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  1. I’ve used foursquare since it first launched. I’m usually the person people come to when they “don’t get what the big deal is” about the product.

    Ever since the team has introduced the new Swarm app though, I’ve been a little confused. Why would they isolate the social aspect of foursquare and make it a whole other app?

    I finally get it. Foursquare took root in the basic check-in feature. But it’s grown past that now. Instead of removing the check-in feature altogether, they’ve built Swarm to take care of the social aspect which a lot of people still use and love, while the original foursquare app focuses on providing recommendations based on your location, personal tastes, ratings, and tips.

    What I originally thought was a demotion of the original foursquare app, is in fact a promotion to something bigger and better.

    foursquare:

    Everyone explores the world differently – guided by their own unique tastes, their friends, and the people they trust. Local search has never been good at this. It doesn’t get you, and, as a result, everyone gets the same one-size-fits-all results. Why should two very different people get the…

     

  2. Can we just take a moment to appreciate this album art illustration? Big Wreck is a Canadian rock band, give them a listen on Deezer.

     

  3. Balsamiq Mockups is a low-fidelity mockup creating tool. One that’s widely used by design professionals in the web space. If you go to the Help menu, the application has a “What should I make for dinner?” link which leads here, where the team at Balsamiq uploads a new video almost every day for a quick dinner recipe in a super quick format.

     


  4. Sometimes, I sit and think about all the embarrassing things I’ve ever done in my life and internally cringe. It’s moments like those when I’m really glad I’m not famous, because man, can you imagine how much Britney cringes when she thinks of all her embarrassing moments?

     


  5. In case you've been living under a rock missed it, the Spurs won their 5th NBA Championships.

     


  6. Behind every successful product is great documentation.

     

  7. Day 3 of working remotely. Here’s how my dashboard helps set me up for success.

     


  8. Things I learned at the 99U Conference

    I was at the Behance 99U Conference last week. Here are my lessons learned and observations:

    1. Responsive organizations are more receptive and adaptable to change. Ant colonies, the immune system, and the Internet are all great examples of highly complex systems built on very simple principles that can quickly adapt to situations.

    2. Your culture translates into your product directly.

    3. Design isn’t a step in the process, it happens at every step of the process.

    4. Ship love: value, ease-of-use, and craft (the thought you put into a product’s design that the user just knows when they use it).

    5. When rules start to look like blivets, defy them.

    Perhaps the most important learning from this NYC trip, however, took place outside of the conference. I learned that empathy is a skill. It’s not an abstract “thing” you should be aware of. It’s a skill you can hone, practice, and learn.

     


  9. The cost of choice

    The Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto has a guest lounge that offers free coffee/tea/water, salted almonds, and cookies.

    When I was in the lounge last, I noticed two lineups of people. One moving considerably faster than the other. So I, of course, lined up in the slower one to evaluate what the holdup was for myself.

    The slower lineup had two platters of (packaged) cookies. They were the same flavor. Just two identical platters. Every person looked at one platter, liked the offering enough to pick it up, but not before looking at the other platter. “I like chocolate chip! But what if I like this other unknown choice more?”

    The faster lineup had - you guessed it! A single platter of cookies.

    Less choices == efficiency

     

  10. Mavericks does this thing where:

    1. It tells you about updates that are ready to install (not a fan of the title case there),

    2. Suggests two options: now or tonight,

    3. Gives you the freedom to defer to a later time than suggested.

    I haven’t used a Windows machine in years, but I remember really disliking when my PC restarted to install “updates” whenever it felt like it.

    There’s a subtle balance that needs to be struck when dealing with user control and freedom. How do you prevent the user from deferring to a time that’s too late? Or if the update fixes a security bug? i.e., how do you save the user from themselves?

    Mavericks, for example, gets aggressive if the update is security-related and/or time-sensitive. In that event, it only gives you the option to restart now or in an hour.