Our lawn after 100's of hours of hard workNew idea: The gardener designer
Steyn Viljoen profile picture

Hello from sunny Cape Town!

I'm Steyn Viljoen, a lead product designer at Luno, a cryptocurrency wallet and exchange with a footprint in Africa, Europe, and South East Asia.

I've spent the last 10 years helping startups win. Some of these include a texting app in Silicon Valley, Africa's biggest crowdfunding platform and making space tech farmer-friendly.

But who are you really?

Ah, the question that can't be answered in 2 paragraphs!

The best way I've found to answer this question is through some of the books, talks, essays, thoughts, tweets and photos that I keep on referring back to.

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Lean analytics by Benjamin Yoskovitz, Alistair Croll

“Customers are people. They lead lives. They have kids, they eat too much, they don’t sleep well, they phone in sick, they get bored, they watch too much reality TV.

If you’re building for some kind of idealized, economically rational buyer, you’ll fail.

But if you know your customers, warts and all, and you build things that naturally fit into their lives, they’ll love you.”
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The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team is about the behaviours that create a cohesive team.

Creating a space where people can trust each other is probably the most important ingredient to designing brilliant products.

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Lean Analytics by Alistair Croll, Benjamin Yoskovitz

“First, know your customer.

There’s no substitute for engaging with customers and users directly. All the numbers in the world can’t explain why something is happening.

Pick up the phone right now and call a customer, even one who’s disengaged.”
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Crucial Conversations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan & Switzler

The worst at dialogue fall hostage to their emotions without knowing about it.

The good at dialogue realise that if they don’t control their emotions, matters will get worst.

The best at dialogue choose their emotions and behaviours that create results.
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Don't make me think is probably one of the most recommended design books in the industry. And for good reason.

Here's why:

"If something requires a large investment of time — or looks like it will — it’s less likely to be used."
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Design For the Real World is probably one of the least recommended design books.

It has kept me grounded throughout the years and continues to remind me that "the only important thing about design is how it relates to people."