May 31, 2016
After having a great time last year, I was looking forward to MOP 2016.
Varaždin is such a beautiful little town, just 50 mi from Zagreb. It was a bright sunny day perfect for walking around sightseeing. The baroque architecture is preserved and almost feels like you’ve stepped into a time machine. The way the streets are organised, you simply can’t get lost, so I easily made my way to the National Theatre Varazin where this year’s MOP was held.
Even though the festival lasted whole week, I didn’t make it till Saturday. But the lectures on the very last day of the festival were more than interesting.
Experienced professionals in e-commerce showcased a successful project they did for the Croatian shoe distributor, Shoe-Be-Do. It was a long journey since 2012. The goal was to make online shopping available and easy for everyone. They were faced with distrustful customers and high bounce rates. People were visiting the site in large numbers but sale rates were low. By ensuring safe transactions, offering a possibility of cash refunds they’ve gained customer’s trust. Intensive marketing via social networks also helped to spread the word. As years went by, they made changes with the web design, making it responsive which resulted in better visibility and design awards.
A very interesting lecture was held by the Ljudje (People). There’s a really cool visualisation of what is going on in the company, in real time. You can see who is working with whom on a project, and who else is also included as an advisor or otherwise. They were talking about the tools they use in their environment: Slack, Trello and GitHub. They encouraged constant learning. In that light they offer tools they self developed for better productivity. The Questionnaire they made for themselves which they fill in before starting any project. If you write to them, they said they’ll be willing to share: firstname.lastname@example.org
They declared they are against WordPress in web development and or any other cms system. It seems like an easier way of managing for the client, but doesn’t give a real structure the site might need.
They developed an app called Keeply. It keeps sensitive info on your phone. Besides being visually gorgeous, it has such appropriately sneaky features such as: Intruder Photo – anyone who attempts to access your data will have their picture taken, Fake Pin – a pin you can enter when your friend is asking you to show them what you are hiding and they will get an empty app! Face-Down Lock – simply turn over your phone face down and the app closes.
Ljudje have a lot experience with startups, one of those collaborations was for the Kickstarter Campaign Zen Egg. Their advice is to set your goals low to always become a winner.
With Multipraktik Collective they made the Epigram project for the electronic artist Gramatik. You can get his music for free, but you can also make your own custom design for the album. When you type in the field, the alphabet dynamically changes and your cover is shaped.
Ljudje invited people to contribute to the ZEK platform where your work can be displayed.
Bellabeat is a company based in Zagreb Croatia, which creates beautiful, innovative products for women. They help them track their health while performing different activities and as well as being in significant stages in their life.
Bjelajac presented the Design Sprint - a method developed at Google Ventures and explained in the book “The Sprint” by Jake Knapp. He himself, participated on a design sprint in California, organised to develop an app for a client.
The idea is that everyone is seated at a table and ideas are bounced around, later comes sketching, changing, designing and user testing. Design sprint can have a duration depending on the requirements and budget. It could last five days and be thorough or focus on a certain feature and be done in one day.
Day 1 First day all the questions are written down, and each starts with: “How might we…”. Since people from design, tech, marketing, finance and manager are all present, they have an equal opportunity to participate. Sometimes the best questions will come from the ones who are usually left aside.
Day 2 Sketching. Everyone does the sketches. It has been proven everyone can do it. Everything is put on the pinboard for view.
Day 3 Voting for best sketches and ideas. Developing app flow and testing.
Day 4 Developing a prototype. Bjelajac mentioned that they already have a Sprint Kit containing all the ui elements they might need. They all have it close to hand, in one place and it’s constantly growing after each sprint.
Day 5 Validation User testing is the final stage. It looks like an interviewing session from one of the csi series. On one side there is the user going through the prototype and a person from the design team is next to him. The designer and client are on the other side of the glass. If something goes wrong, the person next to the user quickly notifies the designer to make the changes. The user gets the changed prototype instantly after the designer has made the changes. The user doesn’t know anyone is watching and is being pampered with sweets on the table to keep their interest on the tasks.
Grubišić and Šestak from Degordian explained to us how to use animations and transitions in a clever way. According to the rules of material design and material motion, every movement has to guide the user and explain what is happening.
Very special thanks for all the people making this festival possible, it’s of major importance for the community. There is no better way to hear new ideas, see projects, make friends and have a good time. I want to give a special thanks to the organiser, Fran Mubrin, for giving me a pack of stickers, festival bag, shirt and pins, it made me very very happy!
Can’t wait for next year!