EVALUATING GOOD DESIGN

We also all know iconic designs, such as the Swiss Army Knife, the humble Google home page, or the Disneyland visitor experience. All of these are constant reminders of the way strong design can be at the heart of both disruptive and sustained commercial success in physical, service, and digital settings.

NOW IT'S WHATSAPP INFLUENCING POLITICAL OUTCOMES

WhatsApp has been in the news recently almost as much as its corporate parent, Facebook. During the recent Brazilian presidential campaign, a group of wealthy supporters of eventual winner Jair Bolsonaro purportedly paid for an army of WhatsApp shills to spread disinformation about his opponent. One outlandish piece claimed Bolsonaro’s opponent Fernando Haddad planned to distribute phallic-shaped baby bottles to children to counteract homophobia. Haddad supporters responded with their own media assault. A Brazilian fact-checking industry sprung up to counteract the rumours, and the fact checkers themselves were soon the subject of a misinformation campaign.

THE PRICE OF ART

The lush new art-world documentary The Price of Everything shows us a system so waist-deep in hyper-marketing and excess that it’s hard to look at art without being overcome by money, prices, auctions, art fairs, celebrities, well-known artists, and mega-collectors who fancy themselves, conquistadors. In this, it’s a lot like most recent accounts of the art world — which are, all told, pretty accurate. I hate this toxic rot and junkie-like behaviour. Yet I love art and the art world. I hate the portrait of that world contained in this movie, but I also recognize in it what I love.

LEADERSHIP KEY TO GOOD DESIGN

It often starts the way it did for LaiYee Ho and Nick Stamas. LaiYee, a UX designer, and others on her team at the home automation company Wink were frustrated by what they didn’t know about their users. She put together a guerrilla effort, with no budget, to visit people’s homes. She brought engineers with her.

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