Work inspiration with
Hi, I’m Marko Dugonjic, a father of three, husband of one; a designer, author, speaker; the founder — slash — UX Director at Creative Nights — a user experience consultancy I run with my wife in Velika Gorica, Croatia.
I design and build websites and web apps, such as Typetester, consult clients, run workshops, speak at conferences, write + edit articles, experiment with web technologies (Responsive Typography with Web RTC) and have an incurable crush on user experience, typography and web standards which I observe and discuss on Twitter as @markodugonjic.
A few months ago, I wrote a chapter on typography for the Smashing Book #4. That was super-exciting.
I’ve built the perfect desk — it’s a 2 by 1 meter, 4 cm thick birch board resting on a solid wood legs. An IKEA Lack table is used as an extension to create a standing desk, in case I want to change my position during long hours behind the computer. For sitting, I rotate a regular office chair and a Varier’s Variable™ balans® chair. For standing, I use a balance board.
In the studio, we use lots of post-its, regular and flip-chart paper, as well as crayons and markers. I carry around a hardcover spiral bound notebook and a Muji gel ink pen.
My main computer is a 2006 (!) 15" MacBook Pro with an SSD drive and loads of RAM. When I work in the office, it’s extended with a Dell U2711 monitor and a Logitech MX510 mouse. A Retina MacBook Pro has been on my radar for a few months, though.
When I want to loosen up, I connect Makey Makey and invite kids to a banana piano concert.
We are keeping our energy levels up with a JBL iPhone dock / speakers.
Snow Leopard. Don’t laugh, works like a charm!
- Dropbox — syncs files between computers
- Alfred — helps you launch apps and docs without pointing and clicking
- RescueTime — tracks time
- FontExplorer — manages fonts and font collections
- Default Folder X — enhances Open and Save dialogs
- TextExpander — expands your typing shortcuts
- Anti Social — blocks social networks and e-mail traffic
- Caffeine — keeps your mac awake, for instance, during a presentation.
- Color Oracle — simulates color blindness
Writing / note taking / documentation
- iA Writer — the default note taking app
- Writer Pro — a serious writing app
- Dictionary — an OS X built-in app. As a non-native English speaker, I use it a lot to find a proper replacement for awkward expressions.
- Pages — for more formal documents
- Freedom — an internet blocking app, does miracles for getting things done.
Coding / Development / testing
- TextMate — for anything coding
- MAMP — a local web server
- SquidMan — a local proxy manager
- LiveView — lets you preview your designs on iPhones and iPads
- Silverback — records usability testing sessions
- Mousepose — tracks mouse clicks and keyboard strokes (usability testing)
- Yummy FTP — FTP client
- VMware Fusion — runs Windows with Internet Explorers.
Design / illustration / inspiraton
- Keynote — for presentation slides, but also for quick mockups as well as more elaborate designs.
- OmniGraffle Pro — for occasional mind mapping and wire-framing
- Adobe Photoshop CS3 — Yes, CS3. It has everything that I need — a marquee tool, smart objects and smart filters.
- Adobe Illustrator CS3 — for vector illustration work. Icons are mostly done in Photoshop, though.
- Little Snapper — captures screens; reborn as Ember
- Mail — the default OS X mailing app
- Mailplane — for Gmail accounts
- Skype — for international calls and meetings
- Skitch — for quick annotations during Skype calls.
- Xslimmer — removes unneeded language files and slims down application binaries.
- GrandPerspective — a graphical representation of your hard drive
- iDefrag — defragments hard drives
- OnyX — cleans and optimizes the entire system
A north facing enormous side-to-side, top-to-bottom window for dispersed daylight throughout the day. A nice view preferable, but not mandatory. A treadmill desk and an internet connection that’s faster than light. Oh, and an R&D area where I’d build a real Iron Man exoskeleton.
Inspiration (and motivation) comes from my interests and experiences. I always try to observe the problem at hand inside the big picture and then zoom-in back to solve it. Crazy, right!?
- My family — BTW kids are smarter than us, “adults”
- Friends and colleagues who push me forward
- Nature, wildlife, the Solar System and the Universe
- Big cities and the countryside (travel, signage, urban vs. rural patterns)
- Movies (from blockbusters to indies), live performances (stand-up comedy), TV shows.
- Books and well crafted magazines (think Offscreen, 8faces or Codex)
- Art (comics, fine arts in the broadest sense — I steal a lot from there)
- Industrial design and architecture (my No. 2. stealing resource)
- Music (classical, electronic, latin, taiko drums; I prefer instrumental music while working)
- Science (biology, physics and chemistry)
- Ancient history and distant cultures (Roman, Greek, Mayan, Indian, Chinese, Japanese)
- Extreme sports (snowboarding, skateboarding)
- Martial arts and eastern philosophies