Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading around this office this week.

How A Two-Day Sprint Moved An Agency Twenty Years Forward (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “For many of us in the design and software development profession, building a working prototype is not a big deal. For the dedicated civil servants in the federal government, it can be. Over these two days we demonstrated that with the right support and the right people in the room, ideas can be tested, iterated upon, and realized without months of requirements gathering, large waterfall contractual agreements, and other impediments.”

The 8 Worst UX Mistakes Coming From Experts – “We tend to follow the core principles of UX design, but sometimes they slip designers’ minds, and it leads to mistakes that are becoming an integral part of most projects. If UX were treated as linguistics, I would say they no longer are mistakes — they became UX errors.”

Coding For The Entrepreneurial Heart – “Apps have not only made life ridiculously easy for us but it has also opened up new possibilities and opportunities for those who have created the apps and made them what it is today. Anyone can create an app based on a simple idea. But before they can do that, they need to know the ‘how to’ aspect. This is where coding comes into play.”

Inside The Creation Of The Microsoft Surface Book – “The Surface Book is the nearest thing we have to a Windows 10 game-changer — a fresh design and bold ideas that move the PC needle. Something different and smart that surely made some folks in Cupertino sit up and take notice. Is it a new MacBook alternative? Yes and no. The design, performance and utility will, as Panay hopes, be compared to the MacBook Pro, but people do not switch platforms for designs. They often switch because, sometimes, they have to for a job or a school. Switching ecosystems is dicey business.”

Themes: A Small Change To Product Roadmaps With Large Effects (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “It was while we were discussing roadmaps that Bruce shattered my world with a single word: Themes. Themes are an alternative for features. Instead of promising to build a specific feature, the team commits to solving a specific customer problem.”

Researchers Build Extra Brainy Smart Homes To Monitor Aging Adults – “WSU’s Center for Advanced Studies in Adaptive Systems (CASAS) is developing smart home technology that harnesses machine learning in an effort to help older people live with greater independence and remain in their homes longer. Additionally, the technology could give loved ones a better sense of how their aging parents or grandparents are doing, whether they live down the street or across the country.”

Linear Work In Nonlinear Environments – “When we do our linear work and produce content (or code, or anything else that scales nicely) that we believe to be good and nonlinear growth does not come, we can feel disheartened and stop doing work. But we should not. We need to remind ourselves that any work that we, or others, do is linear, but that today we are working in nonlinear mediums.”

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