty State, Error State, Partial State and Loading State)

One Introduction
On Typography for non-designers

“Web Design is 95% Typography” Ever wondered why you can read comfortable on some websites (or printed doc) while overs are just plain annoying? Check out these simple rules for great typography

One Path into Coding
CodeInGames

Code in games as well as other sites on this Coding Product Hunt collection shows you so many ways you can get started to learn to code, often free too. I would personally recommend start with HTML and CSS, then learn JS or Python.

One Channel
The RSA

The RSA is a fantastic non-profit organisation that makes fantastic short videos showcasing innovative ideas from all over the world in simple to understand formats. I would recommend start to Dan Pink’s Persuasion video.


 

Progress

[Good] We have our own place in London, now it even has broadband! oh how I’ve missed good internet connection (giffgaff isn’t particularly reliable)
[Good] We have Netflix! (Hopefully, this remains a good thing by next week)
[Bad] Having to relearn some ancient software because that’s what the market demands in UK.

Weekly top 5 #38 – UK, Bootstart and Relationships

Hello from UK!
I am finally back in freezing cold UK and my word it is still beautiful. We’ve been back 10 days now and are slowly settling back in, finding a place to live in London proofs to be rather difficult when I don’t yet have a job.


 

One thing about time:
Managing Your time

One Googler talks how we should manage our time. Set time aside to create, protect that time and respect other people’s time to create.

One Manifesto
The BOOTSTART Manifesto

Quick 16 points all entrepreneurs should pay attention to approaching entrepreneurship right, such as  “9. Love the Problem, Not Your Solution – Having more passion for your solution than your customer’s problem, is a problem.”

One Study
Myths and Realities about Milennials

Myths for Millennials (Roughly defined as those born in 1980—2000s) are thought as Digital Natives, designers expects them to be experts in technology, but what they don’t realise is how error prone they may be.

One Insight
On Relationships and Love

What makes some couples so perfect while others turn into a disaster? Do you know the difference between Passive Destructive, Passive Constructive, Active Destructive and Active Constructive in relationships

One Video
Grow More Brain Cells

It’s not actually that hard to improve your cognitive abilities, Here’s 3 ways to actually grow your number of brain cells: learn more, sex and exercise.
 

Progress

[Good] New start, new challenge 🙂
[Bad] Settling back into London requires so much more effort than I imagined
[Bad] Its bloody cold in UK, I don’t remember not being able to feel my toes…
uk

Weekly top 5 #37 – My Birthday, Toy Story and Good Memory

One Podcast:
Speaking with memory expert Jim Kwik

Fitness expert speaks with memory master about unlocking the superpowers of speed reading and memory enhancement.

One Shocking Article
Dark side of Toy Story

I’m pretty sure majority of us did not consider Toy Story this way: If the message of most Hollywood entertainment is, “You can be anything you dream of being,” the message of Toy Story is, “No, you can’t.”…A very strange but accurate read

One thing about you
Stress is stressful

A recent Stanford studies shows “Feeling overwhelmed and stressed are two different thing, it’s about how you handle and perceive that stress that can allow you to gain or feel worse.”

One Journal
5 Minute Journal to be Happier

I really like the idea of writing an appreciation journal on a daily basis, I don’t want to go through life rushing by not seeing the beauty that surrounds us, this seems to be a fantastic idea.

One Product
For MacBook/MacBook Pro users

Fancy extra mobile screens with your MacBook? Check out these slightly expensive bracket and monitors

Progress

[Good] Been exercising a little more and rather enjoying it, even tried crossfit 🙂
[Good] It’s my birthday
[Bad] It’s my birthday
[Bad] Just 2 weeks till the big move, rather nervous about how little time there is left.

Weekly top 5 #36, Posters, Awkward Gadgets and Calendar

One App for Mac:
Itsycal – Mini Calendar

If you work on a Mac and like me often need access to a calendar then this free and speedy app is perfect for you. It can even link up with your iCal

One Article for 2016
UX Trends to come

A fascinating and insightful read on the shape of things to come in UX for the next year. Highly recommended for anyone working in tech.

One (finished) Kickstarter campaign
LEVIT8, Portable standing desk

This is one sexy looking product for your very own portable standing desks. Sorry I’ve sent this out way too late and it’s not finished, I’m sure you can get it from their website soon

One Research
How We Hold Our Gadgets

A great piece into how our gadgets are designed and how awkward some interactions can be, specially for those silly phablets.

One Good Laugh
Posters for Designers

If you are a designer, you would understand. some might make you want to cry… like I did
 

Progress

[Good] Currently having a break before start of a new journey
[Good] Finally updated my portfolio on my site www.shapes.io
[Bad] Sleeping really badly, waking up at 5am in the morning not being able to sleep is no good for one’s health

Change is normal, stop using bad tools

I was speaking with a friend recently, he works in the UX scene in London and has worked with every type of organisations from tiny hip startups to international corporate banks. I wanted to get more insight into what I should focus to get ready for the UK scene.
I was happy to hear worlds like customer validation and agile, but what I was not so happy to hear was tools like Omnigraffle and Axure. Both prototyping tools which I’ve tested and didn’t like, they felt old and clunky, no where as slick as Sketch and Invision not to mention their no-so-cheap price bracket of $99+ and $289+ respectively.
I don’t mind learning a new tool for the better, but this feels like a backward step for me.  I used to be a big fan of photoshop for mock ups, I resisted the shift to Sketch for quite some time. I was so happy with all my photoshop shortcuts and workflow I just didn’t want to change. However, I know Sketch is BETTER, therefore I should learn it and I did… In fact, I rather enjoy Sketch now. 
The problem is, the banks and large corporations in UK doesn’t seem to be so keen on that idea for change, I understand there is a cost involved to change for large establishments, he cost of software (hardware?) and the training that might be involved, but it’s just such a shame to slow down progress.
So my dilemma now is, should I really try to learn everything and be a jack-of-all-trade at an okay level, so I can work anywhere using whatever tool they prefer or should I get really good at one or two tools and only work with certain companies?
There is simply too much to learn to be good at everything. Any suggestions?

Tips for debugging Android Apps with Cordova

I’ve been working with PhoneGap/Cordova and Meteor JS lately to develop an e-commerce site/app hybrid. Here are some tips I’ve discovered about testing on Android

  1. You need as many variation of Android devices as possible. Right now looking at the current market, I would recommend at least one of each for Android 4, 5 and 6 (Ice Cream sandwich, Jelly Bean and Kit Kat) Tablets are fine, but best to use actual phones to check out for screen size issues (specially when it comes to scrolling)
  2. Check if the phone is plugged in on both side by checking if it is charging
  3. Command for loading Meteor JS + Cordova app on Android devices is:
    $ Meteor run android-device
  4. Don’t forget to connect to database before running Meteor (MONGO_URL=mongodb://yourdb.com:2222) or include settings (–settings settings.json)
  5. Even if you have no use for it, you should still install Android File Transfer on your computer, it will instantly tell you if your device is plugged in and if the cable is still functioning correctly!
  6. Bear in mind, there is no chrome device inspector for devices running Android 4 “Ice Cream sandwich” or lower. For CSS issues, making a lot of colourful borders to help you see what’s going on.