30 June 20 -

Super8: Eight intriguing articles from June.

While in lockdown, the streets have been deserted. Cities ghost towns. Offices empty. In contrast, it seems that everyone who once took a casual interest in content creation has taken to blogging, casting, sharing and zooming with gusto. The digital landscape could now be likened to an overcrowded beach.

So how do we navigate through the crowds? Find the gems of information without drowning in an ocean of articles? Well here are our suggestions – the August flag to follow to our favourite content. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

1.  Five reasons why law students and lawyers should consider learning to code.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Article by: Adam Kristof Hackländer.
  • Contributed by: Sarah El-Atm.

It has always been advantageous for lawyers to learn another language. Spanish, French or, for the really adventurous, Arabic or Mandarin Chinese were the common choices.

However, the growing demand for technology within the legal sector means lawyers need a greater understanding of how programming languages work. Terms such as blockchain, AI, deep learning, structured data, or natural language processing are entering the popular vocabulary.

There has been a lot of debate regarding the introduction of coding and computer science to the legal field, this article demonstrates five reasons why lawyers and law students can benefit from learning the new coding languages.

2.  Why copywriting is more important than you think.

When D&AD announced they were dropping some of their prestigious writing categories, shockwaves went through the copywriter community. Protestors picked up their pens (of course).

Creative director Jack Davey took to Twitter to show what some famous adverts would look like without the words. Spoiler: it’s not good. But before you join the tapping typewriter brigade, D&AD has since clarified, it isn’t ‘dropping’ writing at all, but replacing its previous two categories with 14 sub categories relating to words.

With so many varied copy based awards up for grabs, Brand Impact Awards’ specialist copywriting panel share how you can best use words to shape a brand – and maybe pick up a pencil or 14 along the way.

3.  Alphabetical order has been around for 800 years. But is it on the way out?

Have you ever stopped to wonder where alphabetical order came from? Or more specifically, its structure and organisation? Everything from dictionaries and library shelves to the spice selection at the supermarket are aligned from A-Z.

While the alphabet as we know it started more than 3,000 years ago in Egypt’s Western Desert, the order remained a source of controversy for many years, with a series of scholars and churchmen in constant disagreement.

So was the invention of the Alphabet a welcome democratising of access to information, or a narrow minded white-male bias filter for knowledge architecture?

You decide…

4.  How to speed up you article writing using ‘accidental research’.

The biggest barrier to article writing is, undoubtedly, the research needed – or rather the time taken to complete said research.

I am always interested to discover new methods to improve the process and this article shares some real insight. It doesn’t really tell us anything we don’t already know, however it does highlight something we constantly seem to forget.

The fact that switching the process around allowing the article to form from ‘discovered’ and then retained information is not only quicker, but can make for a clearer, more insightful piece.

5.  Efficiency won’t keep your business alive.

There are often conversations in the August office around efficiency versus value, and I thought this mid-pandemic perspective was interesting.

It takes a view across industries, looking at how companies have long aspired to stay lean to keep profits high.

The focus is more retail and FMCG than services, but much of it is transferrable. Concluding that despecialisation, decentralisation, improvisation and demassification are four of the biggest de-efficiency shifts, it investigates how companies reevaluate their strategies in the wake of the pandemic.

6.  Why you should design for a tiny ruined phone.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Article by: Patrick Robert Doyle.
  • Contributed by: Claire Grainger.

It’s natural, in the world of design, to love shiny things. New designs, the latest advancements, bigger and bolder.

But, while these UIs look sublime on the latest devices, these giant, pristinely preserved, edge-to-edge screens make up only 20% of the traffic that finds your website.

Accessibility is something almost every UX/UI designer says they care about, yet few have read the WCAG 2.0 let alone carving out the time to test their colour contrasts or navigate with a keyboard.

While this focuses on the mobile screen, it encapsulates a philosophy that we all embrace in all areas of August work. Only go as fast as the slowest person. It’s unbelievably important to remember this – especially when it comes to UX.

7.  Facebook groups are destroying America.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Article by: Nina Jankowicz and Cindy Otis.
  • Contributed by: Daniel Banik.

Mark Zuckerberg shifted Facebook’s focus to groups after the 2016 election, and it has changed how people use the site. “There is a real opportunity to connect more of us with groups that will be meaningful social infrastructure in our lives,” Zuckerberg wrote at the time.

“If we can improve our suggestions and help connect one billion people with meaningful communities, that can strengthen our social fabric.”

However, if this article is anything to go by, this change had the opposite result and has laid bare how vulnerable the United States is to disinformation.

Less than five months away from the 2020 presidential election, Americans by the thousands are buying into conspiracy theories about vaccines containing microchips and wondering about the healing powers of hair dryers.

8.  The pandemic is propelling a new wave of automation.

Last month, consultants at Forrester predicted that disruptions due to COVID-19 will accelerate office automation. According to Will Knight, the process has already begun.

He shares how many companies are using their time of shutdown to look into operational efficiencies. The shift toward remote work provides the perfect opportunity to rethink operations and look at automating tasks.

This is not restricted to companies that need to streamline to survive. It seems organisations who are benefitting from the crisis are also increasing

automation—and while it saves work, it could cost jobs.