December 16, 2016No Comments

How to get a perfect high five: Look at the other persons elbow while high fiving.

Thanks to Franziska von Tenspolde for the tip.

November 28, 2016No Comments

Quick user research? Ask Reddit.

In the course RE: UX/UI lead by Frank Rausch & Timm Kekeritz at the FH Potsdam we are redesigning an app. We decided to redesign the NPR one app. It's basically a podcast app that wants to be the Netflix of listening.

NPR is a mission-driven, multimedia news organization and radio program producer. It is a network with a strong base of member stations and supporters nationwide. The NPR employees are innovators and developers — exploring new ways to serve the public via digital platforms and improved technologies. NPR is also the leading membership and representation organization for public radio.

So first we have to get to know their users. My teammate Sebastian had a fantastic idea: he posted some questions on Reddit and got 5 answers in a single day. Of course, we'll have to do in depth interviews later on but I am amazed how easy to get feedback nowadays.

July 20, 2016No Comments

Block some time for experiments, no matter how busy you are.

After working on Superclock and the Berliner Box since my first semester in 2013 I wish I had given myself more time to experiment. Of course It’s great to work on bigger projects but I always have so many other ideas I would love to prototype. It always feels great to work on those small, beautiful and insignificant ideas without pressure.

February 1, 2016No Comments

Only make crucial changes to an online service during the week + in the morning.

Today I spent almost 4 hours trying to change my father’s email hosting from GoDaddy to Zoho. I ended up calling the 24/7 US support via Skype because the german support was only available from monday to friday. If it’s really important stuff that can break and affect others I will wait until the next morning.

January 27, 2016No Comments

Styles and symbols will save hours of work.

Sometimes I forgot to set up styles and symbols resulting in a huge workload selecting and updating each object individually. So one of the first habits I adopted at Fuxblau was to always setup symbols, paragraph and object styles when an element was used more than once.

January 27, 2016No Comments

E-Mail: can’t get back within one week? Let them know.

Usually I answer e-mails within two days. But sometimes I receive e-mails (feedback for one of my projects) which need a thoughtful answer. Very often I found myself postponing to write this email for weeks and ended up apologizing for the late reply. From now on, if I don’t answer within one week, I will briefly let them know that I’ll need more time.

January 19, 2016No Comments

Take care of those small to-do’s as soon as possible or they’ll hunt you all year.

This January I had enough time to take care of many little to-dos I accumulated during the year. Things like repairing my Xbox 360 on ebay, setting up this blog and Evernote, fixing iMessage on my Mac, organizing my files, fixing things in my flat, starting my tax declaration … the list goes on and on. These non urgent to-dos usually end up in my some-day list in Wunderlist. And that’s the dangerous part. The list slowly grows bigger and bigger until one day you find yourself with 40 pending to-do's. I felt so relieved after ticking them off the list. I was surprised of how anxious they made me feel. I should probably take it less seriously or just take care of the things way sooner.

January 16, 2016No Comments

Document everything and organize it right away.

One of the things I would tell my younger self: document everything and organize it properly. I regret not taking more photos of my process, especially when I started my graphic design apprenticeship at the Lette-Verein in Berlin. Having a proper workflow should be one of the first things they teach you in university. It took me some years and countless sleepless nights before I recognised the power of tags and switched to Lightroom. Last week I rediscovered Evernote and started saving articles, links and quotes … I wonder when there will be a service where I can simply lean back, create content and always find whatever I am looking for.

January 14, 2016No Comments

It’s not about ideas, it’s all about people.

The past few months at D-School and the Dataobjects course has proved it once again: it really is all about people. No matter how great the ideas were in our team, if we weren't working as a team they weren't worth anything. I was overwhelmed, not only by how much more or how much better, but how much more fun you can get things done. It's exponential. I noticed how little things like setting the expectations and rules at the beginning, having a check-in and debrief every day can make a huge difference.

I also got a clearer understanding of team work: every single team member tries to bring out the best in others.

I learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses and most importantly where I want to go next. For me it's now less about which idea to work on but with whom and how, the great ideas will follow. Can't wait for the next teamwork!

January 13, 2016No Comments

Time pressure is the most efficient decision maker.

During the course Dataobjects lead by Prof. Boris Müller we had a one-week exercise in which we created a weather-object. On Monday we explored the basics of Blender to create primitive shapes which were then unfolded using 123DMake for laser cutting. Our team of four went for a basic mountain shape.

The same afternoon we developed a rough concept: we wanted to visualize the first ascent of the K2 in 1954. Philipp started preparing the weather animations in After Effects while Mario and Thomas put together a timeline with the most interesting happenings. I took care of choosing the audio logs for Ardito Desio, the Italian leader of this expedition. To make the audio logs more authentic they were read by my Italian friend Emanuele.

On Wednesday we put everything together. Due to the time constraints we had cut down on many interesting elements. We simplified the animations and left out several log entries as well as other elements like a timeline.

During the presentation you could really see how our fellow students got immersed in the expedition. We were amazed by how well the story worked out, even though we left out so many things.

Time constraints force you to quickly make decisions, very often resulting in a simpler but stronger end result.