Entries by Ignazio Laci

How To Create An Emotionally Positive First *Website* Impression

Gotta touch them in the Gut!

Remember the time when you introduced yourself to your partner’s parents? Remember how carefully you selected your outfit, haircut and practiced your smile, voice, and handshake? That’s because you know how important it was to get your first impression right. You have just one shot for that; a negative first impression takes a lot of…

Know Thy Budget!

Your budget is your starting point

You wouldn’t go into the house buying market or car buying market or hell, even a prom dress buying market, without having a clear budget in mind. So why do so many compaines and individuals who are seeking Design help throw out their RFPs just to simply see how much their proposed scope of work will…

4 Things to Forget if You Want to Write Good Copy

Great tips for your website messaging!

So you’ve checked the budget, and there’s no room for a copywriter. OK, we can work with that. But before you start, we need to squash some bad habits you probably have. To get rolling, I asked some colleagues for advice on how they’ve found success. As PR & brand copywriters, we’ve learned lots of…

6.5 Tips to Staying Creative

Because creativity doesn't always come "out of the blue"

Before getting started on a few practices that have helped us immensely keeping our creative juice going, let me clarify a bit what I mean by “Creative”: Creative = Anyone that has ever used their mind to solve a problem. That’s a lot of people… Creativity is not an attribute of a few magical designers or artists; creativity is…

Top 10 Productivity Tools for Designers

Because tools were created to help you.

If you follow me on Twitter you have probably noticed I’m an app and workflow junky. I’m always on the lookout for good software that can help streamline my work and simplify my life. If a software takes me 30 min to learn and setup, cost me a few bucks but saves me 2 minutes a day I get a…

The Sucky Questions

How to become a better designer (and human) by asking better questions

“You get what you ask for, ask a shitty question and you’ll get a pile of ?” Ignazio Laci How many times have you heard questions like: “Why do I have to do everything all the time?” “Why do we have only two designers here?” “Why do we have to do all these changes?” “When is…

Suck at Writing

Reflections on my writing challenge

This month I celebrate my 1-year write-aversary! One year ago I challenged myself to start writing down my thoughts on design and life twice a month and though it hasn’t always been easy, I did it! Ok, maybe I slacked a couple of times because we had a baby and crazy workloads, but for the…

Fixing Things

How Friday reflections & beer can make you better.

As a designer and passionate creator I’m slightly obsessed with finding problems and fixing things. At times I might come across cranky while using a microwave, irritated when reading a restaurant menu or just flat out furious when dealing with remote controls, but I’m ok with that, you can’t fix problems you don’t see. In this post I want to share…

6 Tips for Simplistic Web Design

How to practice simplicity & minimalism in web design.

Business, like life, politics and a cat’s psychology, is complicated. Products or services can sometimes come across as far too intricate or techie complex to explain clearly. A good website deconstructs the complexity behind the idea or service and makes it easily to understood and easily remembered. If, as a designer, you think a business is too…

Sprint Book Review

How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days

As a startup studio that works with other startups, we are lucky to get to work with passionate people that get excited about new ideas. The problem is that there are always too many ideas and it’s very difficult to pick which ones to explore and build next. Building something is a time and energy consuming…

Less Food

How fasting made me a better designer.

In the past couple months, after the birth of my son Leonardo, life has changed. Leonardo has been a blessing, and I won’t bother you listing all the cute things he does… like hiccuping or smiling… but with this immense joys also came sleep deprivation, stress and an unusual amount of projects with tight deadlines….

The Essence of Coffee

Renato Bialetti & the Moka

Last week (Feb 11) Renato Bialetti have died. While his name is not well known in the US, you have definitely seen at some point the invention that he contributed with his dad Alfonso Bialetti and designer Luigi De Ponti brought to life, the Moka Pot. As a proud Italian, Renato’s loss saddened me, the Moka is one of Italy’s most iconic piece of design. This simple…

Subscription Vs. Perpetual Licensing

Pros & Cons

Should you make the switch from perpetual to subscription-based software licensing? A simple decision like that could turn your business around, so let’s analyze the pros and cons of this two different pricing strategies. Perpetual licensing This system is all there have been for many years, the customer has to pay upfront for the usage…

MENO Give Back

MENO Give Back

Hey guys, the MENO Give Back program is now open for applicants! Here I wanted to take the time to explain what this program is and why came to life. At MENO we have extensive startup background, not only we have had startups of our own (One of which is still running mollettadesign.com), but over…

Design is How it Works

Book Review

The other day I got on Amazon this used book from Jay Greene “Design is How it Works” it was literally a penny, I usually only get the Kindle editions of all my books, but for that price, this time, I got a luxurious hardcover book. Paper smells so good actually. Ever wondered what it takes for the successful…

Design Sprints

Level 1 - The Basics

Design sprints are a topic that is getting a lot of talking; we instinctively understand the value of design and the word “Design sprint” has a very sexy sound (at least for me!), but what are they really? How can they help you and your product? Design sprints derive from the Lean thinking movement, wich is…

Ideas that Suck

Tips on trashing bad ideas & start a fabulous new year.

Do you feel that most of your ideas suck? Well, I hate to tell you this, but they probably do. Welcome to the club! We have dozens of productive and non-productive ideas every day, and we should not feel guilty for having ideas that suck, but what we do need to learn is to identify the two…

Let the Creative Force Awake!

The power of meditation.

There have been a lot of different claims about the powers of meditation, some of which can be proven and some of which can’t. I personally have been practicing meditation for a number of years, in some periods of my life I’ve been very rigorous about it, and some other not much but I can certainly…

Can Good Design Be Ugly?

And by ugly I mean real bad.

Good design can be visually stunning, but it doesn’t have to be. Often, good design is unseen, and at times, it can even be quite distasteful. Beautiful Design This category of design is the easiest for anyone to recall. The design is often visually provoking, and it leverages various aspects of our perception, making the design…

You Get What You Give

5 Social Media Principles Learned from Merlin Ward

I often buy more books and audiobooks than I can handle, and they end up sitting in my library for a while. This past week I did some sort of a “book sprint” trying to catch up and one of the books I had in my list was “You Get What You Give” Social Media Principles and Strategies for…

Make this pretty, please!

Thoughts on what to do with a Napkin Sketch from Audrey Crane

A few weeks ago I attended a Designers & Geeks Meetup here in San Francisco and had the pleasure to experience a talk from Audrey Crane, a designer, and partner at DesignMap. I was blown away from Audrey’s energy and humor while presenting her design-saving ideas. The room bursted into laughter several times and we all learned some good tricks. Oh, BTW she was…

Creativity in the digital age

"Steal like an Artist" book review

There are many ideas out there about ways to foster your creativity and come up with good ideas, but Austin Kleon surely has a special take on it in his book “Steal like an artist“. I’ve had this book in my Kindle for over a year, and I finally got to it the other day, it contains…

13 Tips to Effective Brainstorming

Get your brain unstuck and unleash some great ideas!

Brainstorming sessions are a lot of fun, and we get to lead several of them during our client design sprints in order to unleash new creative ideas and come up with solutions to our clients’ problems. However, sometimes the creative flow can start to slow down and may even come to a complete halt. And…

8 Essential Tips on Delivering Feedback to Designers

And yes, that includes not saying things like "Make this look pretty"

Feedback implies change, discomfort, confusion and extra work or stress, and that’s why it’s tough to deliver it, but it’s an indispensable part of the design process. I’ve been a designer for a decade now, and I have sees recurring patterns on the delivery of design feedback, so here are eight essential tips that will…

Why Nurturing a Fearless Culture Is the Key to Groundbreaking Creative Work

Lessons on failure from Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull

Failure, what’s scarier than that? Perhaps a public one? Ed Catcall, Pixar Co-founder and President of Pixar Animation exposes an incredibly inspiring point of view in his book Creativity inc, a must read for anyone that wants to know how Pixar fosters incredible creativity in their company culture.  (And who doesn’t wish to know that?!…) Here are some…

The Dark Side of Branding

Stop creating an illusion of a better product – create a better product.

It’s much more apparent now than ever before, that branding is the main focus of many companies – which makes sense because having a great brand always pays big dividends in the business. Branding is more than a logo, clever tagline, color pallet or consistent messaging. Branding is aligning your company’s values with the ones of your consumers. It’s about making people…

Minimalize Me

A minimalistic approach to life and design

Recently I’ve been exposed to some books about the minimalist lifestyle and quickly realized that my values are perfectly aligned with the minimalist principles and that I have actually been applying them in my life and design work without consciously knowing it. The word minimalism has gained big popularity in the recent years and it’s primarily…

The “Work-Life Balance” Myth

The secret behind living a happy and satisfied life

Now a days we often search for “Work-Life Balance” but we all know what that really means: “I want to work less!” This concept comes from a distorted view of life where “work” and “life” are two separate things. That they are actually two things that go against each other, and by getting one you…

Good Design Takes Energy.

How to create more productive and energy-filled workdays

Good design rarely comes out of luck. You need to have some good energy in your body for anything truly creative to come out. So how to get more of this good energy? In this post I’m going to share 4 tips that have helped me increase personal energy and bring forth more creative juices during our…

Productivity & Entrepreneurship

Running your own business isn’t always easy, we know, we’ve been at it for many years now. And there have been times when were were extremely productive and focused, and other when we were we lost focus but not having tangible goals and  a clear direction and ended up just pretend working by being busy checking…