Insights

Wunderkammer

September 6, 2018

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Wunderkammer is our newsletter filled to the brink with stories on strategy, design and tech, as well as the freshest news from our studios all around the globe, topped with a bouncy GIF. Links that captured our attention, collected by all of us, and curated by our Idean UK (ex-Adaptive Lab) team. Sign up now and check out past issues below.


#86 Adaptive Lab x Idean Issue

We’re thinking about the business of design, product-market fit, microcopy, and brand purpose


Has Neoliberalism blinded the design community?

6 min | Written by Jordan

Capitalism has run out of steam and isn’t equipped to face the challenges of tomorrow. The world needs some new ideas. In fact, it needs a new ‘big idea’. More than ever, it needs design. As designers we are intrinsically linked to the future and the people who use and experience what we create. That makes us morally obligated to shape it responsibly.

Take responsibility

Microcopy 101: how to write for successful products

16 mins | Source: Prototypr | Shared by Andrea

Designing words? Is that a thing? Microcopy is everywhere: it’s the label on a form field, the punchy button begging to be pushed, the confirmation text after placing an order. Tiny, delightful words that are often overseen by design teams - but have the power to make or break an entire experience. Carefully crafting your messages - no matter how tiny they might be - will take your product a long way.

Convert to microcopy

Brand purpose without all the nonsense

9 min | Source: Noteworthy | Shared by Nick

This blog comes at an interesting time for us as we prepare to fully roll Adaptive Lab into the Idean brand. It’s been a time of thinking, navel-gazing and drinking. The thing is, a brand purpose can be super exciting, as well as among the most valuable things your business owns. Just don’t let the bullshit creep in.

Find your purpose

The designer who changed Airbnb’s entire strategy

5 min | Source: Forbes | Shared by Nick

Another day, another tale about how business strategy and design go hand-in-hand. From storyboards to points of view, this one’s full of juicy insights and quotes from the ridiculously talented Rebecca Sinclair.

Feed your brain

Design-driven companies. Are we there yet?

7 min | Source: Mike Industries | Shared by Amanda

As designers, we want to have impact (as Jordan elaborates on in his blog above). We want our work to make a difference. Choosing the right company to work for is tough in a world where every second job offer comes from “an innovative, design-driven company …”. But are they really?

All companies sit somewhere along the spectrum of “design-driven”, from actively hostile to totally committed. Knowing how to decipher recruiters’ pitches and examine them for clues can help you identify the right company at the right time for your work to have impact. Not just for the customer, but for the company too.

Navigate the spectrum

Where to go after product-market fit

20 min | Source: Andreessen Horowitz | Shared by Nick

Some pearls of wisdom from Marc Andreessen. In this interview, he talks about one of the most challenging junctures in any business’s life: you’ve got a product, and people are actually buying into it – what do you do now?

Discover what’s next

Accessibility Do’s and Don’ts from the UK Home Office

3 min | Source: Github | Shared by Kayleigh

The Home Office have recently released some brilliant dos and don’ts posters to help with designing for accessibility. Not exhaustive but a good place to start.

Design for everyone

Collaborate intermittently for the best results

5 mins | Source: Science Daily | Shared by Mike

What’s that, a bad word against collaboration? Sort of. A new study by Harvard Business School suggests that being “always-on” may actually hinder groups’ ability to create varied, high-quality solutions.

Read this alone

Rethinking the idea of the firm

5 mins | Source: Economist | Shared by Chris

Another multinational joins the push for B-Corp certification. With around 30% of its subsidiaries already certified – and aiming for them all by 2030 – Danone is reimagining what it means be a business. And as investors begin to consider the impact of their investments on future generations, this reimagining is quickly becoming reality.

Be the change

A news roundup and… the party everyone’s talking about

We’ve had an awesomely busy summer - we’ve been talking about Fintech for SMEs with Rebank, discussing investing into design capabilities with the Times and digital transformation in the UK with the Telegraph, and if you pick up the latest issue of Courier Magazine on Business of Design, you’ll find some thoughts from James on how consultancies can adopt the Beta Businesses approach (as pictured above 🚀).