In this issue:

  • Turmoil in advertisement land: advertisers want more control, some pulled out of Google in retaliation (it's always hard to have a product and please all customers);
  • A list of Behavioral Economics "tricks" employed by Uber to manage their drivers, pulled from a 5000-word NY Times article: we do the hard work so you don't have to;
  • Small insight into how cloud computing is changing Education
  • An attempt at figuring out sample size for Qualitative User Research
  • 17 years of Mobile Handset Manufacturers in one graph
  • What are Stories, why is Facebook so keen on them, and how Snapchat is doing place analytics
  • Some updates on ML, Virtual Reality, Chatbots, Voice UI, Tools, Innovation Process, Security, and use case for iOS 10.3 Alternative App Icon
  • Cats and Bells 🐈🛎
Luis Abreu  

Turmoil in advertisement land.

Never expected to get these many ad-related links in a single week, scan these out:

  1. Chase chose to [curate the websites they advertise on], going from 400,000 to 5,000 without performance loss(;
  2. The CEO of WPP (ad company) is losing sleep over Amazon. People use Google less and less for product search (G is trying to fix it) and go directly to Amazon where the future of advertising isn't yet known. Add to that the challenges of advertising on Instagram, Snapchat;
  3. The Priceline Group ( , Kayak, OpenTable) spent $3.5 billion (35% revenue) on performance ads in 2016
  4. Advertisers didn't like their ads being displayed next to inappropriate content, so they pulled their ads from YouTube. I guess the emerging theme is that advertisers are starting to want more control over where their ads are displayed. I've heard Google prefers to level the playing field by giving everyone similar tools, fine control would create Sharks that would drive the smaller players away as well as more efficient ads (less revenue for Google). Google is doing something about it though.;
  5. ★★★★★ You've scanned 5 link titles! Only 5 more to go! ☆☆☆☆☆
  6. The Deck Ad Network Is Shutting Down: was a bit of an indie ad network displaying ads on niche tech blogs, USP being "we're the good guys" pop;
  7. Adidas is moving away from TV ads and onto social.
  8. Speaking of them kids: they're bypassing Ads and URLs by sharing screenshots instead. Skyscanner, Instagram, Amazon and perhaps others have noticed this behavior and facilitate sharing without leaving the app when a screenshot is taken. Remember: You can't stop the waves, but you can surf them.
  9. Google tried inserting ads into Google Home: "It's 10ºc today. By the way, Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast opens today. In this version of the story, Belle is the inventor instead of Maurice. That rings truer if you ask me. For some more movie fun, ask me something about Belle.”
  10. 14.000 readers of 9to5mac claim they wouldn't pay $5 for an ad-free Twitter with deeper analytics. Completely unscientific poll but I wonder if there's a way for Twitter to subsist without ads. They seem to be beefing up the platform's support for Chat Bots.
  11. 🎉 Well done! **Link Reader Achievement Unlocked** (it'll all make sense once you read the Uber summary in the Behavioral Economics section)

AI and ML

Creativity is Remixing

This is a mind opener: "Image-to-Image Translation" and "Photo Style Transfer" give us a taste of how creativity can be automated.

They take in for example a daytime photo of a City A, nighttime photo of City B, and generate a nighttime photo of City A.

The input are static images and the results are good enough but not perfect, but imagine if you could replace images with audio, 3D, even designed products. Given you're able to create countless iterations, and train or review the results, even creative/critical thinkers can become obsolete (sorry!).

In the short term, feel free to use ML for Snapchat Filters or Smart Replies.

Product Design Weekly  

Human Factors




  • Facebook Messenger
    • Beats Apple in the race for a proactive Virtual Assistant which inserts itself into conversations, it's called M and it's broadly available to anyone in the U.S., including that guy soon to be impeached. 🇺🇸
    • Making it easier to figure out what exactly a bot can do for you by giving the option to take the Chat out of the Chatbot and only allow input through a hierarchical menu;
    • Bringing chatbots to group conversations, perhaps to beef up against Slack, diversity and increase awareness;
  • Google Assistant rolling out to more Android phones Still unsure how that benefits us Product Designers. It's capable of acting on in-app events/media/more but sounds like a something you'd use on a very specialized application.







Security & Privacy


Voice UI

And Finally…