The year I discovered Sagmeister


Real Famous – Plein Air

I can’t remember how I stumbled across the Real Famous podcast delivered by the guys at Plein Air. But I am so glad I have. There is something quite amazing how you can know of Rory Sutherland but not know of Paul Feldwick, Richard Huntington, Russell Davies, Martin Weigel or Chris Riley.

So inspiring, so much to take away and a huge amount of time needs to be invested here…

Awesome stuff…


Filed under: Advertising, branding, Podcast / Seminars

Respect the Craft

Mind the Product event videos – not super recent but if you have great speakers who know their craft – much to takeaway: influencing processes, potentially implementation or just seeing how other teams do their thing.

Absolutely love Michelle You‘s presentation. Really open, honest and goes into great detail that allows a level of practical learning from her/Songkick product management process. (SK also have a blog – nice post on designing with data).

Some notes:

  • Modes: Optimising an existing product that’s live. Big bang product features or launches – shouldn’t happen that often. Brand new MVP discovery – you don’t know who your customer is and you don’t have a live product.
  • prioritisation and design-making get easier when goals are well defined. Most of the hard work….comes from breaking down a big..goal into smaller achievable sub-goals.
  • KPI can be broken down into themes or levers that influence that metric
  • Check the acquisition, activation, retention slide…
  • ‘Lean Analytics – Use data to build better start-up faster’: What makes up a good metric: Comparative – to be able to use the same metric for two sets of users, before and after or a/b test. Understandable – having it clear so it can be embedded in the team and easily referred to. Ratio/rate – so rather than total numbers of users, it is conversation rates or ratios – so that you can tell the difference between two things. Actionable – increase monthly users is not an actionable metric, it has got to be something that will change every day and will be sensitive to whatever you are shipping.
  • Example of this: Looking at your weight as a kpi – you want to lose 20lbs in 6 months as a long term kpi. But everyday you will be looking at how many miles you walked, how many calories you consumed – so things that you can control in the short-term that will impact into the longer term metric.
  • Process: take 5-10 themes for the main kpi. Discovery backlog – Experiment – Learning – Validated feature. Create the discovery backlog – idea generation – gamestorming format – use post-it notes (individually) then group them into categories or ideas. Work out the groups into an impact vs effort matrix – collaborative exercise (how much impact will it have vs expected effort involved)
  • Turn into an hypothesis – ‘if…then…because’ – ‘if we show you recommended concerts then you will more likely to buy a ticket because you will see more relevant events based on your tastes’ – So what we showed you before we showed everything in London if we personalise that list based on music you like then you will be probably be more likely to buy tickets.
  • Experimentation process: finding out if this what we should be building – so things like surveys, mock-up and click test, landing page tests, remote usability testing, user research. This will answer assumptions, prototypes, highest level of confidence that it will move the metric.
  • Use of split backlogs – validated features (70%), bugs, tech tasks/support (30%)
  • Meet once a week to prioritise for the next 2 weeks, tasks/stories from each board are selected to get moved into a main development board
  • Main dev board – Backlog: 2 weeks worth of user stories (always have some jfdi tasks). Next up: top 5 prioritised stories. In progress. Awaiting judgement – tests or features that need analysis on how it’s performed. Done.
  • Team dashboards – Review daily metrics dashboard every morning at stand-up. Weekly kpi email to the team tracking progress towards quarterly goals. Feature recap where we review the impact of individual features launched.


Filed under: Podcast / Seminars, UX design, , , ,

Scroobius Pip

“This piece of diction is the intro to distraction…”

The Distraction Pieces podcasts – a series of ‘long form’ conversations by Scroobius Pip. A weekly interview featuring (naming the ones I have listened to) Russell Brand, Alan Moore, Stewart Lee, Rob Da Bank… friendly, interesting, thoughtful…

Up to 14 in the iTunes podcast chart – check it out…

Filed under: Podcast / Seminars, , ,

#Nicer Tuesdays – It’s Nice That

#Nicer Tuesdays curated, organised by It’s Nice That is something that is worth a look. Run on the last Tuesday of every month… Really ‘nice’ touch that they share the presentations online via youtube and their own website. Absolute shed loads of films to look through – fantastic speakers and great inspiration resource. Film below of Karl Toomey discussing humour and his creation of Gary Goals – a lovely idea and wonderfully realised.

No doubt seen via @itsnicethat.

Filed under: Design, Podcast / Seminars, Reference, Talks, Visit, , , , , ,

Josiah Brooks

Josiah Brooks who runs and creates an online drawing channel on YouTube by the name of Drawing with Jazza is perhaps the best online resource I have come across to help getting would be illustrators / graphic novelists on their way to start and develop their skills. (Also possible to download the tutorial files).

Myself, a little inspired by the first issue of Bakuman (manga series created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata) to look at this avenue once again…!

Also worth checking out Pose Manics which has a massive library of anatomy images – also has a 30 second drawing tool to get you started with sketching / gesture drawing…

Filed under: Design, Illustration, Podcast / Seminars, Reference, , , , ,

D&AD – Michael Johnson

Found via johnsonbanks – a small collection of talks by D&AD ex presidents on Soundcloud. Featured talk by Michael Johnson.

Filed under: Design, Podcast / Seminars, Reference, , , , ,

John Cleese

“Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.” John Cleese.

This film was brought to my attention via Carla Sam @ Geekhearts + Nick Jankel (speaker at the CDF)…

Filed under: Podcast / Seminars, Reference, ,

Michael Wolff – Intel Visual Life

Saw this via Wolff Olins blog, really simple, and nicely shot film of Michael Wolff talking about ‘his approach to looking at the world, including the muscles of curiosity, appreciation, and imagination.’

Filed under: Design, Film, Podcast / Seminars, Reference, , ,

Creative Mornings – Michael Bierut

Been a follower of SwissMiss for a while although never have sat through a complete viewing of an episode of her Creative Mornings talks that she organises. This talk by Michael Bierut (Pentagram) is fantastic, just very straight-forward, nothing pretentious, and honest. (Extra things I have from this talk is that Sagmeister is pronounced with a hard G rather than ‘Sage-meister as I first thought’!).

Filed under: Design, Podcast / Seminars, Reference, , ,

Stay hungry, stay foolish

Steve Jobs’ Commencement address delivered to Stanford University on 12 June 2005. A wonderful speech, so much insight and learning.

Thank you Heather for sharing on your site.

Filed under: Podcast / Seminars, Reference, ,