Better Products, Faster.

Plug your company into a world-class product strategy and design team.
No prep required, no old-school agency legacy or hierarchies, no BS.

Jake Knapp Podcast - AJSmart

Keep up with the latest innovation processes with our Podcast
Our weekly podcast with NY times best selling author Jake Knapp.
Check out listening options here.

Digital Product Design

WINNER
Mobile Innovation
SXSW 2016

WINNER
German Design
2018

WINNER
Apple Best Apps
2015

WINNER
Webby Gold
2016

We use Design Sprints to compress work that would usually take months into days. Whether you need a new product from scratch, something drastically improved or just a difficult question answered, we can help. More about how we design products.

Design Sprint Training

These are not your Design Thinking courses from the 80s! We teach effective, practical and repeatable processes that work in todays rapidly changing digital world. Our programs are intense, hands-on and can be applied immediately. More about our Training Programs.

 

 

Culture

Creative problem solving is at the heart of what we do, so we actually need people from all walks of life, not just designers! So far musicians, stand-up comedians, VR nerds, pub-crawl leaders (??) and many more make up the eclectic and very sexy AJS family. Are you someone who loves solving difficult problems? Maybe you should be working here too! Tell us about yourself.

  • Today we took a whole day to focus on US. It was magical. And an exciting few months will soon follow... 🤩 . . . . . . . . . #creativeagency #creative #creativeteam #digitalagency #design #designteam #agency #officeday #startup #newoffice #braingame #digitalbusiness #teamwork #success #goals #happy #lifestyle #work #career #ilovemyjob #working #uidesign #ux #ui #userexperience #designstudio #uxdesigner #digital #instatech
  • HOW TO STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST! This book from @austinkleon is a must for every designer, artist or creative. I’ve bought it as a gift for 5 people & read it just as many times. It taught me that anytime we ‘create’ we are really just remixing the past. Once I came to terms with that fact it made me consider where I am getting my inspirations from far more seriously! If you’re working & the inspiration well runs dry what book, website or movie do you turn to for an ideas boost?! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #fopw #productivity #productivityhacks #creators #workhacks #work #businesstips #creatives #videoproducers #savvybusinessowner #solopreneur #entrepreneur #successmindset #artists #worksmarternotharder #entrepreneurial #professionaldevelopment #successtips #workanywhere #dailymotivation #beyourownboss #inspiration #hardwork #startups #startup #austinkleon #wealth #steallikeanartist #followyourdreams #austinkleon
  • It’s a HUGE day! We are celebrating it being a year since @kittproudfoot joined the team. He is the most amazing, talented, kind, inspiring person & he definitely did not write this caption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #creativeagency #creative #creativeteam #digitalagency #design #designteam #agency #officeday #startup #newoffice #braingame #digitalbusiness #teamwork #success #goals #happy #lifestyle #work #career #ilovemyjob #working #designstudio #uxdesigner #digital #instatech #art #design #artwork #artist
  • @sarahkilcoyneart Is the artist responsible for the magical Oak - Meditation & Breathing app watercolour paintings that were then used in the final design. We are huge Sarah fans!! Sometimes there is no substitute for bringing hand drawn or painted art into your design work!
  • It's a question as old as time... How do you take your idea for an app from the inside of your brain all the way to actually existing in people smartphones?! Today we shared the process of us redesigning @kevinrose's meditation app Oak with you, step by step in a video (and medium article too!). We also talk about how we made it happen while living on different continents - Kevin is in Silicon Valley and we're all the way over here in Berlin! @jicecream walks you through the entire project in our most detailed case study yet. Check out the link in our profile to watch the video!
  • What was the best project you ever worked on? Around the AJ&Smart office, we are all really proud of a few projects we've had going lately. We had the re-release of @kevinrose's meditation app, Oak. We helped him with a complete redesign and we're thrilled with the results. The app became App of the Day on @producthunt and it was even featured in the #appstore 😀 And we just finished a two week sprint on an intermittent fasting app called #zeroapp with @mmaser 🔥 We're starving... but it was a lot of fun! We are beyond excited about both projects, especially since they are both apps that almost our entire team uses! Can you think of a project that you worked on that left you gleeming like we are right now?! We'd love to hear about it!
  • What are the best tools for remote work?! We worked remotely on Kevin Rose's meditation app Oak, a few months back and the app has relaunched with the complete redesign. We're so proud of this one, especially since we did all the design work for Kevin Rose (who's based in Silicon Valley) all the way from Berlin. There's a video coming about that entire experience, but for now, what tools have you used to do remote work? Let us know in the comments and we can compare notes!
  • The Product Breakfast Club Podcast began on whim because we found there just weren't a lot of great product design podcasts out there. Now @jicecream and @jakeknapp have built it to be biggest product design podcast out there! We've learnt a lot producing it! Here are some tips we've got for anyone who wants to start their own podcast! 1. Make it entertaining 2. Keep it consistent 3. Just get started Got any more ideas?! Let us know what you'd add!
  • What makes a great product designer?! This is a tough question, but an interesting one! We are an eclectic group here at AJ&Smart and we're all really different. We are a group of musicians, actors, comedians, yogies, writers... AND DESIGNERS! What do you think are the best traits/skills to have to be a great designer? We'd love to know what you think, and then we'll try to be more like that 😉
  • Jake Knapp’s new book, Make Time has just landed on our desks! He was kind enough to send us a couple of uncorrected proofs to check out 🙀 “A must read for anyone who has ever wished for more hours in the day” We’re super excited to learn more from the guy who got us all rev’d up about Design Sprints 😬 Are ya jealous? 😉 . . . . . . . . . #fopw #productivity #productivityhacks #businesshacks #workhacks #work #businesstips #growthhacking #beingboss #savvybusinessowner #solopreneur #entrepreneur #successmindset #entrepreneursofinstagram #worksmarternotharder #entrepreneurial #professionaldevelopment #successtips #workanywhere #dailymotivation #beyourownboss #inspiration #hardwork #startups #startup #startuplife #wealth #designsprintmaster #designsprint #hustle
  • 🎧 Podcasts are the way forward! 🎧 We're all about listening to podcasts, making podcasts, convincing more people to do podcasts, EVERYTHING PODCASTS. Who do you think would make a GREAT podcast guest for us on our lovely product design/innovation/design sprint podcast, Product Breakfast Club!? Let us know in the comments!
  • @kimmalonescott has written the manual on how to be a kick ass boss! @jicecream has been shouting from the hilltop about this & trying to get every other founder & manager in #Berlin reading it. “A must-read for anyone who wants to run efficient/happy teams! I can’t believe how I coped so long without it” Who's already read it?!
  • The big man is coming back! @jakeknapp, the author of Sprint, is joining us for another Design Sprint bootcamp later this month. He has a new book coming out- Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day. It is available at your local neighbourhood Amazon store on pre order right now. We are planning on locking him down for some on camera time. What should we ask him about!? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #knappattack #designsprint #designsprints #uxdesign #designagency #workspace #creativeagency #designthinking #innovation #postit #ux #uxdesign #creativity #uidesign #berlin #sharpies #workday #uxdesign #designagency #creativeagency #designthinking #innovation #siliconvalley
  • Our intern Jacob (@myrin20) just completed day one of his first ever #designsprint! (HE NAILED IT!) Later in the week he will be interviewing our founders Jon (@jicecream) & Mike for his design student focused #Youtube vlog. If you are a #designstudent & have something design student-y you want answered pop it in the comments here & I’ll fax it over to Jacob ahead of the Q&A! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #designsprint #digitaldesign #productdesign #uxdesign #uidesign #ux #ui #userexperience #userinterface #graphic #business #creative #inspiration #graphicdesign #instagram #designstudio #webdesigner #webdesign #uxdesigner #icondesign #designer #digital #flatdesign #dailyui #prototype #prototyping
  • We’ve all heard of the productivity technique #TIMEBOXING right!? Well just wait until you hear about #FLOWERBOXING! As most of you know we do not buy our TimeTimers™️ in a shop, we grow them in a window box on our balcony. Which means they are fresher. Flowerboxing™️ is like Timeboxing except after you’ve finished you treat yourself to some nice flowers as a reward for all your hard work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #creativeagency #creative #creativeteam #digitalagency #design #designteam #agency #officeday #startup #newoffice #braingame #digitalbusiness #teamwork #success #goals #happy #lifestyle #work #career #ilovemyjob #working #uidesign #ux #ui #userexperience #designstudio #uxdesigner #digital
  • What are you reading right now!? We are constantly on the lookout for that book that’ll help us make that next big move. Super designer, @timhoefer, is currently reading The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. “It argues convincingly that the value we place on what we consider great experiences does not come from the overall but rather from really special (or really terrible) individual moments within the experience. We remember the spikes on the graph. The peaks and throughs. It has helped us better the design sprint experience for our clients.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #fopw #productivity #productivityhacks #businesshacks #workhacks #work #businesstips #growthhacking #beingboss #savvybusinessowner #solopreneur #entrepreneur #successmindset #entrepreneursofinstagram #worksmarternotharder #entrepreneurial #professionaldevelopment #successtips #workanywhere #dailymotivation #beyourownboss #inspiration #hardwork #startups #startup #startuplife #wealth #knowledge #followyourdreams #hustle
  • DO YOU EVEN MEDITATE BRO!? This handsome gentleman is called Danny (@dannyholtschke). As well as being a big part of the business strategy at @ajsmartdesign he is also our meditator-in-chief. He loves meditating SO MUCH! Some might say too much. Many people are fearful of meditation & even though it is not an obligatory thing it sure can help with the noisy, loud, brightly coloured frenetic 2018 lifestyle. Danny gets asked often ‘How should I start meditating!?’. His answer is pretty simple. He just says ‘get an app!’! How do you do it!? Do you use an app to meditate or do you just find a nice clearing in the woods? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #namaste #happy #goodvibes #spiritual #health #healthy #life #yogalove #balance #positivity #energy #spirituality #creativeagency #creative #creativeteam #digitalagency #design #designteam #agency #officeday #startup #newoffice #braingame #digitalbusiness #teamwork #success #goals #happy
  • Getting stuck in your head is the worst! I should know. I have spent years in my head. One thing that always helps me is JUST STARTING. We say ‘Getting started is more important than being right’ but it works just as well if you say “Avoid perfect!”. Avoid thinking about the perfect tools, the perfect time, the perfect plan, the perfect roadmap, all of it! Perfect is a MYTH! Just get started even if it means just taking one action or giving a single hour towards the roughest prototype version of what you want to make! START START START! Do what writers do- scribble out a BAD first draft & go from there. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #fopw #productivity #productivityhacks #businesshacks #workhacks #work #businesstips #growthhacking #beingboss #savvybusinessowner #solopreneur #entrepreneur #successmindset #entrepreneursofinstagram #worksmarternotharder #entrepreneurial #professionaldevelopment #successtips #workanywhere #dailymotivation #beyourownboss #inspiration #hardwork #startups #startup #startuplife #wealth #knowledge #followyourdreams #hustle
  • TURBO CHARGED kick-off to the sprint this week! Mike Maser (@mmaser) visited us from the Valley where they make the Silicon & was with us to work on #zeroapp. We are really excited to be working on this cool product with this cool dude! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #creativeagency #creative #creativeteam #digitalagency #design #designteam #agency #officeday #startup #newoffice #braingame #digitalbusiness #teamwork #success #goals #happy #lifestyle #work #career #ilovemyjob #working #uidesign #ux #ui #userexperience #designstudio #uxdesigner #digital #instatech
  • Never sit through a useless meeting again! Have you ever tried the "note and vote" in a regular meeting setting?! Instead of having endless discussion, get everyone to write down what they think the solution should be, pop the post-its on the wall, and have everyone dot vote! Tada!! Decision made.
  • We captured the triumphant moment our new #intern Jacob (@myrin20) arrived after his epic 30 hour journey to get here from New Zealand! He will be with us for six weeks & will also be vlogging about his experience for his fantastic design focused Youtube channel. He is going to be involved in every area of AJ&Smart & making videos all about his experiences. What should he investigate first!? 🕵️‍♂️ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #creativeagency #creative #creativeteam #digitalagency #design #designteam #agency #officeday #startup #newoffice #braingame #digitalbusiness #teamwork #success #goals #happy #lifestyle #work #career #ilovemyjob #working #uidesign #ux #ui #userexperience #designstudio #uxdesigner #digital #instatech
  • ✋ IT'S SUNDAY SLAP TIME ✋ This week's sunday slap is all about Sketch and Figma! Which one we like better, why and how to use them best! Check out our profile link to watch the episode!
  • If I weren't so against using the words, "side hussle", I'd say it. But instead I'm going to ask you, what cool (or not so cool) creative projects are you currently working on that don't involve your usual day to day work?! Let's chat about it!! 😻
  • How many of you are working from home right now!? Who isn't but would like to start? We still talk about Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson's classic book, Rework, everyday! Their follow up, REMOTE, is all about the Remote work phenomena (I’m sure you guessed that). There are tips on dealing with cabin fever, working too much & how to not make yourself invisible when you're not physically present. One thing is for sure, never introduce yourself to someone as a 'digital nomad'. That’s not mentioned in the book but should be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #remote #remotework #freedom #nooffice #creativeagency #creative #creativeteam #digitalagency #design #designteam #agency #officeday #startup #newoffice #braingame #digitalbusiness #teamwork #success #goals #happy #lifestyle #work #career #ilovemyjob #working #uidesign #ux #ui #userexperience #designstudio

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No Busy-Work

When you pay for a design agency, at least 50% of your budget is going to “busywork”. This is simply work that keeps the agency employees busy, but has absolutely no value for you. Do you really think 3 weeks of research and benchmarking is really necessary? No, it’s not and they know it too. Yeah, we know that design agencies don’t like when we point this out, but it's true: The large-scale, complicated hierarchies and superstar creative directors that were once key to agencies’ successes are now exactly what’s putting them in the ground. As agencies struggle to “go digital” and adapt their existing structure to a world that no longer has time to hang around and wait for them to get it right, we ask “Why should a project take 6 months, when it could take 8 days?” As the antithesis of the traditional Design Agency, AJ&Smart has been lean and digital from day one. Using a core team of just 10 employees; AJ&Smart is dedicated to creating the best products and services, without wasting your time or budget. No busy-work, promise.