Great internet stuff: the not-so-weekly digest (#10)

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Presenting another collection of most-highly-recommended articles, websites and ideas that shaped my thinking throughout the past few weeks. This week’s topics include design and user experience, research, user experience industry, labor, organizational culture, technology,  and culture and society.

Design and User Experience

Addressing executive swoop-ins | Julie Zhuo, Facebook

“How can I address direction from upper management that I suspect will harm or even derail the product? i.e. What is the most effective way to push back on an executive order that I or the team feel is detrimental to the product?”

A unified theory for designing just about anything | Christina Wodtke

“I came up with a theory for designing stuff I call CAMP…Context, Architecture, Mechanics, Poetics”

Why you should ‘read’ a product like a book | Emmet Connolly, Intercom

“Rather than passively consuming the words on a page, or merely figuring out how to use an app, a deeper level of reading exists. You might consider it the difference between reading and reading into something: consciously engaging and questioning and asking “why?”.”

Yielding Powerful Insights Through Relationship Mapping | Priyama Barua and Kim Dowd, UX Planet

“Sometimes research seeks answers to delicate questions, and participants may sometimes be reluctant to open up or unable to articulate their views. By using relationship mapping, you will capture additional layers of information (e.g. channels used to communicate) and enable honest disclosure on complex topics.

UX Industry

My Wish for 2014: Let’s Open Our Doors to Future UX Practitioners | Jessica Ivins

“While it’s a great time to be in UX, there aren’t enough experienced UX designers to fill the demand. And while hiring managers clamor to find experienced UX designers, there are eager, smart, and talented people without experience who want to become UX designers. The problem is that no one wants to train these would-be designers.”

You don’t need to know everything about UX | Fabricio Teixeira

“How am I supposed to learn about each one of these tangent disciplines (tech, metrics, strategy, copywriting, branding), while still performing the tasks that are expected from me as part of my UX duties (interaction design, information architecture, usability testing, etc.)?”

Labor

Amazon Warehouse Employees Are the Most Important Workers in Society | Hamilton Nolan, Splinter

“They are the prototypical job of the near future. And how good that job is will represent how well the coming American economy is able to solve its current problems: Low, stagnant wages, lack of job stability, and rampant inequality.”

Organizational Culture

It’s Safe to Say, I Don’t Know | Jared Spool

“Admitting that we don’t know everything is what fuels our curiosity. Admitting it to ourselves is much easier than admitting to another person, or an entire team, especially when we’ve been designated the expert.”

How We Changed the Facebook Friends Icon | Caitlin Winner, Facebook

“As a result of this project, I’m on high alert for symbolism. I try to question all icons, especially those that feel the most familiar. For example, is the briefcase the best symbol for ‘work’? Which population carried briefcases and in which era? What are other ways that ‘work’ could be symbolized and what would those icons evoke for the majority of people on Earth?”

Technology

Bodega Isn’t Just Bad Branding, It’s Bad Business | Helen Rosner, Eater

“Bodega is already audacious: It is rash and thoughtless. It’s ethically and culturally bankrupt, but it also seems to be poorly constructed and unsustainably scaled. So it’ll be the other kind of bankrupt, too.”

Apple’s Use of Face Recognition in the New iPhone: Implications | Jay Stanley, ACLU

“I don’t think people will have much trouble differentiating between empowering and disempowering uses of the technology, and I expect each use of face recognition technology will proceed according to its own cost/benefit logic; just because it may prove to make sense and be accepted to unlock phones does not mean it will make sense and be accepted on street cameras.”

Equifax’s Maddening Unaccountability | Zeynep Tufecki, New York Times

“I don’t doubt that companies regret these things, but I don’t think they care that much either. To them it means just a few days of bad press and at most a fine that amounts to a minuscule portion of their profits. With penalties like that, why would companies bother to make things better?”

Culture and Society

Why We Say Latinx: Trans & Gender Non-Conforming People Explain  | Raquel Reichard, Latina

“Latinx, pronounced “La-teen-ex,” includes the numerous people of Latin American descent whose gender identities fluctuate along different points of the spectrum, from agender or nonbinary to gender non-conforming, genderqueer and genderfluid.”

Other Great Stuff

13 side-by-side portraits of people over 100 with their younger selves | Jan Langer

“Czech photographer Jan Langer’s portrait series “Faces of Century” shows them in a different light: as human beings aged by years of experience, but at their deepest level, unchanged by the passing of time.”

Photo: “Sleep” by Amy Santee

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