Observatory

We love interviewing interesting people, analyzing trends, developing custom tools, and observing creativity in motion.

Posts

Center for Court Innovation Executive Director Courtney Bryan
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Courtney Bryan

Courtney Bryan is Executive Director of the Center for Court Innovation, a nonprofit that creates...
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Holiday shopping on a Shopify website
ecommerce

Last-Minute Holiday Reminders For Your Shopify Site

Wait, does August mean “last-minute?” For online retailers, absolutely.
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Shopping basket filled with boxes
ecommerce

Advice for Using Third-Party Apps in Shopify

5 things retailers should consider, and 5 apps that can add value.
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Pink Chicken founder Stacey Fraser
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Stacey Fraser

Stacey is the founder and creative director of children’s clothing brand Pink Chicken. A lover of...
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Whoop app
Rec Room

Apps We Like: Summer 2021

Wine, plants, hotels, trails, shopping, and other essentials.
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Ian Lynch Smith photo
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Ian Lynch Smith

Ian is founder and CEO of Ghostwheel, a company focused on making software for the Film industry. In a...
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Book Covers: Vernon Subutex, The Constant Rabbit, Shuggie Bain
Rec Room

Small Planet’s Summer 2021 Reading List

Desert Oracles, Kung Fu Guys, Financial Meltdowns, Elevated Rabbits, and More.
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TestRail logo on background
Tech

Here are 4 Ways to Make TestRail Better

Features that would help the QA process and decrease bottlenecks.
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Photo of Jeff Borman
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Jeff Borman

Jeff Borman is the Founder of travelINNsights and has over two decades of global leadership in...
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Tracy Chadwell photo
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Tracy Killoren Chadwell

Named as one of Entrepreneur Magazine's 100 Powerful Women and Forbes' Women VC's to know, Tracy...
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Illustration of Ken Seeno
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Ken Seeno

Ken is a designer, musician, surfer, and Senior Manager of Product Design at Headspace.
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Picture of Constellation
Rec Room

Podcast: The Students of Change

We are total suckers for all things related to fortune-telling and well-designed prognostication.
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Observatory sports collage
Field Trips

Quick Hits from the 2021 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

The SSAC21 drinking game was easy: start with mentions of innovation and evolution. Move on to what...
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Photo of Paola Mata
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Paola Mata

Paola Mata is an iOS Engineer, a tech community leader, and a strong advocate for diversity. She is...
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Photo of Tiffany Horan
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Tiffany Horan

Tiffany is a technology enthusiast, writer, educator and consultant. She is particularly concerned by...
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SP Cookbook Guide cover image
Rec Room

The Small Planet Spring Cookbook Guide

Small Planeteers love to cook, and these are some of our favorite recommended cookbooks and blogs.
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Cari Sekendur photo
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Cari Sekendur

Cari Sekendur is the founder of Butter Studio, where she serves as Principal and Creative Director....
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Photo of Ariel Michaeli
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Ariel Michaeli

Ariel is an entrepreneur, developer, and the Founder and CEO of Appfigures.
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The Business of We book cover
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Laura Kriska

Laura is an expert on cross-cultural relations with more than thirty years experience bridging gaps in...
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Unkindest Cuts
Strategy

Unkindest Cuts

Cut these 5 things from your mobile project budget at your peril.
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Still from the game No Man's Sky
Rec Room

Winter Games 2021

Escape rooms, planetary explorations, and nostalgia-fueled fun.
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Frictionless Shopping Cart
Strategy

The Secret Ingredient to Frictionless Shopping

It propels confidence in every phase of e-commerce.
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Colt Translation Tool
Tech

Introducing Colt

A language translation tool for developers.
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Crystal Balls
Trends

How Work and Play Could Change in 2021

Predictions on esports, geographic freedom, commuting, and wearables.
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Crystal Balls
Trends

How Retail and Tech Could Change in 2021

Predictions on pet brands, Salesforce, localvores, and the great indoors.
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Standards Manual presents Parks
Inspiration

Books That Look Cool – 2020 Edition

Fake Love Letters, Hiking Chernobyl, Godlis Streets + More.
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Rebecca Brooker
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Rebecca Brooker, Part 2

On Argentina, creative people she admires, and plans for the future.
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Rebecca Brooker
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Rebecca Brooker, Part 1

On creating community, design baggage, rainbow-washing, and supporting people who have been left out.
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Karen Pattani-Hason
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Karen Pattani-Hason

On investing in talent, startup advice, and creating community via dance.
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Coordinate Mapper
Tech

Coordinate Mapper

An easy-to-use 3D visualization tool for Unity developers.
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Shopping Cart with flaming engine
Strategy

E-commerce Partners: The Digital Agency Hiring Guide for VCs

There's more than one way to help your startups.
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Cocktail with orange peel
Rec Room

Small Planet’s Oktoberfest 2020 Beer and Cocktail Guide

Ok, so, what should we toast to?
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Ed Erenberg
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Ed Erenberg

On intelligent pop, climate change, overreliance on influencers, and Spinal Tap moments.
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Name tags
Trends

What’s Next For Tech Conferences?

Will they evolve to meet our new social and financial realities?
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Holiday Shopping Cart
Strategy

Last-Minute E-commerce Holiday Checklist

What your site and app must have, what your e-commerce team should do, and the features you kinda need.
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Interactive Design Tools collage
Toolkit

The Interactive Designer’s Toolbox

Guidelines, Animation, Icons, and Inspiration.
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Michael Metcalf
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Michael Metcalf

On Europe's startup culture, his favorite German words, and the Iowa State Fair.
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Office Icons
Trends

4 Ways Tech Offices Will Change As We Reopen

Rebooting our ideas of space, air quality, temperature checks, and snacks.
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Tech Calendar hero image of circles and data
Trends

4 Ways The Tech Scene Will Be Different In 6 Months

Office democracy and diversity get an overhaul.
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Are You Bored With Reality? written on side of a school bus
Trends

4 Experiences That Will Be Different In 6 Months

Unexpected changes in TV, security, tourism, and remote work.
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Katherine McDonald
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Katherine McDonald

On quarantining in Montana, CreativeMornings, restorative space, and the beauty of small rituals.
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Keren Landman
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Keren Landman

On health journalism, squirrel adventures, and connection versus distraction.
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Cat and computer in an office
Trends

The Coming Wave of Enterprise Apps

Remote work is about to change forever.
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SaMD phone
Tech

Building Your First SaMD/Clinical Research Application

Design, Cost, Compliance, and Research.
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Basketball breaking down into data
Field Trips

Quick Hits from the 2020 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

Let's get frictionless.
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The Bericks - founders of Maptote
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Maptote’s Rachel and Michael Berick

On maps, macramé, and startup advice.
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USA cover photo
News

The Iowa App-tastrophe: Plenty of Blame to Go Around

What we should really be talking about.
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Light bulb collage with phone
Strategy

How much does it cost to make an app?

It depends, but making a good one usually takes real money.
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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Rec Room

Winter Games 2020

Spelling Bees, Fallen Orders, Killer Queens, and Wild Hearts.
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Sketch Plugins
Toolkit

Sketch Plugins Toolkit

Tricks to help designers customize their experience.
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UX Questions
Design

Preparing for UX Design Interview Questions

Our CXO Fred Lee on Do's and Don'ts.
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Inclusive Design Directory
Design

Design Directories for Inclusivity

Resources for building diverse design teams.
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Small Planet 10th Anniversary
News

A Note From Gavin

Celebrating 10 Years of Small Planet.
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Mobile RFP Pre-Flight Checklist
Toolkit

Mobile RFP Pre-Flight Checklist

Can you define your app's core purpose in one sentence?
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Josh Siegel
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Josh Siegel

On X-Men, Queercore, and what makes a great portrait.
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Down The Rabbit Hole neon sign
Design

The Basics: Starting Out In App Design

Things to know, tools to use, practices to develop.
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Gavin and family
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Gavin Fraser

Small Planet's CEO on the merits of Sia, Islanders hockey, Vineyard restaurants, and fish stories.
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Minority Report photo still
Design

Beautiful/Ridiculous

The Long Reach of Minority Report’s Floating Screens.
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Mobile App Accessibility
Toolkit

Mobile App Accessibility Toolbox

Guidelines, Checklists, Principles, and Testing.
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Prue Linehan photo
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Prue Linehan

On murals, Miami, upcycling, Winona Ryder, and hard Rs.
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Healthcare Brands
Strategy

How Healthcare Brands Speak to Women

Brands are trying really, really hard to relate to people who don’t have deep health literacy....
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Alyssa Nasca photo
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Alyssa Nasca

On beautiful buildings, swing dancing, and great American road trips.
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Famous Men Who Never Lived book cover
Inspiration

SP’s Post-Apocalypse Summer Reading List

Dystopian futures, zombie outbreaks, alternate timelines … welcome to summer!
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Victoria Carter photo
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Victoria Carter

Victoria is an avid cyclist, a student of participatory design and sustainability, and a new producer...
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Time Series Data cover
Strategy

Video: Time-Series Data NY Meetup

A Panel Talk on How and Why Mobile Applications Make Use of Data.
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Alex Little photo
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Alex Little

Alex is an award-winning Creative Director based in New York City.
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Adette Contreras photo
Rocket Science

Rocket Science: Adette C. Contreras

On breakfast foods, creative icons, business therapy, and Hogwarts houses.
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Blue Green Code
Android

Mobile Developer Toolkit

Unleash the Command Line!
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Spot On - Assorted App Screens
iOS App

Building a Better Health App

Small Planet builds healthcare apps that combine empathy, functionality, and respect.
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Tammy Tyberg photo
Android

My First Two Years as a Developer

“I love programming, no matter how much angst it causes me.”
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