31 March 16 -

Super8: Eight intriguing articles from March.

The Augies are obsessed with all things digital, but the analogue world greatly shapes us too. Our hobbies help to influence the way we see the world and the way we work. You could say our night jobs influence our performance and personas throughout our day jobs. Much like these guys.

We’re a mixed bunch of humans with a unique blend of skills and passions: avid gardeners, NBL basketball referees, children’s book illustration, dressmaking, our families, whiskey, hiking and foodies (both the cooking and the eating variety) to name just a few.

With food being a passion of mine, I thought I’d share my love with you by plating up this month’s Super Ate… make that, Super8… chock full of delicious treats. Here’s a selection that covers everything, from tasty morsels right through to meatier chunks you can really sink your teeth into. It’s what we’re reading this month, where we’ve sauced… make that, sourced … inspiration, and everything that’s made us go either mmmmmm or hmmmmmm.

To help you ‘digest’ all of this awesome content, I’m going to create an epicurean experience – mirroring the process of an evening meal. From deciding what you’re going to cook, to selecting the freshest, best ingredients for the dish, right through to the finished serving.

Here we go – it’s another delicious edition of Super8 in March!

1. The biggest obstacle we have to getting what we want is ourselves.

business

  • Watch the video here
  • By: William Ury
  • Contributor: Sarah El-Atm  

Before you even enter the kitchen, deciding what to cook is ultimately a bit of a negotiation. You’re navigating your gut feel, reading the situation, determining ingredients, and then discussing and literally negotiating what to eat (especially if kids are involved). For the first stage of the process I was inspired by this piece on the art of negotiation.

William Ury is the co-author of Getting to Yes – a seminal text on mediation. He gave a talk at Creative Mornings in NYC – the content is excellent. Some really useful points about negotiation. Well worth a watch. You don’t even have to watch the screen, just listen in the background.

2. Releases + Deadlines in Agile.

business

Knowing when you want your dinner to be ready: that’s an essential part of the meal making process. Managing your guests’ expectations of what the food will be and when it will be served is paramount in ensuring your cooking experience is as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible. Dinner deadlines for the win.

This little gem takes an interesting look at how to remove the stigma of that term – deadline – within the Agile philosophy, by replacing it with a more politically correct term: the release. The article looks at two types of releases – cadence and capabilities releases – and provides a fantastic overview of the steps and benefits involved with each approach.

3. Dirty tricks from the dark corners of front-end.

code + design

  • Listen to the talk here
  • By: Vitaly Friedman
  • Contributor: Kurt Smith

Ingredients. Selecting then preparing them, and knowing a few little tricks along the way to make the entire process easier can help to ensure that preparing your masterpiece meal is a cinch.

In this talk, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the inimitable Smashing Magazine, Vitaly Friedman, presents practical front-end techniques and clever ideas developed in actual real-life projects, and uses heaps of examples to illustrate how we can solve problems smarter and faster. Remember to take the techniques with a grain of salt and be wary that this piece comes with a warning – coders beware: you will not be able to unlearn what you see in this session.

4. A New Challenger Appears: UX prototyping, user feedback, and the rise of anime.

design + business

  • Read the full article here
  • By: Montgomery Webster
  • Contributor: Vivi Chau  

“A New Challenger Appears” – an oddly apt article for this point in the evening. Whether it’s pangs of hunger throughout the preparation or the accumulative troubles of a long day, pouring a glass of wine and having some nibbles on hand to sustain you will certainly make the experience more enjoyable.

This excellent article analyses the processes involved in prototyping by looking into the factors that make Japanese anime so successful. When crafting the shows, producers source feedback from customers and critics across a range of media – a valuable lesson for the UX designers (or general enthusiasts) among us.

5. Flat vs Realism.

design

  • Check out the site here
  • By: Intacto
  • Contributor: Sylvia Pho  

Time to plate up. Remember, we eat with our eyes first. You’re faced with a difficult choice. Do you go with the latest snazzy, artful arrangement as seen in Vogue, or go for a more rustic approach – a home-made bowl of hearty, tossed together goodness?

In a similarly epic battle, we have the “flat vs realism” design conundrum. Flat UI has reigned supreme among the pixel-pushing design cognoscenti since the release of iOS 7, but is the skeuomorphic look making a comeback? Take a peep at this awesome site and decide which style you prefer.

6. Common arguments for ignoring UX (and how to destroy them).

design

  • Read the full article here
  • By Jason Amunwa
  • Contributor: Vivi Chau  

In relation to the design of your dish, my advice is go with what you think makes the food look the best and showcases the produce. Don’t feel like you need to use micro-herbs or pureed rainbow artichoke just because it’s all the rage. The design of the dish should enhance the experience, not define the taste. Also go for usability – don’t go putting your food in a bowl that’s almost impossible to eat out of. Massive pet peeve.

Those sort of insights fall under the rubric of UX design. And once you’ve read this excellent overview of some common UX principles, you’ll be able to dole out similar nuggets of usability wisdom in whatever capacity you choose: whether it’s at dinner, or in the digital world.

7. Deep learning is going to teach us all the lesson of our lives: jobs are for machines.

innovation

  • Read the full article here
  • By: Scott Santens
  • Contributor: Matt Agar

In the future, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will reign supreme, so we may not be doing much of the cooking, let alone any of the other day-to-day activities! Progress in AI appears to be accelerating faster than anyone could have anticipated, and this article offers a good look at some of the implications:

“AlphaGo’s historic victory is a clear signal that we’ve gone from linear to parabolic.”

But what does all this mean for my dinner? As Scott Santens says in the article, this is not about automated labour being the future: “computer technology is already eating jobs and has been since the 90s.” This is about the type of work that may be done by machines and humans in the future. So, to draw a munch-related metaphor, while the AI may be able to follow a recipe, the feeling of doing it on a whim will always remain human.

8. Eight Habits Everyone Should Try.

innovation

  • Read the full article here
  • By: David King
  • Contributor: Zoë Warne  

I couldn’t resist including this last piece featuring eight healthy habits for success. It’s kind of like the after dinner mint to help you savour and digest this digital degustation. Editor of The Creators Path, David King includes some interesting and challenging concepts, the highlight for me being the idea of not equating your success with what he terms transient ‘moments of glory’.

99% of our life is made up of these everyday moments. Those moments are where we should be striving for success, to find joy and meaning.

Instead, many people strive for what he calls ‘Moments of Glory’. However, these actually comprise very little of our time on Earth – a mere 1%. If we don’t reach these milestones or moments, we can feel defeated. Even then, if we do achieve the ‘moment of glory’, it often doesn’t last long enough to sustain us. Instead, David suggests we aim for bite-sized excellence and positive impact in our everyday lives. If we did this in 99% of our endeavours, our time spent on earth would be 100% more enriched and fulfilling.

 

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If you’ve read something especially tasty recently, we’d love to hear about it. Just chuck the link in the comments below – we’ll give it a taste-test and let you know our thoughts!