BonWeekly Highlights – Fall 2022

Written by: Jozsef Deak

Starting simple but with big ambitions, BonWeekly was my way of sharing inspiration at Bontouch during the pandemic, when everyone worked from home. I posted a daily link pack in a Slack thread with articles, music, design, art, book recommendations, videos, and whatever I found interesting. That grew into more of a proper newsletter, which I now share internally every week.

But what’s the use if we only keep these tidbits, cool links, and great reads to ourselves? So, we’re sharing the best from the links published through our BonWeeklys – and are passing it along to you.

#1 Reverse AR by Shopify

Could you tell which room was virtual?

Traditional AR can’t tell you how a couch feels. The AR/VR team at Shopify explored “Reverse AR” to wrap a virtual room around a real thing. Sit on a couch in-store while seeing it in your space—best of both worlds! They show/explain it in a Twitter thread how they built it.

Tags: Design, Technology

#2 How to become planet-centred: our learnings so far

“We know that the need to address climate change is urgent. There’s no point in designing wonderful, user-centred services that will be redundant within a generation if we don’t tackle the environmental crisis.”

Tags: Article

#3 Designerly ways of knowing, a working inventory of things a designer should know

“Design thinking has created divisions in the discipline: either designers are too theory driven or simply practitioners. Those feeling lost can easily turn to a language meant to inspire creative production in easy to pitch ways, where rhetoric uses design to keep power at bay, to celebrate hegemonic beliefs which are used to indoctrinate designers in bad education, incapable of imagining different futures. If you take away the post-its, the A3 papers and the markers, can designers think?”

Tags: Book

#4 An ode to slowness: the benefits of slowing down

I preach about living a slow life a lot. Moving slowly, thinking slowly, working in Figma slowly. I’m trying my best to move through my days slowly (sometimes it work sometimes it doesn’t), but slow days are usually way better and I’m in a completely different state of mind. Even on the busy days I have one important rule, I don’t rush in the morning. I start my day slow at home and I usually have a nice chill breakfast in the office to slowly ease into the day. Oh – and here is an article about the benefits of slowing down.

Tags: Article

#5 Thinking Fast and Slow – summary

Thinking fast and slow is one of the most referenced books in design talks, articles, documentaries. Almost everyone heard of it, very few read it. If you haven’t read it, or read but forgot what it is about, here are 21 insights from it:

Tags: Book

#6 In the AI-Generated ‘Symbiotic Architecture,’ Manas Bhatia Envisions an Apartment Complex Within a Live Redwood

Tags: AI, Design, Architecture, Art

#7 The Knowledge Project – Kunal Shah: Core Human Motivation

Another podcast which is kind of impossible to summarise but has again a lot of food for thought. It’s about culture, cultural differences, market differences, about business, about society, a bit looking into the future and a lot of other things. It’s long but totally worth it.

Tags: Podcast

#8 The Questions Concerning Technology

We all know by now that Zoom causes fatigue, social media spreads misinformation and Google Maps is wiping out our sense of direction. We also know, of course, that Zoom allows us to cooperate across continents, that social media connects us to our families and Google Maps keeps us from being lost. A lot of technological criticism today is about weighing whether a technology is good or bad, or judging its various uses. But there’s an older tradition of criticism that asks a more fundamental and nuanced question: How do these technologies change the people who use them, both for good and for bad? And what do the people who use them — all of us, in other words — actually want? Do we even know?

L.M. Sacasas explores these questions in his great newsletter, “The Convivial Society.” His work is marrying the theorists of the 20th century — Hannah Arendt, C.S. Lewis, Ivan Illich, Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman and more — to the technologies of the present day. This merging of past thinkers and contemporary concerns is revelatory in an era when we tend to take the shape of our world for granted and forget how it would look to those who stood outside it, or how it looked to those who were there at the inception of these tools and mediums.

Tags: Article

#9 User Researcher Anna shares her learnings from working on Research Walls

“I wrote this blog in the spirit of sharing is caring. We learned a lot and want other teams to benefit. There are practical tips, redacted layouts and some pros and cons that we think will help develop best practice.”

Tags: Article

#10 The end of navel gazing

A really good talk about the place and role of UX in any organization, about misconceptions and cross competence communication.

Tags: Article, Video

#11 QSL book

A visual model of human bias

I love the design of this book. Also love graphical books on a really niche topic like this.

“A collection of over 150 “QSL cards”, QSL? chronicles a moment in time before the Internet age, when global communication was thriving via amateur, or “ham”, radio operators.

Discovered by designer Roger Bova, the distinctly designed cards follow the international correspondence of one ham, station W2RP, who turned out to be the longest-standing licensed operator in The United States.”

Tags: Book

#12 Hark

This is a pretty cool app. Hark is a mobile app in which editors curate amazing podcast moments into unique playlists. A mixtape of podcast highlights, if you will. A lovely idea for discovering new shows.

Tags: App

#13 The Creator Board

Another mechanical keyboard. This is one of my favorites that I’ve I found so far.

They have really nice Nintendo inspired keycaps to it as well.

Tags: Hardware

#14 BonTunes #08

I always start listening to more indie, alternative and acoustic music when autumn arrives. I collected some I listened to recently.

Tags: Music

#15 iA Presenter

iA writer is my favourite writing tool / note app. I used it on all my devices for the past 5-6 years now. The company behind it, IA (Information Architects) is one of my favourite design studios (they used to do a lot of cool newspaper sites back in the days and I loved them). They are now launching iA Presenter, which similar to the iA writer is a super simple and clean markdown based editor to create presentations. As a person who hates dealing with Keynote (or any presentation tool) I’m really looking forward to this.

Tags: Tool

#16 Behavioural Science & Gamification for Product Design

Tags: Tool

Written by: Jozsef Deak

Jozsef has been designing mobile apps for over a decade, when skeuomorphic design was hot, Android had 9patch images and Windows Phone was a thing. He likes nerding out on design systems, Figma structures and nitty gritty UI-details.