31 August 17 -

Super8: Eight intriguing articles from August.

This August, we’re looking forward to the future. As digital moves in leaps and bounds, it’s time to consider the tech that’s just beyond the horizon. I’m talking AI, VR and Voice in a whole new era of machines.

I’ve curated eight articles to prepare you for a brand-new world. From crafting voice interfaces, to visualising work processes, Super8 August is here to get you ready for launch.

1. Robots and humans can coexist. There is no ‘jobless future’ after all.


  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by John Brandon.  
  • Contributor: Vivi Chau. 

From Amazon’s bot-run warehouse, to travel itineraries crafted by chatbots—we’re inching towards a workforce of both man and machine. This article by John Brandon explores how we can coexist with our new colleagues.

We know sci-fi bots are all about machine guns and bad acting. The real fear is about handing over the keys (literally and figuratively) to bots. We fear what we don’t understand or don’t see. Bots act human; therefore, we think they will replace us.

He argues that greater adoption of AI will lead to more jobs, not less. While we may lose specific jobs to the bots, knowledge-based roles will boom as we’re freed up to undertake the careers we enjoy.

2. Why conversational UI? Why now?


  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Thoughtworks. 
  • Contributor: Rowan Barnes.  

This article from Thoughtworks shares how the mobile era has shifted our society from always on, to always on demand. We expect answers with immediacy. It’s why more companies are considering automated messaging, or Conversational UI—allowing customers to interact with a company bot.

Conversational UI is about to get big, so here’s how you can leverage it for your brand. It’s about starting small, and moving fast.

3. Bringing product concepts to reality: scale or fail.


  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Dave Wendland.  
  • Contributor: Rowan Barnes.  

Launching something new isn’t as simple as it used to be. There might be more platforms to push ideas out there, but getting valuable attention has become tough. Follow Dave Wendland’s tips to bring your product concept into a digital world.

Taking the necessary time to plan how to deploy your product can make or break a full-scale launch.

Whether you’re following a clear test-and-learn process, or going off the beaten track: keep innovating. New products, services and brands remain the lifeblood of our industry—so don’t be afraid to make a splash.

4. How to craft a voice user interface that won’t leave you frustrated.


  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Cathy Pearl.  
  • Contributor: Lucas Mounsey.

In this short video tutorial, Cathy Pearl separates hype from reality. The realm of Conversational UI/AI can be ambiguous, and clarity is key. Follow Cathy’s design principles to craft natural voice interfaces that are truly conversational.

The clip outlines actionable tips for designing VUIs: including how to deal with speech recognition failures, and prototyping advice. Start off by removing uncertainty of meaning, and learn how to keep it simple.

5. A teenage girl invented an AI-based app that can diagnose eye disease.


  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Signe Dean.  
  • Contributor: Isabel Silvis.

We’ve heard of purpose-driven tech, here’s a teenager that’s applied it to AI. In this article by Signe Dean, she showcases the work of 16-year-old Kavya Kopparapu, and her AI-based app that can diagnose eye disease.

This app is an awesome example of applying innovation to solve complex issues: India has thousands of people suffering from diabetic retinopathy (DR), but only so many ophthalmologists to diagnose them.

With an artificially intelligent program, and a simple 3D-printed attachment, Kavya bridges the gap.

6. 11 ways to visualise product development work.


  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by John Cutler.
  • Contributor: David Baddock.  

Whether you’re a project manager or part of delivery, it can be difficult to balance the bigger picture and everyday minutia. Understanding context is important, and it can change the way work is scheduled, designed and executed.

Whenever you’re thinking high level, someone will bring you down to earth and ask you to get into the weeds. Whenever you’re in the weeds, someone will complain that you’re not being high level enough. It’s the burden we bear.

John Cutler outlines some simple tools to manage your product or service. Consider using roadmaps, timelines, epic boards, and visual checklists to add clarity to your next project.

7. Another Lens: a research tool for conscientious creatives.


  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Airbnb.
  • Contributor: John Broadfoot.

Airbnb prefaces their research tool with a question: how can you design for everyone without understanding the full picture? Asking the right questions prompts us to look at things in a different light. It’s especially important to question and test our biases.

The design research team at Airbnb are challenging designers and creatives to examine their viewpoints. This series of questions, intended to shake up how you think, can help you balance biases, consider the opposite, and embrace a growth mindset.

8. The voice playbook: building a marketing plan for the next era in computing.


  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Simon Penson.
  • Contributor: JD Santiago.  

While focused on Voice, this guide by Simon Penson is useful for digital marketers adapting to new channels. Voice is not just an add-on, but a way to interact with a whole new interface. Simon takes us on a quick journey to understand where the data on this new tech comes from, and how you can gain the upper hand.

This article serves a dual purpose: it’s a practical guide to the realities of preparing for voice right now, but equally it’s a rallying call to ensure our industry has a full understanding of just how big, disruptive, and transformational it will be—and that, as a result, we need to stand ready.

Learn about the big players in Voice, as well as the tactics and skill sets you might need for this new platform.