Thinglink sticker challenge — won!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

ThingLink can happily pronounce the winner of the Sticker Challenge to be… (drumroll please)

Karri Saarinen and Jori Lallo with their minimalistic design that you can tag by writing on it.

Thanks everyone for your votes!

Thinglink sticker challenge

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Vote our entry by
hovering over image below:

“Thinglink challenges visual thinkers to create a visual graphic concept to be used by Thinglink in promo stickers. We have two favorite slogans, which we would like to see on a sticker with our logo.”  - Thinglink sticker challenge: Suggest a design and win an iPad

About a week ago, Jori and I noticed this contest and we though it could fun to enter. The brief was slightly hard, because you should’ve used their preferred long slogans, and their logo, both on a small sticker. However Jori got an idea of making blank stickers, with which you could use your own slogans or tag things in the real world like you do on the webservice.

So we went with that. I draw the sticker be similar to thinkling own tag bubbles, and made few mockups to convey the use of the sticker. You could tag your Macbook, yourself at a party, your luggage, posters or whatever. The sticker size is about 8,5cm x 1,5cm which should be good for most things, and when printed on quality vinyl they should hold together and allow people to write on them with markers.

They released the challenge finalists today, and we got accepted! Now we need your vote!

Vote our entry by
hovering over image below:

This week in designing things

Friday, February 4th, 2011 – Standardized legal documents

Frozen Rails 2011 site (still under construction)

RailsGirls t-shirt draft (ladyfit coming aswell)

T-shirt for Android Aalto

Quality and the market

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Doing things the right way is hard, which is why most businesses take the lazy path and settle for mediocrity. People respond to quality, though: they reward it, in no small part because quality such a rarity in today’s marketplace. Do right by your customers and they’ll do right by you.

- Alex Payne, Shortchanging Your Business with User-Hostile Platforms

Design for

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

This evening when I got back from the office, I saw a post on Hacker News that Ruby Core team was looking a design for their site. So I decided to help out. I draw some inspiration and did a quick Photoshop mockup.

I tried to bring minimalistic Japanese feel to it, similar to Ruby as a language. I though they probably want it to be lightweight and easy to modify, so I limited  graphics only to one, everything else is css. The top which now says “Ruby, programmer’s best friend” can be easily replaced with navigation if they decide to extend their site. The team members can be linked within the page with their account-name.

It took me couple of hours to design, write and fiddle with Rails, git, Heroku. You can view static version here

Additional credits:
The Ruby illustration is done by Linda Liukas, originally for
Rails, git & Heroku help from Joao Carlos

(The signature on the upper corner is only for the preview, since I wanted to sign my work for the contest but not write it anywhere on the site)

What did I ship in 2010?

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Seth Godin published an exercise to list things you actually shipped this year. Here’s my list. Most of the things I didn’t do alone, so thanks for people at Kisko Labs, Nodeta and friends for this year!

  • – Built a team work tool from idea-concept phase near to public launch. Shipped the app, features, site, keynotes etc for multiple times. Flowdock is still going forward with paying customers. (w/ the Flowdock team at Nodeta)
  • – Designed and built together with Kisko Labs a new Rails-based site. (w/ ArcticStartup & Kisko Labs)
  • – Designed and organized a Ruby on Rails / web workshop for women. 24 women, 12 hours, 4 apps. Got tremendous feedback. (w/ Linda & Kisko Labs)
  • – Designed a social analytics tool. Currently in private beta. (w/ ArcticStartup & Kisko Labs)
  • Splendid Bacon – Designed and built a project visibility app for Rails Rumble 2010 (w/ Matias, Joao, Antti from Kisko Labs)
  • – Designed and built a service to save and share bookmarks and notes between your devices for Forrst App Contes. We won. (w/ Jori Lallo)
  • – Designed and built a blog for Grey Area Labs
  • Lähtölaukaus – Started and designed a new blog (w/ Kisko Labs)
  • – Designed and built a new site for Kisko Labs
  • Venture Bonsai – Designed and shipped a crowdfunding platform (w/ Kisko Labs & Venture Bonsai team)
  • – Prototyped a business model canvas tool
  • – Shipped updated sites for Assembly Summer & winter
  • Tale of two Startups – Speech about startups at University of Vaasa and Turku School of Economics
  • Just Design It – Lecture about web ux & design at Metropolia School. Over 3000 views on Slideshare.
  • (TBA 2011) – Prototyped of a new photo related app
  • Shipped a dozen other small designs, sites and projects

Just Design It – An Approach to Web App Design

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

I held a lecture last Thursday at Haaga-Helia on User Interface course about my process of designing web applications. You can view the presentation slides on Slideshare:

At Kisko Labs

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

In the last post I didn’t say that much about what I was going to do. However, if you’ve been following my Foursquare updates, you probably have noticed I’m checking at 13KB, also known as Bolder & Kisko Labs office. So the news are: I’m now a partner at Kisko Labs.

“Clients are the difference between design and art.”
– Michael Bierut

I’ve been following Kisko Labs from the start and working with the team on ArcticStartup projects. I really appreciate the fact that they thrive to be something different than your common software vendor. Helping the client to get their idea off the ground and not just building some software with a spec.

Although my role is more on design side of things, I aim to make things that people need, want or like. For that you need great development and design, but usually know even more about if we’re building the right things, in the right way, what things to measure and how take care of all the aspects of the service, not just the view of the app in your browser.

Anyway, I’m excited to help and learn more on building new things and I hope we at Kisko Labs can be your startup team or the skunkworks for your company.

Changing Tracks

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Tracks at the countryside of Maremma, TuscanyFor some time I’ve been thinking a bit about my long-term and how to focus or simplify my life more. I always try to do too many things which is fun, but also distracting.

One change that came from this thinking is, about two weeks ago, with a considerable regret, I gave resignation for my job at Flowdock (or Nodeta). So this Friday, 23 July, will be my last day.
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Helping Out at New Practice

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

I gave my Startup Tales talk for New Practice students at Turku School of Economics. New Practice is an interesting joint course between Turku School of Economics and Aalto University of Art and Design:

“You will come up with a completely new business idea, learn deep collaboration with design students and come to understand the design and innovation process on a new level.”

I was happy to see how hands on the course seemed and how engaged the students were with their ideas. People seemed to have real ownership and passion which you don’t see that often in school projects.

Anyway, it was great to help out and here are the slides and the stuff mentioned:
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Karri Saarinen

Web product designer.
Founder of Kippt (YC S12), ArcticStartup and Rails Girls.