#86 Great moments exist inside of ordinary moments
Lots of design learning for ending 2022 on a high
In one of her recent posts, Kaki Okumura proudly shared that this year ‘she was YDK. What does YDK mean, you may ask. Here’s a brief explanation she shared in her post:
There is a Japanese slang term used among younger people, “YDK”. It is an acronym of sorts for “yareba dekiru ko” (やれば出来る子), which roughly translates to “A child who can, if they just do”.
It’s an endearing (although maybe slightly condescending) term, to describe someone who usually doesn’t care to, or doesn’t have the confidence to, pursue the things that would benefit them. But on the occasion they decide to take a chance on themselves, they exceed their expectations.
Fascinating concept! Isn’t it? I have been a YDK too. Have you? This next week can be a good time to find that out and decide what you do with it next year!
And with that, let’s get to today’s discoveries.
1. The Stormtrooper Problem
Shane Parrish shared a very interesting take on how thought diversity is necessary in the workplace to generate creativity and innovation. It’s a fact that most of us will agree to, but struggle to implement and repeat the benefits from.
Shane has shared some good examples to make his case. This particular bit is the core of his idea - the stormtrooper problem.
You know the risks now. See, what do you want to do about it?
2. Good design & Taste
In “Taste for makers”, Paul Graham makes the case for demystifying the ‘taste’ or ‘beauty’ in a more tangible way. It’s not easy, but worth the effort. He argues that the principles of good design that drive this ‘taste’ are fairly common across most fields. That’s the beauty - once you start appreciating it in one field, you will be more successful in noticing & enjoying it in other fields. That will become your talent. Here are some of the uncommon principles of good design:
Good design solves the right problem
Good design is suggestive
Good design looks easy
Good design resembles nature
Good design is often daring.
A really thought provoking essay. Will be well worth your time & attention.
(via One Daily Nugget)
3. Our future with AI Chatbots
ChatGPT is the flavor of the season. It’s fascinating to see how a new product (or should I call it an infrastructure or a framework or a technology) is quickly gaining attention from everyone. Everyone is ‘playing’ with it. Some for the fun of it, others to explore the real depth & width of the possibilities.
Dan Shipper had recently written about how he built an AI Chatbot based on his favorite podcast. It’s a very interesting way to expand what GPT-3 offers. Build your own source of large information, create a quick search tool to find the most relevant bits and then use GPT-3 to help synthesize this relevant information & convert into a highly digestible answer.
Two bits that really stand out in this post where Dan proposes to look at chatbots as a new content format:
Our information systems are cluttered and are hardly usable.
In the world of chatbots (let’s call it ecosystem), the power equations will be very different from anything that we’ve seen so far.
Dan’s detailing of both these ideas make a great read. If you’re not able to read this post due to some paywall, ping me.
4. Designing for Bharat
Lately, I’ve spent a lot of time going through D91 labs work. They are sharing some of the most detailed work around user research for Bharat. Their notes from user conversations, examples from product teardowns and observations of user behavior are very insightful.
Recently, they wrote a detailed post on Project Pratima which is an initiative by the Payments Council of India (PCI) and the importance of standardising the icons used by payment apps in India.
From the problem statement to the approach used in design of these icons, this one makes for a good case study for anyone working on product design for the audience beyond Metros & T1 cities.
5. Labor Illusion
Dan & Louis-Xavier’s case studies in their growth.design newsletter are always filled with one good insight or two. I find their approach of discussing user journey & experience design highly engaging and fun.
This one on Brave browser’s onboarding is one good example of their work. You should check out their post to really experience the magic. Here’s the bit that really caught my attention.
I read it and felt like aha! I have felt it so many times.
By the way, if you’re someone who bothers about your browsers, you should give Brave a shot. It’s like Chrome, but with a lot more privacy & safety features.
If you’re more serious about your browsers, then I have one more recommendation. I just started using Arc browser, it’s pretty cool too. Lots of highly useful and some fancy features in a superb visual interface. Ping me if you need any invite for this one.
I’m collecting some interesting reads in this section. They may or may not have any key takeaway or learning. I really enjoyed reading them and felt like sharing with you.
Some stories, it seems, have just enough currency to survive the ever-tightening gyre of the 24-hour news cycle, while others barely scratch the sides as they reach escape velocity and pass out the other end, unremarked upon.
We asked three highly esteemed investigative journalists what hope years-long investigations have in a landscape where a single tweet or tv appearance can dominate a weekend’s press, and asked: what happens when their hard-earned scoop lands not with a bang, but with a thud?
There are certainly bad quests that are hard, and (a few) good quests that are easy. But most of the remaining good quests are difficult to make profitable, require heavy research and development spend, or are just incredibly technically challenging, to the point of near impossibility.
If a prospect asked if they were speaking to a bot, we were not allowed to say Yes. We were also forbidden to say I’m not a bot, because I’m not a bot is exactly what a bot would say. Instead, when someone questioned Brenda’s personhood, we were told to say I’m real!
7. Everything else
Some random goodness from the internet:
#MissionImpossible Goosebumps! (via Morning Brew)
The clock at Schipol Airport - Amsterdam (via John Suder)
How do you decide which is the real Christmas Tree Capital of the World? (via Morning Brew)
Some of the best moon & earth photos from NASA’s Artemis I mission (via Morning Brew)
All South Koreans to become younger as the traditional age system is scrapped. I am not talking about how they look younger, but their actual age in numbers. (via Subbu)
This to that - because people have a need to glue things to other things. There is tool for everything now. (via YC newsletter)
How sign language innovators are bringing music to the deaf (via Storythings)
Bonus: Saharan’s work portfolio is really fun to explore!
Before we sign off, here's a lesson worth revisiting. I got it from Sari’s Startupy newsletter.
That's all for this week, folks!
I hope I've earned the privilege of your time.
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