UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week

Pedro Canhenha
4 min readNov 19, 2022

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November//18//2022

Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!

1.

Leveraging AI and Machine Learning for Social Innovation Projects. A fascinating read from The Next Web and author Tristan Greene on the European Social Innovation Database, which has been crafted by a group of researchers on the topic of “Social Innovation”. This topic covers diverse subjects such as economy, fighting climate crisis, and providing better quality of life for all Europeans. However and to better capture data surrounding social Innovation, the researchers leveraged AI and Machine Learning, by way of text crawlers to better categorize all the projects they were identifying (and subsequently ranking). It’s a fascinating article on the power of AI and how it can power change. Highlight of the article includes:

“The ESID database bridges the gap between reported knowledge and available knowledge by a significant amount. Traditional datasets rely on accurate reporting. With the automated system, the team’s able to make the data come to them. Or to be more accurate, they’re able to speed up the data-gathering process exponentially through the use of machines. More importantly however, the database is also quite robust. Its primary audience is researchers who want to know how well social innovation initiatives are working. And, to that end, it breaks the data down by categories including a summary of the project, its geography, topic, and four different kinds of scores meant to further break down the projects by how the term “social innovation” is being defined.”

2.

Homogenization. Very interesting reflection from Ryan Duffy on the progressive homogenization of most brands and overall product solutions being consumed in the market. The author specifically uses the term Blanding in order to describe this increasingly noticeable movement, and how it impacts everything from Brands, Fashion, Cars, Websites, Mobile Apps, to name but a few aspects it touches upon. This is a very pertinent article as it also demonstrates a parallel way of thinking tied with two somewhat contradictory paths: creation and adoption of patterns, and also establishment of differentiation and uniqueness to brands/products. While this movement which Ryan names Blanding (I call it Average Sameness), causes a sense of identification and recognition of all the noticeable cues with users, in parallel it also bottoms out all that made each product and brand so unique and distinguishable (please check Awwwards to get a sense of that Average Sameness). Highlight of the article includes:

“Real-time paradigm shifts like no-code, cloud computing, drop shipping, AI, and remote work are democratizing entrepreneurship in unprecedented ways. Long protected by gatekeepers, the means of production, promotion, and distribution are now freely available to anyone with a laptop. Today, one person with no business or product experience can do what would have taken a team of highly-trained people just a few years ago — in less time, for a fraction of the cost. That means more crowded markets, more intense competition, and more value placed on uniqueness, or what VCs call “alpha.””

3.

The Cost of Discrimination (specifically anti-LGBTQIA policies). Another great article from The Next Web and author Tristan Greene, outlining the considerable cost that is incurred for organizations and people in general, by the sheer practice of discriminatory policies. The article both reinforces the need for diversity in the workforce, but also and just as importantly, how various discriminatory policies have a steep cost of their own, that in the long (and short) run deter progress, innovation, not to mention that in 2022 it continues to deny and recognize the fact that everyone has the same rights, independently of their sexuality. Very interesting and worth reading. Highlight of the article includes:

“What this means, for European entrepreneurs, investors, and STEM workers is that businesses hoping to thrive in the European market can gain a competitive edge by simply doing the bare minimum when it comes to inclusion. On the micro level, entrepreneurs who give themselves and their companies the best opportunity to hire diverse talent stand to outperform and earn more than less diverse competitors. And, on the macro level, startups, scaleups, and companies that form in areas with greater focus on equal rights for LGBTQ citizens will ultimately have higher ceilings than those in areas with larger rights gaps between groups.”

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