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101 Design Ingredients to Solve Big Tech Problems


Cover image for 101 Design Ingredients to Solve Big Tech Problems

101 Design Ingredients to Solve Big Tech Problems


Tough technology and business challenges face you at every stage of a project. The one-page ingredients in 101 Design Ingredients show you how to solve problems using practical examples you can apply right away. Case studies explain how leading companies combined these ingredients into their own unique recipes to catapult their businesses, and how you can, too. You’ll learn how to mix and match the high-level patterns in this quick, entertaining survey to build your own solutions tailored to your projects’ requirements.

Printed in full color.

Customer Reviews

Startup founders and enterprise agilists should keep their copies of 101
Design Ingredients nearby! Full of great insight and suggestions, the book
guides teams through common scenarios—recipes—ensuring teams have
the best chance of success.

- Nicholas Muldoon

Agile evangelist at Twitter

The same mistakes are often repeated in technology projects. It is easy to
develop blind spots or simply get stuck. Often, all we need is a simple yet
powerful ingredient to get us back on track. Eewei’s book is chock-full of
such ingredients—easily digestible and packed with wisdom.

- Paul Golding

Chief alpha maestro, AlphaPunk; chief scientist,

An excellent, practical guide that will help tech entrepreneurs solve the
significant challenges that come along with growing a startup. Packed
with clever and insightful illustrations, this little recipe book will help
entrepreneurs avoid common mistakes and solve big challenges.

- Dave Gray

Entrepreneur, Founder, and author of "The Connected Company" and "Gamestorming, XPLANE

In life, the trick is to find a balance between simplicity and clarity of
thought and the complexity of the real world. Eewei describes a host of
simple ingredients and combines them in recipes in just the right proportions.
Beautifully presented, sharply written, and valuable to experts and
newcomers alike.

- Giles Colborne

Author or "Simple and Usable"

101 Design Ingredients will help you look at the world differently while
sharing wisdom and insight into how some of the world’s greatest leaders
and organizations are doing it.

- Jonathan Rasmusson

Author of "The Agile Samurai"

See All Reviews

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About this Title

Pages: 298
Published: 2013-07-31
Release: P1.0 (2013-07-30)
ISBN: 978-1-93778-532-1

One page, one ingredient. 101 reasons to become more successful at solving those big technology problems. 101 Design Ingredients will help your technology team identify problems, share responsibilities, and work better together.

In parts 1 through 4, you’ll find 101 problem-solving ingredients grouped into project stages, to help you apply the right ingredient at the right time. Start at any point and page through the humorously illustrated ingredients until you find one that matches your needs best. The ingredients cover the spectrum your business needs to be successful, with tips on team-building, creating a business model, product launch, productivity, and much more. Each ingredient includes three practical suggestions to get you started right away.

In part 5, you’ll see examples of how companies can blend some of the ingredients used in this book to solve specific business requirements for investment, innovation, leadership, and more. Each recipe shows how a company fine-tuned six of the ingredients to build their own unique solution. You’ll learn how to mix and match ingredients to create your own recipes for success, tailored to your company’s needs.

The ingredients and recipes in this book can be applied by beginners starting out on their first technology project, as well as seasoned professionals who have been tackling the same big problems for years and need a fresh new approach to problem solving.


Contents & Extracts


  • Recipes For Success
    • A Recipe For Effective Leadership
    • A Recipe For Awesome Employees
    • A Recipe For Social Relevance
    • A Recipe For Keeping It Lean
    • A Recipe For Being Indispensable
    • A Recipe For Evolution
    • A Recipe For Constant Innovation
  • Ingredients To Get You Started
    • Identify the Root Cause
    • Give Them What They Really Want
    • Know Why You Do It
    • Find the Sweet Spot
    • Join The Dots
    • Know What Competitors Are Up To
    • Start With The End
    • Garbage In, Garbage Out
    • Improving Vs Differentiating
    • Make It A Call To Adventure
    • Build An A-Team
    • Clarify Roles and Responsibilities
    • Pitch The Problem
    • Time It Right excerpt
    • Test Your Biggest Hypothesis First
  • Ingredients To Keep You Going
    • Know What Will Help You Succeed
    • Put It Into Context
    • Be A Catalyst
    • Perform As A Team
    • Train Them Right
    • Make It Easy
    • Prioritise Ideas
    • Slice It Thinly
    • Find The Shortest Route
    • Timebox It
    • Keep It Simple
    • 80/20 Rule
    • Constrain Yourself
    • Be Really Good at One Thing
    • Be Unfashionable
    • Fail Fast, Fail Often
    • Find the Gaps
    • Get Used To Conflict
    • Look For Commonalities
    • Don’t Just Improve The Obvious
    • Align With Expectations
    • Attract What You Want
    • Don’t Ask What They Want
    • Lead By Example
    • Frame It
    • Fix the Little Things
    • Reduce Options
    • Make It Obvious
    • Take A Walk
    • Celebrate Success
  • Ingredients To Help You Cross The Finish Line
    • Make It Personal
    • Stop Making It Up
    • Surprise Them
    • Know What You Control
    • Check The Data
    • Adapt Quickly
    • Find Allies
    • Keep People Informed
    • Don’t Show Up
    • Don’t Think Too Much
    • Make It Interesting
    • Make It Accessible
    • Tell A Good Story
    • Reward Them
    • Fly Under The Radar
    • Have An Opinion
    • Be Good
    • Cut Through The Bull
    • Make It Emotional
    • Build Up Enough Momentum
    • Create A Tipping Point
  • Ingredients To Get More Of What You Want
    • Crowd Source It excerpt
    • Don’t Do It All
    • Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish
    • Challenge And Disrupt
    • Increase Happiness
    • Get Them Addicted


Eewei Chen is a digital tech strategist, and a former team leader at Microsoft, creative director at Conchango, creative director at ThoughtWorks Europe, and design director at British Sky Broadcasting (BSKYB). Eewei loves speaking, mentoring and running workshops in the design, lean startup, technology, and agile communities. He blogs at and he’s @Ultraman on Twitter.

Illustrator Robert André has worked within the creative industry for more than twenty years on everything from paste-ups to product design. Although he believes good design should appear effortless, not draw attention to itself, fulfill a need, and be functional, occasionally something really great grabs his attention and he cannot help thinking: “That’s brilliant, how can I illustrate that?”