Super8: Eight intriguing articles from October.

Sometimes we go through life at what seems like a dizzying speed, jumping from one thing to the next. We encounter obstacles: some jump us while others make us stumble.

But in the middle of this race, do we slow down and pause to think about why some obstacles are seemingly harder to cross than others?

Take a moment to read these eight articles as the authors pause to reflect: Is there a better way to do it? You might just find something to give you the spring in your step to jump a little higher next time.

1. The safety issue.

Is it possible to innovate while making things more efficient? Blair Enns doesn’t think so. In this article, Blair explains how innovation and efficiency are two opposing forces and that increasing one will always reduce the other. This principle is not immediately noticeable during your day, but by pointing it out, you will begin to notice it everywhere.

2. How to test an information architecture.

Have you ever been to a website trying to find information and it just doesn’t seem to be where you expected? This may be because the information architecture (IA) was not well designed. But how do you create a well-designed AI? Through testing. Donna Spencer describes a very fast and effective way to test AI to get quick results and ensure your website visitors don’t get lost. Read and see what information you could gain.

3. What touches you? Understanding motivation is key to your success.

Everything we do (or don’t do) is determined by our motivation, even though we don’t often think about our motivation until we find it lacking. In some ways, it may seem like our lack of motivation for something we want to do is an oxymoron, because if we wanted to do it, surely we should have the motivation. However, by understanding the different types of motivation and seeing which ones resonate deeply with us, we might find tools to help us get things done.

4. The hidden history of screen readers.

Come learn about the beginnings of screen readers and learn about the obstacles that were overcome to create technologies that help visually impaired or blind people navigate the digital world. I hope this reading sheds some light on the ways we can make it easier for millions of people around the world to use technology.

5. The design industry must imagine a world where we use less energy.

As energy demands increase around the world, designers are exploring solar products to focus on renewable energy sources. But is it enough to switch from oil to the sun? Even with the rapid increase in investment in renewable energy, demand outstrips supply. Here, Katie Treggiden explores the concept of using less energy in our lives and cities.

6. The disease more.

What makes you happy? This question drives some people to push themselves to ever greater heights. But what if it’s not the right question? Mark Manson thinks so. In this article, Mark describes how life is not a journey of improvement, but a game of compromise. To be better in one area, you will have to drop the other areas. Read on to find out why.

7. “Protestware” is on the rise, with programmers sabotaging their own code. Should we be worried?

How far would you go to make your opinions known? In this article, Christoph Treude explores the rise of ‘protestware’, which can have a global reach as code often crosses national borders. What are the ethical implications and what could happen if this trend increases?

8. To be more creative, plan your breaks.

Have you found yourself facing a wall in your creative thought process? Maybe it’s because you’re not taking enough breaks. Instead of going all the way, this article recommends that regular breaks might be your best friend for overcoming these blockages, even if it seems counterintuitive to stop when you’re on a roll.

Amanda J. Marsh