D&T Issue 1

Usability Testing, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual gatherings and ISS Docking Simulation

We at Canvs run a remote-first community of designers that offers design-as-a-service. As partners in Design, since it made sense for us to engage in frequent conversations around the rapidly changing world of Product, Design & Innovation ecosystem, we thought it could be handy to share some mid-week inspiration & food for thought with a wider audience.

We ourselves, both as an occupational necessity as well as a personal passion, are constantly immersed in news and updates about Design & Technology and innovation around these fields. Each week, in the middle of the week (so you’re not as caught up as on a Monday or waiting to get done like on a Friday), we’re going to share a small selection of interesting pieces in the Design, Tech, Product & Innovation ecosystem, in India or otherwise. From interesting news and commentary to insights and ideas – we plan on helping you keep up with this fast-changing landscape.

If you do find any of this interesting, let us know, and we’ll know we’re on the right track and help us spread the newsletter by sharing with your friends and colleagues.

Starting off this week in Issue 1 of D&T, here’s some stuff we found interesting:

Who makes our apps? Can we trust the sources? Here’s a fascinating insight into the pitfalls of not quite understanding the little parts that make up your product – a scenario more common than ever before with the prevalence of Free & Open Source Software (FOSS). This story explains how very recently dozens of flagship apps from companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Spotify, etc went down and kept crashing for about an hour – all because of a tiny bug inside a common login library originating at Facebook, used by a majority of apps we use every day. A minor config on one Fb server brought down a multitude of cascading services and products. This story is a siren-call for product and product-adjacent teams to truly understand how their products get built.

-The author is Anil Dash, CEO of Glitch, a community of Developers.

One of the most trusted sources of usability theories and studies, the Neilsen Norman group has mathematically established the propagation efficiency of the number of users in a usability test. Tom Landauer and Jacob Neilsen were able to quantify mathematically the asymptotic relation between the number of users in a study and the mistakes found. This further dives into the nuances of iterative design, and when exactly you need more users to test with.

Here’s a simple introduction to some of the concepts behind artificial intelligence, some fresh and some deeply entrenched. Arranged as an alphabetic collection of concepts it offers byte-sized explainers for each of these and serves as a quick primer in Machine Intelligence.

A super cool bunch of quick questions that help you scrutinize design elements as a designer. You will be given two units to compare and point which one looks correctly designed. Do you have the eye for it? We got some solid scores.

You might recall the news last year when a mysterious piece of Malware took down various different units of Maersk resulting in losses of hundreds of billions within a matter of weeks. This affected many others operating on Windows machines as well. Here is 23 years old, Marcus Hutchins who single-handedly saved the internet by finding the vulnerability behind the malware, WannaCry, made a hero for it and then arrested by the FBI for it.

Here’s a cool little find during these extreme video calling times. Private spaces although, not a new concept on the internet, has been well utilized in this product to support virtual gatherings and parallel conversations. Online Town fades each user’s audio and video based on how far they are from each other.

Here’s an online simulator of the actual interface that NASA pilots use to dock SpaceX’s Dragon2 onto the ISS. It looks very cool and feels out of the world. Give it a spin. Also, btw, here’s an associated video.

Do write back to us with feedback on what you’d want to know about more often. We have a lot of readers among us in our teams, and we’d love for you to benefit from our shared knowledge pool as well!

See you 7 days later.

Also, please do let your friends know about D&T if they’d be interested!
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