31 May 18 -

Super8: Eight intriguing articles from May.

As the Northern hemisphere begins to warm up, our Manchester and Toronto-based Augies are happily flocking to patios and courtyards—seeking out the sun, and sipping a fresh beverage (or three).

While a hot tottie or mulled wine might better suit the folks down under, here’s to cocktails, mocktails and everything in between. This month I’m mixing it up, with eight eclectic articles in design, digital and tech to spice up your next reading session.

Savour this month’s Super8 as I’m serving my articles shaken, not stirred.

P.S I’m most likely sipping on a Caeser as you read this, and yes, clam juice is a thing.

1. The CEO of IDEO explains how your ‘creative capacity’ is the key to surviving automation.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Tim Brown.  
  • Contributor: Zoe Warne.

As automation continues to shift our workloads, we are changing the way we think about our jobs. This article from Tim Brown talks about our capacity to focus on deeper, more creative work once we offload our administrative overhead to machines.

We are fathoms deep in the era of automation. When was the last time you stepped inside a bank, bought a ticket from a human, or browsed through bins of music? The everyday tasks that once filled our days are increasingly performed and delivered almost instantaneously by machines.

Sound great? It could be, but don’t pop the champagne just yet. It’s worth considering those among us who still lack access to the education, resources and digital freedom required to make their creative work possible. Despite the differences in opportunity, these tips to building creative capacity remain relevant: build focus, adaptability and curiosity to succeed.

2. Google’s AI sounds like a human on the phone—should we be worried?

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by James Vincent.  
  • Contributor: Mark Davis.

This month, Google showcased an AI Google Assistant that left the audience in awe. It came as a total surprise that the most impressive demonstration at Google’s I/O conference was a phone call to book a haircut.

The new tech begs the question: how will we know whether we are speaking to a human or a robot, and does it matter as long as it gets the job done? Experiment or otherwise, if Google Duplex continues the conversation on emerging Voice tech—we’ll raise a glass to that.

3. The secret writing tips I learned from Kendrick Lamar.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Leila Green.
  • Contributor: Aziza Mohamed.

As Leila Green shares in this piece: writing is one of the only art forms that is more hidden than visible. Paintings are on walls; passing strangers see them. Music is played. Ears can’t help but hear. Writers, however, have to work to be seen. You don’t need Absinthe to ‘levitate, levitate, levitate‘, settle in for a lesson on one of rap’s most prolific word smiths.

Revising a short story is like being on an episode of Hoarders: you are surrounded by things that you like and would love to keep but should probably let go of for everyone’s sake.

Writing done well, doesn’t need to be overdone. Read on to learn why stripping words back can change the meaning, purpose and impact of your writing.

4. 100 blocks per day: how are you spending them?

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Henry Latham.  
  • Contributor: Freya Fajgman.

Time is our most valuable resource, yet we often busy ourselves with the trivial. Out of every day, we have around 16 hours to spend. That’s 100 blocks of 10 minutes. Assigning how you spend your time shouldn’t be about saving a few minutes here and there.

One. Hundred. It sounds like a lot. But think about it in reality: on average we spend around 14 of those on social media; 12 on commuting to & from work; 48 of them physically in the office; 12 eating; and around 6 aimlessly faffing around.

It’s more important to see the bigger picture. Whether you’re crafting a new tool, better habits or a good brandy—great ideas often need time to brew. Take a moment to settle in with this piece from Henry Latham. We promise it’s worth the time.

5. Get started with Motion Design in nine steps.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Arpit Agarwal.
  • Contributor: John Broadfoot.

By definition, ‘animated’ means full of life and excitement (much like your best friend after one too many white wines). Animation adds life—and when it comes to software, it’s not just for delight, but for solving problems too.

Remember—Motion subconsciously builds the personality of your application. Much like layout, spacing, typography and colors.

We’re used to seeing the world move and shift around us, and if software can replicate the experience, we feel right at home. This article from Marvel provides insight on when to use motion, what it can evoke (emotions and feeling), what it can convey (information and data) and some of the tools you’ll need to get started.

6.  A night in the life of the Chicago Bulls digital media team.

  • Read full article here.
  • Written by Hal Conick.   
  • Contributor: David Baddock.  

Sport franchises are known for maintaining their brand, voice, and public perception of their players. In this piece, the Chicago Bulls digital team aims to humanise players through social media. Marketers must understand how to read social audience reactions.

Peppy posts after a loss may convey a disingenuous message. Friends don’t let friends drink-drive, drunk-tweet or miss the mark entirely. Learn how to rely on your team, and enjoy this behind the scenes look at what it takes to make the Bulls social media charge on. Ole!

7. Say goodbye to the Information Age: it’s all about reputation now.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Gloria Origgi. 
  • Contributor: Mike McCusker.

The more information we have access to, the more we rely on reputation to evaluate it. You’re more likely to traipse into a tiny laneway bar you’ve never heard of if a friend can vouch for its tequila. We all have a friend turned social influencer, with all the insights into where you should eat, drink and shop next.

What a mature citizen of the digital age should be competent at is not spotting and confirming the veracity of the news. Rather, we should be competent at reconstructing the reputational path of the piece of information in question.

We’re experiencing a shift in the way we acknowledge and process knowledge. From a world containing too much information, we’re moving towards an age where information must prove its value through interactions online.

8. Drunk people are better at creative problem solving.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Alison Beard.
  • Contributor: Daniel Banik.

Here’s one for Friday drinks: according to this piece of research from the Harvard Business Review, if you work in a creative industry, cracking open a cold one may help with problem-solving. Professor Andrew Jaroz of Mississippi State University conducted an experiment with 20 male subjects, and more than a few vodka-cranberry cocktails.

The results? Those under the influence were able to give answers to word association problems faster, and more accurately than their sober counterparts. So, next time you hit a roadblock—maybe consider (responsibly) sharing a few beers and get jamming to solve creative problems, faster.