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Hello All –

We start off this week’s long UXD Inspired Reads with a look at UX Practices and how these exercises are extremely helpful during any project, especially website redesigns. As we are in the midst of a redesign at FiightSafety, these exercises will help us isolate what our users need and expect from our website. Sketch + InVision are part of my daily process, but they are arguably approachable for many more folks. Much like the 3D Modeling app SketchUp, Sketch can help you draw up almost anything. Just don’t be confused by their names! Next is a great post from TechStars detailing some great new SAAS apps and how they can speed up processes for any company.

Over the last week, there has been quite a lot of focus and discussion on the internal memo from a now, ex-Googler. Another former employee and excellent writer Yonatan Zunger posted a great response about the true nature of engineering, collaboration, and empathy. One good thing to emerge from this event has been the attention on leveling the playing field. This Guardian post has it right when it reminds us that diversity and empathy are very valuable for a company to grow and succeed.

Two more great posts on augmenting reality. Luke Wroblewski’s posts are thought provoking as he examines how Augmented Reality could impact how we consume information and make decisions, while Apple’s forthcoming ARKit showcases just how we could use Augmented Reality tools to do some amazing tasks. These building blocks will certainly be part of our future.

Next up we look at the marketplace to see how The Financial Times is focusing on driving up engagement within their app. While they may have found a way to subvert paying Apple a cut of the subscription fees, their research is to be noted. Users want native apps because the experience they get will always be superior than a web app. Next we take a quick look at the at the advances in 4k Resolution on the AppleTV. This certainly helps us imagine how clean images and VR experiences may look.

Lastly we look at the market as Amazon is looking to get into ticket sales in the U.S., while Boeing has seen a very steady growth of its stock as it continues to evolve its products. Nike & the NBA have redesigned their uniforms, which focuses on adding an advertising patch. The design work and process are very intriguing, but branding may not be great to see. Meanwhile Apple works to shake up just how ads and cookies work within Safari.

Have a great weekend.


1. The Power Of Experience Mapping
“Somewhere in the depths of Netflix, there’s a team whose primary responsibility is to make sure the bits move quickly. As Netflix serves its customers by streaming video, they ensure that video data leaves the server in a prompt and efficient manner.”

2. UX Foundations: Making The Case For Usability Testing
“Why is usability testing important to you and your organization? For one, it empowers anybody in web or app development to find out just what their users need, and increases ROI by focusing design improvements on areas that have the biggest impact. In this short summary course, interaction design specialist Chris Nodder explains the what, why, who, and how of usability testing, and shows how to turn the benefits of usability testing into a convincing argument for performing it at your company.”

3. UX Research Methods: Card Sorting
Get an in-depth introduction to card sorting, a UX research technique that helps you understand how users categorize information. By using card sort results to inform your designs, you can create websites or products that are intuitive and easy to navigate. In this course, Amanda Stockwell helps you grasp the fundamentals of planning, executing, and analyzing a card sort. After providing an overview of this UX research technique and going into the different types of card sorting, Amanda shows how to prepare your content to ensure that you get the best card sort results. She also covers finding, selecting, and screening participants, running sessions, analyzing data, and sharing your results.

4. Sketch: Beyond The Basics
Advance your command of Sketch by going beyond the fundamentals. Renata Phillippi explains how to leverage the more advanced features in this popular application to work with greater efficiency, and tackle advanced projects such as designing for wearables and building game user interfaces. In this course, Renata helps you get organized in Sketch by explaining how to customize your toolbar and present your designs while still within the program. She also dives into game design, building animations, and using Boolean operations to combine and subtract from shapes to create custom shapes.

5. Round 2: The Core SaaS New Techstars Companies Should Consider
“In order to Do More Faster, we identified what we call internally our Core SaaS tools to optimize and reduce time on setting up meetings, calendars, mail, expenses, and task management. Primarily for the purposes of a startup on fundraising, sales, and product development. (This is called an ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning, by large businesses).”

6. So, About This Googler’s Manifesto.
“Essentially, engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers. If someone told you that engineering was a field where you could get away with not dealing with people or feelings, then I’m very sorry to tell you that you have been lied to. Solitary work is something that only happens at the most junior levels, and even then it’s only possible because someone senior to you — most likely your manager — has been putting in long hours to build up the social structures in your group that let you focus on code.”

7. Computing Needs To Welcome Women Back Into The Industry
“While the author of the controversial memo at Google might think that measures to increase diversity are tantamount to discrimination, the fact is that a great diversity strategy isn’t about advancing one group at the expense of another. It’s about levelling the playing field, so that individuals, organisations and the economy benefit from the diversity of thoughts, ideas and ways of working afforded by people of different backgrounds, identities and circumstances.”

8. What Would Augment Reality?
“UI ideas from a variety of folks. Thanks and keep ’em coming.”

9. Latest ARKit Demo Showcases Virtual Drawing
“When it launches this fall, ARKit is positioned to become the largest AR Platform in the world, using the camera, processors, and motion sensors in the iPhone and iPad to create some incredibly impressive augmented reality interactions. As outlined in our video covering ARKit, the feature uses technology called Visual Inertial Odometry to track the world around an iPad or iPhone, allowing a device to sense how it moves in a room. ARKit automatically analyzes a room’s layout, detecting horizontal planes like tables and floors, which then allows virtual objects to be placed upon those surfaces.”

10. Six Years Later, The Financial Times Is Back In The App Store. (Apple Still Won’t Get A Cut Of Subscriptions.)
“”We identified an iOS app as a key way to drive engagement,” Fallon told me. “We saw that readers who used our existing apps were much more engaged than those who didn’t. We also saw that we had a much higher app adoption rate on Android, where we had a native app, than on iOS.” (Engagement became a bigger part of the discussion in 2015, when the FT created an audience engagement team.) He also mentioned other benefits of an iOS app over a web app: Improved offline reading, persistent login, easier sharing, and — ultimately — push notifications and automatic update downloads, things that readers have been asking for but that weren’t possible with the web app.”

11. Apple TV tvOS Simulator Shown Running In 4K Resolution
“tvOS is officially made to run in the standard 1920×1080 HD resolution, but what Troughton-Smith’s hack shows is that the Apple TV operating system is perfectly suited to running at double the pixel density (3840×2160), commonly referred to as 4K resolution, thanks to user interface assets like text and icons that are made to scale cleanly given the same aspect ratio.”

12. Amazon In Talks To Offer Event Ticketing In U.S.
“ is seeking to partner with U.S. venue owners to sell event tickets, four sources have told Reuters, a move that could loosen Ticketmaster’s powerful grip on the lucrative ticketing business. If Amazon moves ahead, it would represent the latest attempt by the world’s largest online retailer to use its massive customer base, tech savvy and bargaining power to shake up a big market.”

13. As Boeing Goes, So Goes The Stock Market
“While investors have been piling into high-tech growth stocks, the giant commercial aircraft manufacturer and defense contractor has quietly emerged as the best-performing stock in the Dow. This week its shares rose above $240, and even after falling back with the broader market on Thursday, they’ve gained 50 percent this year.”

14. Nike’s New NBA Looks Keep On Coming
“Starting this season, all teams are permitted but not required to wear a corporate advertising patch. So far 12 of the league’s 30 teams have revealed plans to go ahead with a patch (including one, the Bucks, who announced their patch partnership with Harley-Davidson on Thursday), though others could follow before the start of the season or even after the season has begun.”

15. Apple’s Upcoming Safari Changes Will Shake Up Ad Tech
“In September, Apple will release new changes to Safari with iOS 11 called “Intelligent Tracking Prevention.” These changes will have large effects on the ad tech industry and create new winners and losers. In short, the iOS 11 changes will really help the big guys, are neutral to the small guys and significantly hurt the mid-size guys.”