Presenting another installment of a collection of most-highly-recommended articles and websites that shaped my thinking throughout the past few weeks on the topics that I’m most into right now: design, business, organizational culture, technology, food, creativity and personal growth, and culture [change] and society. (Note: I decided to try out a new format for the digest that includes a brief summary of each link, rather than just the article/post title as with previous digests. Readers, which format do you prefer and why?)
Matt Johnson of GoKart Labs calls for Minimum Lovable Products rather than Minimum Viable Products, because “users/consumers/etc. are humans, and humans don’t feel viable.”
You can add Facebook Product Design Director Julie Zhuo to the growing list of people in design who feel we should quit referring to people as “users.”
Guiseppe Getto, a UX design professor, calls for more academic-industry partnerships to better prepare students for real-world design work and meet the growing demand for UX design professionals.
According to Rob Walker, the “Golden Age of Design” has occurred four times in the past couple of decades, but it might actually finally be happening for real this time thanks to the convergence of technology, community and big business.
UX expert Jared Spool argues that the best companies are designing for the stories people will tell in his article “Promise, Vision, Scenario and User Stories.”
A case study in listening to customer preferences but making sure you think about the bigger picture: When Walmart customers said they wanted the stores to be less cluttered, Walmart cleared space and reduced the inventory by 15%. While customer satisfaction improved, sales decreased by $1.85 billion. Oops.
In the new photo economy, businesses are taking advantage of people’s love for taking pics and sharing them. This includes companies like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Dropbox, Pinterest, Airbnb, Snapchat, Instagram and Tumblr, which are all worth more than $1 billion each. What’s next on the horizon? Shoppable photos.
Management consultant Dave Gray, who is currently working on a book of organizational paradoxes, argues that “every organization is a bundle of contradictions and conflicts.”
Kimberley Dunwoody shares a framework for creating organizational change by instilling stronger user-centered values. It starts with convincing stakeholders that they are not the user.
Check out this video of MIT Anthropologist Natasha Schüll discussing her research on human-machine interaction, self-tracking and the visualization of personal data. She is also the author of the book Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas.
Microsoft Word is a genius invention that everyone uses and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but it bares little resemblance to how writing actually gets done.
While acknowledging that it could all be “random speculation,” in a new preliminary study, researchers observed that where people sit in a restaurant correlates with the kind of food they order and their body weight.
Food culture anthropologist David Beriss writes about the new Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans, LA, and ponders the criteria of what makes a food a cuisine.
Take a tour of the gigantic, secretive market where France’s top chefs buy their food.
Icelandic hotdogs are the best, and here’s why. (I can attest to this because I’ve been there and had them.)
Creativity & Personal Growth
In this powerful TED Talk, Brené Brown talks about shame and vulnerability not as weaknesses but as the potential for innovation, creativity and change.
Culture [Change] & Society
Brain Pickings posted this wonderful, worth-your-while video of Jane Goodall talking about the importance of empathy in achieving full human potential.
Human beings desire privacy, right? With all of the sharing we do, these days it can be hard to tell. The NYT‘s Kate Murphy discusses the benefits and detriments of social sharing and proposes that we think of personal information as a type of currency we spend on others.
The state of Alaska recently started providing election materials in two indigenous languages, Yupik and Qwich’in.
John Oliver asks, “How is Columbus Day still a thing?”
Anthony Taille tells a colorful story about life in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Swamps, which starts with him almost getting eaten by alligators and ends with a bar fight, with a bit of Cajun speaking, crabbing and reflecting on life in between.
Paul Farmer, anthropologist and director of Partners in Health, discusses the Ebola situation as a social phenomenon and result of healthcare inequality, and not just a natural occurrence.
Other Posts of Interest that Don’t Quite Fit into the Above Categories but that I Can’t Not Share
A Tumblr dedicated to the worst kind of cat.
There’s a new photo-book out about sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s wartime travels in Algeria.
Have you ever wondered what it means to dox someone? Find out at KnowYourMeme.
Some horrible human being wrote into Dear Prudie to complain about having to give candy to the poor black kids who trick-or-treat in her neighborhood.