Exploring AI innovations & facing fears – Week Note 27/10/2023

Published: 2023-10-27
Who this is for: • Product • Design • Tech • Dev

Table of contents:

I started this late this afternoon, so please forgive the inevitable horrendous mistakes and lacklustre writing. Hopefully this will make it out today. I’m not going to waste time here, but it’s been an interesting week…

Facing the fear of self-promotion

These rough MVP -minimum viable posts 😉- blog posts and the accompanying website have been in the works for a few weeks now. I’m thinking of this blog as a product and I’m learning a lot. This is the early phase, of me writing, so I’m thinking of it as an MVP.

I’m trying to build the habit of writing and publishing posts in advance of starting at RCN next week, while I’m acting as a full-time dad to a nine-month-old. In hopes my Week Notes and blog posts won’t feel like such a challenge when I’m working and my daughter’s in nursery.

I couldn’t let myself off from accountability though. If I’m writing I have to publish them and promote them somewhat. So last week, I posted the first Week Note, and a day later posted and publicised my first new blog post. Not a big deal but a win in my mind.

With promoting blogs online comes the avalanche of nobody reading them. Forcing me to think more about a promotion strategy and direction for the content I’m putting online. Be it my personal website, Medium, or Good Resources. So that’s what most of my free thinking time has been spent on.

Deciding on the next phase of this product

Last week, I mentioned I’ve been treating this blog as a product, and that I’ve been grappling with the future of Good Resources, another product I released last year that’s been relatively stagnant. When I launched this blog, I noticed it and Good Resources started to influence each other.

The weekly pace of releasing content for the blog made me re-think the premise of Good Resources. And, considering a release schedule and what type of content to publish on the blog, contributed to this reflection. Good Resources on Design systems

Currently, It’s a site for product people, designers and developers. There’s hundreds of resources relating to those fields. Resources can be anything including; videos, articles, tools, inspiration, etc.

Thinking about how to reinvigorate Good Resources, and what content I could create here, I had an idea for the first feature of this product (the blog).

Last Week in Product (working title)

This may be what Good Resources becomes, I’m yet to decide. But ‘Last Week in Product’ will be a newsletter of the best things I discovered in Product the week prior. Be it written content, products, resources or experiences.

This series aims to enhance collaboration and communication among design, development, and product teams. Optimal teamwork for these departments is a design problem, I’m interested in working on.

I’m aiming to release the first one this coming Monday 30/10/23, with a weekly release schedule. The first few will be released online, while I work out the kinks, but I’ll probably switch to an email newsletter when I’m happy with the quality.

Sign up below to be an early adopter, you can choose to give feedback if you’d like to contribute to the improvement of this written content product and let me know what you want included.

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As for Good Resources, I’m working on the next release and there are some big changes on the way. To increase the release schedule and improve usability. I will be reducing the amount of resources per release and giving a brief description of the resource and why I think it’s a good resource. I’ll continue to group the resources by ‘Design’, ‘Product’ and ‘Development’. Hopefully, these changes make it more valuable. Be notified of releases or sign up for user testing by clicking here.

Discovery: Lex AI

Thanks to the research I’ve been doing for ‘Last Week in Product’ I stumbled upon a couple of interesting products this week…

I had a fascinating encounter with Lex, an AI developed to assist with numerous tasks. Lex is capable of auto-completing text, generating creative content, sorting emails, scheduling meetings, and so much more.

Lex wrote that sentence. It also outlined this week’s note for me based on the notes I gave it to reference.

That’s not the interesting part though, any old large language model AI can do that. What makes this one stand out to me, is the fact it’s a Google Docs replacement. It’s like a grown-up, useful Clippy, the long-dead, polarising, writing assistant in Microsoft Office 2000. Lex AI full page

Designed to augment writing, Lex operates like Google Docs, but if I want it to think of the next line for me, I hit cmd + K (on a Mac) and a menu appears. I could highlight this sentence and ask it to rephrase it in a more classic style. Lex AI menu

Having an AI built into my writing tool provides the first instance of streamlined UX in an AI that I’ve experienced

Other apps like Notion, for example, have added AI capabilities to their paid plans. But It feels like a bolted-on extra. A fun addition but not a tool that will actually improve my day-to-day work life. Don’t get me wrong, I love Notion, I might just be bitter because I don’t want to pay the extra anymore. Sorry, Notion, Lex has won me over.

Lex AI Overview

I discovered another product that looks like a beautifully designed and different take on web browsing, Arc. But I haven’t had time to explore it yet so can’t give an opinion. Other than I’m excited to try a different browsing experience.

Lessons & Takeaways

  • Thinking about promotion and direction began this week. There’s still a long way to go and a lot to learn about promotional & marketing language. But I’m starting with the goal of providing value.
  • Working on a content strategy for the blog inspired me to make changes to Good Resources and I’m excited to see where that goes.
  • Discovering Lex has made me even more excited about the possibilities of how AI can improve my workflow. Not to mention an amazing collaboration I’ve been having with ChatGPT recently. More on that in the future.

Things inspiring me this week

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