Interview with UX Designer Marko Dugonjic in Croatia, and a Guide to Building Web Apps

Croatia is a top rated country in Europe, and a fantastic location for nature-lovers. Besides visiting the famous Plitvice Lakes Park, we met up with UX designer and developer Marko Dugojnic, one of the most respected web standards professionals in Europe. He is also the creator of TypeTester, a nifty app helping web designers test fonts in the browser, and a speaker. Marko shares his story and a couple of tips on typography and how to become a top UX designer.

Web application development becomes our favorite topic for this episode, as we continue to talk about the tools and resources a web entrepreneur needs to build a great web app: from planning, to project management, to development and testing to pricing and launching. We discuss how to:

  1. Plan to release a minimum viable product and decide what features need the most attention before launch
  2. Choose a framework or toolkit for getting started quickly with your web app
  3. Find dead-simple solutions for implementing specific features, such as real-time notifications and functionality, or a simple and solid payment gateway.
  4. Test and optimize your app before launching
  5. Build a user-base and promote your product

It’s a laid back episode with a bunch of useful tips and information. So enjoy and let us know about your own experience with building a web app!

Interview with Couturier Cary Santiago and the Future of E-commerce, in the Philippines

The creative industry of fashion design has always had an intriguing relationship with technology. This episode we travel to Cebu, Philippines, to meet and interview couturier Cary Santiago, and learn about his unique use of laser cutting in fashion design.

Apart from discovering Cary’s fascinating story, we continued exploring the exciting islands of the Philippines. It may sound like a paradox, but spending some time on an isolated island in the Philippines, where so many things we’ve grown accustom to in modern life are brought back to basics, it got us thinking about the future. What is the future of e-commerce? What is the future of customer service? How is augmented reality going to play a part? These are a few questions we discussed in this episode. After learning our way around the area, we found a beautiful spot on the coast in Moalboal to relax and continue talking about current trends, augmented reality, mobile apps and e-commerce.

Entrepreneurs and designers, what are your thoughts on the future of e-commerce? What do you want to see happening? Let us know on twitter, @BrightLounge. Learn more about laser-cutting in fashion design and the future of e-commerce in our interview with Cary Santiago.

We hope that we will inspire you to travel some place new in the world. For anyone, especially creative people, traveling somewhere new can really help you learn about the world and bring inspiration to your work. Travel has inspired many of Cary’s designs, and of course it is an inspiration for us as well.

As always, if there is somewhere you’d like us to travel to, or someone you want to see interviewed, get in touch! If you enjoy BrightLounge, remember you can support us by supporting our sponsors. Take a look at our offers page.

Interview with Supermachine Studio, Architecture and a Giveaway in Bangkok, Thailand

BrightLounge goes to Thailand! Besides the amazing experiences and places we discovered during our trip to Bangkok (check out our facebook page for behind the scenes photos), we meet and interview Pitupong, the founder and lead architect of Supermachine Studio. Pitupong’s vision on the role of architecture and design in our lives is inspiring and unique. His work incorporates elements of the Thai culture and a creative mix of simple and original patterns.

Supermachine Studio is also known for their work on the Big Mountain Music Festival, where they handle master planning, lighting and stage design. In Bangkok Supermachine Studio worked on the interior design of BU Lounge and Saatchi&Saatchi offices. For Pitupong, architecture and design are about communication, making a statement and making things fun. Ideas like the Pangolin House and the Lo-Fi Pixel Wall speak about his interest in current matters in the Thai society.

This episode we are giving away four bottle openers designed by Supermachine Studio for the No Red No Yellow Campaign they started a couple of years ago. To enter to win and for more details on how to participate, check out the giveaway page!

In the second half of the show we talk about the future of content subscription, RSS readers and content focused apps like Feedly and Zite. What are your favorite RSS apps, and what do you think technology will change in the way we consume information in 2012? Send us your answers and suggestions via email or @BrightLounge and make sure you enter our giveaway by the 15th of January 2012.

Tips for Traveling Freelancers, Identity Designer Jacob Cass via Skype, in Sinaia, Romania

Every episode of BrightLounge we travel to a different country, interview a new creative person and tell a new story. This time, we are in Romania, sharing our experience about freelancing while traveling and when multitasking can be good or bad. Our guest is identity designer Jacob Cass (through Skype, from New York), who is an experienced traveler as well, having traveled to 34 countries.

First we talk about freelancing while traveling. We share our thoughts on what items and applications are essential for traveling. Here’s a short summary of a few of the items we covered:

  • Dropbox: keep files in sync and avoid having to manually move them back to your desktop when returning home.
  • Skype: use and online number so you can call clients and they can call you at no extra charge. Also great for when you need to make a call locally in the country you are traveling in.
  • Apple Airport Express: a great travel item because it will allow you to quickly setup your own secure wifi network either by connecting it to a router or ethernet.
  • Remote Desktop Access: Make sure you are able to access files back home if needed. We recommend LogMeIn and Apple remote desktop.
  • Bootable Backup of Hard Drive: A backup is necessary If your laptop hard drive fails while traveling.
  • Strong VPN: Access websites that require a US IP address. Can be used for online banking or for familiar entertainment like Netflix and Pandora.
  • Travel Adapters: Bring a few to get everything plugged in. Also a solar charger for your phone can be useful to keep your battery charged while on the move.

If you have any additional tips or questions for freelancing while traveling, tell us on Twitter @BrightLounge.

As for the second topic, we explain the challenge of multitasking when working on a computer. We talk about some of our favorite apps for keeping productive and aware of time. Check out Awareness for a non-invasive way to keep track of time spent on the computer and Fluid to turn any website into an app in your dock.

Also, be sure to check out our new offers page for offers from our sponsors. We are happy to have Audible as a sponsor for this episode,  who is offering BrightLounge viewers a free audio book!