While summer is coming to an end, I hope you’ve had an enjoyable and relaxing few weeks.
As we approach the closing weeks of Q3, it’s a good opportunity to take these final days of summer to reflect and realign before the final push of the financial year. At Mäd, this involves kicking off a series of new, exciting projects, including a full-day, remote design sprint with one of Southeast Asia’s leading law firms and wrapping up the foundational work for yet another project within the financial sector.
In addition to this, we’ve been taking further steps toward publishing our eBook – Work Like Mäd (in case you missed it, we included an excerpt in last month’s newsletter). Our team is busy wrapping up its final pieces, and it will be ready to launch to the public in the very near future.
It’s been an interesting challenge so far, and we’ve had the opportunity to dive deeply into how best to leverage our work by using new platforms and solutions. We can’t wait to share the final product with you.
As many of us take some of the summer months to slow down, unwind, and reflect, I encourage you to read one of our recent insights, 1%.
The 1% approach to improvement urges you to forget overnight success: most accomplished individuals will tell you that their “overnight” success was actually ten years in the making. Most of those years are spent working in obscurity, and everyone only notices the leap forward once all the hard work has mostly been done.
The 1% approach also touches upon the importance of being deliberate. This means reflecting on what is truly important to you (or your organization) and then obsessively focusing on those things.
For some businesses, it’s building a product that champions reliability over everything else. After you set that as a priority, you need to then be certain to slow down and bake that into your culture 1% at a time – even, potentially, at the expense of missing shipping dates to ensure reliability is never compromised.
While it may seem that obsessing over tiny, 1% improvements doesn’t amount to anything significant, thousands of these actions chained together over the course of months and years create a powerful snowball effect.
With any business or project, this is how you can keep the wind in your sails and get from good to great without realizing it.
Team Updates. Our Mäd team is always seeking to sharpen their skills and boost their qualifications via upskilling courses. Recently, our Web Designer Ousa has achieved an impressive Webflow Experts Certification, thanks to his extensive experience in building multiple clients’ (and Mäd’s own) websites on Webflow. We’d also like to shout out our Project Manager Rachel, who has completed a comprehensive course on Coursera, accomplishing a Google Project Management Professional Certificate. Finally, Alicia in MarComms took a course on Uxcel and received a certificate in UX Writing.
Blue. Over the past month, the team at Blue has made a few awesome updates to its project management platform, most notably adding the White Label feature. This allows organizations to run Blue on their own domain. Eventually, it will also let users fully remove Blue branding and send emails from their own domain.
Activities. We’ve recently renewed our photo library with a fun photoshoot (and pizza party) involving both Mäd and Blue teams. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at our office culture:
Vattanac Properties. We’re pleased to share that we’ve recently been engaged by Vattanac Properties, a subsidiary of Vattanac Group. We will be helping them create a stunning online presence for some exciting new lifestyle outlets. Previously, we’ve also worked with another one of their units, Vattanac Bank, to redesign its website and brand book.
HungryApp Website. We’ve finally launched the new HungryApp website! In addition to its mobile application, the HungryApp website is giving customers a fresh look at the latest features, brands, and announcements for everything HungryApp. We’re excited to continue delivering happiness to your doorstep with EFG.
Hotel KVL. We’re delighted to share that we’ve recently launched the website for Hotel KVL – another part of Vattanac Properties and one of our long-standing clients. Aligning with KVL’s identity as a stylish and modern hotel, we’ve redesigned its website, adding new features. Hotel KVL opened its doors just a few weeks ago and has already become a popular lifestyle and dining destination in the heart of the city.
Design Handoff. In client projects, it’s common for designers to begin work, hand it over to developers, and end their participation after their handoff. But it might be a mistake to separate design from implementation and designers from developers. In the final part of our series on design and development, find out how to improve collaboration, avoid the cycle of comments and revisions, and execute an effective design handoff.
UX/UI as a Proxy of System Quality. We’re often tasked with evaluating existing or potential platforms when we work with large and complex organizations. This software audit process requires careful consideration of many different aspects, and involves a combination of user interviews and detailed analyses of a systems architecture. However, when approaching such work, we’ve found a simpler and more effective method: start simply by analyzing the UX/UI of the platform or website.
Fake Commercial Off-the-Shelf Software. In enterprise software, there is a concept of commercial, “off-the-shelf” software (COTS). For example, Blue is a type of COTS called SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). It allows customers to immediately start using it without any help or adjustments, and it can also be scaled without modifications. Yet some platforms identify as COTS, but require hours of extra work to customize the system and make it ready for use. How can you distinguish between real and fake COTS, and is it a fitting solution for your business?
Embracing a 4-Day Work Week. We’ve always been open to exploring how working less can help to achieve more. And sometimes, our results support our hypotheses. After recently concluding our three-month trial, we’ve decided to permanently implement the 4-day work week. Here are some insights and lessons learned from our experience – in case you’re interested in trying it out!
From the Web.
The Neuroscience Behind Bad Decisions. The brain is a wildly imperfect system (which explains why humans often make bad decisions). Behind most of our irrational decisions is uncertainty – that is, we’re unclear and indecisive in how we valuate different options in front of us. For many, the main concern over decision-making is practical: how can we make better decisions in our daily lives? What’s the best strategy to avoid risk while achieving the best results? To answer these and other questions, research at the intersection between neuroscience and economics seeks to find a model for efficient decision-making.
The SaaS Factor: 6 ways to drive growth by building new SaaS businesses. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) products can be highly profitable for both tech and non-tech companies – the global SaaS market is currently worth about $3 trillion, and it has the potential to grow even further in the next decade. We’ve seen the capabilities of SaaS first-hand when creating Blue: software products are incredibly scalable thanks to their low overhead and logistical costs (versus physical products) and their foundation in digital. Here, McKinsey explains six key areas of focus for companies looking to build and scale successful SaaS products.
All the Ways Google Gets Street View Images. In 2007, Google first introduced Street View. Unlike any other digital map, it enables an immersive on-the-ground experience that lets people explore the world right from their devices. In 15 years, Google Street View has circled the planet 400 times, gathering information from around the world. But what hardware and software tools are used to capture images and build Street View? What about the systems that enable privacy and security protection for people unintentionally caught in photos?
We hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s issue. As always, please feel free to send us a message if you have any inquiries.