Code, Design, Designing Lean

Material Design for MVP

I’ve recently been building two prototype user interfaces, one for a mobile app the other a web-based dashboard. The mobile app prototype was built using a combination of Sketch and Apple’s Keynote presentation software. The dashboard had higher fidelity—a functional HTML/CSS/Javascript prototype interfacing with a light-weight JSON API.

I used this as an opportunity firstly to wrap my head around some of the design patterns for iOS 11, but also for trialling Google’s Material Design guidelines for this purpose.

There’s a lot to like about Material Design, especially for startups looking to develop a Minimum Viable Product. Continue reading

Photo of a LEGO scene depicting a mad scientist and experiment
Business 2.0, Design

Crafting great experiments

I’ve recently been involved in designing and running a bunch of different experiments under Lean Startup principles with an emphasis on testing the value proposition and customer traction (rather than product-specific factors).

While on the surface the idea of experiments seems relatively straightforward, my experience has been they are trickier to get right than they first appear. Especially early in the development of a product or service.

We’ve had some #flearnings along the way that I thought would be valuable to share (to “fail informatively” to borrow the phrase from Clay Shirky). Continue reading

Side mirror of an accelerating car
Housekeeping, Sustainability, Work


Well, it’s been quite a while between posts here… so a bit of explanation is in order.

Shortly after I presented at the IxDA drinks last year, a number of my colleagues pointed me to the Energy XO program that was being launched by Western Australian electricity utility Horizon Power and (now defunct) startup accelerator Pollenizer.

It seemed like a great opportunity to connect with industry folks and participate in a two-day “microhack”—essentially a workshop to develop up business ideas in the electricity sector and to be introduced to the “startup science” process that Pollenizer had developed around Lean Startup principles.

Little did I know at the time that I would be one of four people selected to enter into the 12 week accelerator program! Continue reading

Vintage-style lights. Source:
Presentations, Sustainability, Work

IxDA Sydney—June 2016 presentation + notes

Last Thursday night I was privileged to present a short talk at the June IxDA Sydney meetup. (Thanks Joe!)

The slides from my talk are presented below:

Or you can download the slides, along with my speaker notes (PDF 2.8MB), which includes links to a lot of the inspirational projects I highlighted. Continue reading

Blurred city lights. Source:

How much impact might savings “within the walls” have?

In a recent post I commented:

If developers aren’t prioritising sustainability due to a perceived lack of market demand, and owners corporations’ focus is elsewhere, where else can efficiencies be gained? What about what happens “within the walls” of the apartments themselves?

While the individual savings might be small, the cumulative benefits might be significant. Just how significant is unclear, however. So it’s hard to judge just what sort of impact energy efficiency measures across a medium- or high-density residential complex would be. I did a bit of digging but couldn’t find readily available stats. Are savings in this context just going to be a “band-aid” solution? Or can it make a significant contribution?

Let’s assume, for a moment, that the cumulative effect is significant enough to warrant attention.

Ahh, assumptions. We have to make them sometimes to get moving, but it’s always best to close the loop, through research, if we can.

I spent a little bit of time the other day looking into this, seeing if I could source stats or research that examine the difference in energy consumption in a medium- and/or high-density residential environment (e.g. apartments) versus low-density (e.g. houses), and found some interesting tidbits… Continue reading