The Melewi Sprint Manifesto

All businesses need good results to happen quickly – they cannot afford to sacrifice one for the other. Working in sprints allow that to happen without having designers fixate too much on the nice-to-haves.

We love sprints for many reasons, and so here’s the 5-point Sprint Manifesto that we follow here at Melewi:

Working in sprints should be:


1. Iterative & incremental

Consistent shipping design work; improvements happen consistently over product, workflow, client relations, and more.


2. Evolutionary & constantly adapting

If the product, design or workflow is not working, figure it out and fix it.


3. Efficient, with frequent communication

Have a question you can’t figure out? Ask – don’t waste time by waiting.


4. Affirmation-centric & have very short feedback loops

Are we on the right track? Don’t make too many assumptions, get the answer before continuing.


5. Quality & outcome focused

The little details are important, but only if it meets the big-picture objectives (business & revenue goals, launch deadline, user & client satisfaction). The question should be: What is the outcome needed at each level, and have we reached that goal?



Curious to hear about what we’ve accomplished running sprints? Get in touch with us to talk more –!

Design Sprint: What is It and Why Does It Work so Well?

Design Sprint

Let’s discover how a design sprint can help optimise your product development especially if you’re a startup with limited resources.

When Melewi was first started, we defaulted to using the waterfall methodology (you’re likely familiar with this, it involves sequential phases that stretch over months):

Waterfall methodology
Waterfall methodology

Ugh, disaster. Scopes always crept, timelines were never on track. Projects typically wrapped up months later with a bloated project, a frazzled client and a frustrated team.

It had to change. So after months of research and experimenting, we stumbled upon an ‘agile’ methodology called ‘Scrum’ that involved something called ‘sprints’.


Is agile scrum sprinting some sort of swift running in rugby?

‘Agile’ is best known as a set of principles for software development that focuses on being adaptive; and many of the greatest tech companies are agile at their core. ‘Scrum’ is an iterative and incremental ‘agile’ software framework. But since we’re a product design studio, we’ve had to adapt these development methodologies to design… which was not a straightforward task.

Luckily, the talented folk at Google Ventures had been doing the same! While it was of great help, we had to further adapt GV’s design sprint to make it work for us on these factors:

  • Making it remote
  • Adapting it to an agency
  • Adapting it to client projects
  • Pricing it effectively

So then, what are sprints? Simply put: a sprint is a short timebox of work focused on completing a small slice of the overall goal.



At Melewi, a design sprint typically looks like this:

More often than not: a typical 2-week sprint at Melewi
More often than not: a typical 2-week sprint at Melewi
  • 2-week long timebox of focused work
  • Starts off with a sprint planning session to set out the goals for the sprint
  • Ends off the sprint by delivering the final designs for usually a set feature or two, as well as a retrospective recapping how the sprint went
  • Because we’re a design agency, we created something we call the “sprint intensity”: which is the number of hours we dedicate and charge within a sprint (e.g. 36 hours/sprint)



But waterfalls are cool; Why would a design sprint work better?

I could go on and on about the inefficacy of the waterfall methodology, but instead, I’ve summarized six reasons why sprints work so well:


01. Sprints are lean

No one likes waste. We don’t either – especially wasting effort, time or precious resources. In sprints, we catch up with the client (or in your case, this might be the stakeholder/decision-maker) approximately once every two days.

By doing constant quick reviews, we always ensure we’re on the right track before continuing. If there are any mistakes or changes needed, we fix it before proceeding so we rarely have to backtrack.


02. Sprints are reactive to what the business needs

With sprints, if we need to shift our focus to something else, we can easily do so without worrying about renegotiating contract scopes. We know how businesses work – things break, circumstances change. To design effectively, the design team must be as reactive as the business need to be.


03. Sprints are flexible

Sprints are flexible to pivot to what’s needed, to scale the intensity up or down, or even to stop or extend. Clients or decision makers know how much will be done and are in control of how much time & cash will be spent. Doing sprints with a design team means we can adapt to what the business needs, and you aren’t locked into a rigid 6-month contract.


04. Sprints are fast, focused & effective

We set the goals at the start of the design sprint, and (usually) accomplish them by the end. With consistent milestones, reviews and deadlines, clients or decision-makers can see progress and deliverables in regular two week intervals instead of six months.

Additionally, containing work to timebox allows more focus for the team to concentrate on the task at hand, rather than be overwhelmed with a huge scope of work.

Our favourite example of how a good team and workflow can deliver awesome results is a project with Visa where we wireframed, designed and prototyped 150 screens in 2.5 weeks.


05. Sprints significantly reduce timelines:

Developing a product from scratch takes a long time!

All businesses need good results to happen quickly – they cannot afford to sacrifice for one or the other. Launch timelines can be significantly reduced working with sprints since development can occur in tandem instead of having to wait for all the design work to be done before it can begin.


06. Sprints allow you to be truly involved in your own product

Strong collaboration is the backbone of how sprints work. It’s an uncomfortable feeling to have someone take your idea and work on it on their own for weeks or months on end before you get to see any progress happen.

With sprints, you’re a crucial part of the creation process. Your input, expertise and knowledge are essential to making a successful product, and it’s vital you’re involved in how it shapes up!




Here at Melewi, we’re constantly improving and optimising our processes. This means we live in the present. It also means our clients get what works for them. And ultimately, that’s what it means to be agile.

What has your experience with the different methodologies been like? Curious about what working in design sprints can do for you? Talk to us to try out a sprint or two!

10 Things You Don’t Hear in a Remote Team

We’d been planning the Melewi team trip to Japan for months now. There was a countdown going and a huge to-do list that we were excited to get done together. With the prospect of a full week ahead of us – all together – in real life! We knew we had to take advantage of it; we were going to be so productive.

Ha. Nope.

While it was awesome fun to see the team face-to-face, hang out and bond (tobogganing down Japanese streets anyone?), our productivity tanked so hard that after the trip, we unanimously agreed that working online just worked better for us.

At Melewi, we’re free to choose where we work. And while there’s a daily 4-hour overlap when everyone’s online, the rest of your productive time is up to you to choose.

Travel and flexibility – those are some easy pros that come to mind when you think about remote working. But there are much more – and this trip helped us figure out a couple of things we don’t miss hearing or saying in a more traditional office:




“Ugh, I was stuck in traffic for ages.”

No commute to work or meetings

No commute to work or meetings

‘Nuff said. No one likes being stuck in traffic. Work commute is drudgery at best, downright infuriating at worst. Being squashed up against someone smelly on the bus for 30 mins will never be a good start to your work day.

But not only that. Working online means I can take on four meetings in 3 hours since it takes only a click to enter and exit a call (and an eternity to find parking).




“Hey, do you have a minute?” (2 hours later) “Wow, that went by quick!”

Minimize interruptions

Minimise interruptions

Time escapes from you when you’re having a good conversation. I’ve fallen victim to this exact situation too many times to count – and sometimes just because I feel glancing at my watch is rude.

While these runaway convos might feel great, it doesn’t leave much time left to execute the plan. And it’s the execution that ultimately matters.

Working online keeps you time-conscious simply because a clock is always blinking at you from the top-right corner of your screen, and it’d be tough to be whisked away for an impromptu coffee by your coworker if they are 15,000 km away.




“Sorry, what did you say? I’m still waking up…”

Manage your energy, not your time

Manage your energy, not your time

Morning bird or night owl? You probably relate to one of the two labels. Some people like to get started at 4 am, and some are barely functional till 11 am.

Why has someone decided for most of the very diverse population that we should all be working from 9 to 5? Why is your productivity left to the mercy of someone else’s schedule – especially since all we need is our laptop and decent wifi?

Maybe you’re the most inspired at 7 am or the most productive at midnight. Traditional work setups still insist on managing your time instead of letting you control your energy. Isn’t that a little silly?




“Sorry dear, mommy can’t pick you up from school now.”

Work-life integration

Work-life integration

Work is tough, and sometimes being a parent is tougher. If you’re a mom or dad, you’d know that having children means nothing ever fits into neat timeboxes anymore. Doesn’t it sound more pleasant to start work early before the kids are up, take a break to get them ready, spend some quality time with them, drop them off at school, and then get back to work?

People always bring this up when you say “remote working.” Doing this is the holy grail – especially for parents.

But even if you don’t have kids, isn’t grocery shopping, working out or even just grabbing a coffee without a crazy post-work crowd bliss?

And since we’re responsible for our own work and deadlines, why not give everyone the trust and power to plan out their day according to what makes sense for them? Have a 4-hour plane ride up ahead? Perfect time to write an article (like this one)!




“Who erased the whiteboard?!”

Everything lives online, in real-time, backed up, accessible anywhere

Everything lives online, in real-time, backed up, accessible anywhere

In Japan, we tried to be cool. We brainstormed, wrote things on post-its, stuck them up on windows and walls (like actual UX designers do, right?). Scribbles happened in notebooks or sheets of paper. And then we all went home without remembering to take them with us.

We’re a little too far into the digital age to be still losing our notes and ideas. When you’re online, your mode of working is backed up, accessible anywhere anytime, and in real-time. The merits to this are tough to argue.

Plus, the chances of you tossing your whiteboard-erasing-coworker out the window is now significantly reduced.


“I’m sorry, rent is how much again?”

Money goes to the right things!

Money goes to the right things!

Let’s be honest. It’s not really a business if it’s not profitable, and rent sure ain’t cheap.

While it wasn’t a reason we even thought about for going remote, it was a very pleasant side-effect. Not only is finding a space a headache, but the commitment of renting an office is also daunting, full of paperwork, deposits, and overzealous real-estate agents. And not to mention, counterintuitive to scaling up your team.

Instead, we use some of the money saved for the team to meet up once a year in various cool parts of the world – spending some quality time together to create an exciting working culture that we love.

And hey, it also saves us a ton of money that ends up coming back around to our clients. You should be paying us for our expertise, not our fancy Herman-Miller chairs and ping-pong tables.




“Does she have to laugh so frickin’ loudly?”

Reduce friction

Reduce friction

Let’s face it. Even your best friend starts to grate on your nerves when you’re stuck with them 24/7. Sometimes space is necessary. Who decided the best environment to think and work was one space crammed full of people?

The beauty of remote work is the ability to determine how much or little space you need for that day. If you’re hankering for company, ping your teammates and hop on a call. If you need some time to focus, that’s easily done too.




“Are you sure he can handle this project? He’s kinda quiet.”

Levels the playing field: only your work and attitude matters.

Levels the playing field: only your work and attitude matters.

One of the happiest consequence from remote-working was realizing how much it levels the playing field. Meritocracy wins.

How often has the promotion gone to the most charming person instead of the most worthy? How many times has the opinion of the loudest person won?

Stereotypes are so much easier to overcome when it’s all about the work you do and outcomes you achieve, rather than the clothes you wear, the colour of your hair or the gender you were born with.

And once that’s out of the way, not only are differences not a bad thing, they can actually be awesome. Our diverse backgrounds and multicultural perspectives bring so much more to the table than a monoculture ever could.




“I don’t think we’ll win this project; they’re all the way over in Australia.”

Opens you up to new culture, people, and opportunities - this is the future

Opens you up to new culture, people, and opportunities – this is the future

When you remove the barriers of geography, you don’t just set yourself free; you open yourself up to limitless opportunities. The world is growing more connected by the second, and companies need to catch up.

Some of the most exciting businesses span across multiple cities or even continents. And we’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with incredible people and companies all around the globe just because we’ve set ourselves up to work without borders.

Think about it: how much face-time do you need to clock with your clients to work? A meeting or presentation once a few months, with a few calls in between? Progress can happen regardless of where everyone is as long as the internet works!

While a large portion of the world is still adapting to remote-working, it has worked brilliantly for many businesses (WordPress, Buffer, 37Signals, us!). And it seems to be the future for the working world – or at least for those in tech.




“There are just no good designers left here.”

Hire the best with few geographic limitations

Hire the best with few geographic limitations

Singapore – where Melewi was started – is a small country. Tinier than a yellow polka dot bikini. One would be hard-pressed to find a perfect match for every position from this little island.

We received hundreds of job applicants simply because we had no limit on where someone had to live to send in an application. We’re searching for the best people on a global level.

In our team, we have nine people in seven countries across three continents. And the team’s shared skills, knowledge, and experiences are undoubtedly richer from the diversity – improving not just the work we do, but also the way we do it.




Now that the trip is over, I’ll be the first to admit the biggest trade-off to remote work is that I miss hanging out with my team. But I’ll also admit I’m glad to be back at the top of my efficiency game.

Remote-work might not be for everyone and every job, but it works best for us and our business. And while it might occasionally be difficult, the challenges are worth rising to because you know what? It works brilliantly, and it’s frickin’ fun too.

On the bright side, we’re all headed to Greece in a few weeks so there’ll be nothing left for me to want for!


How do you feel about remote working? What do you think it could bring to how you work? Tweet us your thoughts at @melewi!

Remote Working: The Pros & Cons for a Single Mom

Being a working single mom sounds like it would be impossible to have a work-life balance. With remote working, I’ve found that not only is it possible, but that when done well, you can truly kick ass in both the work and life areas while staying perfectly balanced.

Nobody has superpowers. It’s most likely you’ll drop one ball or the other – and that is okay if you know that in the end, what you are doing will even out and balance again.

I know what you’re thinking. How did I end up managing operations for a digital design agency with team members scattered around the globe while being a mom to two beautiful girls?

The answer: I integrated.

As the kids wake up early to prep for school, I have to wake up early too. Doing this became a habit. Wherever I am, my eyes are wide open even before it’s time for breakfast. After they leave, I start my work with a cup of coffee and a bunch of emails. When my 2-year old comes back from daycare, I take a break to smother her with hugs and kisses until she finally says, “go back to work, mama!”

Not everyone is cut out for remote working. When you realise it’s for you, you’ll find a lot of opportunities to better yourself in so many areas because the freedom you have gives you the opportunity to explore what’s out there. When the Internet is your office, you’re not bound by the walls of your cubicle to discover the world.

The Cons

Rather than disadvantages, I call these ‘my challenges’ – things that could easily be avoided as you adjust to the remote working environment.

#1: You’ll never know when to stop

Solution: Put your laptop somewhere out of sight when you are not working (i.e. weekends) so that you are not tempted to dip into work and finish things off.

#2: People think you’re tinkering with your computer all the time

Solution: Ensure that you have clear boundaries in place. Don’t work when you are not meant to unless you have agreed to it with people beforehand. If people see you working away at all times, they will expect it of you all the time.

And if people don’t understand the concept of remote working and try and blur your focus, politely explain to them when your working hours are and arrange your shared time with them accordingly.

#3: Lack of social life

Solution: As with working in an office, if you have a lot on your plate, your social life can suffer. And when you work from home it can be hard to know when to draw the line and make time for yourself. Ensure that you have an excellent team in place so that the workload is shared. Delegate when necessary and be sure to slot in time for socialising and relaxation so that you don’t burn out.

The Pros

Aside from the freedom? Let’s see…

#1: Family bonding

You get to see your kids a lot more than you could when working in an office. Doing this is by far the best advantage. Your children can grow up seeing you around. There’ll be no ‘you spend too much time working in the office’ or ‘you missed my graduation’ or ‘you forgot to take me to my ballet class’ kinds of talk.

#2: Multitasking

Doing your nails while checking your emails and taking a call? No problem! However, don’t confuse this as neglecting one task for the other.

#3: You learn to be more responsible, accountable and integrous

As Uncle Ben said to Spider-Man, “remember, with great power, comes great responsibility.” It is the same when it comes to freedom. It is liberating and the extra responsibility can give you ample chances to showcase your worth and talent.

#4: Freedom to work from anywhere

This has to be stressed because it’s quite nice to step out of the house to work at your favourite cafe and have the some peace and quiet too. Kids are lovely but hey, they can be very rowdy at times.

How to Integrate in Remote Working

Take mini-breaks – If you don’t you will burn out and your work will lose focus and dip in quality.

Define your working hours and be disciplined enough to stick with them – Routine is good and by setting your working hours, you and your team will be a more cohesive unit and your productivity will always be at peak.

Create your workspace and make sure your kids understand what it’s for – To successfully work remotely you need boundaries, and this is something that your children should fully understand.

Don’t feel guilty – You are working hard and providing for your kids. That is incredible, and you should feel great about it.

Know your priorities – Is it the meeting you set a couple of days ago or is it bringing your kid to the doctor? This goes back to not feeling guilty because you have every chance to make up if you so choose to cancel the meeting.

Build a support system – Working from home can be lonely, so make sure you surround yourself with supportive friends and colleagues.

Do not forget to have a life!

Working remotely is an excellent life choice not only for single working moms but for anyone looking for a work situation with a bit more flexibility. The freedom it gives you allows you more time to take care of your family while still being productive and generating significant results for your workplace.

Curious about what working from home is like? Or are you already doing so and have seen a better relationship with your family? Tell us about it on Twitter at @melewi!

How a Remote Designer Starts a Creative Process

When it comes to the creative process, where do we start? The question in itself is quite broad; there are so many different ways – for now, let’s focus on just one.  Let me tell you the secrets of my creative process as a remote designer.

Working for a Singaporean company from Thailand with colleagues spread over seven countries can be a challenge. But the key is: communication. We communicate all the time and in many ways. Our Slack group runs 24 hours a day.


The set-up

We base every design decision on data. Designing is not just about making things pretty but making them useful. Luckily we live in a time where data is easy to get, so why not use it? It could be heatmaps, customer journeys, customer feedback, Google Analytics, surveys and so on. Therefore, we kickstart every project with a couple of workshops to get a better understanding of what the customers needs.  

The workshops are really useful to me as a designer since a lot of valuable information comes up here. We use for these sessions, which makes a generally cumbersome process a bit more fun and light.

Design Workshop on

We cover our version of the lean canvas, as well as a UX and design blueprint. is a great tool built with boards and post-its which make it easy for everyone to understand and know where we are heading which in itself makes it a perfect match for our needs during the workshop phase.

For client meetings, we use Google Hangouts or Skype. It allows us to have multiple people on the call and the ability to screen share is extremely beneficial.

Client call on Skype across 5 countries


UX first

After that our UX designer, Avik Ganguli takes over. He then analyses and translate all the information and data into wireframes. We will usually use InVision to keep track of all the wireframes and later the mockups.

Invision Workflow Boards

We divide it into four categories: “UX in Progress,”“Ready for UI,” “Client Review” and “Done.” We set it up this way, so everybody knows where we are at as a team. We also have a Trello board that tells us who is working on what page at any given time. Which helps to clear up a lot of misunderstanding when working in different time zones.


Now the fun begins!

I start out by building a moodboard that sets the right mood and gives me a head start. It can be done in Mural, Photoshop, Inboard or wherever, but I usually just make a folder and divide my inspiration into categories such as “colors,” “fonts,” “UI,” and so on.

I have been working in design for about 16 years now and due to this, I have built up quite a big design databank which I dip into frequently.  I keep it neatly organized with Inboard, and when it comes to keeping my icons design bank in order, I use IconJar. If I do not have anything that fits my assignment, I will turn to sites such as Behance, Dribbble, and Iconfinder. For standard UI elements, I will go to Teehan + Lax.

My head at this point is spinning and loaded up with all kinds of great designs, so I head over to Photoshop where I will open one of my standard templates that I have created for web, iPad, mobile, watch, icons and so on. Doing this gives me a head start and handily, a set resolution for the given document and pre-made grids.

My different artboard templates


I also use artboards in PhotoShop as it gives me a faster overview of the whole project.

It is worth noting that a crucial app when working with mobile design is SilkScreen. While many other apps can do the same thing, SilkScreen works for me because it allows me to see my Photoshop 1:1 on my mobile screen while working on it in Photoshop. Also, it lets me scroll on my phone as if it was a real website.

The rest of the process is pretty straightforward – so for now, this is where I will leave you.


What is your creative process? We’re curious to know! To make this article a discussion, why not tweet us your thoughts?

Life As a Travelling Design Studio

remote team

As MELEWI is a location-independent business, the world is our office. We work with a team and clients across different continents and multiple timezones. That may seem incredibly challenging and complicated, but trust us, it’s not as impossible as you might imagine!

Through trial and error (heaps of research, hard work and coffee), we’ve discovered five secrets to what makes a successful distributed team:




1. Working with the right people

Melewi Team - 2014
Melewi Team in Singapore – Feb 2014

Having the right people is the most important thing to consider if you want a distributed team to work.

Not everyone is cut out for a remote working lifestyle. For some, they might need a bustling and busy environment to be productive themselves. But in order to work remotely, the person must be independent, reliable, constantly improving, frequently communicating and always GSD-ing (getting shit done).

We make sure to only hire people who find our values resonate with their personal values!



2. Using the right tools

Just because a remote team is without a physical office doesn’t mean we’re lacking. I mean, who here doesn’t agree this is one of the many reasons why the internet is awesome?!

There’s been a boom of incredible SAAS and digital tools that enable us to run a tight ship remotely – allowing our team to get things done while communicate tightly and staying organized.


Some tools we use everyday are:

SlackChannels set for specific topics allows all communication to be context-specific. API integrations with tools like Hangouts, FTTT, and Github give everyone easy access to collaboration. Slack is our virtual office – allowing everyone to communicate and work together regardless of location or time zones.

Google Hangouts: Without being able to have face-to-face interactions, Google Hangouts is the next best thing. The ability to hop on a quick video-chat allows us to work well as a team while reducing the amount of distracting “shoulder-taps”. Meeting via Hangouts is our new default – and this means we’re never restricted to where our awesome team members or clients can be from.

Google Drive: We believe working collaboratively (specifically – agile) means having everything accessible to everyone. With Google Docs, Sheets and Draw, no one is ever tied to a physical document that can’t be easily shared or modified at any time.

Invision: Collaborating on design work can be tricky enough on its own, but throw in distance, close client collaboration and suddenly too much communication isn’t enough. Invision gives you the ability to put up sketches and mockups, hotspot the designs to demo to everyone, as well as give feedback and discuss comments specific to the design.


Other tools integral to our working life include Dropbox, Trello, Harvest, Flow, Github amongst others!



3. Coordinating the right working times

Out of all the obstacles, this was by far the trickiest. How could a team work together when separated by hours of time difference?

This is where we coincidentally stumbled upon 37Signal’s awesome book ‘Remote’ (also, check out ‘Rework’ by the same guys). Their magic number was ‘four’. Apparently, a 4-hour overlap was the minimum needed to keep a team apart working cohesively together.

And it works surprisingly well! Introducing the 4-hour overlap resulted in a slight deviation off the standard 9-to-5 hours, but it also gave back more flexibility to everyone’s day – why be a zombie downing coffee at 9am when you’re more chipper at 9pm?

Melewi Working Hours
Melewi’s Working Hours

Working off separate time zones also meant reducing the amount of distractions and “hey-quick-question” shoulder taps (protip: it’s never quick). It’s amazing how much work you can get done when you aren’t frequently interrupted.




4. Prioritizing the right things

The ‘right things’ are different for everyone, but having a team united on what the priorities are drives everyone in the same direction. Add in constant communication and hard-work to the equation, and you’ve got a workforce that can conquer any obstacle.

Our daily 30-min standup meetings start off with us catching up and bonding. To some this might seem trivial, but above all, we prioritise an awesome team – which means we also make sure to spend time with each other.

Funny Hat Standup
Funny Hat Friday Standup!

The standups end off with us discussing progress and ways to overcome obstacles. As a distributed team, it’s too easy to lack camaraderie and to sweep problems under the rug. Being aware of this, we take extra care to share every person’s successes and obstacles – celebrating the good together, and tackling the bad together.

Constant constructive feedback is another thing we prioritize having. To be part of the team, you must be constantly learning and improving. This means being open to constructive feedback. It’s no longer a matter of egos being hurt but a matter of improving in every way possible.



5. Working and living by the same values towards the same goals

Everyone at MELEWI lives by the same values toward one unified goal: living to make users, product and business make sense together. Maybe that’s why our remote team, well, makes sense.

With the right setup and values, trust and collaboration becomes the default. We make sure to work with awesome people, use lightweight processes and tools that help us get stuff done (effectively and efficiently; no thank you to heavy documentation).

And most importantly, we work together for the same purpose – to build amazing products and user experiences that speak to everyone, everywhere.

5 Videos on UX Design That You Need to Watch

When learning UX, what better way to do it other than from UX experts themselves?

People specializing in the field that also have experience in human interactions, psychology or graphic design have publicly shared their inspirational ideas over the years.  

If you haven’t had the chance or curiosity to attend a conference on the principles of UX design, here are some great videos you can start with:



1. What is UX design?

by Matthew Magain


Matthew Magain is the co-founder of UX-Mastery, an online training resource for user experience designers.  



Using his experience as an inspiration and his drawing talent as a presentation tool, Matthew created this short video on UX design for the general public. Whether you are an experienced designer, or you’re just on the path of learning about UX, this video will certainly bring about new interesting information.


2. Three Ways Good Design Makes You Happy

by Don Norman



An advocate of good design, Don Norman is the one you should be listening to when it comes to thinking and developing products for people.

We insist on the “people” part, as Don Norman knows more than a thing or two on how people interact with design. He began his career in psychology and cognitive science and now he is an expert in usability consultancy. So, if Don Norman says “I have the feeling that pleasant things work better,” we really don’t have any reasons to state the otherwise.

This TED talk is all about design, designers and for whom they are designing to. Moreover, it is about how the close relationship between these three main factors can ensure the success of a product and, thus, the happiness of the user.


3. Design is in The Details

by Paul Bennett



Ideo is an award-winning global design firm that helps public and private organizations around the world to innovate through human-centered approaches. Sounds too pompous? Let us rephrase it: Ideo believes in creating for people. Simpler than that? Well, in the words of Paul Bennett: “Small is the new big.”

Creative director at Ideo and the author of this TED speech, Paul Bennett, believes that playful design can change the world. During his inspirational TED lecture, Paul reveals through the power of examples how designing in details is important.

He talks about how he contributed to clear and practical changes in a hospital’s interior design, based on what patients used to see on a daily basis. And this is just one piece of information Paul shares with the TED public.



4. What is Information Architecture?

by Mickey McManus


Mickey McManus reveals in two short videos how the concepts of “information” and “architecture” are practiced by MAYA Design. However, this doesn’t mean that UX designers can’t use this information.



McManus adopts a general approach to the terms “information” and “architecture”, that stand at the foundations of all types of designs. Several minutes of catchy sketches and simple analogies show how the importance of information stands in its message and how the architecture of the message can offer a great design.


5. The State of User Experience

by Jesse James Garrett



Jesse James Garrett is a user experience designer and co-founder of Adaptive Path strategy. His expertise in the field made him the star of several UX design conventions, as his speeches are somewhere between inspirational and highly informative.

Although I honestly believe that “best things come in small packages,” this 40-minute UX Week presentation from 2009 is clearly an exception from the rule. Analyzing the state of user experience from its first steps to its newest challenges, James Garrett explains in simple terms the UX universe.

He talks about the four dimensions of experience (Perception. Action. Cognition. Emotion) and how their interactions can issue an excellent user-centered design. Have you ever thought about Beethoven as a successful user experience designer? Because James has and his arguments are all present in the video.


Final words

You have seen Matthew Magain drawing the simplicity of UX design. Don Norman has talked about good designs and happy users. Paul Bennett believes that simple details make big designs. Mickey McManus finally explains information architecture. And Jesse James Garrett takes us through the journey of user experience development.

So, what is UX design for you?