The end of a year tends to make folks wax nostalgic. December rolls around and almost immediately we look back through Facebook’s auto-generated year-in-review video. We share our Spotify most-listened-to lists with an intoxicating mix of pride and shame. We even, maybe, take a cursory glance at our New Year’s resolutions from the past year before hastily tucking them away in a drawer never to be spoken of again. And with all the reminiscing that happens on a personal level, it’s hard not to indulge in a bit of it as an organization, too.
This year was a big year for us at Myplanet: we welcomed 20 new teammates; we had 18 staff give presentations at over a dozen local, regional, and international conferences; and between our partnerships with IBM and Acquia and our product team’s work with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, we explored the worlds of AI, CUI, and even AR with Microsoft Hololens (stay tuned for more information about that one!).
Alongside all the growth, opportunity, and change this year, one of our biggest highlights of 2017 was seeing our company mission of improving everyday experiences start to take hold outside of our own offices. All over the place we saw innovations in the technologies being created and in how they were being applied to make workplace tools and daily experiences easier, more understandable, and more straightforward for all kinds of users.
We’re big believers in knowledge sharing and that elevating your own work can and should elevate others. Whether it’s open source contributions, hosting hackathons and community events, or inviting 18 students into our offices for 2 weeks for hands-on training with real clients, we believe in doing what we can to grow the collective knowledge base, skills, and abilities of folks in our sector. It’s why connecting with audiences through this blog is so important to us.
So yes, it has been a big year. We’re ready for a little holiday relaxation. But before we get to that, and certainly before we hit the ground running in 2018 with all the projects we’ve already got on the horizon, we’re going to indulge in one final bit of nostalgia. One that supports our belief that in sharing knowledge is always better than hoarding it. Without further ado, here are our top 10 reads from 2017:
Apple TV, Drupal 8, and You
How do you feed online media content to interfaces when there isn’t a browser involved? We break down an Apple TV integration using Drupal 8, a project we worked on for an accessibility-focused client. (Bonus! For design-minded folk, check out the companion piece on designing for this project here.)
“Credit Culture” Makes Us Mediocre
Designers are trained that they’re only as good as their next idea. But does this hurt our teams? How does clinging to personal ideas help collective work? Myplanet Chief Design Officer Erik von Stackelberg explores how our teams stifle their growth and chances for success by remaining to tightly attached to owning ideas.
Get Started: Data-driven Design
In the final piece of our 3-part series on data-driven design, we offer up some quick and (relatively) easy tips for bringing a data-driven design process to your workflow.
What Is “Cognitive Enterprise”?
Interested in “cognitive enterprise” and how it’ll impact your business? Read this primer to get a sense of what’s possible and better understand what’s coming.
Stylefinder: Bringing AI to Brick-and-Mortar Stores
The Myplanet Concepts team created an AI-powered image recognition system that connects to social media for a more informed, insightful, and personalized retail customer experience.
Drupal an HTTP/2: Time to Experiment!
HTTP/2 is making significant inroads, promising better, faster, web experiences. But is it really the next wave? Or is it more trouble than it’s worth? Our own Geoff Appleby explores if it really merits the hype.
Building a Responsive Reveal.js Theme
Another great piece by Myplanet senior developer Geoff Appleby, this one explaining how he built a custom Reveal.js theme for our new branding. He shares his knowledge in this functional, easy-to-follow guide for anyone interested in doing the same (though presumably not with our branding).
Docker: The Fun and Easy Way!
Docker is more fun than manually deploying an app, customizing your dev environment for every new feature, or even using something like Vagrant. Myplanet Developer Rob McLarty runs through the details in this piece — give it a read, give it a try, and then let us know if you agree with him.
Usability and Accessibility
In this post, we take a closer look at usability, accessibility, and the (long overdue) changes to web accessibility standards in the new rough draft WCAG 2.1 guidelines. It’s not just about one group of people, these standards impact everyone and the way we implement them should be more than an afterthought.
Want to start 2018 off on the right foot? Why not join our team! We’re hiring: apply now.