Briefly Noted – October 2016

October 30, 2016

Briefly Noted

Its Spring time now in Brisbane! the weather is nice, the days are getting longer and I’m pretty happy to share this year’s book review/list with you, I had such a great time reading each one of these wonderful books.
My book picks for 2014 and 2015 were a great starting point to get back into the habit and this year I decided to focus in Creativity, Design and Technology – some of my favourite topics! Here’s what I’ve been reading each month:

October 2015: Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf (2013)
As a designer working in an Agile environment, introducing Design Principles and UX concepts into the development process can be challenging. This book discusses useful techniques to introduce user experience, research and validation into the process in a collaborative approach.

November 2015: In Progress by Jessica Hische (2015)
This is a wonderful book. Jessica not only shares her inspiring work for our eyes to rejoice, but also a detailed description of her creative and technical process. A lettering artist that gracefully shares her well earned skills and passion for lettering in the most beautiful book.

December 2015: Hunger Makes me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein (2015)
You might recognise her name as the same girl behind Portlandia (writer, actress) and the Riot Grrrl band Sleater-Kinney. Carrie writes her memoir from the narrative of being an outsider, looking for her own voice and then about the pains behind finding it. Articulate, honest and FUNNY.

January 2016: Gamify by Brian Burke (2014)
This book cuts away the hype behind Gamification and makes sense of the key concepts and guidelines. Brian is an industry analyst in information technology with heaps of experience and this is great research-based material if you’re keen to give Gamification a go.

February 2016: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (2015)
As if writing a huge best seller (Eat, Pray, Love) wasn’t enough achievement! with Big Magic, Elizabeth writes passionately about Creative Living and the concepts behind it like Inspiration, Courage, Fear, Creative Entitlement and Enchantment. She encourages everyone to “Cooperate fully, humbly, and joyfully with inspiration.”

March 2016: The Shape of Design by Frank Chimero (2012)
Design comes in many shapes (and sizes, colours, objects and devices) and design’s primary job is to be useful, that’s clear. But as designers we will always ask: why not make it pleasurable too? “Do not make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both, do not hesitate to make it beautiful.”

April 2016: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (2015)
My favorite book in a while! I loved the unusual structure of this story of a marriage and creative partnership told from both sides. This was Barack Obama’s favourite book of 2015 and with good reason! An amazing novel.

May 2016: Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte (2011)
With Responsive Web Design, we have a great approach to tackle the unpredictability of devices, browsers, display resolutions and speed connections from where a user will access our websites and apps. With RWD we design with flexibility in mind and then relax and let our designs unfold.

June 2016: New Order, a Decluttering Handbook for Creative Folks by Fay Wolf (2016)
Whenever I work from home I need an orderly workspace. Otherwise, I would never get work done because I’d be busy doing laundry/the dishes/something else. This is a simple handbook to help remove the distractions/clutter in our lives. You know what they say “Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work!”

July 2016: Hooked by Nir Eyal (2014)
I enjoyed learning about the ‘Hooked’ model and how it is possible to create engaging products by aligning them to the user’s habits and behaviors. “New habits are sparked by external triggers, but associations with internal triggers are what keeps users hooked.”

August 2016: Jony Ive by Leander Kahney (2013)
Jonathan Ive is called The Genius behind Apple’s greatest products with good reason. “Design had been a vertical stripe in the chain of events in a product’s delivery; at Apple, it became a long horizontal stripe, where design is part of every conversation.” Jony elevated our craft to a level it’s never been at before.

September 2016: Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski (2011)
When it comes to the web, people will use the closest device they can use to get what they need done. With this in mind Luke suggests to design with a Mobile First approach and embrace the constraints and benefits of designing for “one eyeball and one thumb” and after that, crafting an appropriate experience for desktop.

October 2016: Our Common Bond by Australian Government (2014)
Four years ago, my Design career got me in this beautiful country and now reading this book definitely gives me “the feels” and pass on the joy and pride in being Australian. I’ll obtain my citizenship in a few weeks and I am beyond excited to soon be able to call myself an Aussie, I can’t wait to keep exploring this path.

“And since creativity is still the most effective way for me to access wonder, I choose it. I choose to block out all the external (and internal) noise and distractions, and to come home again and again to creativity. ” – Big Magic

I hope you enjoyed my book picks this year! these definitely helped keep the creative juices flowing. Did you read any of these books and loved them too? Let me know!

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