29 March 18 -

Super8: Eight intriguing articles from March.

We may have survived March madness—but there’s still plenty going on in the world. Whether it’s a tough workload, a personal goal, or deciding what you’re having for dinner, it’s easy to get sidelined with whatever’s immediately in front of us. That’s why this month’s Super8 is all about expanding our horizons.

This March, I’m sharing eight eclectic articles to get you thinking bigger, broader and beyond. From learning how to convey complex ideas, to applying Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling, and staying active in the workplace—we’ve got something for everyone to enjoy. It’s Super8 in March!

1. Amazon wants inside your wallet.

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

What if you could buy the latest gadget off Amazon without needing to transfer money? Amazon is expanding their service by offering customers a new way to bank. You’ll be able to deposit part of your paycheck into an Amazon account and buy direct from the company—cutting out the middleman.

While convenient, this venture comes with a few questions: namely, what about customers’ privacy? How will data be secured? This short article starts to flag these issues as points to consider in a not-so-distant future.

One tip to expand your own Fintech knowledge. Vivi shared this article from Finimize. If you haven’t already subscribed to their daily newsletter, do it. You’ll learn about what’s new in the financial technology space in an easy to read, quick to digest format.

2. The microcopyist: cancellation, confirmation, conflagration.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Jason Fox. 
  • Contributor: Elliott Grigg.

Pause for a moment and think about the dialogue box that appears on your screen when you’re about to exit something. Maybe it’s a file, a recording, a save, or an online purchase. Jason Fox takes us on a fascinating journey about writing for destructive actions.

One of the marvelous things about UX writing is that you’ll inevitably write yourself into some torturous and impossible-to-fathom linguistic corners.

If you’re not one to take note of microcopy—Jason’s article highlights salient points for copywriters honing their craft, and teaches us the big purpose behind little words.

3. Honda shifts its media buying to pay only for in-store visits.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Daniel Marks.
  • Contributor: Mark Davis.

Honda has been running a mobile ad campaign in the UK designed to boost showroom visits, with a twist: they are only paying for the ads that drive people into showrooms within 14 days of viewing the message.

Does that have you wondering how? Me too. The article outlines a combination of location measurement, geo-targeting, audience analysis, and buyer psychology to provide an extremely targeted advertising experience to prospective car buyers.

4. Stop complaining about it; redesign it.

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

This article serves as a reminder for everyone—if you’re unhappy about how something is, redesign it. If you happen to be a designer, then you’re one step ahead, as you hold specialised skills that help you support change in process, things, spaces and products.

Aren’t you a designer? Isn’t design the act of doing, planning or creating something with a specific purpose or intention of making it better?

Fabricio asks some open questions in his short article. Questions designed to make you think and push the role of design further. Consider this your quarterly shake-up—click through to learn more.

5. Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Aerogramme Writers’ Studio. 
  • Contributor: Melanie Bruning.

Whatever medium you tell stories in—whether written, visual, or something in between, Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling is a helpful guide for planning and executing stories. These rules from Pixar’s Story Artist, Emma Coats, can help spark creativity—especially if you experiment and trial your ideas. Keep them handy, use them often and keep learning.

These rules also apply to the stories we tell ourselves, the little voice at the back of your head, that criticizes the times you could have done more and achieved better. Take a read of rule eight. Now stand up, breathe out and be on your way.

8. Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

6. Wait But Why’s Tim Urban on parsing and transmitting complex ideas.

  • Read full article here.
  • Written by First Round.
  • Contributor: Rowan Barnes.

Are you ready for the high-flyer of this month’s Super8? This article is it. In this article from First Round Review, Tim Urban covers why complex ideas can be so difficult to explain and teach. This is a fantastic interview, hands down. There were so many moments I found myself nodding at my desk in agreement with the concepts Tim was describing.

Of course you’re a layman. It doesn’t matter how smart you are. Everyone in the world is a layman at most stuff.

Tim’s view on complexity is fascinating and real: even if you took on just one of his simple approaches—we’re confident your communication skills would rise to this challenge.

7. Seeing vs reading is the key to creativity.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Ralph Ammer.  
  • Contributor: Aziza Mohamed.

What does a tree have to do with how we exercise creativity? Ralph Ammer’s article goes some way to explaining, exploring the concepts of verbal thinking (logic), and visual thinking (intuition) in unison.

Imagine yourself coming across an old tree. Baffled by the spectacle of its twigs and branches you could reach out to feel its bark. You observe how the sunlight falls through the countless leaves orchestrating a spectacular pattern of shadows before your feet. Or you could just think “That’s a tree.” — and move on.

Visual thinking can reignite a sense of wonder: we lose the labels we put on things, people or situations. He suggests that the key to greater creativity is flexibility—being able to shift focus enables us to remain open to new sensations and interpretations of the world around us.

8. The Swedish CEO who runs his company like a CrossFit gym.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Carl Cederstrom. 
  • Contributor: David Baddock.  

One of the things I love about August is that we’re a team that encourages each other to stay active. This article by Carl Cederstrom provides a refreshing take on exercising at work. While the work practices of this CEO won’t be for everyone, they’ve helped whip the business into shape.

Hopefully, there’s something you can use to spark a similar transformation from desk-jockey to office athlete. Because whether it’s using workouts to help measure KPI’s or being more vocal about the lunchtime soccer club, we can all be better at looking after our health at the place we spend most of our day.