Chatbot Chatter & Cartoon Conversations: This Week in Design

Notes from design headlines this week

Design links this week

We spent too much time playing with: this Map of the Internet, from Quartz. It’s interactive and links out to full stories and deeper dives into internet-related topics.

We’re excited about: all the smart, insightful Medium publications about design and web development, so we published a list of a few we think you’d want to subscribe to.

An important question: are design trends even worthwhile, anyways? A case for (and against) spending your time keeping up with the trends, and how to incorporate trends into your style.

My go-to PhotoShop Action of the week: this set of vintage filters. It makes everything look a little more interesting, like the photo I used of a typewriter here.

There’s a lot of thoughts about chatbots in design lately. Here’s a few of my favorite reads:

  • A complete beginner’s guide to chatbots (Chatbots Magazine)
  • Why ‘talk to our chatbot’ will replace ‘send us an email’ (VentureBeat)
  • A medical chatbot to help diagnose patients (The Verge)
  • A griefbot, a Black Mirror-esque bot created using the texts of your lost loved one (The Guardian)
  • Si quieres practicar espanol, you can fumble your way through language learning with the new Duolingo chatbots

I stumbled across designer Pablo Stanley’s work through his post about Halloween Costumes for Designers. My vote for must-read from his articles is The Imposter, an illustrated journey through that feeling that everyone thinks you’re a fraud.

The most innovative web platforms of the year (where ‘web platforms’ is loosely defined).

A whole book full of inspiring female founders.

Where the top talent in the tech industry is likely to end up working next (hint: no to Yahoo!, yes to Uber).

Articles to send to your coworkers

To your e-mail team

I’m a big fan of Mailchimp – I’ve even got my own little Freddie, a toy version of their logo/mascot. Their startup story doesn’t follow the typical path of Silicon Valley venture-capitalism: a feature in the New York Times this week tells the story of their slow rise to email-provider success.

To your marketing team

Great content is a craft, not a commodity. Repeat: great content is a craft, not a commodity. My favorite line from this: “If your content creator views your content as merely an order to be fulfilled, nine times out of 10, it’s not going to satisfy your needs.” On how great content requires collaboration, effort, and thoughtfulness.

To your designers

If you’re a designer, should you write? According to designer Tobias van Schneider: yes, absolutely – in whatever way you define writing! Write for yourself, write to learn, write to communicate. Just ask yourself these questions when you write, maybe don’t go around saying that you ‘wrote a thing’.

To your dev team

They’ve probably got some strong feeling about the new design of Apple’s iOs10 – but have they thought about how it how it relates to web design? Here’s an analysis of how the new iOs10 design style translates to the web (and, while we’re thinking about mobile & web design, we also have a guide to improving mobile app UX).

To your freelancers

Freelancing in America, an organization that studies the independent workforce, posted about the state of freelancing in 2016. They also wrote an op/ed in the Huffington Post about the importance of freelancers being represented in politics.

Women & tech

“Women frequently experience being excluded from more creative and innovative roles and instead channeled into less fulfilling execution roles, not receiving high visibility “stretch” assignments, having to prove themselves again and again, and having their ideas ignored until a man makes the same suggestion later.”

Did you know that women are more than twice as likely to quit the tech industry as men? This article, The Real Reason Women Quit Tech (and How to Address It), analyzes how to address issues of diversity in the tech industry, and backs it up with a lot of data and research.

If you happen to be in Australia

That’s where our HQ is! It’s also where a bunch of cool events and initiatives are happening lately. A few highlights:

  • Spark Festival Sydney some of their plans for the upcoming startup week in Sydney. Hackathon focus areas include something called “Lady Problems Hackathon”, which is run on the same weekend in the StartUp Weekend networks around the world, to focus global attention on women in technology. There’s also a pitch called “Seedlings”, which is centered around medicinal cannabis in Australia, so there’s really something for everyone.
  • MPavillion, an architecture pop-up and event space in Melbourne that’s holding over 400 design-related events in its calendar from October 2016 – February 2017. This year’s structure is an elaborate rope-and-stone space designed by Mumbai architect Bijoy Jain.
  • SheStarts is a ‘competitive startup program’ designed to accelerate the launch of global tech startups in Australia, run by female entrepreneurs.


Featured image: 

Brittany Jezouit

About the Author Brittany Jezouit

Brittany is a Contributor to the Envato blog. She helped launch the publication and was its founding Editor. You can follow her on Twitter @brittanyjezouit.