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Our Top 10 Stories of 2018

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Jan 02 2019

From workplace culture to best practices for brainstorming to the future of interaction—2018 has been a year of creative growth for The Octopus. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up our greatest hits—the top ten stories that you, dear readers, have read and shared most this year.

The list is chock full of tips and tools to help you bring a creative mindset to your life and work. We hear you loud and clear: Look out for more how-tos and to-dos in 2019!

PS: Sign up for our weekly email newsletter to stay up to date with The Octopus in the new year.


1. 5 Brainstorming Exercises for Introverts

Shy people of the world, unite! Try these five creative brainstorming exercises to help the introverts among us feel more comfortable contributing their ideas. Read the story!


2. An IDEO Recruiter’s 5 Tips for Writing a Better Cover Letter

Prepping for a job interview? Use these five tips from a seasoned IDEO recruiter to help you write a compelling, well-crafted cover letter. Read the story!


3. This Deck of Cards Will Change the Way You Work

It can be a challenge finding the right language for critiquing creative work. That’s why a team of IDEO designers created this deck of cards to establish a shared vocabulary for cross-disciplinary teams. Read the story!


4. Why Gesture is the Next Big Thing in Design

Soon, communicating with our AI assistants by talking into thin air may no longer be our only—or best—option. Here’s why gesture interfaces could be the future of interaction. Read the story!


5. Why Workplace Culture Matters (And How to Build a Good One)

You might think workplace culture is about ping pong tables and sparkling water, but really, it’s about creating the conditions for employees to do the best work of their lives. Here’s how to level up your company’s culture. Read the story!


6. 3 Tips to Help You Prototype a Service

Prototyping is a powerful tool in the design process, but not every prototype can be built out of cardboard and foam core. IDEO U shares tips from their newest course to help you prototype intangible service experiences. Read the story!


7. 15 Podcasts Playing in IDEO Ears Right Now

Looking for some fresh audio inspiration? Feast your ears on these 15 podcasts hand-selected by IDEO designers. Read the story!


8. 3 Ways to Get Comfortable with Ambiguity

As designers, it’s our job to help build the future we want to see. While that freedom can be liberating, the ambiguity can also be tough to navigate. Try these mindset shifts to help you embrace uncertainty like it’s no big thing. Read the story!


9. A Cartography Nerd’s Guide to Custom Map-Making

IDEO’s resident cartography nerd shares his step-by-step guide to designing a custom interactive map. Read the story!


10. 6 Ways to Hack Your Workspace and Find More Joy at Work

Research shows that feeling joy at work not only increases our wellbeing, but also our job performance. Get started with these colorful ideas from guest contributor Ingrid Fetell Lee, a designer who studies joy. Read the story!

  • Saige Perry

    Marketing Lead, Content Strategy, Global Brand
    Saige Perry is a content strategist at IDEO, where she looks after the IDEO brand and its many digital homes. Her happy place is somewhere in the shadowy back-right corner of a hole-in-the-wall music venue.
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