01 July 17 -

Super8: Eight intriguing articles from June.

Are you ready to refresh your reading palette? I’ve spent the last month looking into the role of design—whether as technology, content, aesthetic, form or function—to bring you the ultimate mood-board of reading materials.

Feast your eyes and find insights into ‘fast design’, helpful feedback, tips for typography and advice from Einstein. No need for Lorem Ipsum, I’ve got you covered with the latest and greatest articles from around the web; it’s Super8 in June.

1. Here is Einstein’s advice to his son on how to accelerate learning.
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  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Jessica Stillman. 
  • Contributor: Daniel Banik.

In an industry that’s always on the move, keeping up to date can be daunting. This article by Jessica Stillman shares simple advice from Albert Einstein on how to streamline learning.

That is the way to learn the most, when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes.

It boils down to four simple words: do what you love. The idea is that passion, flow and humour are better aids to learning.

We can’t argue with that. It’s genius.

2. Designing for the appearance of speed.

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  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Bill Chung.
  • Contributor: Lucas Mounsey.

Does your design speak to speed? With Google claiming that half a second delay is enough to kill visitor satisfaction—performance and brand engagement are undeniably connected.

When page load time impacts how long someone stays on your website, speed isn’t as simple as the shortest distance from point A to point B.

Bill Chung walks us through techniques to give your site the appearance of loading quickly, even when it isn’t.

3. Escaping the inferno.

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  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by The New York Times.
  • Contributor: Steph Little.  

Experience the powerful visual storytelling of ‘Escaping the inferno’. We recommend you take this journey on your mobile—this article by The New York Times is designed for interaction.

The story of Britain’s deadliest fire is retold through architectural animations and compelling accounts from those within the Grenfell Tower.

Britain’s deadliest fire in more than a century raced from floor to floor, forcing residents to decide: Wait for rescuers or disobey orders and try to escape?

Interactive elements carry readers from the 4th floor of the tower, to the 20th. The copy is kept matter-of-fact, and the arresting combination of live video and quotes lets the story speak for itself.

4. 11 tips for ergonomic mobile interfaces.

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  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Neil Turner.  
  • Contributor: Emily Duckham.

Is your mobile interface designed with a person in mind? We don’t mean marketing segments or audiences, but physical human beings.

Ergonomics is the noble art of designing for the human body. It considers the diversity in how we use our devices—the human body is a complicated beast.

How do we use our thumbs? Where do we rest our eyes? Neil Turner shows us how ergonomic design draws on this knowledge to improve comfort and engagement.

5. How to give helpful product design feedback.

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  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Mike Davidson.
  • Contributor: Kurt Smith. 

Sometimes, giving feedback can be hard. And if you’re a designer, receiving actionable feedback can be even harder.

Follow Mike Davidson’s framework for finessing feedback—learn how to provide critiques that help improve and support your design team.

While we can’t avoid the barrage of hot takes from people who have never even heard of product design, we can absolutely commit ourselves to being as helpful as possible when we critique the work of our colleagues.

The guide outlines the different levels associated with providing observations, and why great feedback is both a gift and a responsibility.

6. The psychology principles every UI/UX designer needs to know.

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

Psychology plays a big role in how people perceive design. Exploring the Von Restorff Effect, Cognitive Load and Hick’s Law, this article by Thanasis Rigopoulos shares the principles that can harness psychology to your advantage.

If the names of these principles don’t ring a bell, their execution definitely will: applying them can help make design familiar and accessible.

Put these principles into practice—learn the importance of CTAs, design patterns and menu navigation in better UI and UX.

7. Rearchitecting Airbnb’s frontend.

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  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Adam Neary.  
  • Contributor: Jon Trumbull.

As one of the largest homestay sites in the world, Airbnb experiences 75 million searches a day. With a volume of visitors that dwarfs Australia’s entire population, optimising UI is essential.

Airbnb’s design refresh was crucial to maintaining and retaining the popularity to their site.

However, the change was more than aesthetic, with a rethink of the architecture of the site’s JavaScript codebase, and the challenges that followed:

We were in this project like Indiana Jones swapping the idol for a bag of sand, and immediately the temple starts collapsing, and we’re running from a boulder.

Adam Neary talks through the process of super-charging their frontend, and some of the key pillars in the new stack.

8. The perfect triangle of web typography.

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  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Matej Latin.  
  • Contributor: Vivi Chau. 

Test your type knowledge against the Equilateral Triangle theory. Developed by Matej Latin, this learning game helps you craft the perfect paragraph.

What seems like a simple game is easily thrown off kilter, as different design elements work against an even triangle.

An equilateral triangle is balanced—your typography should be too. Train your eyes to unify line height, font size and line width for visual harmony you can see.