Why has no woman walked on the moon yet?

How has one small step to put a woman on the moon taken forever?

It has been 104 years since the women’s rights movement. It would appear that even after more than a century, women couldn’t simply have it all.

For long, women’s voices have shaped history. But their stories often remain untold. A long time coming, 2023 was the year when NASA realized women should be included as astronauts in lunar missions. In April 2023, NASA announced 4 astronauts (including a woman, finally) for their upcoming lunar mission after more than a 50-year hiatus (since the first moon landing). Astronaut Christina Hammock Koch was chosen for the mission. Koch holds the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, spending a magnificent 328 days in space and completing six spacewalks, including the historic all-female spacewalk on October 18, 2019.

The Artemis program, established by NASA in 2017, aims to venture the first woman along with the first person of colour around the moon by 2025.

When NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine shared that they would move over Apollo and adopt a new name for the mission, he also shared an anecdote:

“It turns out that Apollo had a twin sister, Artemis. She happens to be the goddess of the Moon. Our astronaut office is very diverse and highly qualified. I think it is very beautiful that 50 years after Apollo, the Artemis program will carry the next man—and the first woman—to the Moon.”

Putting a man on the moon might have been a logical step for science 54 years ago. Sending a woman and a man of colour to the moon is a critical cultural and sociological step in 2024. Being an astronaut is now far from being a vision to now an actual profession. And professions in this day and age deserve equal representation and contribution.

As Administrator Bridenstine implies, this won’t be the first time women are involved in space exploration.

Although marginalized, women have been integral to space missions for over 50 years. Due to several years of persistent gender bias, you might not have heard of these women who got things running for NASA since the heyday of lunar missions.

1. Meet the woman who coined the term “software engineering”:

Margaret Hamilton was the lead programmer on the Apollo guidance computer program, working on every single manned mission including Apollo 8 and Apollo 11.

2. Meet Katherine Johnson, a Hidden Figure in plain sight:

She was working behind the scenes, analyzing flight test data to calculate the trajectories for the Apollo program—as revealed in Margaret Shetterly’s book, Hidden Figures. She was also a driving force in the US-USSR space race.

3. Meet Jamye Flowers Coplin, a one-woman army by herself:

Joining NASA after graduating from school, Jamye became the titular secretary AKA angel in disguise for the Apollo crew. She handled it all—travel orders, liaising with outsiders, Cape trips, keeping the astronauts’ wives informed, and even babysitting their kids.

4. Meet Frances Poppy Northcut, who loved championing a man’s world:

Northcut was the first female engineer in Mission Control, planning Apollo 8’s trajectory. She also played a major role in the heroic efforts to bring Apollo 13 safely back to Earth.

5. Meet JoAnn Morgan—the sole woman in Apollo 11’s launch firing room:

Morgan got her big break at NASA while still in school. She began as an instrumentation controller, responsible for monitoring and troubleshooting the systems. Prior to her retirement in 2003, she held various leadership positions over 40 years in the human space flight programs at NASA. Morgan served as the director of the External Relations and Business Development during her final years at the space center.

“NASA’s new mission brings us closer to imagining an ideal world where an all-feminist-anything won’t be making the headlines because gender won’t be seen as part of the problem.”

Why has NASA not sent a woman to the moon yet?

In 1969, when the first Lunar mission was announced, it made sense to only send the best pilots with prior experience to the moon. Hiring astronauts from the military became the norm. At that time, women of course, were not allowed to become pilots in the military. This naturally cut them off from being selected for the moon mission. In the later stages of the lunar programs, NASA started accepting candidates who weren’t necessarily test pilots or from the military. Unfortunately, women still could not make it to the moon because of male dominance.

All the equipment and the entire spacecraft were designed for an all-male crew. There was hardly any privacy, the urinals had to be redesigned, and menstrual cycles meant ensuring more hygiene and safe disposal. There was not enough time to introduce major updates to the spacecraft. This is why NASA continued with its men-only approach for its moon missions.

Valentina Tereshkova — A legend for women in space travel

The first woman to travel into space was Valentina Tereshkova, a Soviet cosmonaut. She made her historic flight aboard Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963. Not only did she become the first woman to enter space, but her mission also made her the youngest female space traveler at the time, and she remains the only woman to have been on a solo space mission. She spent more than 70 hours orbiting the Earth, two years after Yuri Gagarin’s first human-crewed flight in space.

Her mission was a critical step in proving that a woman’s anatomy could endure the conditions of space travel just as well as men’s, especially in extended periods of weightlessness. Tereshkova’s achievements paved the way for future generations of women astronauts and remain a significant milestone in the history of space exploration.

The next natural step

According to NASA’s astronauts, historians, and the agency itself, landing a woman on the moon will not be the final or ultimate achievement of diversity and inclusion in space.

It is only the next natural step.

“The Artemis Generation will open up new doors to space exploration. What was only accessible and limited to one group will now be the awakening for countless dreamers.”

Yes, the Artemis program is essential to further NASA’s up-and-coming, highly ambitious missions to Mars. But for the Christina Koches of tomorrow, Artemis will be the gateway to a universe of possibilities, both in and out of the world.

And to thrive in this era of unprecedented challenges, we need equal representation. A six-year-old girl deserves to be inspired by seeing someone who looks like her in such a pioneering role. It makes her dream of space travel feel not only achievable but also within reach. It will give her a sense of belonging and possibility, inspiring her to dare to dream of reaching for the stars.

How a Simple Tommy Hilfiger Billboard Became a Famous Marketing Case Study

The TL;DR Version

In 1986, American fashion royalty, Tommy Hilfiger, went bankrupt. He would’ve been forgotten until one unique advertising billboard turned his next venture into a multi-billion dollar empire.

It failed. Now what?

After failing miserably in his first hippie venture called People’s Place, Tommy Hilfiger was approached by the Indian fashion mogul Mohan Murjani with a business idea. At the time Tommy didn’t know how to run a successful business, but he knew fashion. It was the beginning of something new. Something eponymous. An “old money” fashion brand millions have come to love since—The Tommy Hilfiger Corporation. In fact, the brand website is simply named tommy.com, because who doesn’t know Tommy?

Tommy Hilfiger had other plans for the new business. 

He wanted to transform the brand into a global lifestyle phenomenon. A Sisyphean endeavour, considering the fiercely competitive market and a budget tighter than a superhero’s spandex.

There was one man for the job. Famous art director George Lois, fresh out from the golden age of advertising, was no stranger to creative novelty. He had previously worked with Braniff International Airways and churned out the knockout marketing campaign, “When You Got It, Flaunt It”, which oversaw an 80% increase in business revenue for the American airline. 

“George Lois was introduced to me as the perfect advertising genius. Then I was told he didn’t do fashion advertising, so I was a little confused about why we were speaking to him.”

—Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger had initially envisioned a sun-soaked Hamptons shoot with young models for the first marketing campaign. To which George had exclaimed, “Are you crazy? You can’t do that. It will take you 20 years to build a brand that way.”

To drive his point home, Lois presented display boards featuring advertisements for Armani, Versace, and a slew of other designer brands. Stripping away the brand names from the ad visuals, he challenged Tommy Hilfiger to identify each brand by image. Tommy admitted defeat. Without a distinctive brand identity, Hilfiger would struggle to stand out in the era of copycat fashion marketing.

Instead, Lois conjured Tommy Hilfiger’s name boldly displayed in 3-meter high letters, hangman style, over New York Times Square. An artistic gambit to place the then-unknown Tommy Hilfiger next to American fashion legends like Ralph Lauren, Perry Ellis, and Calvin Klein.

The billboard said, “THE 4 GREAT AMERICAN DESIGNERS FOR MEN ARE…”

Tommy Hilfiger had his reservations, finding the marketing too obnoxious and potentially embarrassing. But the stage was set, and the advertising billboard ascended into the city’s skyline. And so began a new leading chapter in the ongoing American fashion legacy. 

Soon, Tommy Hilfiger’s Nantucket-meets-NWA aesthetic sent the world into a frenzy, and when Snoop Dogg flaunted Tommy Hilfiger on Saturday Night Live in 1994, sales skyrocketed. Tommy Hilfiger was also among the first designers to wholeheartedly embrace the power of celebrity endorsement. Collaborating with then hip hop luminaries like Aaliyah, Tommy Hilfiger solidified its brand identity. By 1999, the label reached new heights as the primary sponsor of Britney Spears’ iconic Hit Me Baby One More Time tour.

In his book, Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!), designer George Lois looks back on the experience fondly.  “Talking to Tommy, I asked about the clothes, which he wanted to be very American, so I said, ‘You want to be another Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein?’ He said, ‘Sure, I want to be another one of those guys.’ Bingo! That’s my campaign.”

The success of Tommy Hilfiger’s advertising strategy is a testament to both smart observation and a little madness. By strategically placing Tommy Hilfiger’s name alongside other American fashion giants, the billboard positioned the brand as part of an elite club. It’s no surprise that standing out as a rookie in a crowded market requires at least some amount of creativity, but even a greater amount of attention. When you know what exactly it is you’re going after, the world has a funny way of showing you the ropes.

“Who is Tommy Hilfiger?” echoed the streets of New York in 1986.

For now… just a global household name.

Read more on how Tommy Hilfiger faced challenges on his way to fame. We’ll break down how he did it with smart ads and savvy marketing in the next read ✨

Bentos Are Everywhere. Is UI Design Now Diet-Conscious?

Most beautiful things are designed when there is a constraint. 

A constraint of space, time, or resources puts designers in a rough spot, nudging them to be creative and smart with their style to get out of it–you don’t want to be too comfortable in your style.

The fresh-in-demand Bento Design System is an example of constraint in style (and space). 

Apple – Wanderlust, 2023

In the real world, a bento may only be a Japanese lunchbox that contains a variety of small, carefully arranged portions, where each compartment packs a different type of food, such as rice, vegetables, or even sushi. But in the design world, the bento has been a powerful vision that helps designers make sense of complex information and create cohesive user experiences.

It gives you all the variety you could ever want in a single meal, without sacrificing taste, quality or even appearance. 

Isle of Dogs (2018)

The idea behind the Bento Design System is to provide a set of predefined styles and components that designers can tweak and have fun with. Especially considering a bento’s style serves its one true all-in-one purpose, embodying the essence of convenience in consumption. The best possible trait for UI.

Bento works in simple ways:

1. If you want your layout to talk about many things, communicate them clearly and as fast as possible

2. Use visual hierarchies and concise content if you have limited space and time to do it

In UI, this concept involves breaking down a complex system or interface into modular components or compartments. Each component has a specific function or content, making it easier for users to understand and navigate the system.

While the bento’s origins are disputed, Apple was one of the first pioneers to base their design philosophy on it.

Starting with the original macOS control panel in Macintosh, circa 1984. 

In 1982, fine artist Susan Kare played a major role in designing much of its visual language. Kare drew new Macintosh icons and elements, drawing from her past experiences in mosaics, needlepoint, and pointillism.

macOS Control Panel, 1984

Her design motto followed three key principles:

Meaning, memorability, and clarity. 

Users could easily customize various aspects of their Mac, such as volume, background patterns, mouse settings, keyboard preferences, and more, all in one panel.

A simple recipe for a simple meal box. Maketh thee Sushi Master proud.

How does the bento really help a user? 💡

According to the Aesthetic-Usability Effect UX Law,

An aesthetically pleasing design creates a positive response in people’s brains and leads them to believe the design actually works better.

With its clean and minimalist layout, the Bento makes it easy for attendees to digest the information presented quickly. 

The color scheme and typography choices must also inform the theme and imagery, making it a designer’s ultimate knight in shining armour. Unfortunately, you can’t wish your own knight into existence. 

You have to put in the work. This brings us to the next question.

Just how do you make your own bento box? 🍱

To make a bento, we start with its purpose. What are we trying to achieve out of this bento? What do you want your bento to do?

– Is the purpose of the bento to showcase features of your product — be it digital or physical?

– Is the purpose of the bento to highlight key points or to give a summary of everything?

– Are you just looking to spice things up from age-old column structures?

– Or, will it be printed on a t-shirt just to look snappy?

Openvy

Once you have found your reason, remember it when you work. It’ll be the lifeline of your bento-making process. You never want to start with a basic grid and add filler content in compartments later. Otherwise, it might ruin your grid.

Remember: A bento might be modular but its possibilities are endless—limited only by the imagination.

Getting My Break in Experience Design: First Month at Sparklin

After a month of mind-boggling conversations, product demos, brutal feedback and re-learning UX from the ground up, I just want to say “Look, Mom, I made it!”

I joined Sparklin as a UX Design Intern in the first week of September 2023. It has been an incredible learning experience so far, and I’d love to share my journey with you. A little about me—I have a multidisciplinary background in graphic design, content, public relations and project management.

Academically, I hold a bachelor’s degree in Computer Application and Economics. So, how did I get into UX design? Exploring different fields previously helped me understand different aspects of a business. Gradually, the more I learned about the world of UX, the deeper I fell in love with it.

I applied to Sparklin with nothing more than a portfolio and sound knowledge about web and mobile applications. Their selection procedure is different from most companies and Sparklers want to know who you are beyond your resume. After submitting a form, my interview was scheduled and I was on-boarded — all within two weeks. Here’s what was waiting for me on the other side:

Re-learning UX foundations

“In order to determine whether we can know anything with certainty, we first have to doubt everything we know.” – René Descartes

The first week was spent observing design tips & OTAT, followed by product-thinking and design writing challenges. Collecting my thoughts on Notion before jumping into Figma allowed me to gain clarity about what I’m going to design and why. Next, I got the opportunity to rip apart (doubt) my favorite mobile and web app — understand and replicate it. In doing these “level-up exercises”, I started questioning the purpose behind everything and then finding answers as to why something is made to exist.

I once completed a task way ahead of time but realized I missed the entire point of doing it. Guess what? I had to do the same exercise again 🙂 So, lesson learned – direction is just as important as speed, if not more. At Sparklin, we prefer to call it velocity. 

Shadowing other designers

If someone were to ask me, ‘What do you do as a UX Design intern?,’ my literal reply would be, ‘I shadow other designers, observe, and ask questions.’

Get this: For the first month, I wasn’t even given the edit access to the project files. I wanted to start working on projects straightaway but my seniors were like – 

NOPE. We’re going to treat this month as a “buffer period” so you don’t get overwhelmed and gradually adjust to Sparklin’s way of doing things. 

Looking back at it, I learned a lot in the process! Now, I know about the project workflows, client briefs, figma tips & tricks and the lessons my team have gained over the years. 

Getting validation, criticism and feedback

“Designers need designers. For validation, for criticism, for feedback.” 

In my first month’s review, my seniors told me about my superpowers (proactive & communication) and the things I need to work on (visibility & documentation). This kind of holistic feedback really helped in figuring out where to focus my efforts.

Apart from daily feedback and one-on-one mentorship, there’s also “Thursday Sessions!” It’s a thought-provoking, fun and interactive workshop that happens every week. We also have internal and external groups where we discuss, debate and share interesting observations about UX or anything else that sparks our curiosity. 

Perhaps, what I like most about being here is that there’s an entire team of designers, engineers and copywriters ready to support, advise and critique me. 

Practicing work-life balance harmony ✨

Sparklin is all about having a contrarian view. We have a policy of a minimum of six mandatory leaves every quarter. At the same time, we want people to treat work as play.

In his Thursday session, Mohit Vainsh, one of the Senior UX Designers at Sparklin, explained:

‘We may strive for balance but ultimately our lives will always be filled with a certain amount of imbalance and chaos.’

Solution?

Work-life harmony.

1. Some days, your work will take precedence.

2. Other days, your personal life gets precedence.

Precondition: you have to like what you do.

Being crazy – curious & unconventional

In recent years, Sparklin has transformed into something more than just your regular agency. After a decade of doing the typical design agency grind, the team decided to shake things up and rebranded themselves as an Innovation Company last year. What does that mean in layman’s terms?

Well, it means we not only work with clients but also have our own in-house products in the pipeline. One of them is Openvy – the future of community conversations, and it’s available on the web and iOS  right now. We’ve got some other exciting projects in the works, all geared towards driving innovation. And what is innovation if not making people’s lives richer and better?

When I first came across the job description on LinkedIn, I was struck by how it described Sparklers as being crazy, curious, and unconventional. 

That was a surprising leap away from your typical corporate job, but it somehow resonated with me. I’ve always had a bit of a rebellious streak and a desire to think outside the box. And I’ve realized that’s exactly what Sparklin encourages their team to do, if curiosity feeds their soul.

So, here I am 🙂 


Ever since I’ve joined the team, I’ve had conversations which led me to question my own biases in work and in life. There have been moments when I’m applauded and moments when I’m steered in the right direction. I have realized it’s okay to figure out things as you go, especially when your work revolves around crafting better experiences.

What is a Pixel?

Short for “picture element,” a pixel is the smallest unit of information that can be displayed on a screen. It is the foundation of digital images (or the visual internet) and is mainly represented as a tiny square.

If you have said hi to the little Spidey, then you must have noticed he is made of, what we call, ‘pixel-ated’ squares. 

Pixelated images point back to a different era. In the 90s, computers had lower resolution, and hence, could only display a limited number of pixels, resulting in images with lower detail. 

Thankfully, pixelation is not a problem we need to solve anymore. It is now, in fact, often employed as a desired effect, an intended focus in style.

How do pixels work?

1. Pixels work together to form a grid, creating a mosaic of colors and shapes that our eyes perceive as a complete picture or an illustration. 

2. Each pixel contains information about its color and brightness, allowing for the creation of something greater than the sum of its parts.

3. Any stunning image or video that you come across on a screen consists of millions of tiny pixels. Subpixels are the individual color elements that make up each pixel on certain types of displays, such as LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) screens. These subpixels are typically arranged in a grid pattern, and each subpixel emits red, green, and blue (RGB) colors at varying intensities. These RGB color components create the wide range of colors you see on a display monitor.

4. Modern devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, have high-resolution displays. These screens have a significant number of pixels per inch (PPI), which means that individual pixels are much smaller and closer together. When we talk about a display’s resolution, such as 8K ultra HD, numbers like 7680 x 4320 represent the pixel count. The more pixels there are, the clearer and sharper the image on a screen. As a result, images and text appear smoother and more detailed but never ‘pixelated’ in the modern day.

History

Once Adobe hit the markets in the 1980s, it popularized the practice of “creating” on digital interfaces. This meant you could draw, paint and digitally manipulate images on your computer to your heart’s content, without worrying about a canvas or expensive art supplies. However, it was not until the mid-nineties that an artist could create digitally using pixels and proper animations, thanks to Adobe Flash. Launched as multimedia software for web interactions, games, and design, Adobe Flash quickly became people’s favorite.

Flash also popularized Pixel Art around the 2000s, as a form of fun and accessible digital art. Today, it is still a unique style that uses low-resolution pixels to create nostalgic and retro-looking graphics. 

Matej Jan, also known as Retro, has been curating his blog and operating his game development studio, Retronator, since 2007.

Pixel artists meticulously place each pixel manually, much like cross-stitching. Pixel art is often limited in file size and the number of colors it uses due to software constraints, either to achieve a particular look or to reduce visual noise. If artists don’t limit their colors, the resulting image will not look like it was made to recapture the style of retro consoles. 

It all depends on what you want to accomplish with your pixel art.

Popular indie games like Stardew Valley (2016), Undertale (2015) and Eastward (2021) make use of 2D pixel art to create visually striking worlds that transport a player to a different and much simpler era.

Stardew Valley (2016)

Significance

Despite the discontinuation of Adobe Flash in 2020, pixels continue to play a crucial role in modern digital design. From web design to graphics, understanding the concept of pixels is essential for creating visually appealing and optimized content. Here’s why:

1. Pixels provide the building blocks for images, animations, and user interfaces. With the rise of high-resolution displays, designers are increasingly concerned with pixel density and ensuring crisp, sharp visuals. 

2. Additionally, pixels are important in determining the layout and positioning of elements on a screen. They allow designers to precisely control the size and alignment of text, images, and other elements.

3. Overall, despite the advancements in technology, pixels remain a fundamental concept in digital design. 

As a designer, knowing pixels like the back of your hand comes pretty handy. At the same time, fretting over your pixels can take your mind off other important things in design, like composition, brand imagery, user experience, and, most of all, your own intuition. It’s important to strike a balance between pixel-perfect precision and creative exploration.

Moral of the story: 

While pixels are a pretty important and non-dismissable part of your job, make sure you never miss the bigger picture.

A Journey Through Command, Time and Spacebar

Imagine a world where Ctrl/Cmd + Z didn’t let you recover critical sentences after you deleted them accidentally from a super important pitch for a super important client (The forces of the universe never stop to conspire).

A world where Ctrl/Cmd + A didn’t offer the simple luxury of selecting massive blocks of text on some 39 pages of your research proposal on Google Docs. A world without command + tab, and thus, without the ease with which you switched applications on the desktop, without even realising. 

In this world, your productivity would drastically decrease. Simple tasks like undoing a typo would require you to go through an infinitely long version history to find and manually fix the mistake. Selecting and formatting large chunks of text would become tedious and time-consuming. Every selection would require painstaking manual effort and multitasking would be deemed impossible.

Can you imagine the horror? 

Thankfully, we don’t have to live in this world.

The realm of keyboard shortcuts, often taken for granted, has a rich history and a profound impact on our digital lives. In this blog, we’ll delve into key events that led to the evolution of these shortcuts, from their humble beginnings to their pivotal role in today’s digital landscape.

It all started some 150 years ago…

The first-ever shortcut key came on a typewriter from 1878—The Remington No.2. It featured a shift key for lowercase and uppercase switching. 

Before then, the early versions of Remington had a locking mechanism to switch to uppercase or lowercase mode. That means, before 1878, anytime you had to capitalize a title or write a simple ‘I’, you would have to physically push down or lift the lever to lock any of the modes.

Remington had no idea including a simple shortcut key to convert the case would prove incredibly useful for the entire world.  A tiny innovation paved the way for something relevant even a century and a half later.

Let’s take a dive into the three of the most critical shortcuts to ever exist:

1. Cut, Copy, Paste: A Stroke of Genius

Fast-forward to the 1970s, the computing landscape was on the cusp of a revolution. Larry Tesler, a visionary computer scientist, had joined the Xerox Alto team at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. He worked on significant projects like the Gypsy word processor and Smalltalk programming language. Teaming up with his colleague Tim Mott, Tesler began shaping ideas for the future of interactive computing while working on Gypsy. They envisioned a transition from text-based interfaces to graphical user interfaces (GUIs). This led to the birth of what would become three of the most invaluable shortcuts in modern computing: Cut, Copy, and Paste.

His concept would influence the development of text editors and entire computer operating systems globally, making our workdays easier.

2. Undo: A Masterstroke in Making

The File Retrieval and Editing System, developed at Brown University, pioneered the “undo” feature across a computer system for the first time in 1968. It was a word processor mainly used for educational purposes, such as typesetting books and research papers.

Two years later, Warren Teitelman developed the Progammer’s Assistant as part of BBN-LISP, a programming language. This system included a primitive form of the Undo feature.

Following suit, the folks at Xerox PARC Research Centre assigned the keys, Ctrl + Z, to the Undo command. They probably chose Z because it’s very close to the command/control key on the QWERTY keyboard.

This seemingly modest pair of keys offered a powerful tool that would become a staple in almost every digital interface. Soon after,  computer engineers Larry Tesler and Bill Atkinson would insist on including the command for Apple’s Lisa, the predecessor to their famed Macintosh.

FRESS hypertext editing system demonstrated at Brown University in 2019 by David Durand

3. The Queen Bee: Control-Alt-Delete

The queen bee of shortcuts, Control-Alt-Delete, was born out of a different need, thanks to IBM engineer David Bradley.

In a stroke of ingenuity, Bradley came up with the shortcut when he was trying to restart the machine he had been working on with his team—the iconic IBM Acorn PC. They had tried plugging and unplugging the machine as a tried and tested method but to no avail. Bradley’s little impromptu innovation would go on to become a cornerstone of computing history, serving as the ultimate reboot shortcut for programmers. Yes, this infamous trio of shortcut combinations was originally meant for developers, not end-users. 

During a panel with Bill Gates at The Tech Museum on August 8, 2001, Bradley said, “I may have invented Control-Alt-Delete, but I think Bill made it famous.”

Control-Alt-Delete: David Bradley & Bill Gates

On an unrelated, happy trivia note 🍎

Prior to the release of the original Mac, Steve Jobs voiced concerns about the overuse of the iconic “Apple” logo. 

As a result, the project team decided to use a ‘looped square’ sign, which, in Nordic countries like Finland and Norway, is used to mark culturally significant sites. This shift highlighted the attention to detail that goes into every aspect of computing, even down to the symbols that guide our interactions.

To introduce shortcuts today, you need to account for the following MUST-HAVE factors:

1. Make shortcuts easily memorable: Users should find it easy to commit these shortcuts to memory, allowing them to seamlessly integrate them into their daily tasks.

2. Ensure their compatibility with existing keyboards: New shortcuts must align with the physical arrangement of keys on various keyboard types, whether they’re standard, ergonomic, or compact. For instance, the shortcut “Ctrl + C” for copying should be universally recognized and accessible on all keyboard layouts. If you’re designing for a particular keyboard, you are missing out on the rest!

3. Create key sequences that don’t trigger other shortcuts: Developers must meticulously design key combinations that do not inadvertently trigger other commands or functions, preventing user frustration and mishaps. Example: the key sequence “Ctrl + S” for saving a file should not also activate the “Ctrl + Shift + S” shortcut for saving a file with a different name.  

You will be adding more to your users’ plate with these keys, than they can possibly consume.

Modern applications like Figma, Notion, and Superhuman take this philosophy to heart, encouraging users to embrace the keyboard and bid adieu to the mouse for enhanced productivity.


There you have it — our short encapsulation of the history and significance of keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts have shaped the way we work and have become an integral part of our digital lives. And we wouldn’t have it any other way!

10 iconic film locations you can actually visit in real-life

I’ve been revisiting some of the popular movies recently and it got me wondering about real locations vs. sets and green screen magic. One random Google search on a Friday night and my curiosity was quenched.

It’s interesting to note that some iconic film locations actually exist in real life and are open to visitors.

1. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, USA

Stephen King had a nightmare during his stay at the hotel in 1974 and turned it into a horror masterpiece with “The Shining.” The Stanley Hotel served as the inspiration for the eerie Overlook Hotel in the film.

Years later, while unhappy with Kubrick’s interpretation of the novel, King shot his own mini-series produced by ABC here. Timberline Lodge in Oregon served as the exterior of the haunted Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.”

2. Palace of Versailles, France

Most of Marie Antoinette (2006) was shot here. If you’re familiar with Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, you’ll find some scenes shot at the Hall of Mirrors and Bassin d’Apollo.

3. Sayama Hills, Saitama, Japan

That whimsical forest in My Neighbor Totoro? Yep. Inspired by this beautiful stretch of grasslands and woods located just outside of Tokyo.

4. Alnwick Castle, England

The first two films in the Harry Potter series were filmed on location. 

In one memorable scene, Harry and Ron crash-landed the Weasley family’s enchanted flying car in the inner baileys of the castle.

5. The Skellig Michael, Ireland

The Skelligs served as Luke Skywalker’s hideout in the Star Wars episodes 7 and 8, “The Last Jedi” and “The Force Awakens.”


Note:
This listicle is based on a loop created by an active member of Openvy. You can read the rest here or join the community. The platform is now open to all.

The World of ‘Manga’ and its Various ‘Genres’

If you haven’t been living under a rock during the past decade, you must be familiar with the term, manga. In Japan, manga is an umbrella term for various comic books or graphic novels and cartoons. But there’s more to it than a different name. There are actually different types of manga that cater to different genres and demographics. Now if sorting through numerous labels is not your cup of tea but you know the type of content you enjoy, read on till the end.

According to one Openvy looper, mangas can be classified into several types based on their content and art style.

1. Shōnen (少年 /ɕoːnen/)

The Japanese term “shōnen” directly translates to “few years” in English. This genre of mangas is primarily targeted towards young boys and teenagers. It often features action-packed storylines, battles of good and evil, and adventure. Popular examples include “One Piece,” “Naruto,” and “Dragon Ball”—all graduates of Weekly Shōnen Jump, a highly lauded magazine among this demographic.

2. Shōjo  (少女漫画)

Shojo manga is a genre of Japanese comics or manga that is specifically aimed at a young female audience, typically teenage girls. The term “shojo” means “girl” or “young girl” in Japanese. Shojo manga is known for its focus on themes related to romance, relationships, drama, and personal growth.

Popular shojo manga series include titles like “Sailor Moon,” “Fruits Basket,” “Ouran High School Host Club,” and “Nana.”

3. Seinen (青年漫画)

Seinen targets young adult men aged 18 to 40, catering to specific interests in a distinctive manner than the shonen genre which is meant for younger teen boys. It delves into various themes, including action, politics, science fiction, fantasy, relationships, sports, and comedy.

4. Josei  (女性漫画)

Similar to seinen, josei mangas are targeted towards adult female readers. Unlike shoujo manga, which is targeted at teenage girls, josei manga is intended for a mature audience. It often features more nuanced and adult-oriented storytelling, delving into themes such as romance, drama, slice of life, and even more mature or explicit content, though not always.

5. Kodomo or Kodomomuke ( 子供向け漫画)

Initially designed to encourage literacy among the Japanese youth, kodomo (children’s manga) typically incorporates educational elements, cute characters, and simple stories to engage children. This genre of manga covers a wide range of topics and themes suitable for children, including adventure, friendship, fantasy, humour, and educational content.

Many popular manga series, such as “Doraemon”, “Shin-chan” and “Astro Boy” (known as “Tetsuwan Atom” in Japan), fall into the kodomo manga category.


This listicle was first published as a loop on Openvy. You can get your refill of the best manga recommendations here or join the community. The platform is now open to all.

5 Video Games with Stories You’ll Never Forget

Not all of us are born pro-gamers. But that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate a good video game with a captivating story. Whether it’s a riveting tale of survival in a dystopian future or a heart-wrenching narrative about love and loss, these games have storytelling at their core. And most importantly, they have heart. So, if you’re looking for a gaming experience that will leave a lasting impression, here are five titles to consider:

1. Papers, Please

The game’s blurb on Steam reads something like this:

Congratulations. The October labor lottery is complete. Your name was pulled. For immediate placement, report to the Ministry of Admission at Grestin Border Checkpoint. An apartment will be provided for you and your family in East Grestin. Expect a Class-8 dwelling.

2. Detention

Detention is an atmospheric horror-adventure game set in 1960s Taiwan, during the White Terror. It follows high school students, Wei and Ray, through a haunted school on a deserted island in the wake of an incoming typhoon.

3. VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action

As they say, it’s not a good list if it ain’t got no cyberpunk action. Dubbed a “cyberpunk bartender action game” by its creators, Sukeban Games, the premise is a small dive bar in a dystopian town.

You’re the sole bartender, catering to a highly demanding clientele.

This listicle was first published as a loop on Openvy. You can read the rest here or join the community. The platform is now open to all.

5 Heart-Touching Films to Watch in Your Early 20s

If you can make peace with that poignant, tingling sensation upon leaving a movie theater, here are five Hollywood films to consider watching in your early 20s.

1. Magnolia (1999)

“We may be through with the past… But the past ain’t through with us.”

Directed and written by Paul Thomas Anderson, the film promises an enthralling rollercoaster ride filled with excessive drama, social themes, and unwavering emotions. PTA is impeccable with his monologues and gets the most out of all his strong screen presences the best way he can.

2. Her (2013)

Theodore, a lonesome writer, acquires an innovative operating system created to fulfill every user’s desires. Much to Theodore’s astonishment, a romantic connection blossoms between him and his operating system. You don’t need me to remind you how this film has often been touted as Spike Jonze’s personal introspection on his relationship with Sofia Coppola, who, as recently revealed, hasn’t yet seen the movie.

3. Moonlight (2016)

Adapted from Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unpublished play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” this is a poignant and heart-wrenching tale of a young man’s journey to self-discovery, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love while grappling with his own sexuality.

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This listicle was first published as a loop on Openvy. You can read the rest here or join the community. The platform is now open to all.