Why Side Projects Help Companies: 10 Ways it Helped Mine

chima open door mockup ui skygear
Facebook Notification Chima Open Door
I got an e-mail in the middle of the night. I opened it to discover that the Android version of our Chima Open Door app was finished.

“As long as it’s not something your boss told you to do, the job gets done so fast.” Recently, I joked about one of our new side projects, Chima Open Door, on Facebook.

This post is about our latest side project, Chima Open Door, why I support my team to pursue their own projects, and how projects like this benefits Oursky as a company. Continue reading “Why Side Projects Help Companies: 10 Ways it Helped Mine”

5 Logo & Icon Tips for Visual Identity (With a Product Case)

Revamping old favourites

Where do you start for visual identity? So much meaning is crammed into a name, logo, and 16 x 16 icon. If you want a quick review of some design principles, check this article on effective logo design. Today’s post is a transparent sharing piece  on how we developed the toaster logo for an Oursky in-house product, MakeAppIcon.

The first iteration of MakeAppIcon (MAI) was a simple web app that helps users make icons for various platforms. We were sick of resizing, so we created an app that would help us do that. We don’t get too hung up on names, so we just used something people could remember. People remember smart and short, or descriptive and obvious. We went with the latter, and with the name decided, we moved on to visual identity. Continue reading “5 Logo & Icon Tips for Visual Identity (With a Product Case)”

5 Front-End Design Essentials for Developers

5 Front-End Design Essentials for Developers

I went from a part-time designer in a local Hong Kong tech company to one of its partners. Before I joined full-time, I taught myself CSS when I worked as a web designer for a number of agencies and clients. Since joining this company 6 years ago, I’ve been involved with 50+ projects (including in-house ones), including Apple’s Best New App 2016.

As our development team grew, I couldn’t just pass my Sketch design files with “a common understanding” to our senior developers, so I wrote this CSS checklist for the company. I’ve added additional notes on the concepts behind the checklist items. Continue reading “5 Front-End Design Essentials for Developers”

5 Tips to Get Designer Friends and Make a Kick-Ass Product

MakeAppIcon logo in progress

Where does a great back-end solution go? Nowhere, without a front-end. So, you have two options: do it yourself, or get a designer to help. Designers probably seemed like a different species of human. Half of your previous encounters probably ended up awkward or hostile.

As a development team that’s grown from 4 people into a company with just shy of 40 members (with 4 in-house designers!), we at Oursky are happy to say it’s possible to love working together! Continue reading “5 Tips to Get Designer Friends and Make a Kick-Ass Product”

You’ve got a product. Do you have these 12 essentials?

Developer Tools cc Mapbox via Flickr

Make Products that Pay

startup product development pablo buffer

Someone once said, “Love is great, but you can’t eat love. You have to have money to eat.” A product is no different. Products are great, but they won’t feed you. Revenue does.

Revenue is a bottom line for any company. You may be a startup company or an agency building an internal app in between contracts. It doesn’t matter whether you have one or ten products. Turn that hobby pet project into a self-sustaining business. Even if you don’t intend to make it big, make it pay off.

Continue reading “You’ve got a product. Do you have these 12 essentials?”