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Issue № 336

Prevent server outages and database errors from turning into customer relations disasters with an emergency communications plan. Relight your creative fire when tough deadlines and tougher clients sap your storehouse of ideas.

Fire Drills: Communications Strategy in a Crisis

by Mandy Brown · 1 Comment

Every site or service will fail eventually. An emergency communications strategy can get you through the crisis faster and reassure your users while you're putting out the fire. Learn to imagine, prioritize, and prepare for everything that can go wrong, assign roles in advance to get you through the crisis, and communicate effectively with your customers throughout the experience.

Reigniting Your Creative Spark

by Denise Jacobs · 13 Comments

Creative is as creative does, except when your creative spark fizzles out. Looming deadlines, over-fussy clients, dull projects, or feelings of fatigue that may signal the beginnings of burnout, any of these everyday afflictions can tamp down your creative fire, making it tough to come up with creative ideas just when you need them most. But fear not! Denise Jacobs shares sure-fire strategies to reignite your creative spark.

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Columnists

Rian van der Merwe on A View from a Different Valley

The Distance to Here

The people who determine product strategy move through a world of analysts, media, division leads, shareholders, stakeholders, monetization, and marketability. They seldom get a chance to come back to the corner where users and designers mingle. Rian van der Merwe suspects that increasing the communication distance between the decision makers and the product’s builders and users leads to a loss of perspective—and the results are products with marketable features that no one really needs.

From the Blog

On Our Radar: Faux-Naïve

On our radar these days: Google rebrands. A web animation expert refuses to speak at your conference if it doesn’t have a code of conduct. Preload hints can help you load your web fonts faster. A new site launches that hopes to bridge the gender gap in communication design. Your weekend reading awaits!

On Our Radar: Pretty Advanced Machine Learning

Between bots and blogging, newsrooms are getting into Slack in some very cool ways (take some inspiration and apply for a Knight-Mozilla Fellowship!). Plus more recommended reading: revisiting Cameron’s World; the joy of generalists; the finer points of faving; and one really excellent gif of cats.