• 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.
  • Weeknote 528 to 530

    January 4th to 24th

    When we started project Puichon in the summer of 2012, it was just Christophe and me working on the same – or at least very similar – topics. At the end of last year, five people were involved, and the scope and complexity of the project required that everybody on the team worked on different and very specific issues. Although we were all working on the same thing, it became harder and harder to follow and understand what the others were doing.

    Now, with the beginning of the new year, we entered a new phase. We have to bring together all the different parts, so we switched our work mode. More communication, more collaboration. It feels good to see it coalesce.

    Michael and Arved were mainly involved with The Product Field. Michael spend a few days in a writing retreat with the other two Product Field masterminds. We’ll talk a bit more about the result in a couple of weeks.

Arved continued to work on the interface for the Product Field app. Also something we hopefully can present in a not too distant future.

    Svenja was busy with the 2015 accounts and other things to keep the studio running. So was Aisha.

    Christophe, Michael and I spend quite some time with new business inquiries. Since we usually work in long-term partnerships, we don’t have to explain ourselves very often. But all of the sudden we were talking to a handful of organisations we haven’t worked with before. And we realised that we weren’t perfectly prepared to present ourselves, so it took a few extra hours. But the inquiries come from a wide variety of industries, with very diverse and interesting challenges, so we are excited. A great way to start the year!

    Posted by Johannes.
  • Weeknote 526

    December 21st to 24th

    Half a week with a third of the team. Christophe and I went to Mainz for a workshop. We didn’t have much information to prepare it, so we brought our tools and improvised. It worked fine. We are very curious what comes next. Or, to say it with the words of Special Agent Dale B. Cooper: “I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.”

    Back in Hamburg, Christophe and I wanted to use the quietness in the studio (only Svenja was there with us) to produce content for our new website. But fatherly duties held us back to work full speed.

    Next: holidays, family, 2016. Enjoy all of it!

    Posted by Johannes.
  • Weeknote 525

    December 14th to 20th

    Since a couple of years we made it a tradition to kick-off our christmas party with a visit to a museum. This time we went Wälderhaus (house of the forests) to learn something about the woods. Did you know that trees can communicate with each other? And giraffes try to trick them when they do?

    Back at the studio, our families joined us. We had a potluck. And a lot of fun. Arved made his very famous pasta salad, Sean wore his ugly sweater, four little boys between under the age of 3 roamed the office and Michael told us about his best worst christmas party experience…

    Earlier this year we decided to hold back a small part of the funds of our one-tenth initiative (donating 10% of our profits) so everyone in the team could choose a charity to support with that money. The christmas party seemed an appropriate occasion to talk about that. Everybody prepared a few slides to present the selected charity and explained why she or he picked it. Here’s what our team chose: uLizo, Seawatch, Zeit für Zukunft, Give Well, Mozilla.org, Migrantenhilfe Hamburg, Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg and two more initiatives that don’t have a name yet, because they are just starting.

    Posted by Johannes.