• Weeknote #538

    March 14th to 20th

    Once again, we had many guests this week at the studio. Wolfgang and KP were here to write the Product Field Guide, Valentin and Jörg came by for critique.

    On Friday we celebrated the first version of an internal design tool we designed for a client. We introduced the concept more than two years ago and created a little prototype. Although it was very-well received, it took a while to be green-lighted for a proper development. Now it’s ready to be implemented into the workflow, so the folks from mindmatters, who developed the software, came by to have a little celebration. I think, I already talked about celebrations at precious. But I do it again, because we do it not enough and this serves as a reminder for ourselves.

    Celebrations are presentations by the people who were involved in a project. After the completion of the project, the team shares all the good aspects of the project. Just the good ones. Even the little goods things that you hardly remember anymore.

    The project team talks briefly about a great thing… and then the crowd goes wild. This is very important: Go wild! Cheer like someone just revealed the remedy for cancer. Repeat.

    Pro tip: Have one cheerleader who picks a different style of cheering for each good thing. You will be surprised many ways there are.

    Hooray!

    Posted by Johannes.
  • Weeknote 536 & 537

    February 29th to March 13th

    I’ve spend the better part of 536 at home with a nasty stomach flu, but I was back on Friday, when we released the Brand Color Picker. This picker is part of something bigger: Open Color Tools. More about that soon.

    Another baby of ours is The Product Field. Together with mindmatters we are currently working on the app, while Wolfgang, KP and Michael are editing and rewriting the Product Field Guide, which Maja is layouting.

    And then the Design Tools Hackday. We’ve received lots of great applications from all over the world, and had the difficult task to select the participants. We’ve already increased the number of available slots as much as we could, but still there are a lot of people we couldn’t invite. We’ve also got lively interest from companies that develop design tools, either internally for their own teams or as commercial products. Looks like we are not the only people thinking a lot about the necessity to shape the tools that shape us.

    Apart from these self-initiated projects, almost everybody in the studio was at some point involved with project Puichon. There were a lot of parallel work streams, involving everything from writing user stories to sketching wireframes, defining colors to writing html/css.

    Posted by Johannes.
  • Weeknote 535

    February 22nd to 28th

    We’ve got some great feedback on our article about design tools. It also helped a lot to get attention for the hackday we are organizing. A lot of talented people from all over the world applied. It’ll be an illustrious crowd. There’s just one thing bothering us.

    While we made a conscious effort to have a good balance between male and female jury and team members, the ratio of the applications is skewed towards men. We already tried to address women more directly, but there is still room for improvement. So, if you are a woman – or know any women – interested in designing or developing extensions for Sketch, please have a look at the hackday website. We have sponsorships for people from abroad, so you might also want to consider an application if you are not living near Hamburg.

    That’s it for this week. More about our current projects in the next bulletin.

    Posted by Johannes.
  • Weeknote 533 - 534

    February 8th to 21st

    Busy times, that’s why this weeknote is double feature. And late.

    The studio is buzzing. We are now eleven people and we had a few guests working in our studio. Meike came all the way from the north of Sweden to research and write her thesis at precious. It’s about collaboration between designers and developers – with a focus on pattern libraries. Titus and Joschka made themselves comfortable at our studio as well to work on the Product Field app.

    This app is a self-initiated project we are working on with mindmatters, but not the only one. There is another tool in the works, made real by our friend Jan and his partner Florian. And we just launched a little website for the Design Tools Hackday that we are organizing!

    Christophe also wrote a lengthy article about “Designing with Meaningful Data”, which you should read if you are crafting digital products for a living.

    Not everything was golden in the last few days, though. I won’t go into detail, but I had to think about the title of a beautiful record that Christophe and I released on our record label. But with everything else going on, nothing can stop our enthusiasm.

    Posted by Johannes.
  • Weeknote 532

    February 1st to 7th

    So much happened this week!

    First: new blood. Maja joined our team as a designer. Christoph started his internship. It only took a few days to realize that both are the great additions to the team we hoped they would be. Only problem: naming confusion, because we already have a Christophe. Maybe we all need to use the french pronunciation for him (as Svenja always did – and Florie, obviously). Or the new Christoph needs a nickname… we haven’t figured out yet.

    Second: a two-day team retreat. We looked back and celebrated what we achieved (using every possible method of cheering we could come up with) and discussed proposals how to make precious better. Two very intense days that kept me thinking for a few days. I'm still digesting, I don't know yet what to write.

    The gist: So much work to do. So worth it!

    Posted by Johannes.
  • Weeknote 531

    January 25th to 31st

    To make space for new blood, we changed the layout in our studio. We gave up perfect parallelism and chose perpendicularity instead. We’ll see how that works out. We can now seat two more people and we are looking forward to welcome them next week.

    We’re making steady progress on the project we are working on. Arved visualised some more advanced features for the Product Field app, Michael realised that he needs and wants to code more (so he started doing that). And the rest (minus David who was on vacation) covered some more meters in the ultramarathon called Puichon. As usual, Aisha and Svenja did this and that and this.

    Friday was a day of travel: Michael and Christophe took an early train to the south of Germany to meet with a new potential client, while I was doing a quick stop in Berlin for project Puichon.

    Posted by Johannes.