Edition 44 - The art of Storytelling through your Design!

A good narrative, fictional or not, has a set structure and key elements that carry a person through it. This includes an exposition (beginning), conflict, rising action, climax and denouement (ending), as well as characters, settings, plot points, etc. With the pressure for all of us to be storytellers, we find ourselves contorting our processes and artifacts to fit each of those elements. Personas become characters, flows take on narrative structures and so on. In many cases, the comparisons are loose at best and the contortions quickly feel like an overreach. Further, if the majority of the story structure we are creating is filled by the steps in our design process then whatever story we are telling is a story we are telling ourselves, not a story we are telling our customers. This is the storytelling in design. 

Life as the founder of an early-stage startup can be exhilarating, but it can also be grueling. It’s important to be armed with a passion for your product and the latest tools to make your journey successful. The ocean of business tools seems endless, and it’s impossible to test every tool on the market. Nonetheless, there are a few resources that rise to the very top of the must-have list. The best tools for early-stage startups are those that save time, reduce costs, help market new products and guard you against legal and cybersecurity trouble. With these criteria in mind, here are nine of the most useful tools for startup success in 2019.

There are many different user research methods that can help you learn more about your users’ behavior. However, unless you’re running on unlimited time and budget, then chances are that you won’t be able to use multiple user methods at the same time. Instead, you will have to settle on using a specific method at different stages of your design process. The goal of a designer is to listen, observe, understand, sympathize, empathize, synthesize, and glean insights that enable them to make the invisible visible. Here’s an overview of different user research methods that will help you make the right choice. 

At first glance, an A.I. brought to life on the red carpet may feel jarring. But A.I. is already operating in many aspects of our lives: It controls your Facebook news feed, it helps make your salad, and it opposes you in video games. And while a fleet of Protoss carriers gliding across a choke point in Starcraft II may appear less “real” than Shudu in her gown on a real red carpet — or the virtual avatars created by Facebook and spotlighted in a Wired feature last week — cutting-edge work happening behind the scenes in these virtual worlds may actually say quite a bit more about an emerging universe of the almost-human, where the line between person and machine blurs.

Today, leaders are talking about 3D printing, Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics and similar advancements in digital technology, which can drastically impact organizations and industries. Many leaders, however, are missing a few key points, resulting in a failure to leverage the power of digital in their business, and becoming irrelevant instead. Digitalization is not just a technology trend. It is an overarching business transformation driven by a shift in the organizational mindset. Digitalization is not characterized by creating mobile apps and having a social media presence. It is an entirely new approach to business.

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