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Hello All-

This week we start first by taking a quick look at social engineering and the devices that carry us. Next our focus shifts to several UX practices, resources, and tools. We close out with a great tech video on the state of batteries hosted by David Pogue, a profile of programmer turned writer and director Mike Judge, and finally a pictorial of the amazingly designed Narita International Airport Terminal (subtitles not provided).

Have a great week end.


1. What Is “Brain Hacking”? Tech Insiders On Why You Should Care
“Silicon Valley is engineering your phone, apps and social media to get you hooked, says a former Google product manager.”
“Have you ever wondered if all those people you see staring intently at their smartphones — nearly everywhere, and at all times — are addicted to them? According to a former Google product manager you are about to hear from, Silicon Valley is engineering your phone, apps and social media to get you hooked. He is one of the few tech insiders to publicly acknowledge that the companies responsible for programming your phones are working hard to get you and your family to feel the need to check in constantly. Some programmers call it “brain hacking” and the tech world would probably prefer you didn’t hear about it. But Tristan Harris openly questions the long-term consequences of it all and we think it’s worth putting down your phone to listen.”

2. OK, Google You’re Creeping Me Out: Advertising In The Age Of Voice Devices
“Burger King thinks they’re clever. They just launched a TV commercial that triggers Google Home to tell you what a Whopper is. BK gets points for creativity but they are wading into a new debate that is bigger than increasing sales of questionable burgers. The slow emergence of voice-enabled home devices brings with it new concerns over how we are advertised to. Let’s set the clock back 4 weeks.”

3. Want To Become A Great UX Practitioner? Use These Free Online Resources
“One of the key tenets of User Experience is to share knowledge and expertise with your peers. Throughout my career, “I have been fortunate enough to have crossed paths with many UX experts who are always willing to point me in the direction of great content. The ample amount of online resources available, so I recently went through the list and have compiled is the best free UX content out there.”

4. Rise Of The UX Writer
“There’s never been a greater need for copywriters. With the rise of voice user interfaces like Amazon’s Alexa, conversational UI and chat bots, AI and machine learning, and automated phone services, the whole industry is looking for ways to have better quality, more cost-effective dialogues with users.
These kind of information exchanges need skilled narrative and conversational designers — specialists in language and communication.”

5. Flat Design vs. Material Design: How Are They Different?
“Flat design, in many ways, is design stripped down to the basics. It removes any stylistic choices that give it the illusion of three-dimensionality, like drop shadows, gradients, and textures. It’s focused purely on the interplay of icons, typography, and color. It’s one of the first coherent styles purpose-built for digital media – one that takes advantage of the internet’s unique properties and its users’ needs with simple buttons geared toward efficient finding, straightforward color schemes made for fast identification of elements, and simple icons.”

6. Sharing An Atomic Design Library In Sketch And Beyond (with
“TL;DR Sharing and maintaining an Atomic Design system across Sketch files is close to impossible. fixes that. One key premise of atomic design is that a change in an atom propagates to molecules organisms templates and pages.”

7. Battery Of The Future – Solid State Lithium (From Kwan)
“A snip from PBS Nova channel “search for the perfect battery” with host David Pogue.”

8. Mike Judge, The Bard Of Suck
“From “Idiocracy” to “Silicon Valley ” the writer and director has established himself as America’s foremost chronicler of its own self-destructive tendencies.”

9. Narita International Airport Terminal 3
“Opened in 2015 exclusively for LCC (low-cost carriers). This collaboration led by NIKKEN SEKKEI, Ryohin Keikaku, and PARTY, took over three years to complete.”
“NIKKEN SEKKEI first approached PARTY with the wish “to create a new architecture with signage planning in mind at the initial stage of development.” Conventionally, signage planning starts after the completion of architectural design, which means spatial limitations. By considering the signage from the very beginning and aiming towards creating “an ideal airport experience for users,” we were able to reflect the overall concept in all details of the space. On the other hand, Terminal 3 being exclusively for LCC (low-cost carriers), the budget is half of that of usual terminals. Other limitations included the distance between Terminal 3 and the nearest terminal, Terminal 2, being 600 meters, and the walking distance between the terminal entrance to boarding gates being approximately 800 meters. Our task was to transform these obstacles into a refreshing experiences.”