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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 Pttrns.com

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

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

Forms: Design Better Forms by uxdesign.cc

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!

Montse

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!

15 Quotes that Make Life Better

October 20, 2016

Can you believe October is almost over? 2016 is already flying by.
That said, I’ve been very inspired by all things design and human achievement lately. Before you head out for a weekend of relaxation and rest, here are 15 of my favorite quotes to give you a little extra weekend inspiration:

•    Love life and life will love you back.
•    Enjoy the little things.
•    Done is better than perfect.
•    It always seems impossible until it is done.
•    Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.
•    Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step in your life.
•    Creativity is intelligence having fun.
•    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
•    Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
•    Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
•    If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.
•    Never hold back from exploring the things that have the potential to make you immensely happy.
•    A man’s feet must be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.
•    Only the gentle are ever really strong.
•    Great things never came from comfort zones.

Happy Weekend!

Montse

City Guide: Summer in Guadalajara

October 6, 2016

Since I moved to Australia, I’ve met many people that don’t know where Guadalajara (my hometown) is.  Mexico City & Tijuana may get the TV spotlight, Cancun & Cabo may get all the spring break glory; but there’s a lot happening in Mexico’s west coast during Summer.

Guadalajara is a unique city bursting with cool bars, seafood/mexican cuisine restaurants, amazing outdoor life and home of the best traditions. For me, July-September is the perfect period to visit this lively city, full of events, balmy weather, friendly faces and some of the best food in the world.

Here are SOME of my favourite places to eat/drink and some recommendations for things to do in Guadalajara!

TO EAT
– Boca del Cielo (Seafood) – Chapultepec
– Karne Garibaldi (Mexican) – Plaza del Sol
– Tortas Toño (Mexican) – Providencia
– La Vaca Argentina (Steakhouse) – Gourmetería
– El Tango (Steakhouse) – Ajijic
– Il Diavolo (Italian) – Providencia
– Fornino (Italian) – Chapalita
– Vita Bella (Italian) – San Juan Cosalá
– Uma Uma  (Ramen) – Chapultepec

COFFEE / TEA
– Cafe 5pm – La Estancia
– Maho – La Estancia
– Chop – Av. Mexico
– La Tetería – Chapultepec
– Many cool coffee shops at Av. Terranova

DRINKS
Great hotspots for a drink with friends are Chapultepec, Providencia and Chapalita.
– Red Pub – Chapultepec
– Brooke Wings – Chapultepec
– La Moresca – Chapultepec
– KinKin – Av. Mexico
– Molino 40 – Providencia

WORKOUT
If you’re like me, you don’t spend much time working out on holidays but here are a few options if you are keen:
– Via Recreativa
– Parque Metropolitano
– Parque Colomos
– Bosque La Primavera

YOU CAN’T MISS
– A stroll around the Historic downtown, the oldest section of the city
– Jump into a guided tour bus “Tapatío Tour”
– Take the “Tequila Express” to the town where real Tequila is made
– Watch a Soccer game and cheer for “Las Chivas”
– Watch a “Lucha Libre” wrestling match at Arena Coliseo

OUT OF THE CITY
– Tlaquepaque (magic town) – 40 min drive
– Lago de Chapala, Ajijic (lake) 1hr drive
– Tequila (magic town) – 1hr drive
– Tapalpa (mountain) – 2hr drive
– Santa María del Oro (lagoon) – 2hr drive
– Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita, San Pancho (beach) – 4.5hr drive

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and will make you feel like a local once there, and if you’ve been to Guadalajara, tweet me what do you love most about the city!

Montse

Last August I traveled from Brisbane (AUS) to Guadalajara (MEX) for a 3-week holiday to visit my family and friends. It was a wonderful summer break with my loved ones around, too many planes, car rides and delicious food. I hope you enjoy the video above!

PREVIOUS ENTRIES

Draw a line in the sand

June 18, 2016

My favourite moments of 2015

December 30, 2015

Briefly Noted – September 2015

September 24, 2015