Method of Action

our blog!

Learning made enjoyable

Method of Action is peer to peer education for people who want to get things done. Learn by doing, participating and teaching.

What is Method of Action

by Mark on July 26, 2011 10:11 PM on Design

Method of Action is an educational website that will launch with three different courses: design, entrepreneurship and gardening. Every course is composed by 50 different "missions". Each mission will accompanied by insightful articles or video that establish best practices for the task at hand, recommending books for further reading, or tools that can help you accomplish your goal.

You can then submit your completed mission, and more experienced peers will review it, giving a passing or failing grade. If you succeed, you will gain points that give you access to more difficult missions.

As you gain experience, you will be able to review and help less experienced users.


Information ≠ knowledge

I read a lot, I have this huge collection of data in my head, and whenever people say something like "I'd like to open a restaurant" I catch myself wanting to say "Well, it's not easy, a study says that says 60% of restaurants close their door within a year". But I know it's the Asperger's in me. So I think about stuff that actually helps like "Well, I read an article that says that the second cheapest wine is the most demanded, because nobody wants to be a cheap bastard. So restaurants bank on this and put their highest profit wine there, which means that you get less bang for your buck".

It's an interesting tidbit, but it can't compare to the actual advice a real restaurateur could provide. His interest would be genuine, his answers heartfelt, and his advice spot-on. Knowledge enables you to connect with people and things at a much more intimate level.

There's a tremendous amount of beauty in things if you have deep knowledge about how they are built, be them organic or man-made. When I moved to Canada a brought along a European style coffee maker. My uncle—an engineer—was fascinated with the mechanics. He took it apart and studied every piece. I had always thought it was "nice" but my uncle found a much more deeper functional beauty.

Knowledge is acquired by actually doing things and reflecting upon it. Proactively thinking about how you can improve what you did.

You will eventually need feedback loops

You can get pretty far with just doing, but there comes a time when you will need someone to tell you how to advance. Imagine you are a solitary but extra-motivated person who wants to sprint as fast as Usain Bolt. Running seems straightforward, just move your damn legs as fast as you can, right?.

Well, it doesn't quite work out like that. You would start out by making impressive milestones, you would cut a couple of seconds every month on a 100m dash. But eventually you would hit a ceiling and you would have no idea how to surpass it. Here is where expertise comes into play, a good coach would be able to catch weaknesses in your strides, coach you on nutrition and muscle building.

Even without hitting your ceiling, it's always comforting knowing there are people watching, giving you tips on the general mechanics.

Who is behind the project

We are Mark and María

We met while working at Vostok Studio, a prestigious design agency based in Madrid, Spain. We worked together during two years for clients such as BBVA, BeBanjo and Minube.

In 2010 we decided to move to Toronto, Canada. Mark would embark in a close collaboration with Uproot, a UX development agency working on high profile projects for Rubbermaid, CBC, Bell and McDonald's Canada; while María worked full-time with Linking Paths, an international web development shop split between Reykjavik, Bilbao, Madrid and Toronto.

María brings serious communication and project management skills to the table. Her passion is making text and visual information understandable. You can find María's work at

Mark's has been awarded the University Student of the Year 2008 in the Journalism category by CNN/Expansión magazine for designing and programming the website for the United Nations Information Centre in Mexico City.

He also earned 2nd place in AbreDatos 2010, Spain's national Open Data contest, for designing, a web application that tracks public transportation in real-time. In 2011 he released, an html5 drawing application that has been featured in Chome Experiments, a Google curated html5 showcase.

Mark is in charge of one the most popular design blogs in Spanish, Duopixel. Duopixel has more than 30,000 unique visitors per month, and has been featured in the book "Blogs, Mad about Design" by maomao publications.

Mark's skills lie at the intersection between design and development.
You can view Mark's work at


Frank T. Adams
July 30, 2011 2:50 PM

Since you are in Spain, is there any possibility in the near future that you will mount a Course on worker cooperatives, such as those in the Basque Provinces, particularly about the Mondragon Cooperative Model?

Hope so. ~ Frank Adams

August 1, 2011 1:29 PM

Hi Frank, we're no longer in Spain, we're in Toronto. Worker cooperatives are very interesting, but perhaps it's a subject out of the scope of Method of Action.

Amit C
August 2, 2011 2:41 AM

Hi Mark,

Just a note, the blog entries do not format well in Google Reader,


August 10, 2011 11:15 AM

Great initiative! I am going to follow this closely.

October 11, 2011 8:14 PM

Hey guys, this sounds like a great plan! Can't wait to see it live!!

October 11, 2011 8:15 PM


sending you the most positive vibes!
your work is much appreciated.


October 11, 2011 8:19 PM

btw, hopefully there is more to see
and read when i take another look.

cheers, and keep it positive!


Hermes Tristemegistus
October 11, 2011 8:29 PM

Last para in feedback loops section: 'it is comforting', not 'contorting'. No offence but this somewhat undermines my confidence in how 'Asperger's' you really are :)

October 11, 2011 8:50 PM

Thanks Hermes! Damn auto-correct, I'm sure I was going to write "conforting" because that's similar to Spanish (my native language).

October 11, 2011 10:09 PM

fantastic - look forward to hearing much more :)

Lok from melbourne Australia
October 12, 2011 1:42 AM

looking forward to see it live. well done guys.

October 12, 2011 4:47 AM

Hey! I took the kerning test and absolutely loved it. When do you think the full program will launch? It sounds like a fantastic idea and I would definitely be interested in it.

October 12, 2011 4:52 AM

Liza: we will be launching in six months

October 12, 2011 12:27 PM

The kerning test would be a great teaching tool -- IF -- the "solutions" were rooted in good typography. The creator needs to take some formal and rigorous typography classes before dispensing his/her wisdom. While a fun exercise the solutions are far (and I do mean far) from acceptable.

October 12, 2011 1:03 PM

Glenn, perhaps if you shared your own work with us, along with some examples of truly good kerning, then your comment would have more credibility.

October 12, 2011 5:18 PM

This question may be a touch premature. The kerning game is quite a bit of fun. I'm assuming that there will be similar games to come. Have you considered a future Android App? Add more words, fonts and levels, maybe a few different little games, and it would make a good $0.99 game for us word-game lovers.

October 12, 2011 6:39 PM

Hi Michael,

I'm working on some other games, I've thought about creating a mobile version of all of them together, kind of like a design pack of mini games.

Unfortunately Android's webkit doesn't support SVG, I'd have to see if there's any workaround for it.

October 12, 2011 8:02 PM


I'm not really a blog person, but found this one nicely written and quite entertaining. the game was great, and I'm really looking forward too reading more.

And I think launching the kerning game is a great way too get people aware of the site. There should maybe be a facebook "like" button there, to get more visitors, or what?

Lars Eid
October 12, 2011 8:04 PM

Just found it. But it was nicely hidden ;)

October 13, 2011 6:55 AM

There should be more person like you! It is a brilliant initiative

October 13, 2011 8:02 PM

I really liked the kerning game, how easy it was to play and how beautifully designed it was. Though, I think some advices, hints and "why you should do it like this way" would be good to have during the game, maybe after each part, or at the end of the game.

Noëlle Adam
October 14, 2011 4:38 AM

I came to play the kerning game, liked it, and I am glad I found this site. Look like a great thing for people that already enjoy learning in fact.
I want more. Please...

October 14, 2011 9:22 AM

Hi, I like the logo, congratulations, have tried to reflect? I seem to reflect more support to the concept of action, because as this the backhand play this suggests a negative. thanks, sorry my english, is not the best, jeje,

October 14, 2011 10:19 AM

yon2x2: no estoy seguro de lo que quieres decir, si me lo escribes en español te entenderé :)

October 14, 2011 8:56 PM

This seems a really interesting projects, I live in Madrid and I have a few friends trying to find new ways of learning. I met them in Medialab-Prado (Madrid), great place to visit if you come back to Madrid one day.
The project is MasterDIWO, and it is based on a cooperative learning process (Do It With Others), take a look on it, it may be worth to you as well,

Thanks for sharing!

Luis López
October 14, 2011 9:56 PM

Speechless, can't wait fot this to be launched

October 16, 2011 1:22 AM

Excelente proyecto! lo amé! la mejor de las suertes y espero el lanzamiento.

October 16, 2011 2:14 AM

hola Mark, me refiero a que si reflejas la identidad, o sea la inviertes y pones el play de la manera que todos lo tenemos preconcebido, ayudaría mucho al concepto de acción, de "go for it!!!", de seguir adelante, de aprender, no se si me hago explicar bien,?? me detuve a comentártelo porque me parece una marca muy bien lograda y muy actual!!!!! pero este detalle me salto a la vista, saludos, yon

October 16, 2011 8:34 AM

Gracias yon! El logo está concebido como un romboide doblado, si lo pusiéramos en espejo no se sentiría alineado al margen izquierdo. Un diagrama:

October 20, 2011 5:09 PM

Ah this looks awesome. I routinely describe myself as a developer who couldn't design to save my life. I'll be back often to check this site out once you have it up and running. Good luck!

October 21, 2011 12:13 AM

Me gusta. No es siempre un valor aceptable en el disenho, pero en este caso refleja lo que me pasa. "Jugué" el juego del kerning, me pareció bueno, no estuve del todo de acuerdo con la selección tipográfica. Pero me gustó. Está bueno encontrar cosas sencillas, bien pensadas, que te recuerdan que la calidad no es un valor perdido.

October 24, 2011 11:38 PM

ahh, okokokok, me parece muy bien entonces, felicidades por el logo y por el diseño del juego(kerning game), yo por mi parte lo he comentado con cuanto diseñador gráfico conozco acá en cuba y no he recibido más que buenas opiniones al respecto, además lo he posteado en redes sociales, me pareció un buen ejercicio incluso para aplicarlo a estudiantes de tipografia en sus inicios!!!!!!!saludos!!!

October 26, 2011 12:04 PM

I've just suscribed to the newsletter, I'm genuinely interested on what you'll offer, seems like you guys know how to do things, but also how to teach them. :)

November 12, 2011 3:14 PM

Hi there, this looks like a great idea and I wish you both the best of luck.
Keeping in the spirit of things, one of your links doesn't seem to work for 'United Nations Information Centre in Mexico City'. Think it might need 'www.' in the 'a' tag or I believe this may need to be rectified server side on the actual site.
Keep up the good work with really looking forward to seeing it in the future.

November 12, 2011 3:19 PM

Thanks Noel, you're right, I've notified them about the problem and included the www meanwhile. Thanks!

November 16, 2011 11:50 AM

Great site, thank you !

peter bishop
November 23, 2011 4:24 AM

I have just done your kerning test. I have been working as a designer and typographer for over 30 years and managed to get 100% for all but two of the questions. In these two I differed sharply from your own kerning but only realised at the end I could have submitted these as alternative solutions. I am now also lecturing in Graphic Communication and I have to congratulate you on a very useful and clever idea. I wish I'd thought of it myself. I will certainly be getting my students to try both the kerning and vector tests. Thank you.

January 24, 2012 7:07 AM

Great idea I will follow you guys!

btw love the Kerining Game!

Joseph Gubbels
January 27, 2012 9:50 PM

This really is a fascinating concept and I see a tremendous amount of potential it the project.
However, I am wondering how this site will be making the money required to keep running. Will it be ad supported or charge a subscription fee?

Padmanabha Rao
February 12, 2012 7:00 AM

Great work. Thank you.

March 16, 2012 3:09 PM

I really like your idea for interactive learning. I especially like the peer review aspect of it. It's so difficult to motivate yourself to do things, and this will be a great way! I look forward to the launch, which I assume will be soon?

PS, I loved the color wheel game!

March 16, 2012 3:19 PM

Louise: ETA is around 4 months from now (summer 2012), glad you liked it!

April 12, 2012 1:06 PM

Damn, this is very exciting, hope you plan further have Method of Action in spanish, it would be nice (or ypu already have it?).

But anyways, i really enjoy the ride through the games and can´t wait for the entire course.

Write a comment