• Weeknote 550

    June 6th to 12th

    A quiet week at the studio. Michael and Aisha were on vacation, Svenja on sick leave. Christophe recovered from a jet lag and hit the road again towards Malmö, where he met a lot of people. His schedule looked like a speed dating event.

    The rest of us enjoyed the tranquillity. Christoph, after focussing on Open Color Tools in the last weeks, decided to do something entirely different for a change. He’s designing a poster (yes, a poster!) about the history of drum machines. Florie worked on some more internal matters. Maja lay the final touches on the parenting app, and pondered the next iteration of the Product Field Guide. Sean was “tagging, tagging, tagging”, which is a laborious, but necessary task to ensure that all elements in the design system we are building for Puichon are colored correctly. Arved supported Sean a little and also continued to write patterns for the website. David and I spent quite some time defining line-spacings. Who knew that you could spent so much time on this? We didn’t, now we do.

    Posted by Johannes.
  • Weeknote 549

    May 30th to June 5th

    Hackdays, workshops and a wedding – a lot has happened in our studio since the last time we posted a weeknote. Even better: a precious baby was born. Not in the studio, though.

    There would have been so much to write about, but I missed it.

    Thankfully Aisha made sure to celebrate all these great events properly. That was on Thursday evening. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it, but I’ve been told that whisky was involved.

    Christophe also couldn’t be present, because he went on a spontaneous Puichon related trip. Judging from the photos he sent us, it looked more like “Explore California in a week”-tour, but he actually got some work done in and in between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Palo Alto and Los Angeles. Sean and David stayed in Hamburg, but were in constant contact with the temporary Californian outpost.

    Also very exciting: the private beta release of Open Color Tools. Michael and Christoph (the one without the e), together with Florian and Jan, worked hard to deliver the software to the first couple of hundred people who requested a beta invite.

    Maja was busy with an app for young parents and another round of revisions for the Product Field Guide. Arved build patterns for our future website, Florie prepared some internal workshops and other initiatives that make us a better company. Me, I was supporting Maja, doing some legwork for Christophe and took care of new business inquiries with Michael.

    Posted by Johannes.
  • 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.