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September 22, 2012 - No Comments!

Thankful

A few days ago I arrived back in Melbourne from an amazing business trip to America (namely San Francisco). The trip was part of the AngelCube program, which I attended due to co-founding Kickfolio (more here). In the US, we met with an amazing amount of entrepreneurs, spent time with potential investors and mentors and connected with some incredible future clients.

There was one word that kept circling in my mind during and after the trip - Thankful.

I'm thankful to have inspiring people around me who pushed me to find a way to make the trip work financially (before I was even a co-founder of Kickfolio). I'm thankful for my wife, whom encouraged and worked hard to allow me to enjoy this experience to the fullest (even though it would be the longest time we've ever spent apart in nearly 10 years). I am thankful for my co-founders who challenged, inspired and kept me going during our days on the other side of the world.  I am thankful for the friends who kept up to date and enjoyed my photos/anecdotes throughout the trip. I am thankful for the great support we received from entrepreneurs we had only just met on American soil. I am thankful for the dedicated mentors and investors who asked the hard questions and pushed us to better define our startup at every turn. I am thankful for the time invested into us by everyone, especially when there was no physical/monetary benefit to be gained.

I am thankful to the many that continue to inspire me indirectly everyday.

And most of all, I am thankful for the opportunity of choice. The choice for anyone to pursue their dreams with an almost infinite amount of direction, ambition and inspiration.

View the photos from the trip.

 

April 17, 2012 - No Comments!

Why I Love Helping Startups

For the last 6 months I have been surrounding myself with incredibly passionate entrepreneurs. Throughout this time I have come to know many of them (and their startups) intimately.  It's with this constant connection to the startup community that I have been able to grow my own self (and my startup) and really connect with what makes me tick.

One of the big things that has become evident to me is the love I have for helping other startups. Being able to offer advice when applicable, help in design when requested and offer a supporting shoulder when needed has inspired me in so many ways.

Throughout that time I have been fortunate enough to get to know Andrew Birt, Adrian Stone & Nathan Sampimon (the powerhouse team behind AngelCube) and have recently been mentoring their 2012 startup teams in UI/UX design at Inspire9. Although it has only been 1 week with the teams, I can already say that the collection of entrepreneurs in this years program are going to be powerful players in this industry to come.

You see, when you offer advice to someone, you get to know what makes them tick. You hear what drives them forward and watch as they implement their various strategies to do what needs to be done. Witnessing this passion close up is infectious. It forces you to look at yourself and ask the same questions you do them. It's in those moments that you realise they are helping you immensely.

Whether they listen and action your advice or disagree and persevere on their own path is irrelevant - it's all learning.

That's the most important part.

Being able to learn from the people you teach.

And that's why I love helping startups.

 

April 11, 2012 - No Comments!

UI/UX and the Importance of First Impressions [Deck & Video]

UI/UX and the Importance of First Impressions [Deck & Video] is an overview of User Interface and User Experience presented to the teams of AngelCube 2012.

Transcript:

UI/UX and the Importance of First Impressions
Presented to the teams of AngelCube 2012
Diesel Laws, Designer & Co-founder of barkles.com
Ask the world questions and get opinions in realtime.

I’m here to mentor & help you with UI/UX design.
angelcube all the way baby.

UX is how a user experiences your product.
UI is what interface they're interacting with.
UX is the intangible feel, flow & simplicity.
UI is the tangible buttons, forms and images.

Path, Apple, Clear, Facebook (Timeline)
Path - UI is consistent theme, cute animations & simple layout.
UX is intimate, fun & inviting.
Clear - UI is heatmap gradient, interactive animations & clean layout.
UX is easy, unique & clear.

Good products sell.
Gorgeous products sell faster.
How can non-designers create gorgeous products?
TIP: A doctor doesn’t have to break every bone in their body to know how to fix one.

1. UX is everyone’s role.
When a user visits your website, downloads your app and uses your product they are following your direction. Every day you are crafting someones experience.

2. Think like a user.
iPhone message from mum: Hi were having a great time in bali the weather is warm and the shopping is great miss you
My brain corrected it: Hi, we’re having a great time in Bali. The weather is warm and the shopping is great. We miss you.
Y U NO USE PUNCTUATION!
No one explains what these buttons do.
I completely forgot to think like a first time user.

3. Break down every page to the most important elements.
Ask yourself, what one thing does this page need to do?
Then remove everything else.*
*I’m serious.

4. 3 clicks to get anywhere.
As a general guide, a user should be able to reach any page within 3 clicks from their home screen.

Edit Company Page on Facebook:
1. Search for company.
2. Click on Company name.
3. Click Manage button.

Edit Bio on Facebook:
1. Click profile name.
2. Click Update Info.
3. Click Edit button.

5. Consistency is powerful.
Font: Sansation Bold
Cyan, Grey, Yellow, White
Consistency builds credibility

6. Realise that great UI/UX can keep users happy.
What do users think when your product has a problem?
Great UI/UX + Problem = “Annoying, but I’ll get used to it.” “Support were really helpful.”
Mediocre UI/UX + Problem = “Crap product, I’m not using it again.” “I’m not recommending it to friends.”

7. Everyone judges a book by the cover.
Most users believe that your website, logo or app is the whole product.

8. STEAL. Most things you’re building have been built before.
E.g. Profiles. Same same but different.

9. Design can sell a product before it’s built.
Yay, landing pages! And screenshots, mockups, templates & videos.

10. They come for the UI, they stay for the UX.
Check out this, you can _____
upload photos, watch videos, download music...
I love using this, it’s ______
fun, easy, quick, simple...

1. UX is everyone’s role.
2. Think like a user.
3. Break down every page to the most important elements.
4. 3 clicks to get anywhere.
5. Consistency is powerful.
6. Realise that great UI/UX can keep users happy.
7. Everyone judges a book by the cover.
8. STEAL. Most things you’re building have been built before.
9. Design can sell a product before it’s built.
10. They come for the UI, they stay for the UX.

Lets get simple.
Investors love traction. Traction comes from users. Users love great products.
Products that have great UI/UX appeal to both.
It’s as simple as that.