Design travel guide: Prague

Prague design travel guide

The issue with travel guides is lack of inspiration, design orientation and amount of crowd on popular sights. I found out that a successful design trip is a combination of beautiful places with some tech or modern approach to the design of the environment and everyday things. I am looking for technological things which makes the life of citizens better.

To find design kicks I plan where and what I’d like to see. I combined sports, good coffee places and museums.

Last update – 18th of March 2019. Check guids for Amsterdam and Helsinki.

Museums

DOX Museum of Modern art For sure the first place to visit. The building is awesome. There is a huge zeppelin on the top. Exhibitions are usually exciting. The best option to get there by metro and then walk. Adult €8. Quite good coffee place.

[Kamppa MuseumLocated in the city centre. Having contemporary art from Czech artists and designers. Has a nice look out on the river and Charles bridge. Don’t miss the penguins near the river. €12.

Prague City Gallery (GHMP) Gallery with several contemporary art exhibitions. Located in several places: The Stone Bell House, Municipal Library, Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace, House of Photography, Villa Bílek, Troja Château and František Bílek’s House in Chýnov. Pick an exhibition from the website and visit a location. €5 per building.

Národní galerie Also spread across several locations. Has a permanent exhibition of Czech artist and cubists. Also has changing exhibition of contemporary art. €6 per building.

Galerie Rudolfinum Sometimes running exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. Also showcasing photography and installations. For now, admission is free.

Transport

Metro stations are mostly boring. Worth checking: Náměstí Republiky, Andel, Rajská zahrada and Střížkov.
The one-hour ticket should cover visiting all of them with talking pictures. €1.25

During summer across the Vltava river goes ferries. Can be used with regular transport tiket.

Food

La Bohème Café (Sázavská 2031/32) Big selection of tea. Nice interior and good for relaxing day. Great interior. Bad Wi-Fi and not comfortable for work. Late €2,5.

Cafe Louvre (Národní 1987/22) Touristic but amazingly looking space. Go there for cakes or a good breakfast and lunch. They have a seasonal menu plus lunch menus. No Wi-Fi. In the evening can be noisy. Flat white €2.7

Cafe Savoy (Vítězná 124/5) Classy, expensive French cafe for breakfast and brunch. Good location to the river. Free Wi-Fi. Bad for work. Flat white €3.5

Home Kitchen (Radlická 3185/ 1B & three other locations) Perfect for work or meeting. Free Wi-Fi, delicious soups and sandwiches. Interior in minimalistic industrial style. Have four locations in total. Soup from €2,7. Flat white €2,8.

EMA espresso bar (Na Florenci 1420/3) Small and cosy coffee place. One of the best flat whites in Prague. Created by a graphic designer. Good for meetings. Flat white €2.6

Locations and places

Karlin district — modern office districts, with great architecture, cafes and views. Has bike roads, the museum of post and view on a river.

Letenské sady — the big park with iconic view on a river. Has a statue of the metronome.

Vyšehrad — old castle with church and park. Second iconic view on Prague bridges and red roofs.

Troja bridge — modern looking pridge across the Vltava river.

P.S. Designers and creatives share your picks and interesting spots by mail or on Telegram.

18th March

No dashboard for fintech products

I think in the future there will be no privacy at all. For instance, modern insurance tracks when clients leave the country and turn foreign health insurance automatically. Integration between services will be easier and fintech, insurance and health care will follow eventually. This means there will be less UI.

no dashboard

There will be no need for the dashboard in banking services. Contextual suggestions will be the best option to sell services.

While buying the new Tesla in the online shop, banking startup can suggest a loan knowing your spending habits, history and credit history.

For dishonest stores, fintech automatically issue a one-time prepaid card to make a purchase. All these done in the background without bothering the client.

Tax report for the last month should just go automatically. With all calculations, form filling and such.

No dashboard. No UI. No complications.

17th March

Tesla and timeless design

After Tesla revealed Model Y I felt that Model S body design looks outdated. Only five years have passed since the release, and the futuristic car became ordinary looking. To explain this let’s refer to three rules of timeless design.

Tesla timless design

To become timeless design should be simple, durable and affordable.

Tesla cars are durable and high quality. Their simplicity is strongly connected to technology. And affordability depends on price strategy.

Technology and simplicity

Consumers buying Tesla because of electro motors, battery, autopilot, over air software updates, summoning feature.

In new models, tech advancements provide easier interactions. The same happening with iPhones: with the introduction of Touch ID phone lost a whole button and got simpler. Simpler looking object tend to be perceived as better designed.

Affordability

Model S starts $85 000 and model Y from $47 000, respectively. When a simpler design with more benefits is more affordable, the precious generation becomes immediately outdated. The same story happened with MacBook which is cheaper and thinner compared to the older model.

For tech and digital companies, it’s hard to build a timeless design. Technology changes each day, becoming more complex. Also, the function of the product is changing constantly. The car of today is becoming a digital extension of us. Not only it should drive around. But also match our habits and demands. That is why the design of the most futuristic car from 2013 getting outdated today.

15th March

Design travel guide: Helsinki

Helsinki design travel guide

The issue with travel guides is lack of inspiration, design orientation and amount of crowd on popular sights. I found out that a successful design trip is a combination of beautiful places with some tech or modern approach to the design of the environment and everyday things. I am looking for technological things which makes the life of citizens better.

To find design kicks I plan where and what I’d like to see. I combined sports, good coffee places and museums.

Last update – 7th of March 2019. Check guids for Amsterdam and Prague.

Museums

Kiasma Museum of modern art Definitely the best in the city. All the times I’ve been the show was great, idea inspiring and astonishing. Ticket €15. First Friday of the month is free. And the building is awesome too.

Amos Rex museum The building is stunning. €18

Helsinki Design museum Showcasing Finnish industrial and graphic design. The exhibition is not big but with a good sense of humour and positive attitude.

Transport

All West metro stations: Matinkylä, Niittykumpu, Urheilupuisto, Tapiola, Aalto University, Keilaniemi. Also worth visiting Kamppi and Central Railway Station. University of Helsinki entrance looks like a cave! At last on Vuosaari there is a cool metro bridge.
The two-hour ticket should cover visiting all of them with talking pictures.

Food

Sis. Deli + Café (Kalevankatu 4) Breakfast with porridge pot and coffee is great. Small, cosy and authentic. Interior is a mix of industrial and Scandinavian.

Story (Urho Kekkosenkatu 1, 5 flour) Panorama on the central square of the city from Kamppi. Coffee was tasty. Porridge included. Go there for view. Porridge + coffee breakfast from 11€.

Locations and places

Eira – modern expensive hoses near the sea shore. A pleasant park and lack of tourists.

P.S. Designers and creatives share your picks and interesting spots by mail or on Telegram.

7th March

Design travel guide: Amsterdam

Amsterdam design travel guide

The issue with travel guides is lack of inspiration, design orientation and amount of crowd on popular sights. I found out that a successful design trip is a combination of beautiful places with some tech or modern approach to the design of the environment and everyday things. I am looking for technological things which makes the life of citizens better.

To find design kicks I plan where and what I’d like to see. I combined sports, good coffee places and museums.

Last update – 6th of March 2019. Check guids for Helsinki and Prague.

Museums

Stedelijk Museum of modern art The permanent exhibition is ok. Have a collection of DeStijl art and architecture. The March display I saw was good too. Adult ticket €18.5

Moco museum of modern art Moco is a small museum in a traditional Dutch house. Exhibitions are great. Better buy the ticket before the visit because of the line. There are discounts.

Amsterdam Public library The library is free to enter. Free Wi-Fi. On the top floor, there are great cheap food and coffee. In addition, an amazing view of the city. Interiors and sitting spots are great too.

Transport

Metro stations worth visiting: Noord, Noorderpark, Centraal Station, Rokin, Vijzelgracht, De Pijp and Europaplei.
The two-hour ticket should cover visiting all of them with talking pictures. Around €7 total.

Take a free ferry to Noord part of Amsterdam. A ferry departs from Centraal station. Visit NDSM. It’s an old shipyard turned into the creative district.

Food

Cafe George (Leidsegracht 84) Opens at 11:00 and excellent for a late breakfast. Coffee is good. French food is tasty. Free Wi-Fi and outside sitting with a view on a canal.

Fou Fow Ramen (Elandsgracht 2A) Amazing and nourishing tiny Japanese restaurant. Portions are big, noodles are tasty and dumplings are delicious. All is cooked by Japanese folks. Free Wi-Fi. The place is popular among locals so expect a line during lunch and dinner. Price for regular ramen €14.

Pancakes! Amsterdam A chain of Amsterdam pancake places. I was in two located in Centraal and Berenstraat 38. Pancakes are tasty and suit well to start the day. Breakfast from 3 pancakes and coffee around €14.

Pllek restaurant (tt. Neveritaweg 59) Near NDSM ferry station, open fireplace, tasty food and soups. Cosy space made out of industrial ship containers. Noise level is super comfortable.

Buffet van Odette (Prinsengracht 598) Stylish, expensive and classy buffet. Good for breakfast. €18. View on a canal and interior are cool. To show off :)

Soup en Zo (Jodenbreestraat 94) Tasty, cheap soups and bakery. A tiny place with bar stools and big windows. Soups from €5,50. There are two other places in the city. Different locations have different menus.

Sandwiches t KUYLTJE (Gasthuismolensteeg 9) Big and tasty sandwiches.

Schipol airport has a democratic prices in restraints. A proper dinner for €12.

Locations and places

Oostelijke Eilanden A district on a north part of Amsterdam. Modern architecture and bridges. A district around Python bridge has modern houses for locals with amazing views.

NDSM An old shipyard turned creative district. Right near the ferry station, there is a Russian submarine. Legend says that Dutch bought it for €1 in St. Petersburg, brought it to Amsterdam and run out of money.

Jordaan – district is less touristic and has amazing old 17th-century houses.

P.S. Designers and creatives share your picks and interesting spots by mail or on Telegram.

6th March

How to ask for a discount

There are two important rules about discounts: “Always ask for a discount” and “Ask for discount for everything”.

The trick is to ask politely and show respect for people. You might not get a discount, but with some persistence and kindness, the chances are very high.

The template of how to ask for a discount

  1. Greet the company or if you know the name of the person greet personally
  2. Thank for service or feature you like
  3. Show respect and give the company right to say no
  4. Ask “How can I get a discount?”
  5. Give a reason why to have a discount. It can be a big purchase, that you are a new client, your birthday is coming or something else. Don’t lie.
  6. Thank again.

Example

Hello, dear Amazon!

Thank you for your wonderful service! I greatly respect the policy of the company. And I will understand if you can’t answer my request.

I am thinking of getting a premium subscription for a year. Can you please tell me how can I get a discount?

Thank you for your time.

It may happen that you will get a rejection. And it means that negotiations started! Thank again a person who replied and asks for a different deal: three months for the price of two, a gift card or something else.

Be kind, use the template and ask for discounts.

23rd February

Clean Inbox: Add Emails to Calendar as Task

In my daily routine, I use the approach called “Clean Inbox”. Each email requires some action and later will be deleted or archived. For example: when it’s a quick reply I do it on the spot. If I need to hold email I move it out to “Hold” folder. When I need to think about a reply I create a task in the calendar about that.

I used to manually create those tasks. It appeared that simple drag-and-drop of the email into the Calendar app can magically move all the data. Link to the message will be saved with the email theme.

Email to Calendar

Same approach I use for reading web articles. I drag-and-drop them and web link will be copied to the calendar. Organize and save the time.

15th February

With clients, provide

benefit and care

In my opinion, the most important idea from the negotiation course. If one’s act with intention to bring benefits and care – it helps to solve the task and bring profit.

In short

Any conversation is a negotiation.

Any negotiations can be systemized and logical.

Negotiator aims to create long-lasting mutual cooperation.

Never lie or manipulate. Be honest.

The benefit to another side. Stick to personal interests.

No need in this deal.

Need is usually outside those negotiations.

People feel your need.

Luck of need is allowing yourself to say no.

You can always say NO

Allow client to say NO as well.

Ask open questions.

Understand what is really worrying the client.

You want to help and take care of the client. And do that honestly.

If they said “No”, ask why?

Control the process, not the result.

1st February

Self Design: Plan for 2019

This year I am interested in user interfaces, business models, negotiations, time and self managment, people direction and guiding, patterns of counterintuitive thinking.

To read

  1. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte
  2. Envisioning Information by Edward Tufte
  3. Beautiful Evidence by Edward Tufte
  4. Start with NO… by Jim Camp
  5. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
  6. Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management by Mark Forster

To watch

  1. Ludwig Bistronovsky – How to create interest (Summary)
  2. Yandex design school
  3. Yandex mobile UI school
  4. Yandex project managment school
  5. Product design by Tamara Kulinkovich
  6. BangBangEducation talks
  7. WWDC
  8. Apple September event

To visit

  1. Amsterdam (Published Design travel guide)
  2. Tokyo
  3. Stokholm
  4. Iceland
  5. Switzeland

To study

  1. Negotiation course by Ilya Sinelnikov
    (Got diploma and wrote about “How to ask for discounts” and “Most important knowledge”)

To create

  1. Portoflio 2019 yuriy.eu
  2. List of all unfinished tasks (from book Mark Forster)
  3. Bus map for KV
  4. Metro map
  5. Telegram channel


From Ivan Zviahin found a concept for personal growth and self-design. In its core a model of personal skills represented as the octopus. Each tentacle is a skill. To improve a skill one needs to do work. Ivan has a more detail explanation on how to create a list.

14th January

Ludwig Bistronovsky – How to create interest

Ludwig Bistronovsky is the art director in Art Lebedev Studio. He did a talk about how to creat interest (in Russian). To remeber the material and get most important ideas I made a summary.

Ludwig creates interest by solving several tasks simultaneously. Those tasks should be complex. He switches those tasks. Ludwig sets up an assembly line to solve those tasks. To lower the pressure he uses breaks, sport, travelling. He uses the generator of unexpected events, which he does not control. He tries to solve hard tasks counterintuitively in topics where he has not succeed yet. He focuses his attention on solving the task, but not on how to make life interesting.

To create interest don’t work too hard

The harder you try – the more boring it gets. There is no interest when it is forced. As an example, Ludwig suggests hosts on a wedding who are trying hard to make the event fun. Eventually, they fail.

Interesting experience is here

It seems that interesting events are somewhere there. Adults think that kids have the most interesting life. Likewise, kids believe that adults have the most interesting life. Another project is more fun to do. Another company has a more attractive job. Another designer is having a time of his life and etc. However, the most interesting things are here. The trick is to find them instead of switching to a newbie’s brain.

Changing the workplace, travelling to new destinations, meeting new people or updating the twitter feed are examples of newbie’s brain. Receiving new information or experiences are always interesting.

To make interesting experince choose a hard task

Harder than you usually do. The evolution encourages solving hard tasks and motivates us to continue. The best if you don’t understand how to solve that problem. If you don’t know the solution – it’s very good.

If the designer never did a web page – give it to him or her. Have been only doing logotypes – try to code a web page. Was always travelling by plain – do the same but with a train. The harder it gets – it will be more interesting.

Tasks that hard, almost on a limit of your abilities, makes life interesting. However, there should be a chance that you can solve it. Difficulty should be controlled and picked up properly.

Lower the pressure

As a common mistake, designers think that with complicated tasks it’s a must to push super hard. Work 20 hours per day, no sleep or sit till morning.

Even with the hard task is important to lower the pressure. You need to plan breaks for your day because it’s the most important. Remove annoyance. As an example, Ludwig talks about deadlines.

To remove deadlines the work should be organised like an assembly line. The tasks can be done in short 15 - 20 min attempts. After each attempt, Ludwig suggests taking a pause.

Create cycles

To stay focused it’s enough to switch between tasks and do it in cycles. Designers can take several projects and switch between them one after another. Smarter people include sports, cooking and daily life activity to their cycle.

Inside the game can be several microgames. Ludwig gives an example of a tower defence game where first you shoot with your towers then upgrade them, that upgrade the character and cycle repeats. A cycle from 4 - 5 mini-games keeps a player interested and focused on a game.

With planning work or day task cycles, you still understand: those are the same events or set of goals. To shake them you need to surprise yourself.

Plan the surprise or use generator

Human mind works as prediction machine. To create a surprise there should be created expectation or tension. After the expectation is broken. To do that surprise needs to be planed.

When sailors are going to a crouse a captain arranges with a cook the menu. And some days, unexpectedly, there will be a carrot. Not scheduled or planed but by surprise.

Outside forces can be a generator of unexpected. Travel to a new place, not knowing what to expect there. Some use questions from other people to find a topic.

Counterintuitive thinking

However, it’s still hard to suprise yourself, because you know how you think, what to expect and what drives you and what is not.

Surprises, ideas, new techniques come to one phrase “What, was it possible to do it like that?” At first, it seems new idea seams strange because intuitively you are not used thinking about it this way. The key is to use counterintuitive thinking and use it as a template to solve task.

If something is failing Ludwig stops and listen to how he thinks and tries to break the pattern. An impressive solution is strange and it solves the task. Nonsense does not solve the task.

12th January