Scientific tree decorating, UX 2019 predictions, and AI Christmas tunes


Welcome to the last Weekly Sett of 2018. This year we’ve had a lot of highs, some lows, and plenty of good articles to read. So, if you need something to distract you from the family or to fill the hours between opening presents and Christmas lunch, here’s some articles for you to read.

Number one - The fine science of Christmas decoration

Arguments are bound to erupt as you decorate the Christmas tree. Someone may prefer the lights every other row of branches, while some want the lights on every branch. You may think that the baubles look fine all over the place, while your partner may consider it an abomination. However, Wired reports on the attempts of the science community to make the perfect scientifically-decorated tree. According to a formula from University of Sheffield, a 152cm tree would need 31 baubles, 776cm of tinsel and 478cm of lights with a 15cm star or angel to finish it off.

Number two - Google Rewind

As we settle in for a festive period of merriment, joy, and love, this season is also a great opportunity to reflect on the year just gone. This week Google published its ‘Google - Year in search 2018’ video, which looks back at the moments that made 2018 so great, including teaching your Dad Fornite dances. 

Number three - Data wrap-ups

Continuing to reflect, Spotify’s annual Wrapped tool is proving incredibly popular as it takes listening data from the past year and transforms it into a fun, animated slideshow with tidbits on users’ music tastes in 2018. The Atlantic has outlined just why we love this wrap-up, which more often than not unveils a secret guilty pleasure. The piece highlights that with this tool Spotify shows the trust its users has in it, something amiss with many tech companies this year. However, that trust only comes because Spotify gives its users what they want- themselves; represented cleanly and simply via a top five songs list.

Number four - AI Christmas tunes

We’re running out of Christmas songs; the same song has been sung by Bing, Buble and Bieber. But have no fear, AI is here. Made by AI has leveraged a neural network (layers of mathematical functions that mimic the behaviour of neurons in the brain) to create a tune-generating tool. All you have to do is enter how long you want the piece to be (in seconds), choose an instrument from a list of three, and let it make the musical magic. You can try out the neural network yourself here and learn more about how it works over at VentureBeat.

Number five -  UX in 2019

As the year winds down, we not only look back but we also look forward. While you are waiting for the Red Badger Tech Predictions, here’s a piece from Creative Bloq outlining some controversial UX predictions. From “postmodern non-conformism” in design, to the death of design purely based on aesthetic, the piece believes that 2019 will disrupt the minimalist, mid-century-inspired design and UX that so many companies have been relying on.

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