Issue 48: RIP metaverse

How to adapt icons to fonts in different styles; How to recognize photos generated by AI; How to use Midjourney when developing branding and so much more!

Issue 48: RIP metaverse

Hello, dear readers! 👋

In this issue, among other things:

  • Why did the metaverses fail
  • How to adapt icons to fonts in different styles
  • Why AI Can't Do Real UX Research
  • How to recognize photos generated by AI
  • How to use Midjourney when developing branding
  • Why Users May Unknowingly Lie in Surveys
  • Training materials for creating cinematic CG projects
  • 750+ free illustrations in different styles
  • 1000+ 3D assets in low-poly style
  • Quotes from "Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques" book by Michael Michalko

Enjoy reading!

📚 Book quotes

This week I suggest you another book by Michael Michalko's "Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques" Review the quotes and decide whether to read or not:

Creators are joyful and positive. Creators look at “what is” and “what can be” instead of “what is not.” Instead of excluding possibilities, creators include all possibilities, both real and imagined. They choose to interpret their own world and do not rely upon the interpretations of others. And most importantly, creators are creative because they believe they are creative.

The CEO of a major publishing house was concerned about the lack of creativity among his editorial and marketing staffs. He hired a group of high-priced psychologists to find out what differentiated the creative employees from the others. After studying the staff for one year, the psychologists discovered only one difference between the two groups: The creative people believed they were creative and the less creative people believed they were not.

Thomas Edison held 1,093 patents. He was a great believer in exercising his mind and the minds of his workers and felt that without a quota he probably wouldn't have achieved very much. His personal invention quota was a minor invention every ten days and a major invention every six months. To Edison, an idea quota was the difference between eating beefsteak or a plateful of Black Beauty stew.

To increase your self-affirmation, get in the habit of remembering your successes, your good qualities and characteristics, and forgetting your failures.

It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed in the past; what matters is the successful attempt, which should be remembered and reinforced.

Record all the things you like about yourself—your positive qualities, characteristics, and traits. Include the successes you have had in every area of your life: work, home, school, and so on. Keep adding to this list as you think of more things and as you accomplish more. Acknowledging yourself, your abilities, and your own unique qualities will encourage you to get moving.

Instead of presenting a catalog of all known creative techniques and abandoning you to puzzle out which ones actually work, I started with the ideas (fish) and worked backwards to each creator (fisherman). Then I identified the technique that caught the idea.

Set yourself an idea quota for a challenge you are working on, such as five new ideas every day for a week. You’ll find the first five are the hardest, but these will quickly trigger other ideas. The more ideas you come up with, the greater your chances of coming up with a winner.

Assumptions are maintained by the hug of history. Yet, history does not guarantee their validity, nor does it ever reassess their validity.

Whenever Thomas Edison was about to hire a new employee, he would invite the applicant over for a bowl of soup. If the person salted his soup before tasting it, Edison would not offer him the job. He did not hire people who had too many assumptions built into their everyday life. Edison wanted people who consistently challenged assumptions.

Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko | Penguin Random House Canada
Rethink the Way You Think In hindsight, every great idea seems obvious. But how can you be the person who comes up with those ideas?

🗞 News and articles

Icon transcendence: customizing icons to complement fonts

"Evil Martians" talked in detail about how to adapt icons to fonts in different styles using the example of an arrow icon. They explained when it should be done, which aspects of the font should be paid attention to and how to borrow individual elements from symbols and letters. The article also has many illustrative examples.

Icon transcendence: customizing icons to complement fonts—Martian Chronicles, Evil Martians’ team blog
There are many lovely open source icon sets out there, but sometimes, we just need to ‘transcend’ them. Product Designer Gleb Stroganov shows us how to craft customized icons by leveraging product font styles, bridging two key interface elements—and giving our products some serious style.

ChatGPT cannot do user research. Why ChatGPT may produce inaccurate

Jason Godesky explained why ChatGPT, like any other AI, cannot conduct real UX research, but can be an excellent assistant in creative work. He explained why AI provides inaccurate information about people, places or facts, whether AGI (universal AI) will be able to conduct high-quality UX research and why people tend to look for meaning even in absurd neural network responses. Jason also suggested 5 ways to use ChatGPT for UX designers and added specific examples of queries.

Ways to use ChatGPT in UX design:

  • Competitor analysis
  • Making notes based on voice messages or videos
  • Search and analysis of references for inspiration
  • Writing multiple versions of micro-texts with the same meaning
  • Creating hints for ChatGPT or other AI

To find out how people will use what we create, we need to talk to them. In order for an AI to create the same thing as a UX researcher, it must do the same thing as a UX researcher - talk to people. "..." This goes beyond what AI can do. If you remove users from this process, then what you get will not be a UX design.

ChatGPT cannot do user research
Why ChatGPT may produce inaccurate information about people, places, or facts.

⚡️ Briefly

How I used Midjourney to design a brand identity. Matty Brownell shared his experience of using Midjourney for branding development and gave basic tips on how to get the desired result.

How I used Midjourney to design a brand identity
Learn one of the ways in which AI has elevated my design work.

How can you tell if a photo is AI generated? National Geographic has prepared tips that will help you recognize photos generated using AI.

The example on the left is a real picture of photographer Frans Lanning, and on the right is an image created by AI with the "cheetah photo in the style of National Geographic" script.

How can you tell if a photo is AI generated? Here are some tips.
It takes 13 milliseconds to process a picture. When you take more time to look, what you find may surprise you.

Everybody Lies. Your Users Too. Michalina Bidzinska spoke about why users may unknowingly lie in surveys, why listening to users is less important than watching their actions, and why most user decisions are based on emotions.

Everybody lies; your users too
Why listening to users is less important than observing their actions.

New technologies

RIP Metaverse

A curious article by Ed Zitron on Insider about why metaverses failed with a crash, never gaining popularity over the past three years, and how the vector of large IT companies has shifted towards a more understandable and useful AI.

The main reasons for the collapse of the metaverses, according to Ed:

  • The unnecessarily grand promises of a futuristic "Internet revolution" and the low quality of the product, which turned out to be extremely far from spectacular presentations. For comparison, watch the presentation of 2021 from Meta, and then an interview with Mark Zuckerberg, recorded in the same metaverse
  • The clumsiness of VR technologies and the inability to give a clear definition of what the metaverse really is. Even after 3 years, no one can really explain what its essence is and why people should spend their time and money on it
  • Lack of real user interest despite promising forecasts. For 2022, Horizon from Meta had 200,000 active users per month with a stated goal of 500,000, and the Decentraland metaverse worth $1.3 billion had only 38 (!) active users per day
  • The slowdown in economic growth and the growing hype around AI. For 2023, Microsoft, Disney and Walmart stopped developing their metaverses and cut tens of thousands of employees, and the main metaverse enthusiast Mark Zuckerberg said that his company is shifting the focus of investments towards AI technologies
RIP Metaverse, we hardly knew ye
Mark Zuckerberg spent years trying to make the Metaverse happen, but now it has been replaced by AI and is headed to the tech industry idea graveyard.

🧘 Inspiration


Going. A colorful rebranding of the service for booking tickets and hotels with a pleasant palette of colors and lettering in the logo. The main feature of the style was the effect of an invisible globe, on which typography and photographs seem to be stretched.

DesignStudio rebrands Scott’s Cheap Flights to Going
Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights, DesignStudio creates the new brand strategy, naming, visual identity, and digital design for Going.

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