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Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign No Longer Support OS X Yosemite v10.10

Announcement for users on Mac OS X Yosemite v10.10: Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign will no longer support the operating system after the October 2017 release. For the best and most secure experience of these apps, we recommend using a supported operating system: OS X El Capitan v10.11, or macOS Sierra v.10.12.

What does this mean for you?

Apple provides free OS X upgrades, so you are encouraged to upgrade to the supported OS X El Capitan v10.11 or macOS Sierra v.10.12 at no additional cost from Apple.

You can continue to install and use Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign on Mac OS X 10.10. However, Adobe will no longer test releases or patches for these operating systems, nor will any bugs specific to these operating systems be addressed. Furthermore, any future security updates or patches won’t be applicable to you. If you are entitled to support, Adobe will continue to support you, unless the problem you’re experiencing is isolated to Mac OS X Yosemite v10.10.

If you have any questions about this change, you can post them to Adobe forum for the community of users and experts.

Samsung Electronics and Habitat for Humanity Partner to Promote Sustainable Development in Indonesia

Samsung Electronics and Habitat for Humanity announced today the renewal of a partnership focused on providing residents of low income areas in Bangka Island, Indonesia with home improvements, better access to clean water and sanitation, and enhanced vocational and educational opportunities. Aimed at improving lives, the program will benefit more than 2,000 people in the community.

 

 

Improving Livelihood on Bangka Island

Samsung Smart Learning Class providing coding classes

 

Located east of Sumatra, Bangka Island and a neighboring island are the world’s largest producers of tin – a vital component in electronics devices including mobile phones. Despite the island’s rich natural and mineral resources, illegal and hazardous mining practices have threatened the environment, with residents of Bangka Island challenged with various health risks.

 

In partnership with Samsung Electronics, Habitat for Humanity Indonesia will implement a three-year community revitalization program in two Bangka Island communities. In Penagan village, new homes will be built for over 100 families, and better access to clean water and proper sanitation will be provided to 200 additional families. 300 people will receive training in basic construction, water and sanitation, and financial education, and 100 people will receive job and vocational training. In the Opas Indah village, a high-tech Samsung Smart Library will be constructed for the use of students and the community, where various training courses will also regularly be held. This project is in line with the local government initiative, the Adopting Social / Underserved Village (ADES) program, to enhance the quality of life of citizens.

 

“As a global corporate citizen, Samsung Electronics is committed to solving social problems through our technology and innovation,” said Soojin Kim, Vice President for Global Public Affairs at Samsung Electronics. “This partnership with Habitat for Humanity will lead us to actively participate in solving community challenges in Bangka Island, triggered by tin mining, by providing affordable and clean housing as well as digital education and technical trainings opportunities.”

 

 

Ongoing Commitment

Samsung Smart Library in Rowosari Village built with Habitat for Humanity

 

Since 2013, Samsung Electronics has been a member of the Tin Working Group (TWG), a voluntary multi-stakeholder initiative to address responsible tin mining issues in the Bangka-Belitung region. Samsung will continue to work with Habitat for Humanity to improve housing and hygiene and provide access to digital education in the area, with the project to roll out for the next three years, with a special USD 750,000 fund mobilized by the Samsung Electronics’ Employee Donation Fund. As part of the program, Samsung is currently supporting health and safety education programs for artisanal miners in the region.

 

“Education is essential to all of humankind. Children, as the next generation, must be able to study and be provided all the resources possible to succeed. We appreciate Samsung’s commitment to partner with Habitat Indonesia and support low income families in Bangka Island,” said David Andre Ardhani, National Director of Habitat for Humanity Indonesia.

 

Samsung Electronics and Habitat for Humanity have partnered together since 2013, supporting various projects in seven countries including Vietnam and Nepal. Earlier this year, Samsung and Habitat for Humanity completed a community development project in Rowosari village, Central Java, Indonesia which saw the construction of a Samsung Smart Library, community hall and the repair of 31 houses.

 

About Habitat for Humanity

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 70 countries. In the Asia-Pacific region since 1983, Habitat for Humanity has supported more than 2.4 million people to build or improve a place they can call home. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit habitat.org/asiapacific.

Playing in the leaves with #teampixel

Sweater weather is here, and #teampixel is out there playing in the leaves. From urban art adventures in LA and Chicago to ancient exploration in Petra, plus picturesque autumnal scenes, treat yourself to some of our favorite #teampixel photos from the past week.

We’d love to share your Pixel shots, so be sure to tag your work on Instagram with #teampixel for an opportunity to be featured.

New Talent Bridge Matching Engine Connects Cisco Partners to Top Tech Talent

Since its launch in 2016, the Cisco Networking Academy Talent Bridge program has connected over 1200 Networking Academy students to jobs with Cisco partners. This week at Cisco Partner Summit, Cisco is unveiling a pilot program that will make it even easier for our partners to connect to, contact, and hire passionate, skilled Networking Academy […]

Audition Deep Dive: Auto-Ducking music

One of the most time-consuming tasks that any editor faces is ensuring the different elements of their project blend well and get out of the way of everything else.  The art of mixing, of adjusting the volume of background music so that dialogue or sound effects are clear and audible, is often what separates the professional-sounding projects from amateurs.  Audition already offers several methods to suit individual tastes and styles: manually adjusting clip volume keyframes, riding a volume fader up and down and capturing these movements as automation, or even setting up a complex side-chain input compressor chain.  These methods can usually achieve the best results, but they also take a lot of work, a lot of time, or a lot of technical know-how.

With this release of Audition CC, we’ve introduced Auto-Ducking as part of the Essential Sound workflows.  Powered by Adobe Sensei, our artificial intelligence and machine learning initiative, Music clips can now automatically generate clip volume keyframes that automatically reduce the volume when dialogue, sound effects, and other audio elements are present.  Instead of just looking at the in and out points of each dialogue clip, Auto-Ducking analyzes the audio signal inside each clip and adjusts the music appropriately.  It continues working in the background so as you add, delete, or move clips around the timeline, the volume envelope will adjust by itself.

Auto-Ducking automates volume changes so that background music doesn’t interfere with dialogue and other audio content.

Enable Auto-Ducking

Quickly enable Auto-Ducking by selecting your music clip in the timeline, then assigning it the Music audio type in the Essential Sound panel.  You’ll immediately see a new parameter group, Ducking, in the panel.  Check this option to enable Auto-Ducking, and clicking the text to expose the parameters.  (Toggle this checkbox on and off to temporarily disable ducking, without losing your settings.)  You’ll see a handful of parameters, Duck against, Sensitivity, Reduce By, and Fades.  Lastly, you’ll see options to Monitor clip changes or Re-analyze your content.

Ducking parameters make it easy to fine-tune your adjustments

Duck Against

Select the icons for the audio content types you wish to duck against.  Dialogue, Music, Sound Effects, Ambience, or un-tagged clips.  Choose one type, or several.  You’ll see the new dotted keyframe envelope appear on the music clip.

Sensitivity

This parameter adjusts the threshold at which the ducking triggers.  Higher or Lower sensitivity settings will both result in fewer adjustments, but will focus on maintaining a lower or louder music track, respectively.  Middle-range sensitivity values will trigger more adjustments, giving more of an “FM-Radio” type of ducking, where the music comes in and out quickly between pauses in speech.  (Note in the screenshot below that the dotted volume adjustments don’t simply happen at the start and end of the green dialogue clips, but are actually aware of the audio within each of them and adjust for the best results.)

Reduce By

This parameter selects how much to reduce the volume of your music clip.  Adjusting this setting to the right will reduce the volume more dramatically, towards the left for more subtle volume adjustments.

Fades

Control how quickly the volume adjustment occurs when triggered.  Faster fades are ideal when mixing fast music with fast speech (Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!) while slower fades are more appropriate when ducking background music behind voiceover tracks.  But feel free to use your ears and find the right responsiveness for your project and tastes.

Monitor Clip Changes & Re-Analyze Clips

While this box is checked, Audition will continue to update the auto-ducking volume envelope even when you’re working on other parts of your project.  As you move dialogue clips around, add or delete content,  or adjust the volume and effects of other clips, your music ducking will update quietly and accurately.  Uncheck this box, and you’ll see the dotted volume keyframe switch to a standard keyframe envelope.  This way, you can use Auto-Ducking to get the basic keyframes in place, then make manual adjustments and really customize your results.

Auto-Ducking is going to save minutes or hours for every production, meaning you’ll have more freedom to focus on the creative and storytelling aspects of your productions.  Whether you use it as a single-click or preset, or to do the busy work of drawing keyframes which you’ll manually adjust further, let Audition be your production assistant, doing the heavy lifting and repetitive tasks that can take up so much of your time.

Disruption in Our Learning Cultures Develops Families as Learning Partners

Ymasumac Marañón Davis is an educational consultant, intuitive life coach and author. This blog is the fourth in a series around access. All thoughts are her own.  Today, technology is a bullet train rapidly transforming every sector in society. Disruption is evident in companies like Airbnb and Lyft that have completely rearranged how we vacation […]

Contributing to the Creative Community

For E.J. Hassenfratz, creativity is in his blood. Both his father and uncle worked as graphic designers for broadcast news stations, so he grew up around artists. When it came time to make a decision about college, he pursued a Fine Arts degree and taught himself Adobe Photoshop and After Effects on the side. He put those skills to work interning at the NBC television station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and then landed his first full time job as a graphic designer at ABC in Washington, DC.

After eight years, E.J. decided to try his hand at freelancing, where he’s worked on 3D modeling and graphic design projects for companies including Microsoft and Apple, 360-degree videos for consumer products companies, and content for NBA and NHL games, including projection mapping and content for Jumbotrons. “Previously, the animation work I did would play on the local news, so it’s cool to see my work projected on a huge basketball court or a massive Jumbotron in a hockey arena,” says E.J.

Sacramento Kings Home Opener PreGame Projections from Quince Imaging on Vimeo.

The majority of E.J.’s 2D work is done completely inside of After Effects, then taken to Premiere Pro for editing. He does a lot of animation work, and appreciates how the Puppet tool in After Effects lets him add character to inanimate objects.

E.J. also builds out designs in Cinema 4D and takes advantage of its integration with After Effects for compositing and rendering assets. “The workflow between After Effects and Cinema 4D is very seamless,” he says.

Through his freelance work, he connected with other designers and got plugged in to the After Effects community. Today, what he enjoys most is creating After Effects and Cinema 4D tutorials, which he posts to his website, Eyedesyn, as well as his YouTube channel. He also posts quick tips and industry news on Twitter.

“I’ve learned so much from the community so I decided that I wanted to start creating tutorials to pay it forward,” says E.J. “Many people are self-taught, and I enjoy being able to make learning After Effects easier and more accessible.”

His experience designing motion graphics for television broadcasts made E.J. a perfect fit for creating Motion Graphics templates for After Effects. In addition to understanding the need to work quickly, he also understood the need to make graphics as adaptable as possible.

E.J. created three primary Motion Graphics templates packages: a sports package, a news package, and a futuristic package for online video creators. All of the packages ship free with Premiere Pro, so users can start experimenting with them right away. Each package includes a show open, lower thirds, a logo resolve, and transitions. After doing the initial design and determining what features should be editable, he worked with a back-end designer to bring the Motion Graphics template to life.

“We tried to make as many elements as we could, so if someone wants to make an entire TV show or web show they have all of the elements within each theme to create just the aesthetic they’re envisioning,” says E.J. “These templates are definitely something I wish I’d had 10 years ago when I was building everything from scratch.”

E.J. based much of the template design on current design trends, while being careful not to make anything too limiting. For example, the sports template includes a shield, which is showing up in many sports logos, but includes more modular elements as well.

“The Motion Graphics templates are able to adapt to different situations, making them very flexible and useful,” says E.J. “Designing Motion Graphics templates with adaptability and customization in mind saves time that designers previously spent creating and rendering out individual elements and lets editors focus on what they do best.”

Looking forward, E.J. hopes to continue building his training library, along with speaking at conferences and developing coursework for Lynda.com. E.J. strongly believes he wouldn’t be where he is today without the generous free training content available online, and is happy to now help other up-and-coming designers learn and achieve their goals.

Learn more about Motion Graphics templates in Premiere Pro CC

Update on Kotlin for Android

Posted by James Lau, Product Manager (twitter.com/jmslau)

Today is the beginning of KotlinConf. It's been almost 6 months since we announced Kotlin as a first-class language for Android at Google I/O. During this period, the number of apps on Google Play using Kotlin has more than doubled. More than 17% of the projects in Android Studio 3.0 are now using Kotlin. We are really excited about the strong momentum, and we are thrilled that Android developers all over the world are discovering the joy of Kotlin programming.

Kotlin for Android is production-ready. From startups to Fortune 500 companies, developers are already using Kotlin to build their apps. Developers from Pinterest, to Expedia, to Basecamp -- and many others -- are finding their use of Kotlin is increasing productivity and their overall developer happiness levels. Take a look at some of their experiences with Kotlin below.

With the recent release of Android Studio 3.0, there is now a stable version of our IDE that has Kotlin support built-in. With Support Library 27, we have started adding nullability annotations to make the APIs friendlier to use in Kotlin. We recently published the Android Kotlin Guides on GitHub to provide some guidance for Android Kotlin style and interop. We have also been porting some of our Android samples to Kotlin, and we are adding Kotlin to our official documentation.

Android Studio 3.0

Last week, we released Android Studio 3.0 on the stable channel. This is the first stable release of Android Studio that has Kotlin support built-in. Building on the strength of IntelliJ's Kotlin support, many critical IDE features like code completion and syntax highlighting work well for Kotlin. You can choose to convert Java code to Kotlin by using CodeConvert Java File to Kotlin File, or you can convert snippets of code just by pasting Java code into a Kotlin file.

Project and code templates have also been updated with Kotlin support. When you create a new project or add a new code file, you can choose Kotlin as one of the language options.

The tooling experience with Kotlin is by no means perfect yet. We are aware of several known issues, and we will continue to improve the IDE support for Kotlin in future releases.

Android Kotlin Guides

There are two separate Android Kotlin Guides:

  1. Style guide - details a set of rules and coding standards that Google recommends when writing Kotlin for Android. The guide addresses naming conventions, formatting, structure of the source contents, and much more.
  2. Interop guide - provides a set of rules for creating APIs in the Java and Kotlin programming languages, so that the consuming code in the other language will feel idiomatic.

We intend these guides to be living documents and will evolve them over time. They are hosted on GitHub and we welcome your contributions.

Nullability Annotations

Null-safety is an important feature of the Kotlin language. It helps developers avoid NullPointerExceptions and improves the quality of their apps. Null-safety is a bit more complicated when using Java code from Kotlin. Since any reference in Java may be null, Kotlin's requirement for strict null-safety becomes impractical for Java objects. Types declared in Java that do not contain nullability annotations are called platform types - this means the Kotlin compiler does not know whether it is nullable or not. When calling methods with variables of platform types, the Kotlin compiler relaxes null-safety checks. That means the overall null-safety of your app is weakened.

To let developers take more advantage of Kotlin's strict null-safety, we have started adding nullability annotations in Support Library 27. The Support Library contains a huge API surface area, and we will continue to expand the nullability annotation coverage in the next several releases. In addition, we will also be adding nullability annotations to other Android APIs over time.

While the Kotlin adoption growth is fantastic, our commitment to the Java and C++ programming languages remains unchanged. We've added Java 8 language features support in Android Studio 3.0, and we've added more Java 8 language APIs in Android Oreo. We are also continuing to improve our support for C++17 in the NDK. So even if you are not using Kotlin, your language support will continue to improve.

It's an exciting time to be an Android developer. If you haven't had a chance to try Kotlin, you can get started by learning the basic syntax and by playing with the excellent Kotlin Koans. When you are ready to use Kotlin in your Android app, you can jump to the Android Kotlin page for more resources. With Kotlin's Java interoperability and Android Studio's Java to Kotlin converter, it's easy to start using Kotlin in your project.

Happy Kotlin-ing!

Protecting our Google Docs and Drive Users

Protecting all Google users from viruses, malware, and other abusive content is central to user cyber-safety and sometimes we remove access to certain files in order to provide these protections.


On Tuesday, October 31, we mistakenly blocked access to some of our users’ files, including Google Docs. This was due to a short-lived bug that incorrectly flagged some files as violating our terms of service (TOS). The blocking raised questions in the community and we would like to address those questions here.


The Google Docs and Drive products have unparalleled automatic, preventive security precautions in place to protect our users from malware, phishing and spam, using both static and dynamic antivirus techniques. Virus and malware scanning is an industry best practice that performs automated comparisons against known samples and indicators; the process does not involve human intervention.


Tuesday’s bug caused the Google Docs and Drive services to misinterpret the response from these protection systems and erroneously mark some files as TOS violations, thus causing access denials for users of those files. As soon as our teams identified the problem, we removed the bug and worked to restore access to all affected files.


We apologize to our users for any inconvenience this incident caused and remain committed to offering high-quality systems that keep their content safe while fully securing their files.

Connecting students across space and time with Google Cloud

Editor’s note: This week the Google team is in Philadelphia for the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2017, an important gathering of higher education technology leaders. If you’re at the event, visit us at booth #1100 to see the latest demos of Google Cloud Platform (GCP), G Suite, devices like Jamboard and virtual reality and augmented reality tools. If you want to be a part of the action from home follow at #EDU17 and our @GoogleForEdu account. If you want to connect with our team but cannot make it to the event contact us.

Yesterday we shared some of the inspiring ways we’ve seen researchers, faculty and students in higher education work with GCP to power their big ideas. But it’s not just researchers that can benefit from the cloud. From virtual reality tools like Jump & Tilt Brush to G Suite for Education to GCP, Google tools are helping educators create new, strong connections amongst students, with faculty, and with new parts of the curriculum.

Brown University connects students with the past with virtual reality

The Gaspee Affair is an important, but largely forgotten moment in U.S. history. And with its “cannon fire and gunshots and boat chases,” it was also a perfect candidate for reconstruction in virtual reality (VR), says Adam Blumenthal, Virtual Reality Artist-in-Residence and Professor of the Practice at Brown University.  

With a team of students and a Jump camera from Google, Blumenthal drafted scripts, designed sets and built a detailed virtual world so that students could interact with the past. “One of the things I love about VR is its ability to put people in places that are otherwise impossible, and in this case that’s stepping back in time in these very authentic recreations,” he says. During production the team has used Tilt Brush, Google’s 3D painting tool, to quickly produce storyboards of 3D scenes as well as to create what Blumenthal calls “virtual reality dioramas” that combine Tilt Brush paint with 2D and 3D assets. Today the prototype of their Gaspee Affair project functions like a virtual museum: students can view the spaces from any angle and interact with its objects. Click here to read the full Brown case study.

We want to help more institutions create their own VR experiences for learning. Google’s Daydream team is excited to launch a pilot program to give higher ed institutions the skills and tools to bring these ideas to life. You can get notified about the upcoming 360 video training course, express interest in the Daydream higher education pilot program or learn more about Google’s AR and VR tools.

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Brown University students and faculty create the historic Gaspee Affair in 3D using a Jump camera from Google.

Central Wyoming connects its students and faculty across large distances with G Suite for Education

At Central Wyoming College (CWC), students and staff previously had to be on campus in order to access email and documents—this was especially challenging in a rural region where people commute long distances. Now that CWC uses cloud-based tools through G Suite for Education, it helps them respond to the unique challenges of their campus community.

The school’s 2,000 students are spread across four campuses, and in the case of its Outdoor Education program, remote wilderness. “It’s extremely hard for our students to get together in person,” says CIO John Wood. Now professors and staff can choose to work live or remotely as needed, cutting down on long commutes to CWC campuses. “Their collaboration can now take place in other ways,” Wood says. “Hangouts are becoming popular, since students can use them to meet face-to-face when they’re not on campus.”  Read the Central Wyoming case study and sign up for G Site for Education.

Related Article

Taking education higher with Google Cloud Platform

Editor’s note: This week the Google team is in Philadelphia for the annual EDUCAUSE conference, a gathering of higher education technolog...

Read Article

Manhattan College powers critical campus IT systems with GCP

Manhattan College began using Google Cloud in 2008, and “in most cases, it has been the best answer,” says Manhattan College Chief Information Officer Jake Holmquist. First came the transition to Gmail; that “was the foot in the door that we in IT needed to show the rest of campus that it was okay to operate in the cloud,” says Holmquist.

Then last July, building on the trust and familiarity they had gained using Google tools, Manhattan College moved to implement “Banner 9,” an upgrade to their prior system, on top of GCP. In the past “a typical deployment in our datacenter meant a six-figure hardware purchase that we were not guaranteed to be delivered and provisioned in time for ample testing,” Holmquist said. “Instead, we took the unprecedented approach of deploying these new Banner 9 components in GCP’s Compute Engine. We were able to quickly and easily spin up various components during the installation and upgrade testing.”

They were able to deploy a production environment with “excellent performance and a level of high-availability that we could not have achieved on campus.” This has freed Holmquist and his team up for important work. “Instead of maintaining servers, replacing failed components, and applying patches, we are now focusing on making our applications run more efficiently which results in a more measurable benefit to our end-users.” Read the Manhattan College case study or express your interest in Google Cloud Platform.

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Q&A With Anton Sten, Author of User Experiences That Matter

Anton Sten borrows notes from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to communicate why user experience design matters, regardless of whether you work in UX or not.

Anton Sten is a UX designer and freelancer who literally wrote the book on User Experiences That Matter.

“I think we spend a lot of time these days on websites and in applications that are okay to use, but none of them are really a pleasurable experience. That’s what I’m on a quest to change,” Sten said.

Based in the south of Sweden, Sten chatted with us via Skype to answer our questions about his book and what it takes to create user experiences that truly matter.

Two reasons, actually. One of them is that I wanted to combine different blog posts into a bigger package — something that would be more of a product and not just separate pieces.

The other reason was that I wanted there to be more of a lightweight option for people just beginning to learn about user experience. I think there are some great books on the topic, but most of them are heavy and not really aimed at normal people. It’s quite a light read. It’s not a long book, but it’s something that hopefully will get people thinking more about user experience design, even if you’re not necessarily a user experience designer.

I’m going to ask you the same question you asked several UX designers throughout your book. To you, what defines a great user experience?

I think it really depends on the product. Take something like Dropbox. In my opinion, they offer a great user experience. It works and it’s not in my face. There are no pop ups coming up — it’s out of my way for 99 percent of the time. The syncing is fast and it just works. When I do need additional features, it’s integrated into my system and my existing workflow, so I don’t have to launch an extra app or something like that. that’s a really good user experience for that kind of product.

On the other hand, I think something like MailChimp is nice because their branding is very much aligned with their product. They have taken the time to put effort into all of these tiny details, like when you send the campaign, for instance, you get a high five prompt from their character. They have all of these minor details, but all of them embrace the product and the brand.

I think a great user experience really depends on the brand, the product, the use case for that product, and making sure that all of these sort of align in a great way.

You talk about user experience design in the book as not a separate entity from the user experience entirely, but as just one part of the user experience. What do you think the difference is between the full user experience and that of the user experience design?

User experience design is just part of the bigger picture. If you think of loading times, they are basically crucial to the user experience, but they’re dependent on a number of things. Design is one of them, but it’s obviously not the only one.

I think we need to focus more on user experience, not necessarily user experience design — users are not thinking about user experience design as a separate entity. They’re not coming to a page and thinking, ‘Oh, I understand that this page is slow and that’s fine because these designs are so nice, and the wireframes behind it all are really great.’ You want everything to work together. I think splitting things into silos, like separating design from the entire user experience, is just one of the things that our industry needs to work at in order to create better products.

Absolutely. And on that note, you mention in the book that you’re not the biggest fan of the term “UX designer.” Why is that?

I think that’s related to what I just mentioned. It puts the responsibility of the total user experience on the designer whereas design is one part of the user experience, but it is not everything.

If you have the best possible user experience designer, but have people in logistics or tech that don’t value the user experience at all, the product will still ship with a bad user experience. The designer can only do so much. When something doesn’t work, we tend to then blame the user experience designer.

Yeah, what you’re saying then is user experience is a much more of a holistic thing than just that of user experience design. You’ve mentioned logistics, but also in your book you talk about sociology, and things like the UI, and everything that kind of goes into it.

Absolutely yes, and that can be really small things. If you order something online, for instance, and you find a product, you find the website, you check out, and everything is working just great. But then you get the email confirmation and the tracking number isn’t linked to a tracking service. It’s a really minor thing, but that sort of breaks the experience you had and it’s not necessarily the user experience designer’s fault. That’s just one thing where I think the user experience is bigger than just design.

One tool you reference that can be used to prevent any inconsistencies is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Why did you choose this and how can this be used to assess an overall user experience?

Most of the time, products and services ship when they’ve reached the bare minimum requirement. As a human, that would be like breathing, getting food, and getting sleep — those are the bare requirements.

For new products, that’s fine. But I think in order to make something really great, they need to keep reiterating and trying to fine-tune the experience to move higher up in the hierarchy, just as we as humans need to evolve and work on ourselves ]in order to have the most fulfilling life. I think products and services can use that same term of thinking. There needs to be constant evolvement to become something that’s really pleasurable to use.

You equate pleasurable to use to self-actualisation. Is that what designers and everyone involved in the user experience should ultimately be striving for — whatever you have created is actually a joy for the user to use?

Exactly. I think when we try to list all of the services we are using or have used, there’s just so few of them we actually consider [to be] pleasurable to use — most stop before [they get there]. They reach something that’s good enough, which, in a way, is what most of us humans do also. We tend to live our lives on a scale of what we think is good enough and, in some cases, that’s fine. But I think a lot of us would be happier if we think a bit more about how we’re spending our lives and why.

In the book, you reference the Maya Angelou quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Why did you choose this quote and how does it relate to user experience design?

I think that’s a great quote because I think it’s true for people. We tend to choose our words wisely and think about what we’re doing, whereas it’s mostly how we make them feel that is the key to tactually changing someone’s opinion about something.

I think that relates to user experience design in the same way. Great user experiences actually make users feel something. That could be a tool that makes you feel empowered. Going to myself, the first time I used an iPhone, I probably felt empowered in a way that a mobile phone hadn’t made me feel before because it was something completely different.

I think we tend to work on the practical sides, but not really think about how we want to make our users feel. That could be a tool that makes them feel healthy. It could be a tool that makes them feel like they’re saving time. It doesn’t have to be life changing, but I think just thinking about that sort of perspective can be really useful.

Right, designers must remember that a user is a person.

Yeah, I think that’s really the thing that user experience design, for me at least, is really about — making people’s days a little bit better and a little bit brighter, in whatever way we can. I think we have so many possibilities to do that. Even if it’s something that might seem like a boring task, like paying your bills. If you can actually make a mobile or online bank a little bit more fun and easier to use, I think that goes such a long way.

Who should read your  book?

Anyone that has just the slightest interest in what user experience design is, how people areworking with user experience design, how they’re thinking about creating products. So basically, anyone that has the slightest interest in digital products and the why side of things wondering,‘why is this working in this way?’ Anyone that’s curious, really.

Thank you Anton!

To learn more about Anton Sten and to purchase his book User Experiences That Matter, visit antonsten.com.  

#ColorFontWeek – Abelone

Download Abelone here.

Abelone, as the name suggests, is inspired by the gorgeous iridescence of the marine mollusk Abalone shell. Maria wanted to make the letters very wide to create as much area as possible for the color blending to show through between purple and turquoise. Each character is made from approximately 100 colorful blended circles.

Maria’s OpenType-SVG color font was Made with Fontself Maker. “It was truly astounding how easy [Fontself] was to use,” Maria says. With Fontself, the design of Color Fonts is now within reach for anyone to create their own font. Not only does it make font design more accessible, but as Maria says, its flexibility inspires creativity. A design can create multiple colored glyphs in Fontself Maker that can contain up to 1,000 vector points. Maria’s designs take full advantage of the capability. Most of the glyphs in the Abelone font contain more than 100 color tones.

Maria is a former classical musician and a self-taught graphic designer. She’s always had an interest in art, which inspired her to enter the graphic design world. This new font is generously made available by Maria. Visit her behance page to learn more about her work.

The Abelone OpenType-SVG Font was designed with Fontself Maker in Illustrator CC and made available at no charge to you for this week thanks to the generosity of Maria Grønlund. This font can be used on the latest release of Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC. Free download expires 11/5.

This font is available as part of 5 free color font series released during #ColorFontWeek.

Samsung Electronics Announces Senior Executive Promotions

Samsung Electronics today announced new appointments of senior executives to form its next generation of leadership.

 

Seven executive vice presidents were promoted to presidents for their exceptional contributions: Tim Baxter was recognized for driving success across a broad range of consumer products in the North American market; the Device Solutions (DS) Division saw the largest number of promotions, reflecting its outstanding performance this year.

 

In addition, President Hyunsuk (HS) Kim, Head of Consumer Electronics (CE) Division, will also lead Samsung Research, which was created by combining the Company’s main hardware and software research centers for its branded products. This will mark the first time a CEO will directly oversee such research center.

 

The promotions are as follows:

 

  • Tim Baxter was promoted to Corporate President and will continue to serve as CEO of Samsung Electronics America

 

  • Gyoyoung Jin, Head of Memory Business, was promoted to President and will maintain his current role

 

  • Inyup Kang, Head of System LSI Business, was promoted to President and will maintain his current role

 

  • Eun Seung Jung, Head of Foundry Business, was promoted to President and will maintain his current role

 

  • Jong-Hee Han was named President and Head of Visual Display Business; previously Executive Vice President and Head of R&D at Visual Display Business

 

  • Hee-Chan Roh was appointed as President and Chief Financial Officer; previously Executive Vice President and CFO at Samsung Display

 

  • Deuk-kyu Hwang was appointed as President and Head of Samsung China; previously Executive Vice President in charge of the Giheung-Hwaseong Complex, Semiconductor Business

 

The heads of the Company’s three divisions — Kinam Kim, HS Kim, and Dongjin (DJ) Koh — will assume additional roles associated with their respective new posts.

 

  • Kinam Kim, Head of DS Division, will also serve as CEO of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, the primary research center for the Company’s components and materials.

 

  • HS Kim, Head of CE Division, will additionally become both Head of Digital Appliance Business and Head of Samsung Research

 

  • DJ Koh, Head of IT & Mobile Communications (IM) Division, will continue to lead the Mobile Communications Business

 

The Company also announced that the previous heads of the DS, CE, and IM divisions, in recognition of their invaluable contributions to Samsung Electronics’ success, will remain within the Company with more senior executive titles.

 

The three former heads will not be involved in the Company’s daily operations, but will leverage their knowledge and insights to advise the current management team. As previously stated, they will leave the Board of Directors as of March 2018.

 

  • Oh-Hyun Kwon, recognized for making Samsung Electronics the world’s largest semiconductor company, has been named Chairman of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. His expertise will help guide future technology development.

 

  • Boo-Keun Yoon has been appointed as Vice Chairman and will be responsible for the Company’s external Corporate Relations.

 

  • Jong-Kyun Shin has been appointed as Vice Chairman and will play a lead role in nurturing the Company’s future leaders.

 

With today’s announcement, the Company has completed its leadership change. The new team will accelerate the pace of innovation and address the increasingly complex demands of the connected world, keeping the Company on its growth trajectory.

 

Executive profiles of the newly appointed presidents are as follows:

 

Tim Baxter, Corporate President and CEO of Samsung Electronics America

Mr. Baxter is a sales and marketing expert, who joined Samsung Electronics’ U.S. division in 2006 after working for AT&T and Sony. He has since built an extensive record of success at the Company in growing revenue and brand value for both the consumer electronics and mobile businesses.

 

Gyoyoung Jin, President and Head of Memory Business

Dr. Jin has a wealth of experience in the development of cutting-edge memory technologies and is a renowned authority on memory process architecture and DRAM product development. He has led the Memory Business since 2017 and is expected to maintain the Company’s unparalleled market leadership in the memory industry.

 

Inyup Kang, President and Head of System LSI Business

Dr. Kang joined Samsung in 2010 after having steered the development of cellular chipsets at Qualcomm for 13 years. Since then he has played a pivotal role in strengthening the competitiveness of the Company’s System-on-Chip business. As the head of the System LSI Business since 2017, he has worked to strengthen its many cutting-edge technologies and is expected to continue to expand the System LSI Business.

 

Eun Seung Jung, President and Head of Foundry Business

Dr. Jung has spearheaded the development of major advanced logic process technologies since Samsung started its System LSI Business. As the head of the Foundry Business since 2017, he is expected to lay the foundation for it to become one of the Company’s core businesses.

 

Jong-Hee Han, President and Head of Visual Display Business

Mr. Han has been highly influential in creating innovative TV products, helping the Company maintain the No. 1 position in the global TV market for 11 consecutive years. He is expected to continue driving innovation to lead a renewed leap forward for the Visual Display Business.

 

Hee-Chan Roh, President and Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Roh is a financial management expert, having previously served as the head of Samsung Electronics’ corporate management team and since 2015 as the Chief Financial Officer of Samsung Display. As the newly appointed CFO of Samsung Electronics, he will run the Company’s global operations.

 

Deuk-kyu Hwang, President and Head of Samsung China

Mr. Hwang is recognized for his business insights and strong networks, having worked in procurement, planning and auditing for the DS Division. He has developed deep understanding of corporate relations in China while working on the Xian semiconductor complex, and is expected to provide crucial support for Samsung’s local business pursuits.

Building the Case for Diversity: Key Takeaways from New Adobe Research Report

I recognize and have had many stories of gender bias and discrimination shared with me over my decades of experiences. Anecdotally, I know these experiences stall and deter women and people of color as they advance in the creative industry. Unfortunately, there has been limited research that explores the factors that have led to disproportionate barriers for women and people of color as they pursue creative careers.

Much of the research on diversity in various creative fields focuses on the representation of diverse talent entering and advancing in the industry. Studies like “Artists in the Workforce” by the National Endowment of the Arts and AIGA’s 2016 Design Census help build the case that women enter the creative industry in comparable numbers to men but do not advance at the same pace. For people of color, the challenges extend beyond advancement as we see a dearth of representation in the pipeline.

A new Adobe study, based on the findings from a survey of 750 U.S. creative professionals, reveals the unique barriers for women and people of color in their pursuit of a creative career. Creativity’s Diversity Disconnect finds systemic challenges cause creatives of color to start at a disadvantage. Creatives of color are twice as likely as white creatives to perceive a lack of access to tools and training as a significant barrier.

Women face a steep climb in their career progression. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of women feel that their gender will negatively impact future success (compared to 14 percent of men). Creatives of color feel the barriers to success more intensely than their white colleagues. They are also less likely to feel valued at work.

Click below to see key takeaways from the report:

Adobe Spark Page
Bias and exclusion stall women and people of color and homogeneity prevails, impacting the work we produce and the advancement of our industry.

But, there is good news. The vast majority of creative professionals understand that diversity is not only the right thing to do but also makes business sense. Eighty-two percent believe their best work was produced by a diverse team. This mirrors my own experience. Creative teams that include people with multiple perspectives, backgrounds, and life experiences tend to push one another toward better ideas and products. There is high agreement across race and gender (eighty-seven percent average overall) that a diverse workforce should be an industry priority.

As a partner and contributor to the creative community, Adobe is in a unique position to do something more meaningful. It is our responsibility. The research is just the beginning. Adobe will continue to build on this body of work through additional discussions and partnerships with the creative community.

Individuals have a role to play, as well. In my role as Vice President of Design at Adobe, I aim to inspire the next generation of leaders – leaders from different genders, races, and ethnicities who can bring to bear new designs and innovations that appeal to an increasingly diverse customer. I, personally, pledge to encourage more open dialogue to ensure every contributor on my team feels their ideas are heard and valued. I will also continue to serve as a role model and mentor for other women coming up the ranks. The study underscores the importance of seeing others like you at the top. I have a responsibility to ensure that I do not remain one of the few.

How do you plan to address creativity’s diversity disconnect? Use #CreativityforAll to share the findings from this study and actions you commit to taking to address the outlined barriers and challenges for women and creatives of color. Creativity for all begins with you.

Read the full findings from the Creativity’s Diversity Disconnect report

Join the action: #CreativityforAll

Samsung Experience 9.0 Beta Now Available

Samsung Electronics today announced the launch of the Samsung Experience 9.0 beta, part of the Galaxy beta program which offers select customers a chance to experience new features available through the Galaxy ecosystem.

 

Previously known as TouchWiz, Samsung Experience is based on the Android OS and has expanded beyond the user interface to provide Galaxy users with a consistent and seamless experience across all Samsung mobile software, apps and services. This change is in recognition of the increasing suite of unique services Samsung has developed for the Galaxy devices.

 

Following Samsung Experience version 8.5, which was released with the Galaxy Note8, Samsung Experience 9.0 is based on the latest version of the operating system built on the Android Oreo UI and UX, and will be available on the next flagship Galaxy device.

 

Samsung is launching a Samsung Experience 9.0 beta program for select customers. Starting on November 2, 2017, Galaxy S8 and S8+ users based in South Korea, the U.S. and the U.K*. will have the opportunity to preview the upcoming Samsung Experience 9.0 before its official release, with additional rounds of registration.

 

The beta period will allow Samsung to gather helpful insights and feedback from customers on their first impressions of the Samsung Experience 9.0 beta’s performance** and usability during the testing period*** to develop a more reliable, high-performing software package and provide Galaxy users with an improved and optimized experience.

 

To apply for the program, users must have an active Samsung Account and meet certain requirements. The Galaxy beta program may be provided via the Samsung Members app or the Samsung+ app for the U.S., which are available through the Google Play store or Galaxy Apps, depending on the user’s country of residence.

 

For more information, please visit the Samsung Members FAQ for Korea, the U.S. and the U.K.

 

 

* In South Korea, Beta program is available for Galaxy S8 and S8+ users who have a device that is locked to SKT, KT or LG U+.

In the U.S., it is available for Galaxy S8 and S8+ users using Sprint or T-Mobile network carriers, or have purchased an unlocked version for the U.S.

In the U.K., the program is available for Galaxy S8 and S8+ users who have an open market device (operator unlocked version).

** Since the beta software is not the official version of the interface, unexpected errors may occur.

*** End date of program differs by country and may be subject to change.

Welcome HTC to the Android One family

Android One took some important steps two months ago in an effort to give people a fresh, secure software experience designed by Google on more high quality devices. In a short amount of time, our partners have already announced some amazing phones, including the Xiaomi Mi A1 and Android One Moto x4 on Project Fi.

Today, HTC is joining the Android One family with their HTC U11 life. Designed with the latest touch interactions, a powerful camera, and immersive audio experience, here’s a closer look at what you’ll get with the Android One version of the new phone.

  • Smarts: All Android One devices are optimized for the Google Assistant, meaning you can get help simply by saying “Ok Google” or long pressing on the home button. With the Android One HTC U11 life, we’ve taken this one step farther; you can now launch the Google Assistant with a squeeze of your phone, thanks to HTC’s Edge Sense technology. With HTC U11 life, you can take a selfie, look up directions, manage your tasks on the go and more with just a squeeze.

  • Fresh and secure: This is the first Android One phone to launch with Android Oreo. This means the HTC U11 life is more powerful than ever, with minimized background activity for your battery to last longer, or even do two things at once with Picture-in-Picture. Android One phones are guaranteed to stay fresh over time, and are among the most secure with monthly security updates and built-in malware protection with Google Play Protect. Moreover,  the HTC U11 life will receive an upgrade to Android P when available.

  • Powerful camera: Take faster, clearer photos and HDR Boost on the 16MP main camera, even in low light. Google Photos will be the default gallery on this device, giving you free and unlimited storage of your photos and videos at high quality.

The Android One version of the HTC U11 life will launch first in Germany in Media Markt stores and on Amazon.de. We look forward to bringing this device to other countries in Europe and Asia Pacific later this year and into 2018.

Taking your business global just got easier with Market Finder

Thanks to global e-commerce, there have never been so many opportunities available to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). However, there are also challenges in the global market. Reports show that though exports provide an average of GBP £287,000 (the equivalent of about $350,000) in extra revenue to UK businesses, SME owners who haven’t exported to a new market still don’t know where to start.


SME owners are experts when it comes to local customers, but are less knowledgeable about finding new markets and everything that entails: culture, buying trends, export legalities, and payment options for their product in other countries. This is a key problem; our 2017 consumer survey shows that UK SMEs cite international marketing and operational barriers as the biggest barriers to success abroad.


Today, we’re announcing Market Finder, a new tool that helps businesses identify new customers, plan for success, and grow their export sales online. It also offers freely available guides, videos, and tips—making it as easy as possible for businesses to take the first steps into the export market.


Step 1: Finding the best markets for your business: Once you enter your website into the Market Finder tool, it will suggest which export markets are best for your product or service. It shows the number of monthly Google searches for your product as well as a potential market’s gross domestic product. Market Finder analyzes consumer internet use, demographics and disposable income, giving clear indicators and valuable insights into a market’s growth potential.


Step 2: Preparing your business for a global market: Market Finder sets you up for international success by getting you export-ready. Extensive localization tools, guides and tips show how to communicate effectively to a new market, whether it’s language, customs or preferred payment methods. Logistics resources outline the rules of international delivery and transportation for your chosen market. Payment guides explore the many payment options available globally—and pinpoint which ones are best for each market.


Step 3: Getting your business in front of customers: Market Finder provides training resources on digital marketing to ensure that users looking for your business can find it. For instance, it shows how to create AdWords campaigns that are effective and geared to your chosen market through a series of accessible case studies, guides and videos.


Market Finder was launched at a Google event today, where Greg Hands, Minister of State for Trade Policy, representatives from the London School of Economics, the UK Federation of Small Businesses, and Google discussed how Market Finder facilitates exporting products and services to new regions for small businesses.


Greg Hands emphasized the importance of digital technology in reaching global customers: “Today, 3.7 billion people are online around the globe, so every business, no matter how small, should be going digital to reach new customers around the world. The new Market Finder tool is just one part of the huge range of support we offer as an international economic department, so British companies can seize on exporting opportunities and make the UK a global trading nation.”


Chris McDonald, Enterprise and Innovation Chair at the Federation of Small Businesses, spoke about the need for a stronger focus on exports in the UK: "Digital innovation is blurring the distinction between goods and services. By fully exploiting new digital technologies such as Google’s Markets Finder, more small firms can compete effectively in the global market, with no business too small to export."

For #MyFutureMe finalists, a geofilter shows dreams for the future

A better and brighter future. A world that accepts people for who they are. Voicing opinions for those who may not be able to.

These are just a few elements of a future envisioned by five special teenage girls. Along with Snap Inc., we created the #MyFutureMe contest to challenge teens to design a geofilter based on the future they imagine for themselves. More than 22,000 teens entered the contest, and five finalists—chosen by Snap—are attending TEDWomen in New Orleans this week, where they’ll hear from entrepreneurs, innovators, artists and activists. They’ll receive mentoring sessions from three Google engineers, and each girl will work with the Snap Design team to create her own, unique Snapchat Lens.

These finalists were chosen from 22,000 teens who entered the contest. Here are the geofilters they created, as well as their vision for the future they not only imagine, but are determined to create.

Anna Nesbitt
Pittsburgh, PA

My dream is to bring computer science and robotics to third world countries. I'm taking coding classes right now and I am a part of a FIRST Robotics Team (Girls of Steel 3504) to learn as much as I can about coding and robotics so I can apply it to my aspirations. I started and ran a robotics team at my elementary school last year in 8th grade for a group of third graders. I taught them basic engineering and CS concepts. I hope to expand my program to two more teams this year, focusing on inspiring girls!

myfutureme_anna.jpg

Zoe Lynch
South Orange, NJ

7.5 billion people make up the world’s population; each with their own unique set of skills and talents. My vision for the future is one where innovation is accessible to all. As a multiracial girl, I believe it’s important for everyone to be included. Whether it's tutoring math, volunteering, creating problem-solving applications, or doing something as simple as spreading positivity; I am doing as much as I can to make my vision for the future a reality. Together the possibilities are endless. 7.5 billion people—that’ s a lot of brainpower!

myfutureme_zoe.jpg

Aishwarya Rane
Diamond Bar, CA

My vision for the future is to have greater gender, racial, and social equality and increase representation for minorities. I hope to develop interpersonal skills as well as public speaking skills. I believe these skills will allow me to voice my opinions for those who may not be able to. I am a part of Girl Up, a campaign by the UN to empower girls around the world, and Society of Women Engineers at my high school. I actively work to bring awareness about contemporary issues (i.e., human trafficking) and increase female representation in STEM.

myfutureme_aishwarya.jpg

Maria Wangamez
San Francisco, CA

An educated world. A world that accepts people for who they are. A world without barriers to education, whether those be financial, geographical, or social. I want to develop a comprehensive education system that can be instituted across the globe; one that is not standardized, but can be changed and suited to varying levels of different types of intelligence (mathematical, scientific, linguistic, artistic, athletic...). To accomplish this, I will start a company, and gather creative, forward-thinking people around me; ones with unique and fantastic skills in coding, educating, animating, advertising and calculating. Together, we will educate the world.

myfutureme_maria.jpg

Sasha Williams
Danville, CA

The future I envision is a better and brighter one. A future where everyone is equal, and confident in who they are, and not judged or mistreated for that. I am currently trying to make this possible through my skill set around gaming and coding. I advocate for young African American girls and inspire them to become creators of their own future, through technology. I have also made a social justice video game about Black History, that won me a trip to the White House! My future me wants to make a difference. I'm kind of a big deal.

myfutureme_sasha.jpg

The Google Assistant on phones, now in Spanish and Italian

The Google Assistant is already available on phones in a number of languages around the world and this week we’re adding a few new ones to the roster—Spanish in the U.S., Mexico and Spain as well as Italian in Italy. So now you can say “Ok Google” and ask the Assistant to play your favorite song, tell you about the weather, navigate home and more. Or try something fun and say “¿Ok Google, sabes nadar?”

Our goal is for the Assistant to be available to help you get things done, no matter what language you speak, what device you’re using or what question you’re asking. Today’s update is another step in that direction, as these new languages join English in Australia, Canada, U.S. and U.K.; Portuguese in Brazil; French in Canada and France; German in Germany; Japanese in Japan; and Korean in Korea. Rolling out over the coming weeks, these new languages will soon automatically be available on eligible Android phones running Android 6.0 or higher with Google Play Services, and later in the year, they’ll also be available on iPhones.

Ci sentiamo presto.

Connecting Donors and Driving Change on Facebook

On October 1, Facebook launched a new feature in India to make it easier for people to sign up to be donors and to connect people and organizations with the blood donations they need, right from Facebook.

But how did we get here? The product was built in part on activity we saw our users taking. But it was the important collaboration with partners in our community, such as NTR Trust, Sarthak Prayas, Rotary, BloodConnect, and SocialBlood to bring blood banks, hospitals, and donors together. This story highlights how Karthik Naralasetty, a technology leader at SocialBlood and early partner with Internet.org, provided insight and leveraged Facebook to connect donors to those in need.

Identifying the Challenge

Many countries — 71 according to the World Health Organization — collect more than half of their blood supply through a replacement donor system. That means if you or a loved one receives blood from a hospital or blood bank, you’ll need to find a donor to replenish the blood you received, often in a few days.

One of those individuals was a young girl in Bangalore, India, that Karthik read about in 2011. He couldn’t believe how difficult it was to get the blood she needed each month to survive.

Not long after, he came across a Facebook post from a friend who was requesting blood for his father. Luckily, he was able to find blood donors through his friends and family on Facebook. This gave Karthik an idea. With so many people on Facebook in India, why not use the network to connect people seeking blood with donors?

The Network it Takes, the Platform He Needed

Karthik set up a series of eight Facebook Groups, one for each blood type. Members of each group could post a request with the required blood type. This eventually led to the creation of Socialblood, an app that connects blood donors to recipients around the world. One of the most touching stories involved the father of a 4-year-old girl in Hyderabad who was going through heart surgery. The father posted this need and within 6 hours she received 80 offers to help.

“Our mission was to connect more donors with more recipients so that more lives could be saved,” says Karthik. “Facebook seemed like a natural and convenient place for people to connect. With so many active users, the Facebook platform allowed us to impact the problem in a big way.”

What’s Next

Now, the ability to donate and find blood donors has been embedded within Facebook (see how it works here). With the insights of our community, helped by groups like Socialblood, we’re able to deliver tools that connect people to the help they need, when they need it.

How Meeting Local Needs Has Made Samsung a Leader in the SE Asian Home Appliances Market

 

Do you know where the idea for the AddWash washing machine came from? You might be surprised to learn the product was originally developed specifically for consumers in Southeast Asia.

 

When analyzing Southeast Asian consumer needs regarding washing machines, Samsung Electronics learned that many individuals wanted a way to add an item after starting a cycle. Developed with consumer feedback and lifestyle habits in mind, AddWash was equipped with a small window on the main door that allows users to easily add a piece of forgotten laundry to the wash mid-cycle.

 

As a result, AddWash became a highly popular customized product. So much so that it even landed the ‘Design of the Year Award’ at the President’s Design Award in Singapore and also won the ‘Ergonomic Design Award’ at the Asian Conference on Ergonomics and Design. This shows how much Samsung is being loved among consumers as one of the most preferred home appliance brand in Southeast Asia.

 

 

Appliances Built to Satisfy the Tastes of Southeast Asia

Whether its eating habits in Thailand or entertainment preferences in the Philippines, Samsung Electronics believes that understanding local cultures and lifestyles is paramount to creating the best possible products and services. Here are a few examples of some additional Samsung products and technologies born from this principle:

 

 

Twin Cooling SystemTM: Samsung’s innovative Twin Cooling SystemTM technology was created based on the needs of consumers in select Southeast Asian countries, where many cuisines are defined by strong spices and pungent flavors.

 

In Vietnam specifically, many citizens enjoy putting ice in their beer. But because the cooling systems of conventional refrigerators often caused a mixing of odors, ice frequently tasted of other refrigerated items such as seafood.

 

With Samsung’s Twin Cooling SystemTM, which controls the refrigerator and freezer independently, food odors are isolated, ensuring that ice tastes like ice and not like fish. It also expanded freezer space to reflect the needs of users in Vietnam and India, thus improving customer satisfaction and increasing sales.

 

 

Wind-Free™ Air Conditioner: Samsung’s first ever Wind-Free™ wall-mounted air conditioner, which integrates Samsung’s exclusive Wind-Free™ Cooling technology into its design, enables a cooler indoor climate and energy efficiency without the discomfort of direct cold airflow. This innovative product was designed for consumers in Southeast Asia, where air conditioners are used throughout the entire year.

 

 

Microwave Oven: Similarly, Samsung created a microwave equipped with a unique local recipe function, specialized for the Malaysian market.

 

Efforts like these have enabled Samsung to secure its position as one of the most dominant brands in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, the company’s localized products have not only been well received in the markets in which they were optimized for, but have also attracted global attention.

 

 

Understanding Users’ Future Needs, Today

To determine specific regional needs to develop such products, Samsung has a total of seven Product Innovation Teams and two R&D Institutes across ten countries. At these facilities, the company’s Product Innovation Teams continuously conduct extensive research to understand how different people approach and use technology today.

 

 

The Lifestyle Research Lab, which is one of core functions of the Product Innovation Team, looks beyond product behavior to discover evolving needs and values surrounding the family, work and education, as well as other societal and cultural trends. Keeping the environment, culture and consumer lifestyles of each region in mind, the teams forecast future ways of living and define opportunities for innovation. The Product Innovation Teams then use these findings when creating prototypes to unearth insights and develop concepts for game-changing products and solutions. AddWash, for example, was developed entirely at the Lifestyle Research Lab in Singapore, from the initial concept planning stages all the way to the product development stages.

 

Ultimately, the teams’ research findings help to accommodate the ever-changing needs of users in various corners of the world.

 

In line with its commitment to deliver meaningful innovations that add real value to consumers’ everyday lives, Samsung will continue to develop products and solutions optimized for the needs of each region around the world.

How Chrome helped LafargeHolcim stay productive during a merger

Editor’s note: Based in Switzerland, LafargeHolcim is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of building materials, with a presence in 80 countries. Paul Young, their head of collaboration and knowledge, tells us how they relied on Chrome and Android devices to stay business ready during a merger.

Merging two large companies, with two large IT systems, is a challenge even under the best of circumstances. So when the world’s two largest cement manufacturers, Lafarge and Holcim, merged in 2015, ensuring business continuity while integrating these two IT systems was a top priority. Fortunately we had Chrome to help.

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Before the merger, Lafarge and Holcim both migrated to Chrome, making the transition easier, faster and more cost-effective. The merger increased the company’s global presence to 80 countries, but with Chrome, updates were automatic. Chrome was also pre-installed on each desktop and mobile device, so we saved time because we didn’t need to deploy it region by region. 

Google's admin console has made it easy for our IT department to manage both Chrome browser and Android devices from a web-based application. Since we have offices around the globe, this was crucial. Not only are Android devices affordable, but our IT department finds them easy to set up and manage from one administrative panel. And with Chrome, our IT staff can manage browser settings for our employees’ devices no matter where they are. Overall, the combination of Chrome and Android devices has saved the company thousands of dollars every year.

Since the merger, LafargeHolcim has become a leader in manufacturing cement, concrete, aggregates and asphalt, but our growth hasn’t diminished our pace of innovation. In 1864, Lafarge won the “contract of the century” and delivered materials to build the Suez Canal. In 1942, Holcim created one of the world’s first cement research and testing facilities. Combined, LafargeHolcim has over 180 years of experience. And with Google, we’re able to help our employees do their jobs better as more of their work moves online and goes mobile—and continue to innovate.

Poly: Browse, discover and download 3D objects and scenes

If you’re building for virtual and augmented reality, you need 3D objects for your apps. With Tilt Brush and Blocks, we’ve made 3D creation easier. Now, we want to enable creators and developers to build on everyone’s work. That’s why we created Poly: one place to browse, discover and download 3D objects. 

Poly lets you quickly find 3D objects and scenes for use in your apps, and it was built from the ground up with AR and VR development in mind. It’s fully integrated with Tilt Brush and Blocks, and it also allows direct OBJ file upload, so there’s lots to discover and use. Whether you’re creating an intense space walk in VR or a serene garden of AR flowers, you’ll find the ingredients you need in Poly.

Introducing Poly

Search thousands of free models for use in your AR or VR apps, including everything from a rocket ship to a synthesizer to an ice cream cone. Found a robot you like, but need it with four arms instead of two? You can remix many of the models you find. Click “like” to import a remixable object into Tilt Brush or Blocks and make changes; Poly will automatically credit and link to the original creation when you publish your remix.

PolyPlaces

In addition to being a great place for developers to find assets, anyone can use Poly to view 3D objects in a mobile or desktop browser. You can search for specific things, like a fox or a pizza. Once you discover something you like, you can create a shareable GIF or view it in VR using Cardboard or Daydream View.

So if you’re a developer building for VR, ARCore or ARKit, or you just want to explore cool 3D objects and scenes, Poly will help you quickly and easily find what you’re looking for. Get started today at poly.google.com, or sign up to preview our API when it’s available.

Google News Lab Fellows … Where are they now?

Five years ago, we created the News Lab Fellowship to connect up-and-coming reporters with nonprofit journalism organizations that use data and technology to report the news in different and interesting ways. Since then, we’ve expanded the program to 12 countries, and most recently, the fellowship in Germany, Switzerland and Austria offered placements for journalists and developers in 18 renowned media organizations. We put a special focus on diversity by granting fellowships to journalists with migrant backgrounds.

Jieqian Zhang (@Jieqian_Zhang), 2016 Fellow at the Center for Investigative Reporting

Jieqian Zhang.jpg

What she's doing now: I am now a multimedia editor at the Wall Street Journal.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I got to work with some of the best data journalists in the industry, and learned how to use data, design and code to tell stories. The experience assured me that I wanted to pursue a career in interactive journalism.

Ben Mullin (@benmullin), 2014 Fellow at The Poynter Institute

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What he's doing now: I'm a reporter at The Wall Street Journal in New York, where I cover media and advertising.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: Breaking into journalism on a national level is really hard, and I couldn't have done it without the Google News Lab Fellowship. This opportunity jump-started my career and gave me a toehold at a remarkable institution that ultimately hired me on full-time. I couldn't be more grateful.

Matt Baker (@phatmattbaker), 2016 Fellow at Fairfax Media in Sydney, Australia

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What he's doing now: I finally secured a tenure track university position! Officially I am now: Dr Matthew AB Baker, Scientia Research Fellow at UNSW Sydney

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I learned how to better run a narrative thread through a data-driven story and use my scientific skills to improve reader experiences.

Daniel Funke (@dpfunke), 2017 Fellow at The Poynter Institute

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What he's doing now: I'm a reporter for the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, covering fake news, fact-checking and online misinformation around the world.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: It was like compressing four years of journalism school into two and a half months—and made me an immeasurably better reporter. The Fellowship gave me the resources and training I needed to continue being a student of news, while also inspiring me to tackle some of its most pressing challenges.

Madeline Welsh (@madelinebwelsh), 2015 Fellow at Nieman Lab

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What she's doing now: I am working between editorial and production for a recently launched Google Earth feature called Voyager.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I worked specifically on a project for Nieman Lab looking at how newsrooms were approaching the increasing importance of mobile readership. That was important for the work I later was involved in at the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab. The fellowship made possible my time at Nieman Lab, which in turn opened me up to a lot of the interesting projects happening in news now.

Stan Oklobdzija (@StanfromSD), 2014 fellow at The Sunlight Foundation

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What he's doing now: Finishing my doctoral dissertation in Political Science at UC San Diego

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: Working at Sunlight helped me connect the academic understanding of money in politics to the unfolding 2014 midterms to tell a fuller story about campaign finance. It also taught me to go beyond traditional data sources to track political money beyond FEC disclosures.

Lindsay Abrams (@readingirl), 2017 Fellow at Matter.vc

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What she's doing now: Finishing my final semester of graduate school at New York University's Studio 20 program, and in January, I'll be joining Matter full-time as Associate Producer, Media and Program Operations.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: My background is in journalism, so my time spent at Matter exposed me to a whole new world of tech, entrepreneurship, venture capitalism and design thinking. It led me to an amazing job that I never would have thought to seek out had I not experienced it firsthand.

Christine Schmidt (@NewsBySchmidt), 2017 Fellow at Nieman Lab

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What she's doing now: I work as a full-time Staff Writer at Nieman Lab.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: It connected me to the journalism editors, strategists, innovators, and devotees that I interviewed in my work. I had the opportunity to pick the brains of cool people doing cool journalism, and now I'm incredibly lucky to be able to do that full time as a staff writer at Nieman Lab.

Taylyn Washington-Harmon (@taylynharmon), 2016 Fellow at Nieman Lab

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What she's doing now: I’m an Associate Social Media Manager at SELF.com

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: This was the first chance i had to do a newsroom internship because previously all my spare time was spent running my own journalism start up. Working with Nieman Journalism Lab gave me the necessary newsroom experience to not only improve my skills as a social media editor but also learn valuable industry information to understand the future of journalism.

Creative Matchup: UX Designers Battle It Out on Adobe XD for Girls Who Code

Three designers. Four hours. One epic design challenge.

UX designers went head-to-head in Adobe’s latest Creative Matchup. In this challenge, three talented designers have been tasked to use Adobe XD, the all-in-one cross-platform design and prototyping tool, to create a new profile experience for Girls Who Code‘s mobile app Loop.

Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization devoted to closing the gender gap in the tech industry. It helps equip girls with the computing skills they’ll need to pursue 21st-century job opportunities. In the challenge, the designers have to use Girls Who Code’s existing branding and color palette, and have four hours to use Adobe XD to create an experience that will impress the judges and satisfy the client.

“We wanted our sisterhood to be able to share more of their experience and their personality in their profile so they can use it to help them apply to college or future jobs,” said Amulya Kunati, teacher at Girls Who Code and one of the judges.

You can watch the creative battle play out in the videos below, but first, let’s meet the designers and judges.

The Competitors and The Judges

The challenge pits three experienced UX designers from three different companies against each other, all in the name of creating a great feature for a good cause.

Left to right: George Kedenburg, Jordan Smith, and Jeany Ngo

For all of them, Girls Who Code is a cause they believe in. “I feel like Girls Who Code gives opportunity for girls in a safe space to be who they are and gives them the resources to learn [about code and design] so I’m really excited about it,” said competitor Jeany Ngo.

The judges may come from three very different backgrounds, but all have an interest in seeing the designers create the best experience for Girls Who Code.

Challenge Part 1

With four hours on the clock, the designers get to work creating Girls Who Code’s new profile experience, using Adobe XD’s design tools and features.

“Four hours is a realistic timeframe for me to be able to get through unread slack messages,” said Jordan Smith, with a laugh. The pressure might already be on, but like any good design challenge, there’s a big twist. Check it out below.

Challenge Part 2: Final Elimination

With only two competitors left and two hours remaining on the clock, the competition heats up as the designers push to create and fully prototype their designs before time runs out. While they’re all experienced with Adobe XD, having to create the new feature in such a short period of time gave them a new appreciation for XD’s all-in-one design.

“A really great feature in Adobe XD is the combination of design and prototyping in the same tool…just a great way to get your point across and to show someone how a flow pieces together,” said George Kedenburg.

In the end, our judges gave the win to the designer “who met the client needs the best,” giving Girls Who Code a rich profile experience inside its app. While all three competitors did an exceptional job working with XD, one rose to the top. Check out the winning design in the video above, and head over to Behance to see more of the incredible design prototypes #MadeWithAdobeXD.

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