Published in Super8 -

Eight intriguing articles from March.

This March, Jon Trumbull’s Super8 indulges in some nimble acrobatics in acronyms. These eight fascinating articles cover everything from AI to UX to DX to INP to JS to FID and back again. Once you unpack each of these concepts, you’ll learn how to become the top 1% of product designers, the best ways to use artificial intelligence in efficiently producing content, why—and how—you should accommodate a critical Google algorithm update, and much much more. It’s Super8 in March, let’s go!

1. Neurodesign: why brilliant product designers study people, not trends.

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How do you become one of the top 1% of product designers? According to this piece, the answer lies in fulfilling deeper human needs than functionality and usability. Here, Jo Ash Sakula suggests that high levels functionality and usability are simpler to achieve thanks to many proven heuristics and design pattens. To design a brilliant product is to realise that good design is about connection, emotion, and resonance. As the American poet Maya Angelou once said: ‘people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ Learn how to leverage neurodesign theory to elicit stronger connections with your products.

2. What is INP and why you should care.

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On March 12th, Google launched a new core web vital metric, called Interaction to Next Paint, or INP. This replaces the metric of First Input Delay (FID) and will change how sites are assessed for performance, ultimately impacting upon how sites rank in search engine results. Why the change, you ask? According to this piece, Chrome usage data shows that 90% of a persons’ time on a page is spent after it loads. So, FID—which measures how quickly a webpage responds to a person’s first action on the page—doesn’t accurately capture or reflect a quality on-page experience. Learn everything you need to know about INP, including how it’s measured, how to investigate your performance, and how to make improvements.

3. When to use AI and when to use freelancers to write your content.

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How much of this content do you estimate was written by an AI tool? It’s an interesting question that we’ll likely have to continue asking for the foreseeable future. For those playing at home, the answer is none, but the fact you likely paused to ponder is fascinating enough in and of itself. One of the most obvious applications for AI is generating copy and content. Like many things in life, there are clear pros and cons to balance. For example, AI is great for ideation, and less ideal for applying brand tone-of-voice or styling. Learn the other pros and cons in detail and level up your content game.

4. 7 UX design habits that lead to exponential career growth.

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How often do you think of your career like a project? Implementing key milestones and objectives, carefully designing and testing important decisions, and adopting the approach that contributes to the successful development of a product or marketing initiative. In this piece, Jack O’Donohue suggests that many of us focus on one project at a time, improving incrementally. For exponential growth—with compound effects where initial gains are reinvested to generate increasingly larger returns—a better approach is to think in short- and long-term horizons. So, how do you do it? Learn the seven design habits that will set you on the fast track to success.

5. David Hoang on how AI will influence creative tools.

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Every significant wave of technological advancement brings with it an equally seismic level of opportunity. For every boom—like the one we saw when Apple debuted the iPhone in 2007—there’s a paradigm shift and the playing field resets. For David Hoang, it’s a designer’s dream: an opportunity to imagine a completely new interface platform. With AI, David suggests we are moving to a world where designers cannot control the interface presentation of experience, because things are going multimodal, multi-factor, and multi-form. What are the implications? How can you prepare? Check out this interview to find out.

6. A practical guide to designing for children.

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There are many ethical considerations to navigate in designing digital products and experiences for children. In this comprehensive introduction to the practice, Vitaly Friedman looks into some of those nuanced questions and considerations, along with practical tips to design sustainable experiences that navigate some of these tensions. For example, a contributor to the article, Rodrigo Seoane notes that ‘the majority of initiatives for kids rely on and create dependencies on extrinsic motivations. The reward model keeps their attention in the short term, but as a core gamified mechanic, it is problematic in the long run, reducing their cognitive capacity and creative a barrier to developing any intrinsic motivation.’ Read the full piece for fascinating insights into equitable design practice for young people.

7. Healthcare, selling lemons, and the price of developer experience.

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What happens when developer tooling gets in the way of user experience design? When adopting new technology, it’s important to consider the person using the technology, instead of simply following the latest trends. As this piece, by Geoff Graham, states: ‘a person seeking help in a time of crisis does not care about TypeScript, tree shaking, hot module replacement… or other startup jargon.’ In assessing the price and importance of developer experience in relation to user experience, the article offers some valuable practical techniques to ensure—in Geoff’s words—JavaScript is used responsibly.

8. All the ways to structure your notes: exploring sorting methods in your personal knowledge management system.

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How many notes do you take in a day? Week? Month? Year? If you’re anything like me, the answer is probably: ‘many’. Could you take them down more effectively? In this article, Denis Volkov provides an overview of various note-taking techniques to enhance your productivity and organisation. Denis covers classic methods like outlines and mind maps, as well as more modern approaches like the Zettelkasten method and Cornell note—taking system. Finding a framework that aligns with individual preferences and learning styles leads to better memory retention, comprehension, and productivity. Win, win, win. So, take note!

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