Lean Project Management: Field Notes from 9 Years of Development

When Oursky first began all three of us founders were project managers (PMs). But as our company grew, we faced the same quality control issues as other companies. With over 50 team members now, we needed to strike a balance between nurturing junior developers who may not have as much experience and ensuring code and design quality for our clients.
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A Guide to Web Design Process (With a Free Template)

Aleks Dorohovich Unsplash

In addition to our reputation for clean and sturdy code, Oursky is known for our thorough design process that produces products such as Cococolor and Artstack. In this post, we’re annotating  our internal web design guideline document for you to use.

We’ve refined this process of the years and going on our ‘don’t repeat yourself’ rule, we’d love to share our process transparently with you. These web design best practices are applicable for client and in-house products. Below, we’ll show you the web design for Skygear‘s sign up web portal (try our BaaS for free!).  to show you how we do things in-house.

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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 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”

How I Got 37% Conversion on My First A/B Test

When I first joined as a growth-hacking intern at Oursky, I was tasked with achieving a 40% conversion rate for A/B testing. Only, that was the first time I’d ever heard the term. Our company had just completed the app Shotbot, which helps developers submit screenshots to iTunes Connect in a few clicks. Of course, the next step was to promote it, and I had to learn the science of A/B testing on the job. It took three A/B tests before I hit a 37% conversion rate on Optimizely. In this post, I’m sharing my mistakes and learnings from each of my three trials.

 

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Apple’s Best Music App of 2013 Was Outsourced: Jamn

Outsourcing vs insourcing

Are in-house apps always better than outsourced apps? No. Jamn, the musician’s multi-tool, selected as one of Apple’s Best of 2013 Apps in Europe and the Americas, was an outsourcing success at Oursky. In this post, we will share how we built this award-winning app using an MVP, fast iterations and proactive engagement with our client, MiQ Limited.

 

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4 Keys to Success in User Interviews

y combinator quote make something people want
Y Combinator’s How to Start a Startup stressed two important things that every entrepreneur and early-stage startup needs to focus on: 1) building your product and 2) talking to your users. For the latter, they even got Twitch’s founder Emmett Shear to talk about How to Run a User Interview and his past experience of starting a business without running user interviews (versus running user interviews for Twitch) in a video lecture.

 

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