The Inductive Reasoning Test

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Inductive tests were introduced as an aptitude examination for potential employers to assess the suitability of a candidate. The rise of its popularity has also seen an increase in online inductive reasoning test practices. These tests are able to measure a person’s cognitive abilities and the capacity for thinking both conceptually and analytically, which is why it has become a go-to tool for many businesses.

In order to prepare for one of these tests, one should familiarize oneself with what it entails. From seeking patterns and determining the consecutive image in a sequence of three pictures, to choosing the odd pattern out, it is a test of logic and mental capabilities. It also goes by the name of Abstract Reasoning Test.

The objective is to identify the pattern as quickly as possible and the way to do this is to compare each image with each other. Look at the information provided – size, color, location, shape? Determine what is constant and what is changing and figure out the rules to the pattern. There are no hard and fast rules, nor are there any written data or information to help you along. The main purpose is to test how quickly you grasp the concept without instruction – which shows potential employers whether you are able to think on your feet and how intuitive you are – and it also pinpoints how well your problem solving and decision making skills are. All three of which are traits of what employers hope to find in their employees. It may even help with the job.

For instance, it is a way of analyzing information. If you find online practice tests repetitive, you can also look at raw data of your relevant field and try to process that. Perhaps financial statements for accounting firms, statistical tables for a company or even how people use social media. You could also invite your friends to participate in such tests with you and treat it as a fun way to train both your reflexes. This will also train you to be more time-sensitive and help you finish the assessment in a timely fashion. The quicker it takes for you to complete a test, the more capable you will seem. It will ultimately help you sort through data a lot quicker and you will be able to process it faster. This can also show your potential employer your penchant for the job and your determination.

It might seem a bit unfair that after all the time you have spent at university, sitting for exams and preparing for the “real world” that you should be met with another examination before you are able to lock in your dream job. However, according to Huffingtonpost, aptitude and psychometric tests are becoming commonplace in the workforce as it helps employers weed out candidates as efficiently as possible. From logic, to numbers, to verbal and abstract, all of theses tests are designed to find the most suitable candidate.

They do not care that they might accidentally eliminate a potential talent which might have become an asset to their company. They care more about hiring one that will be entirely suited to their company through his level of skill, qualifications and personality. Some of these tests can even determine whether an individual has the same vision as the company (or if they are able to align easily).

There are a few things that one should bear in mind when sitting for such a test. Pace yourself, and since it is time-sensitive, do not get stuck on any question. Come back to it if you have the time after you’ve finished the entire paper, but certain questions are hard on purpose – that is a test in itself to see how you will act under duress or stress. Having an unfinished assessment speaks worse than one that only have one unanswered question, so be smart about it.

If you are more confident regarding your interpersonal skills, it might be a good idea to have a sit down with your potential employer beforehand and communicate with them on how you view the test. There are individuals who simply do not do well on examinations but may have a slew of skills that are beneficial to any company that decide to hire them. Do not let performance anxiety get in the way, especially if you are confident that you are able to sell your skills and what you can bring to the table well – there is clearly no test in the world that is able to encapsulate one’s charisma or confidence when it comes to pitching proposals. Who knows, if you are truly good enough, you might be able to talk your way out of sitting for the assessment at all.

Thousands of students are drawn to overseas study

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The modern approach to education is one that, quite frankly, is still taking shape. The modern era that we now live in is one that has, without a doubt, taken hold of modern marvels digitalisation and technological advancement. We are more interconnected than ever, and a large part of the reason why that is, centres around the truth that technology has changed life as we knew it. Today, every aspect of modern life – including, as it turns out, education and travel respectively – is changing significantly, and the transformations are far from over. In the education industry, one of the most prominent evolutions is the introduction of mainstream abroad study. While students have been studying overseas for a while, this is a concept that has only relatively recently taken flight, becoming a mainstream sensation all around the globe. Making the decision to study overseas is not a decision to take lightly. Temporarily uprooting your life to maintain your studies while simultaneously exploring a new part of the world takes courage, guts, and determination – but alas, it is a trend that is continuously on the rise.

It is not uncommon for a student to want to quite literally run away when they are stressed out of their minds, thinking “I wish I didn’t have to write my research paper at this same old desk, in this same old place”. What has been uncommon, at least up until recently, is the number of students who actually take action on that thought, researching and then applying to study overseas for a change of pace and a life experience that will inspire them to continue to work hard towards their degree. Now, it is more surprising to encounter someone who knows nobody who has taken on abroad study – even if it is not they themselves. Around the globe, more and more eager and bright-eyed students are taking on the challenge of taking their studies across the ocean for a semester or two. There is an undeniable appeal in travelling abroad that seeks to expose students to a whole new world, while allowing them to live and continue learning (essentially, giving those students the best of both worlds, both collectively and respectively).

The appeal of studying abroad is one that continues to attract the attention of students from all over the world, but why exactly is that? At the end of the day, there is something profoundly exciting about going on an academic endeavour that seeks to give you the chance to better yourself in every sense, while allowing you to continue flourishing academically. Students who study abroad are often the very same individuals who are willing and able to jump out of their comfort zone and take a leap of faith to explore something exciting and fresh. And what could be more exciting and fresh than experiencing a new part of the world while you simultaneously work towards the future you have been building up to through your studies? As if that were not appealing enough, there is a definitive appeal in doing something different than your peers, while maintaining the same level of course content – what better way is there to be inspired by your studies than to study in a beautiful inspiring setting?

And then there is the professional edge that studying abroad gives you. Having a real-world experience on your resume throughout your academic career makes you stand out to potential employers once you graduate, and it does not get much more “real-world” than opting away from the traditional education experience and instead gravitating towards the more unique academic journey. You meet people you never would have otherwise, you exponentially expand your global network, you see the world, and you grow not only academically and intellectually, but personally. All these reasons and more are the bread and butter that ultimately make studying abroad such an appealing approach to modern education. If ever there was a take on education that perfectly balances between traditional ideals and modern perceptions, it is without a doubt studying abroad study. Amid the rise of a modern era that is paved with good intentions and technological enhancements, it should come as no surprise that the world we live in today is more interconnected than ever.

Practically every industry there is – including, as it turns out education and travel respectively – has undergone its fair share of transformation. In education, one of the most prominent (and ongoing) transformations thus far is the mainstream introduction and ongoing rising popularity of studying abroad. Students have been choosing to study overseas for a while, but in recent years it has become a global sensation, with thousands upon thousands of eager students applying to study somewhere new and exciting for a semester or two. Studying abroad is not for the faint hearted, but for those who do take the leap of faith, it is more rewarding than you could ever imagine. The rise of abroad study continues to surge, and there are no signs of it slowing down.

Prosthetic technology advancements further revolutionise healthcare

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For those of us who are able-bodied, it goes without saying that sometimes we unfortunately fall into a pattern of taking our physical health for granted. So many of us are so used to having complete control and use of our bodies, that we simply do not leave room to consider what life would be like if we suddenly lost the use of a part of the body. Some people use organic treatments like marijuana (to look at the most beneficial strain of cannabis for your health needs, view these) to deal with physical pain, while others use pills and more chemically-based treatment methods. But when there is a loss of movement in a limb – or the loss of a limb altogether, for that matter – more complex treatments and solutions are necessary to bring back a sense of control and a heightened quality of life. In the beginning, these types of solutions were not only revolutionary, but expensive by nature, which made it understandably difficult for them to be realistically and widely accessible to everyone who could benefit by utilising them. Prosthetic technology is one of those solutions.

Thankfully, these days, as the technology continues to become more and more easily utilised and developed, it is slowly but surely becoming more cost-effective for individuals who can genuinely and profoundly benefit from prosthetics. Advancements in prosthetic technology are becoming more and more advanced by the day, and they are having life-changing impact on those who are benefitting from the technology thus far. It is no secret that individuals who live with the loss or lack of a limb experience life differently than those who are fully able-bodied. Whether the individual was born without a limb, or has become an amputee at some point throughout their life, there is a sense of not only the physical loss, but the mental strain of having less control and physical capability than they might have otherwise had. The difference that prosthetic technology can make in the lives of these individuals is nothing short of life-changing and remarkable (to say the least).

Consider the latest bionic hand in development, for example. Up until this point, bionic hands and other prosthetic limbs have been controlled by motors that use external signs from surrounding muscles to signal movements. In this new version of a bionic hand, however, the individual’s intentions are interpreted by a human-machine interface. This inbuilt interface then sends signals to the prosthetic, which allows it to interpret the signals and provide a real-time set of instructions to move the bionic hand in a way that is both aligned with what the individual wants, but also at controlled speeds. This creates a more natural feeling in the prosthetic. In the (hopefully) near future, the hope is to have the bionic hand receive the individual’s signals through wireless technology, in a bid to instil greater control over the individual movement and speed of the digits of the prosthetic. This bionic hand is just a taste of what is possible moving forward for the healthcare industry and prosthetic technology, and it is a hopeful taste at that.

Innovations in prosthetic technology are getting better and better all the time. There is a certain type of modern magic that makes prosthetics so incredible, and that magic is the very reason that they continue to be so coveted by those who wish to recover a sense of control and capability. The introduction of the latest bionic hand has signalled a new era in prosthetic technology. It is an era that is going to elevate and enhance prosthetics and healthcare going forward, changing the lives and quality of life of millions of individuals all over the world. If ever there has been a health technology that has been life-changing, revolutionary, and unique all at once, it is prosthetic technology. And while exciting innovations in the tech are happening all the time, they are just a taste of what is yet to come for prosthetics. The best is yet to come, and the innovations in prosthetic technology are only going to continue to get better and better, in every sense, from here on out.

Physical health is one of the most important core aspects of overall health. It is the harsh reality that those who are able-bodied often take their physical health for granted, intentionally or not. For those who have suffered with the loss of a limb, either for the entirety of their live, or at some point throughout their life, prosthetic technology can and often does make the world of difference. There is a lot to be said about a technological marvel that quite literally works to establish the return of not only control, but physical capability that an individual somehow misses out on. The latest advancements in prosthetic technology – like the introduction of the latest and greatest bionic hand, for example – highlight a promising future for prosthetics. It is a future that has arrived, and it is one that continues to impress and improve over time. prosthetic technology is only getting bolder, better, faster, smarter, and stronger – and the best is certainly yet to come. This is an exciting time for prosthetic technology, and those who can and do benefit from its accomplishments.

Heavy use of social media is linked to mental illness

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We live in the digital era, and in this digital era modern innovations rule. One of the most prominent modern innovations there is, is social media. Designed to be a network of global virtual platforms that allow for instantaneous and easy communication around the world, social media has more than lived up to the hype that has propelled over the years. But on the flip side of that same coin, is the dark undercurrent of social media. That decidedly negative undertone is hinged on the reality that social media has heavily impacted mental health – and not in the most positive of ways. Social media is an environment that emphasises the appeal of honest and open communication and connection, but it is also an environment that can be incredibly toxic for people to invest their energy and time into. And it all comes down to the comparative nature of social media, and how that impacts those that are struggling with themselves. This is an important issue, and finally it is getting the attention that it has always deserved. As the world hinders on the verge of a mental health crisis that borders on epidemic standard, this conversation is more important than ever.

The complication with social media is while it is intended to boost communication, it also sometimes inevitably isolates individuals from the real world and their real connections. The more energy and time that one invests in the social media landscape, the more disconnected they become with the real world around them. This is where problems often arise. Social media can be a dangerous, even fatal environment, and the reality is that there simply is not enough awareness surrounding this truth. Because of the comparative nature that has evolved over the history of social media, users can feel an inclination to mould themselves into what the social media platforms appear to find the most widely appealing aesthetic, body image, or way of communicating. This often leads to inauthentic representations of the self, which can obviously lead to some very serious health implications. The pressures of social media warrant a type of mental health strain that, quite frankly, is unparalleled to anything else.

There is a massive pressure in the landscape of social media platforms. Individuals can feel pressured to buy likes on Instagram, or try to change how they look to fit into the standard perception of what social media deems to be the most appealing aesthetic or approach. Additionally, they can spend hours and hours investing energy, time, and even money into ensuring that the representation of themselves they give out via social media, is one that puts their best [virtual] foot forward, so to speak. And while this can work for some time, it nearly always comes to a point where it becomes more of a problem than a distraction from the true self. The immense pressure to not only concede to those perceived ideals online, but to maintain those ideals over time, can be quite taxing. This is where cracks tend to appear, and if left unchecked, these cracks can bloom into dark bruises that become more and more difficult to contain. And just like bruises, it becomes obvious too often after the damage is done, that there is even a problem.

The links between mental health and social media are becoming more and more pronounced the more that studies and research focus on this topic, and the more that awareness becomes more prominent. When individuals spend so much time on their social media, they inevitably drain themselves emotionally and mentally. It can be exhausting to constantly see what is perceived as many people living the perfect life – especially if their own life does not feel even close to what their perceived ideal idols and friends live online. While it is easy enough to tell someone to remember that social media is often (if not always) a highlight reel of someone’s life, a snapshot of what really goes on, it is quite another to tell that to someone who is struggling with their mental health because of that reason. Mental health is a serious issue, and it is one that, quite frankly, is not given nearly as much attention as it should be. There is a very real sense of isolation that goes hand in hand with heavy use of social media, and it is important to pay attention to not only your own use of social media, but those close to you, and to do your best to let them know you are there if they need to reach out.

The digital era is absolutely rife with exciting innovations and revolutions that have changed life as we know it, in many different ways. One of the most globally renowned innovations of all has been, without a doubt, social media. A revolution initially created to serve as an all-new frontier of instantaneous global communication, social media has since ballooned to become so much more over time. While in many ways, social media is an immensely positive space, it can also be a place of dark undertones that can be difficult for some individuals to deal with. The comparative nature of social media today has resulted in the realisation that, for some, social media activity can have a devastating impact on their mental health. This is an issue that, up until recently, was given nowhere near the amount of attention that it warranted, but now that the world is bordering on a mental health epidemic, action is finally, at long last, being taken. Social media can have devastating effects on users, and it is important to pay close attention to the signs that people are struggling. Lives literally depend on it.

Social media gives the travel industry the ultimate free marketing

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Travel (also known as the art of the chase). There is something definitively exciting about the allure of getting to see the world. Over the years, the number of avid travellers has continued to grow and grow, and today it seems that quite literally everyone wants to travel to some place, at some point, for some amount of time. There really is a certain unique type of magic that continues to draw people in and prove itself to be unforgettable. The travel industry has never been one that has exactly struggled to maintain its integrity, but there have certainly been times where travel has been on the definitive backburner for many, many people. It is rarely (if ever) by choice, but even so, the point remains the same. Travel is one of the most enduring industries in the world, and it will continue to be for quite some time. However, in recent years, travel has become more and more popular, and it is all thanks to the introduction and ongoing depth of the rise of the social media age. But what does social media have to do with travel?

Whether it is solo travel or adventuring with loved ones, it is safe to say that travelling is the adventure that practically everyone wants a piece of. This has always been the case. However, in recent years, as social media has become more and more popular around the world, it has become easier and easier for people to map out all their travel experiences, from the global sensations to the hidden gems. Social media has essentially created a marketing platform for the travel industry that requires practically no upkeep or industry intervention – it is all carried out through visual marketing objectives and word-of-mouth reviews, in real time, in one place. That is the magic of social media, and that is the allure of travel in the modern world that we have built and maintained for ourselves. Everybody has different travel bucket list ticks, and social media essentially provides a place to not only share those bucket list ticks when they have finally been achieved yourself, but to enjoy and experience it from the perspective of other travellers – many of which you have not personally met (yet).

Whether it is camel riding holidays in the desert, or underwater explorations of reefs and wrecks around the world, or any number of travel adventures in between, it seems that more and more these days, we capture these moments in time just a much for our social media and our followers, as we do for ourselves. The appeal in travelling is that you can obviously experience exciting places and moments, but it is also about knowing how you can best approach those moments in the lead up. that has been made easier than ever through the ongoing longevity and success of social media innovation and motivation. Travel is the ultimate industry, and social media is now the ultimate modern marketing strategy. Together, they form an indestructible force, creating the greatest clash of the titans turned power team that there has ever been. More than ever before, travel is the hottest commodity around, and that is (at least partially) thanks to social media.

Travel is one of the most dominant hashtags on Instagram. Boasting 439 million posts and always counting, travel is the world’s hottest commodity, the biggest dream. Being able to log into one’s social media and see an instantaneous real-time catalogue of destinations and experiences happening to those around them and those they look up to, is in many ways the ultimate form of wanderlust. Whether you are planning your own dream trip abroad or throughout your home country, or eagerly dreaming of the next time you will be able to take off on your next big adventure, there is something exciting about being able to see the places near and far, in real-time, even if you are not there yourself. It creates a sense of hope and determination to get to those places yourself, to tick them off your travel bucket list, and to make your own memories in the places so beautiful that they do not need filters to bring out their shine.

Travel is one of the most globally popular adventures of the world. In fact, for many people, it is the ultimate adventure. There is power in taking off to explore the big, wide world, and a lot of that power hinges on the distinct appeal of being able to take in all the destinations and experiences you have seen elsewhere, for yourself. This is a notion that, since the introduction and ongoing exploration of the social media age, has become more and more prominent all over the world. These days, a large appeal of travel is knowing that you can log onto social media at any time, type in a destination or experience, and get a real-time catalogue of others being there or doing that, on your form. This is the ultimate instigator of wanderlust, and it is everywhere. Social media has done for travel what it has done for modern businesses: create the ultimate form of 24/7 marketing that essentially runs itself with little need for human interference. And the world loves it, we crave it, we chase it.

Can Innovation Save The Motorcycle Industry?

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Harley-Davidson, America’s iconic motorcycle brand, has been having a rough few years. Last year the company announced plans to move production overseas and United States’ emerging trade war continues to stress the company. Perhaps worst of all, the company had a 10% sales decline in the last quarter of 2018, capping two straight years of falling sales. To put it bluntly, things aren’t looking good for Harley-Davidson – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to evolve, and other motorcycle brands are helping to establish a new model for the industry that’s tech-forward.

Reimagining Safety

One of the primary reasons that people avoid motorcycles is because they’re worried about injuries. Motorcyclists are far less protected in the event of an accident than those in a car or truck, and yet they’re often blamed for accidents because riding a motorcycle is viewed as inherently irresponsible. While skilled motorcycle accident lawyers can navigate this system, wouldn’t it be excellent if riding a motorcycle could be safer for everyone? That’s exactly what some motorcycle brands are trying to do.

Among the companies working to revolutionize the motorcycle world is DamonXLabs, a startup based in Vancouver and their first bike model is all about adaptability. Nicknamed Midas, DamonXLabs’ first bike features an adjustable shape and mount – what they call Variable Rider Geometry. Using this system, riders can decide whether to ride in sport mode or comfort mode, depending on riding conditions. Sport mode is designed for speed, whether that’s highway riding or backroads with little traffic, while comfort riding rearranges the bike, lowering the seat and pegs, so that it’s easier to navigate city streets at a slower speed. 

While the changes introduced by the Midas may seem like they’re primarily an aesthetic variable, the ability to shift between these configurations makes riders safer by allowing them to adapt their bike to their riding environment. Before, riders would have needed to own multiple bikes to accommodate different riding situations, but now they can adjust with their environment. The lab hopes to introduce a greater array of positional choices in later bikes, increasing the options available to riders.

Exploring Electric Options

Another way that motorcycle companies are trying to adapt to the times is by exploring electric bike options. Buyers are more conscious of their impact on the environment than ever before, which is why hybrid and electric cars are so popular, but there were few equivalent options available for motorcyclists. That’s not so anymore.

Among the companies innovating on electric bike models is BMW, a company that’s actually been making motorcycles since WWII. Drawing on their original design from the 1930s, BMW’s Vision DC features the same shaft drive that their cars use, as opposed to the belt drive typically used on electric bikes. Like other electric bike makers, though, BMW is fighting against space; it’s hard to fit much battery energy into these bikes and most still struggle to go more than 100 miles between charges. Breaking that barrier will be key to electric bikes’ success.

Harley’s Electric Alternative

With BMW bringing an electric bike to market and Harley-Davidson struggling with sales, America’s favorite bike brand wasn’t about to be upstaged. As such, Harley-Davidson dropped their first electric bike this August. Dubbed the LiveWire, the bike retails for nearly $30k and barely breaks the 100-mile mark for urban riding between charges – but it has made progress in terms of connectivity. The bike is equipped with H-D Connect service, which can provide status updates and maintenance reminders; it also includes GPS settings that can help owner track a stolen bike. 

While the price point on the LiveWire may put it out of many Harley loyalists’ price range, its release indicates that we can’t count Harley-Davidson out when it comes to the future of motorcycling. They know that they’ve hit something of a market low, but that’s no reason to drop out entirely. By tuning in to markets where motorcycles are more popular, such as in Southeast and South Asia, they may be able to make further progress.

Stay Open To International Innovation

Harley-Davidson may always represent something uniquely American, but they aren’t the only players in the motorcycle game and as we consider what comes next, we need to keep our eyes on international markets. In India, where motorbikes are a major form of transportation, for example, Revolt Intellicorp just launched the first AI-equipped bike, while Grab, a Southeast Asian transit company, just launched a partnership with Yamaha in Indonesia as part of what they’ve dubbed “next generation mobility.”

Older motorcycle companies have created a cultural romance around choppers, the open road, and a spirit of rugged independence, but that isn’t enough to make sure they stay relevant. If motorcycle companies can’t automate, go green, and boost their safety profile, they’ll fall behind the competition. In the US today, if people are going to do something dangerous – like ride an electric scooter without a helmet – they don’t want to pay $30k for the privilege. Convenient, affordable options represent a key source of competition and the call of the open road is fading. It’s time to look to the future; motorcycles need a new narrative if they’re going to survive.

Interaction Design Foundation paving the way for new frontier in education

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When it comes to understanding the fragile state of higher education as it stands today, and the impact having access to that education can have on eager learners, Interaction Design Foundation have a distinctive lead. This is an institution that is wholeheartedly dedicated to creating a new frontier in Ivy League-level education that is not only globally accessible, but far more financially inclusive as well. Originally started back in 2002, this is a non-profit organisation that, in the years since (and still even now), has effectively created a low-cost, high-quality approach to education that transforms how individuals learn to master the art of design. Historically speaking, design school has always been one of the most coveted fields in academics, and while this is still the case, this is a company that is leading the way to a new frontier in understanding and perfecting a more wholly inclusive approach to education.

Interaction Design Foundation is a company that is revolutionising what it means to have ample and fair access to design school. Using online UX design courses to provide students with top-quality information and materials, the aim of the game for this awe-inspiring company is to lower costs while raising the standards of inclusive design education to Ivy league expectations. To many people, it sounds like the ultimate paradox, and perhaps it is in some ways, but at the end of the day, the goal is humble as it is ambitious – strange as that may sound. The founders and the people behind the scenes at Interaction Design Foundation have this goal in mind, and that goal is hinged on the ability and desire to create an approach to design academics that encapsulates the high quality of the top tiers of education, while making it available to the many people through cost-effective online education foundations.

The nature of Ivy League education today is shrouded in exclusivity and expense, and it is these very barriers that Interaction Design Foundation seeks to break down for its design students. While the Ivy League is exceptional, even remarkable, in many ways, it lacks diversity in practically every way that matters, and companies like Interaction Design Foundation break effectively fill in the gaps and create a more wholesome approach to education, that does not seek to sacrifice quality on any level. That is made possible by the introduction and utilisation of online design courses. Costing a fraction of what traditional education costs to administer and bolster, these courses are more cost-effective for students to undertake as well. Members (i.e. students) have access to free design-related textbooks and mother materials, as well as comprehensive, instructor-led online courses. It is a revelation. 

While Interaction Design Foundation is an organisation dedicated to the art of design education, the hope is ultimately that it will not only continue to change the global standard for design education everywhere, but also education as a whole. Dedicated to the pursuit of quality education at inclusive levels, on every level, this is how this institution is striving – and succeeding handsomely – in making a tangible difference, and working to create a new frontier in design education (and education in general). Students the world over are now able to access cost-effective courses and course materials for a fraction of the cost of traditional education. In addition, they are also given unlimited access to professional instructors who can guide students through the material and give them all the assistance they need along the way. A marvel in modern standards in higher education, this is just the beginning. 

Interaction Design Foundation was built to kick-start and continue growing something special, that sought to change the way design students learn and absorb information. Never has there been an approach to design education that is as exciting, as inclusive, and as wholesome as that of the Interaction Design Foundation. An all-new frontier in design education, this is just the beginning for everything this company stands for, and what its constructs can teach higher education (and education in general, for that matter) about providing both learning and teaching methods and models, at high-quality and low-cost innovations. If this is just the beginning for the new era in design education, there is no telling just how big and bright it will continue to flourish and thrive into. 

Interaction Design Foundation is a non-profit organisation that was originally founded in 2002, with the goal of building a low-cost, high-quality approach to education that rivalled the Ivy Leagues, without the exclusivity and high expenses associated with Ivy League institutions. In the seventeen years (and ongoing) since, Interaction Design Foundation has famously cemented and expanded upon a reputation for itself that has come to be known all over the world, as well as boasting one of the largest UX design communities in the world. It is an accomplishment that is worth its weight in gold, and it is even still working wonders to create a new frontier in design education that not only changes academics for design students, but hopefully becomes a catalyst for educational standards everywhere in the near future.

Why immigration remains crucial to the economic development of America

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America has always been painted as a land of opportunity, which is why there are so many people in the world scrambling for the opportunity to get a foot through the door. Some who have the financial stability to go through legal means apply for an EB-5 Visa, while others use the less conventional way of crossing the border through Mexico. However, after President Trump’s tightening of the border, it does seem as though America is becoming less “land of opportunity” and more of a “land of oppression”. 

A large percentage of immigrants find refuge in America to escape the poverty in their home countries. It is those very people who need financial and health assistance the most. However, with the new legislation passed by the current president, which will take away green card benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps, or housing assistance. While this may seem like “justice” to some, it should also be noted that immigrants take up the jobs that nobody else wants to do in America and they pay taxes, same as everybody else. 

In 2015 alone TheStranger reports that, “undocumented immigrants alone paid at least $23.6 billion in income taxes, which funds social services that they cannot even use. We shouldn’t be deporting these people; we should be thanking them and giving them green cards”.

Claiming that “our country is full” is a short-sighted proclamation. One that would lead America into devastation. It is a relief that it seems the president is unable to truly stem the flow of immigrants making their way into the land of the free through the Mexican border which is almost 2000 miles long. Despite the president’s mounting frustrations, there is simply too many for border patrol to realistically control. Thousands of immigrants were forced to be released as many more take their space in holding areas. 

Immigrants are a vital part of the American economy and if you remove them all, you will be removing approximately 30% of the working force. This will bring unemployment rates to new levels, as America is already facing a shortage of workers who are interested in working back-breaking positions or fill up labourer roles. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former director of the Congressional Budget Office believes that it is immigrants which are making the country richer and without them, the country will shrink. He has advised Republican presidential candidates and now leads the conservative American Action Forum. 

With the falling birthrates, and Americans marrying later and later, the workforce is slowly diminishing. Currently, there are 7.3 million jobs that need to be filled across the nation and there are 6 million unemployed people, including the homeless and those that are unable to work. This gap will only continue to increase as the older generation workforce retires with no new workers to replace them. This is why immigrants are crucial to the economy, without them, the future of America is beginning to look quite bleak

Imagine a country that has a construction industry void of workers, who will you send for if you need repairs? What if you want to install that deck around your house? Who will be building homes for the next generation? This is what will happen if immigation is put to a complete stop and it will affect not just one industry, but many across the nation

Another contribution of immigrants to the economy is how they create a demand for more jobs. While many Americans have complained about the problem of immigrants “stealing their jobs”, the opposite is true. While immigrants are a competitive factor in the workforce, they also generate a demand that needs to be filled. More houses, more developments, groceries, childcare, etc. Furthermore, immigration offers cheap labour which means that more households are capable of affording drivers or domestic help which only the affluent were able to afford. This luxury or convenience would not be as accessible if immigration did not play such a big part in the American economy. 

At the end of the day, immigration in America is essentially a two way street. Not in the sense that there’s a back and forth flow of migration, but that where immigrants take up jobs, they create new demands as well. In allowing immigrants into the country, it helps it flourish in terms of economic value and injects more life into a dwindling population. Americans and their president should learn to see the bigger picture rather than focus on the “downsides” that immigration has brought to the country. While we cannot deny that there is a strain on the healthcare system and support system that America has in place for the millions of homeless and disabled in their country to support the immigrants that have come with empty pockets and sick children, we must also remember that these people are the hope for the future generation. They arrive in America with the potential for contributing, and they will build up the economy, one immigrant at a time. 

Caring for “Fur-Babies” in a thriving pet world

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BabelBark provides the world’s only digital platform connecting pet parents, veterinarians, pet businesses and shelters

More than any other generation in history, the Millennials are leaving a mark on everyone and everything that touches their lives. The one crucial point that distinguishes them from everyone else, is that they were the first generation to grow up with the Internet and the smartphone. As American business leader, Brad D. Smith, said, “This generation (Millennials) has grown up with computing in the palm of their hands. They are more socially and globally connected through mobile Internet than any prior generation. And they don’t question, they just learn.”

It is a trait that touches not just their professional lives, but also their most personal and human moments. When seeking answers to what matters to them most, in many cases, Millennials by having the facts at their fingertips, decide to postpone matrimony, choosing instead to have a pet to love, than get weighed down by the cost and hassle of marriage and family.  And so, according to recent survey by TD Ameritrade, Millennials comprise 35% of all pet owners, which amounts to being  the largest demographic segment owning pets in the U.S.

Therefore, it is no surprise that the pet care industry is booming, according to recent market research, currently thriving as a $225 billion business, with North American sales expected to reach $281 billion by 2023. Furthermore, many young people in the 20-36 age group, look upon their pets not just as loving creatures to come home to, but as “starter children,” to give them practice on handling their own kids in time to come. Mollie McGill and Patrick Sullivan, both in their late twenties, have a two-year old dog, and they have celebrated every milestone of her life, from birthdays to obedience class graduations. They said, ““We think that because we treat Cooper like she is a child, we’re inherently prepared for one. Most of the traits we’ve acquired over the last 18 months are those that parents develop as well. The research, the planning, the worrying, the borderline obsession with this living thing and the overwhelming amount of love you feel for them.”

Just like Mollie and Patrick, thousands of other pet parents agonize over their pets’ food, hygiene products and keeping them healthy. They rush from food store to veterinarian, wondering how to handle it all with the pressures of daily life.

It was no different for Roy Stein and Bill Rebozo, two software engineers who loved their dogs.

“We were planning an extended vacation, but we were so worried about leaving our dogs with sitters, “said Roy Stein, Founder and CEO of Babelbark.

Stein and Rebozo both had extensive experience in technology, product development and marketing. Wondering how to make use of their skills to resolve their problem, they decided to create an app called BabelBark to assist their dog sitters. This was in early 2015. The app was an immediate success and everyone who came to know it, loved it.  Stein and Rebozo knew they had a winning product, and decided to make available to the pet-caring world.

Envisioning a wider spread of focus for their app,  Stein and Rebozo worked on it diligently, and today, Babelbark is a pet-suite, the only horizontal digital platform in the world for the pet industry, allowing pet parents, veterinarians, pet businesses and shelters to come together on one platform to provide the best possible care for pets.

Stein and Rebozo say that Babelbark has over 650 pet businesses connected to over 200,000 pets, growing at a high rate independently. They are proud that the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has chosen Babelbark “as the exclusive vet-pet platform until December 2021, for 4400 clinics.”

The need of the app is apparent in the context of Millennials, with 67% of them considering their pet as part of the family, their “fur-babies”,   pampering them like their first-born babies.

According to Nielsen, a global, independent marketing research company, annual household spending on pet food among pet owners increased 36% between 2007 and 2017. With most pet parents opting for expensive food for their pets, a wave of new premium pet foods and “human-grade” snacks for pets have entered the market. These products use high-end ingredients, and there are gluten-free food for pets in the array.

Recent surveys find that Millennials are willing to spend an average of $2000 for their pet’s medical care, with one in 10 saying they would spend over $10,000 on a sick pet.

According to studies by the New York-based trend forecasting company, Cassandra, “As a generation that puts off having children or opts out of it entirely, (Millennials) are putting greater focus on pets instead. Many are treating their pets as if they were kids and devoting a growing share of their disposable income to them.”

So, in a world where raising a kid requires a parent with a six-figure salary, taking care of a pet appears to be a less expensive alternative to Millennials who have known the economic hardships of a recession.

It appears they would rather settle for the love of a pet, than take on the life-long commitment of raising a child. As American actor, James Cromwell said, “Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life.”

Ecommerce has taken women’s fashion to unprecedented heights

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The fashion industry has enjoyed a significantly prominent rise over the years, most recently being transformed in the wake of digitalisation and technological advancement. And at the forefront of that revitalisation, has been the impact on women’s fashion specifically. While it is true that women’s fashion has always enjoyed a significant scope of attention around the world, the introduction of the worldwide web, and subsequently, ecommerce (the single largest market for everything – including women’s fashion, of course), has changed it all from the ground up. Fashion is an ancient industry by this point, but the introduction and ongoing advancement of ecommerce has introduced an entirely new frontier in women’s fashion (and the entire fashion industry in general, for that matter), that has taken it to all-new and unprecedented global heights. And what is more, is that this is just the beginning; from here on out, there is more and more to come, and it all points to a stronger industry going into the future.

Ecommerce is essentially a backing for consumer-driven marketplaces that plans the globe and is recognised and accessed through the worldwide web. Here, the consumer-driven marketplace never stops moving and transforming. Today, this is where the clear majority of women’s fashion purchases are made, as well as practically every other type of consumer-driven purchase there is in the modern world. Women’s fashion has only gotten bigger, better, bolder, and sturdier in both design and quality, and the rise of ecommerce has given a platform for those fashion brands and labels to be given exposure and be bought by eager consumers on a bigger, better, bolder, and sturdier platform. Through ecommerce, women now have a 24/7 front-row seat to the latest and greatest fashion shows around the world, as well as constant access to not only the storefront window (the landing page of the website), but the entire store in its entirety (the entire website). And we are all hooked.

Boasting every women’s fashion staple there is, from a large selection of rave shoes, to a widespread choice of lingerie, and every fashion item there is, ecommerce is the consumer platform that women – and the rest of the world, for that matter – have been calling out for, for years. Since its introduction a few years ago, ecommerce has made women’s fashion an even more globally inclusive and successful innovation – a feat that is not only impressive, but ultimately quite awe-inspiring, considering the incredible depth of success that the women’s fashion sector achieved before ecommerce became a mainstream sensation all over the world. today, thanks to ecommerce, women’s fashion is not only bolder, but more readily available – and that is a facet of fashion that is worth backing, through and through. More to the point, it is also an innovation in fashion that people are becoming exceedingly obsessed with, if you can believe it (and you should be able to).

Ecommerce seems life-changing because it is…but what is truly the most exciting thing of all, is that it is only just now getting started. The best is yet to come when it comes to ecommerce advancement and ongoing expansion, and the whole of the modern world is waiting in eager anticipation to see what rabbit ecommerce pulls out of the hat next. Women today are busier than they have ever been (as are men – this is beginning of the digital era, after all), and having a platform like ecommerce where they can obtain the latest and greatest fashions with a few clicks of a button, is entirely transformative. It boasts the beginning of a new frontier in women’s fashion that is more convenient, more efficient, more exciting, and more reliable. Put simply, ecommerce is the backing for women’s fashion that is set to entirely transform the way that women become aware of, buy into, and sell their own fashions. The world is changing, and so is women’s fashion.

Fashion has now reached the point that it is practically an ancient industry. And women’s fashion specifically, has enjoyed a rather infamous rise over the years. However, now it reaches its most pivotal point yet, and that point rests on the introduction and ongoing advancement of ecommerce (i.e. the world’s largest virtual consumer-driven marketplace). For women’s fashion, ecommerce has taken an industry that, quite honestly, seemed to have hit its peak, and has somehow allowed and encouraged it to expand further and further, to the point that this is a whole new world for women’s fashion. Thanks to ecommerce, women’s fashion is a sector of fashion that has not only grown exponentially, but has somehow managed to attract the attention and consumer loyalty of women around the world, to the point that they are buying more than ever. And we love it. We are hooked. And better yet? The best is yet to come. Ecommerce is nowhere near finished growing, and neither has women’s fashion in that marketplace (or in general, for that matter).