Book Suggestion: Sprint

February 16, 2018

Whenever we start a new project or need to solve a problem at work, we all have ideas. Sometimes those ideas are good, sometimes they are bad, sometimes they are risky, etc.
We all want our ideas to succeed, but how to know if they’ll give us good results or even if they’re worth our efforts and time? That’s the challenge.

I’ve been designing websites and applications for a decade and projects can take 1, 2, 6 months or even a year to see the light of day. So, the idea of testing ideas in just five days sounded really attractive.

Jake Knapp and the Google Ventures team did a great job with this book, presenting a solid alternative to the traditional way of building products, testing ideas and even the way we think about team work.

Here’s how the Sprint process works:

Monday: Set a Target
Where to focus your sprint? where you have the biggest opportunity to do something great and perhaps the greatest risk of failure.

Tuesday: Sketch Ideas
Sketching is the fastest and easier way to transform abstract ideas into concrete solutions. Once your ideas become concrete, they can be critically and fairly evaluated by the rest of the team.

Wednesday: Pick a Solution
In the real world, the creators won’t be there to give sales pitches and clues. In the real world, the ideas will have to stand on their own.

Thursday: Build a Prototype
We’ve found that if you only build a façade, you can get to 90 percent on day one. You want your customers to react naturally and honestly. Their reactions are gold, but their feedback is worth pennies on the dollar.

Friday: Test Your Prototype
There’s this gap between the vision and the customer, to make the two fit, you have to talk to people.

This is a great book and I highly recommend it. Read more at

Briefly Noted – July 2017

July 4, 2017

I can’t believe it’s July already, aka we started a new financial year in Australia and the coldest days of winter are around the corner. The last 6 months have been an interesting ride; I moved to my new apartment, work has kept me busy and I traveled quite a bit earlier this year, but thankfully I’ve found some free time to enjoy these good books:

January 2017: Loitering by Charles D’Ambrosio (2014)
“Self-consciousness has been long in me, so like a lot of writers I not only do a thing, I see myself doing it too – it’s almost like not being alone.”

February 2017: Demystifying Public Speaking by Lara Hogan (2016)
“I want to help you learn about what you bring to public speaking: your expertise, your style, your fears, your strengths.”

March 2017: Just Enough Research by Erika Hall (2013)
“For a design to be successful, it must serve the needs and desires of actual humans. Strangely, simply being human is insufficient for understanding most of our fellows.”

April 2017: Jony Ive by Leander Kahney (2014)
“Reduce and simplify? This wasn’t typical tech industry happy talk. In releasing new products, companies tended to add more bells and whistles, not take them away, but here Jony was saying the opposite. Not that simplifying was a new approach; it’s Design School 101.

May 2017: Don’t Make me Think by Steve Krug (2014)
“Usability is about people and how they understand and use things, not about technology. And while technology often changes quickly, people change very slowly.”

June 2017: The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick (2001)
“Egypt was a country of indiscriminate expressiveness overflowing its own margins. My book does this curious thing: it mimics Egypt itself. That is its strength and its limitation.”

Check out my previous ‘Briefly Noted’ reviews: 2016, 2015, 2014

My 16 Favourite Design Resources and Articles of 2016

January 11, 2017

David Bowie Tribute

Now that 2016 is done and dusted I wanted to share with you my 16 favourite design resources and articles of 2016:

Onboarding: How Virgin America Onboards New Users by UserOnboard

Mobile Design: Mobile App UX Principles by Google

Design Guidelines: Material Design by Google

Design Components: Polymer Components in Angular 2 by Vaadin

Human Interface Guidelines: iOS Design Principles by Apple

Mobile Patterns: Pattern Collection by

User Interface (UI): Design at 1x – It’s a fact by Kurt Varner

User Experience (UX): The State of UX in 2017 by

Forms: Design Better Forms by

Research/Data: Visualization of U.S. Public Data

Writing: Hemingway App

Writing: Design Words with Data by John Saito (Dropbox)

Design Process: Designing the Shyp Experience by Julia Khusainova

Engagement: The first 15 seconds by Scott Belsky

Trends: Introducing the Conversational Form by SPACE10

Inspiration: 2016 Year in Review by Behance

I hope you find them as useful and inspiring as I did!

November Favourites

November 24, 2016

Christmas is just around the corner so I couldn’t resist sharing a few of my November favourites with you, inspired by this fun time of the year. See what I’ve been loving lately…

MOMENT: This pink and blue sky was pretty stunning!

PLACE: Roma Street Parkland – One of my favourite spots in the city

MUSIC: The Altar by Banks – so good!

BOOK: Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski

TECHNOLOGY: I’ve been pretty obsessed with these QC35 Bose headphones – no noise, no wires!

PRETTY THINGS: Daniel Wellington and UNIQLO

FOOD: Homemade tacos and guacamole. Yum! want the recipe to give it a try?

COFFEE: Santa Monica Express Cafe

Happy holiday season everyone, safe travels and I hope you make the most of the last few weeks of 2016!


Briefly Noted – October 2016

October 30, 2016

Briefly Noted

Its Spring time now in Brisbane! the weather is nice, the days are getting longer and I’m pretty happy to share this year’s book review/list with you, I had such a great time reading each one of these wonderful books.
My book picks for 2014 and 2015 were a great starting point to get back into the habit and this year I decided to focus in Creativity, Design and Technology – some of my favourite topics! Here’s what I’ve been reading each month:

October 2015: Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf (2013)
As a designer working in an Agile environment, introducing Design Principles and UX concepts into the development process can be challenging. This book discusses useful techniques to introduce user experience, research and validation into the process in a collaborative approach.

November 2015: In Progress by Jessica Hische (2015)
This is a wonderful book. Jessica not only shares her inspiring work for our eyes to rejoice, but also a detailed description of her creative and technical process. A lettering artist that gracefully shares her well earned skills and passion for lettering in the most beautiful book.

December 2015: Hunger Makes me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein (2015)
You might recognise her name as the same girl behind Portlandia (writer, actress) and the Riot Grrrl band Sleater-Kinney. Carrie writes her memoir from the narrative of being an outsider, looking for her own voice and then about the pains behind finding it. Articulate, honest and FUNNY.

January 2016: Gamify by Brian Burke (2014)
This book cuts away the hype behind Gamification and makes sense of the key concepts and guidelines. Brian is an industry analyst in information technology with heaps of experience and this is great research-based material if you’re keen to give Gamification a go.

February 2016: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (2015)
As if writing a huge best seller (Eat, Pray, Love) wasn’t enough achievement! with Big Magic, Elizabeth writes passionately about Creative Living and the concepts behind it like Inspiration, Courage, Fear, Creative Entitlement and Enchantment. She encourages everyone to “Cooperate fully, humbly, and joyfully with inspiration.”

March 2016: The Shape of Design by Frank Chimero (2012)
Design comes in many shapes (and sizes, colours, objects and devices) and design’s primary job is to be useful, that’s clear. But as designers we will always ask: why not make it pleasurable too? “Do not make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both, do not hesitate to make it beautiful.”

April 2016: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (2015)
My favorite book in a while! I loved the unusual structure of this story of a marriage and creative partnership told from both sides. This was Barack Obama’s favourite book of 2015 and with good reason! An amazing novel.

May 2016: Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte (2011)
With Responsive Web Design, we have a great approach to tackle the unpredictability of devices, browsers, display resolutions and speed connections from where a user will access our websites and apps. With RWD we design with flexibility in mind and then relax and let our designs unfold.

June 2016: New Order, a Decluttering Handbook for Creative Folks by Fay Wolf (2016)
Whenever I work from home I need an orderly workspace. Otherwise, I would never get work done because I’d be busy doing laundry/the dishes/something else. This is a simple handbook to help remove the distractions/clutter in our lives. You know what they say “Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work!”

July 2016: Hooked by Nir Eyal (2014)
I enjoyed learning about the ‘Hooked’ model and how it is possible to create engaging products by aligning them to the user’s habits and behaviors. “New habits are sparked by external triggers, but associations with internal triggers are what keeps users hooked.”

August 2016: Jony Ive by Leander Kahney (2013)
Jonathan Ive is called The Genius behind Apple’s greatest products with good reason. “Design had been a vertical stripe in the chain of events in a product’s delivery; at Apple, it became a long horizontal stripe, where design is part of every conversation.” Jony elevated our craft to a level it’s never been at before.

September 2016: Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski (2011)
When it comes to the web, people will use the closest device they can use to get what they need done. With this in mind Luke suggests to design with a Mobile First approach and embrace the constraints and benefits of designing for “one eyeball and one thumb” and after that, crafting an appropriate experience for desktop.

October 2016: Our Common Bond by Australian Government (2014)
Four years ago, my Design career got me in this beautiful country and now reading this book definitely gives me “the feels” and pass on the joy and pride in being Australian. I’ll obtain my citizenship in a few weeks and I am beyond excited to soon be able to call myself an Aussie, I can’t wait to keep exploring this path.

“And since creativity is still the most effective way for me to access wonder, I choose it. I choose to block out all the external (and internal) noise and distractions, and to come home again and again to creativity. ” – Big Magic

I hope you enjoyed my book picks this year! these definitely helped keep the creative juices flowing. Did you read any of these books and loved them too? Let me know!


Draw a line in the sand

June 18, 2016

My favourite moments of 2015

December 30, 2015