29 March 19 -

Super8: Eight intriguing articles from March.

March is always a buzz of activity: things are wrapping up, kicking off, or well underway.

We’re one quarter into 2019 (gasp) and it’s a great opportunity to check in on the elusive equilibrium of work/life balance.

I’m here to help you nourish both, with eight excellent reads spanning innovation, relaxation, and animation.

It’s all about finding and maintaining balance: whether you wear multiple hats, juggle form over function, or…hope to create a realistic (but not creepily realistic) computer-generated face.

Whatever the challenge, I hope you find a piece that helps you achieve your next incredible feat. Welcome to Super8 in March!

1. What are the biggest hurdles faced by women in the design industry?

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Emily Stevens. 
  • Contributor: Bridget Noonan.

It may be 2019, but the odds are still stacked against female creatives, with women holding just 11% of leadership positions in the design field.

Looking at the stats, there’s an abundance of female design talent that isn’t represented at the top of the food chain.

Once in the workplace, particularly after five to ten years, women start acutely feeling the lack of mentorship, celebration of women’s work, support for mothers, and equal pay.

Emily shares the message that businesses must encourage and champion equity, while women should feel empowered to ask for their share of equal pay and opportunities in the workplace.

2. Tidying up (your digital products).

  • Read full article here.
  • Written by Bailey Lewis .  
  • Contributor: Isabel Silvis.

Inspired by Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, this piece looks at decluttering your digital presence.

The method asks people to evaluate each possession (or digital product) to see if it ‘sparks joy’. When it comes to UX, users rarely run into digital experiences that create delight.

They typically find clutter, disorder, and intense frustration when a product isn’t optimised or up to date.

Digital joy takes on some definite sounds of its own:

  • “Whoa that was easy.”
  • “Is that it?”
  • “I expected that to take way longer.”
  • “Okay, wow, I’m done.”

Try cleaning up your act: find a middle ground where function sparks digital joy across your UI and UX alike.

3. The hard truth about innovative cultures.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Gary P. Pisano.  
  • Contributor: Daniel Banik.

Innovative cultures are often characterised by a tolerance for failure and a willingness to experiment.

They can be highly collaborative and non-hierarchical, and research suggests these behaviours make for better workplaces. Despite these pros, innovative cultures are hard to create and are often paradoxical.

This piece explains the paradox: each ‘innovative’ trait should be counterbalanced with another.

For example, a flat structure makes a case for strong leadership, while collaboration calls for personal accountability in the workplace.

The easy-to-like behaviors that get so much attention are only one side of the coin. They must be counterbalanced by some tougher and frankly less fun behaviors.
A tolerance for failure requires an intolerance for incompetence. A willingness to experiment requires rigorous discipline.

4. Computer-generated faces are getting real.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Daniel Kolitz.
  • Contributor: Mel Bruning.

As recently as a few years ago, most A.I.-generated headshots looked like poorly stencilled police sketches, but due to advances in machine-learning technology, things have changed.

They look like you or me: off white teeth, unkept hair, worry lines, and wrinkles.

These completely made-up non-people are often indistinguishable from the real thing.

Covering issues such as social bias and the spread of misinformation, this piece asks us to consider the implications of this technology now, and into the future.

5.  How project managers can wear a business development hat.

  • Read full article here.
  • Written by Ryan Schaefer.
  • Contributor: Rowan Barnes.

There’s often pressure on account managers and account directors to pitch new work to clients.

Whether you’ve worked agency side as a project manager, or you’re a specialist that gets in front of clients to share designs, test sites, or newly written content—you too have an opportunity to win new work.

Project managers are typically overseeing work, keeping up a steady stream of communication, and working to build a relationship with clients. That’s a natural entry point for pitching and closing future business.

Try making inroads with the right contacts, meeting your client in person, sharing the expertise of your team, and overcommunicating progress to continue the conversation when it comes to business development.

6. Five ways to leave your work stress at work.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Sabina Nawaz.  
  • Contributor: Emily Duckham.

Day to day, stress is often an unavoidable part of the job.

When you’re stressed at work, it can manifest itself in more ways than one.

While there are ways to mitigate the source of stress, this article focuses on how you can manage the inevitable unplanned meeting, extra workload, or demanding project for a truer work and life balance.

This piece from the Harvard Business Review looks at how disengaging from work stress and recharging at home translates to better outcomes for both.

7. What Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) 2.1 means for digital analytics.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Tom Bennet.  
  • Contributor: David Baddock.  

There are more than a few articles on Intelligent Tracking Prevention out there, but this one strikes a happy balance—sharing both detailed technical information (for all the data enthusiasts out there), and a digestible breakdown you can use to prepare for ITP 2.1.

This latest version of ITP has very significant implications for web analysts, and everyone whose job involves implementing or maintaining digital analytics software should be aware of the changes.

While the update is currently limited to Safari, the changes will impact anyone who wants to track users across separate subdomains, with implications across channel attribution and measurement.

8. Everything you need to know about loading animations.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Lisa Dziuba.  
  • Contributor: Elliott Grigg.

It’s clear that when it comes to the web, no one enjoys waiting.

A 2-3 second delay is enough for users to lose engagement with your platform.

While it’s difficult to code for slow internet, long operation processes or too much data, there’s an opportunity to make the wait time a little more bearable by using load time animations.

While instantenous loading might exist in a perfect world, this read shares some tips on making the real-world web seem faster (even when it isn’t).