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Encouraging Joy & Play – in Iceland!
Culture is extremely important for Idean. It’s something we pride ourselves on. We want to be the best place to work and for everyone to feel part of the Idean family. And we’ve even won awards for it.
We have a number of initiatives that we have put in place to help us establish and maintain our unique culture. One of the cornerstones of that is the theme of Joy and Play. We believe that sharing experiences and taking time out of everyday work is important to build and maintain relationships.
For the last couple of years we have held annual breaks, one location for our US team and another for our Finnish collective. But this year for the first time we’re bringing the entire Idean family together in one place. It’s going to be big. This year’s trip will take place in Iceland.
Iceland is the perfect location for Idean’s company trip as although it is a small country it is bursting with natural wonders. Providing a unique mix of volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches and dramatic mountains. This truly amazing backdrop of natural outstanding beauty is perfect for the Idean team to collaborate, bond and get creative.
During late August every Idean employee from Finland to California will come together for four days. This has created a lot of excitement within all of the studios and the main topic of conversation has been the food. This is why.
For the internal launch we asked Ideanists to submit their best Icelandic inspired photo shop entries, entitled ‘Masters of Photoshop’ and the results were stunning. Our competition lead and Head Judge, Jani Reijonen, oversaw the process. So here is the winning entry, which was submitted by Helsinki UX Designer, Elisa Pyrhönen. Congratulations!
We’ll be sharing the Masters of Photoshop runners-up entries over the next week. Do you wish you were coming to Iceland with us? Then why not join Idean? Check out all of our current vacancies here.
#IdeanIceland #JoyandPlay #IdeanCareers
The Industrial Internet Explored
We took some time out with Greg Petroff, Chief Experience Officer, at GE Software at our recent UX Summit in San Francisco to explore what the Internet of Things means to him and where he sees it heading.
“The IoT itself is probably going to be the largest revolution in business for the next 20 years. And it’s going to be of value similar to the Industrial Revolution in terms of the impact it has on society”, says Greg.
#IndustrialInternet #IoT #IdeanUXS
Idean Launches Immersive Program for Design Transformation
Unlike any other initiative in the past, Idean is launching a completely new educational program, the Idean Design Academy. It is aimed at corporate executives and VP-level leaders to provide the tools around design thinking, and inspire their organization with revolutionary customer experience design.
Held this July in Silicon Valley for the first time, the inaugural class of 2015 will learn practical tools focused on how to take design transformation and leadership to the next level.
The three-day immersive program held in Menlo Park, California on July 7-9, will bring together the very best UX design mentors including Idean’s CEO Risto Lahdesmaki and founder behind the Design Index Value and Motiv Strategies, Jeneanne Rae.
During this immersive experience you can expect to:
- Learn the importance of user-centric design
- Be able to assess your organization’s current design maturity
- Discover the latest design approaches and how they will expedite go-to-market
- Develop the skills to enable you to lead and support your organization’s design culture
Risto Lahdesmaki said: “We are ecstatic to launch the Idean Design Academy and help leaders to personally develop their skills but also take their organization to another level and become more user-centric. We have an amazing group of people from Fortune 500 companies joining this transformative program, and earning the Idean Design Certificate”.
Learn more about Idean’s Design Academy here.
If you have any enquiries relating to the Academy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
#IdeanAcademy #DesignLeadership #UX
Celebrate Midsummer in Silicon Valley
We’re bringing the Finnish celebration of Midsummer to Silicon Valley. Midsummer (or juhannus in Finnish) is one of the main national holidays in the Nordics and as Idean was founded in Finland, we want to bring the tradition over to California for everyone to enjoy.
On Friday, June 26, we’re gathering everyon at Idean House, Palo Alto to celebrate and discuss about UX. You will enjoy some tasty food, delicious drinks and fantastic music.
RSVP now and join us to celebrate Midsummer.
#Idean #Midsummer #Juhannus
The Future of Internet TV
We held our 14th UX Summit in San Francisco, which concentrated on the theme of ‘UX as a Transformation Strategy’. Here we share a short interview with one of the speakers, Paolo Malabuyo, Director of Design at Netflix.
Paolo Malabuyo is a veteran practitioner of branded user experience design and creative management. In his current role, Paolo is joined by a great team of innovative designers responsible for the user experience of the world’s leading internet TV network. Until January 2015 he was Vice President of Advanced User Experience Design at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America where he led the team responsible for discovering, designing, and prototyping the future user experience of the connected automobile that’s delightful and uniquely Mercedes-Benz. Previously he was at Zynga as Director of Product in the mobile division where he worked on designing and building their new mobile social gaming network.
Here Paolo shares his thoughts on internet TV and how this is changing, including consumption trends and creating a personalized service.
#IdeanUXS #Netflix #IdeanSF
IndustryHack – Timeless Digital Design
Senior Designers Roope Kärki and Aaron Palmer, went along to the third IndustryHack event in Finland. Here Roope shares what happened over the weekend.
History repeats itself
Finnish glass design company, Iittala, was established in 1881. They were producing solid work from the beginning, but the era of timeless design started later. In 1946 they had a competition for engraved glass models, which was won by Tapio Wirkkala, Kaj Franck coming second. Iittala hired both designers and their unconventional designs ignited a new era in Iittala’s design, which also affected Nordic design as a whole.
Industry hack is a series of hackathons for Finnish industrial companies to get passionate people under the same roof and figure out specific problems or even establish seeds for new design directions for a range of products. This time IndustryHack was in Hämeenlinna in the beautiful location of Katisten Kartano.
Direction for the design
Now, instead of engraved glass Iittala and the teams were giving digital design a go for the first time. The only brief that the teams were set was to create something that met Iittala’s main philosophy: Enriching lives with beautiful and functional objects, not distracting from life. Iittala feels that screens are currently withdrawing us from life.
Know your material and past
Before we got started we had a tour of the factory and heard stories from glass masters as well as having the chance to try out glass blowing. We learned that it can take 10 years for a glass master to learn how to create a Toikka Bird. Most do not ever learn it. During the tour we heard about why old glass turns green and learned more about the traditional line of design before Wirkkala and Franck came onboard. The knowledge, empathy and appreciation for the process was felt amongst the hackers.
Interplay of materials and ideas leverages imagination
Usually when beginning a hackathon the teams can get carried away with utilizing the technology rather than what is suitable for the users. If they have a hammer everything starts to look like a nail. In this phase it is our job, as a mentor, to usually jump in and direct the focus for the people and their problems, so that teams can think solutions more holistically. This needed to happen surprisingly little. Maybe it was Iittala’s glassware that kept the teams rooted into the people and beauty.
The magic started to happen when the teams got to dive into the Iittala’s products and sensors and leverage their imagination with the interplay of materials and ideas. They treated hacking with deep empathy for the Iittala’s tradition; not restricting themselves but actually transforming restrictions and appreciation to great ideas.
The stroke of genius moment – beautiful visions
Some of the original ideas became much better after the prototype was set up and then experimentation with different light patterns was undertaken. The end result was more of an accident caused by serendipity.
A bird has been a carrier pigeon and a signal for time of day for centuries: Now Toikka Bird delivered messages between a family and became active when there was life around it.
The light in Iittala Alvar Aalto vase helped you take care of the flower inside it and provided Northern Lights inspired colors when the flower needed taking care of, offering a full user interface directly in the vase, delivered through beautiful light.
From screens into objects and gestures
Only a few of the groups did any kind of user interface displays. The object user interfaces felt so much more intuitive and self-explanatory that adding a display next to it was seen to reduce the magic, not amplify it.
Imagine a lamp that you gently touch and it just changes luminosity and color, seen immediately wherever the other connected lamp is. Would you add a mobile phone notification on top of that?
Three principles for timeless digital design
These common threads were seen throughout the teams’ designs:
- Timeless digital design is by the people for the people. The teams got inspiration from the stories they heard and envisioned how their work was enriching lives to make them more beautiful.
- Timeless digital design is beautiful. The function becomes the form and technology becomes invisible. It’s art and magic.
- Timeless digital design is modular. You can replace electronic parts as they are consumed but you can keep the glass forever and this can be left as a legacy.
An awesome experience
It was so inspiring to be part of this one of a kind IndustryHack. The teams were brilliant. They did not clock watch calculating the hours until home time. They are at home when they do this. They are alive when they do this and they create liveliness around them as they work. I would strongly encourage you to come to the next hackathon. It will change your way of working, for the better.
Roope Kärki is a designer with extensive experience in hackathons, pop-up studios and workshops under his belt. Roope has mentored, judged and participated in numerous events and even won an award in the Finnish Game Jam.
Roope wants to continue to work with talented people to solve the biggest problems in the world. And he doesn’t mind getting his own hands dirty in the process.
#IndustryHack #IdeanHKI #Hackathon
Building an Online Justice System
We held our 14th UX Summit in San Francisco, which concentrated on the theme of ‘UX as a Transformation Strategy’. Here we share a short interview with one of the speakers, Colin Rule, COO, of Modria, a Silicon Valley company that offers online dispute resolution implementation assistance.
Colin founded Modria in 2011, after being eight years a Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and Paypal.
Colin Rule, said: “Good user experience is integrated with the objective of the site.
It’s part of that overall process of getting the user where they need to go.”
#IdeanUXS #IdeanSF #DisputeResolution
We Celebrate Idean’s Unique Culture at Hirepalooza
Some of the Idean team spent yesterday at San Francisco’s largest hiring event, Hirepalooza. We picked up an award, we had a keynote speaking slot and we took over two booths with a constant line of people interested in learning more about Idean!
Hirepalooza provided an opportunity to showcase our careers and company culture. Our HR team, alongside a developer and representative from our marketing team, met potential candidates and talked about the current vacancies and employment opportunities within Idean.
Our US Recruitment Lead, Marina Djordjecvic, said: “It was a really good turnout and we were able to tell hundreds people all about Idean and the opportunities we have to become part of the Idean family. It was a very curious crowd, who had lots of questions! It provided us with an opportunity to tell people who we are, what we’re about and where we have opportunities. It was so successful we ran out of all our swag (T-shirts, stickers, tin mints and flyers regarding our next events”.
Our COO Ville Kurki gave a fantastic feature presentation centred around “Employees That Play Together, Stay Together: Creating A Company Culture that Sticks”. “It was wonderful to meet new candidates and spread the word about our company culture, not only as an exhibitor but also as the Winner of the Hirepalooza Culture Award Social Organizing”, he points out. Later, he walked on the stage to pick up the shiny glass award.
“We had some good conversations and met some great people. Overall it was a really successful event for us and I can’t wait to see some of the people we met at Hirepalooza working in an Idean studio soon”, mentions Jeremy White, Senior Mobile Developer at Idean.
You can view Ville’s presentation on our Slideshare account or below:
Interested in learning more about working at Idean? Visit our website and learn more about the current opportunities.
#IdeanCareers #JoyandPlay #Hirepalooza
The Power of Design
We held our 14th UX Summit in San Francisco, which concentrated on the theme of ‘UX as a Transformation Strategy’. The packed event was a roaring success!
Over the next week we’ll be sharing with you some short interviews with the speakers at the event. First we kick off with Jeneanne Rae, Founder of Motiv Strategies and author of the Design Value Index (in collaboration with the Design Management Institute).
“Design can really effect business results. Design is important and UX is almost the most important of the design disciplines”. Jeneanne Rae, Founder of Motiv Strategies.
#IdeanUXS #IdeanSF #DesignValueIndex
Idean is Coming to the City that Doesn’t Sleep
We are extremely excited to announce that Idean is planning to open its seventh studio and first in New York, this fall.
The opening of a New York location marks another important milestone in Idean’s global expansion – and follows hot on the heels of our Los Angeles studio, which opened back in February.
Risto Lähdesmäki, CEO and Co-Founder of Idean is extremely proud with Idean’s global success, he said: “Since opening our first US studio in Palo Alto in 2011 we have grown exponentially. Our plans to open our fifth US Idean House in New York are fuelled by the ever-increasing demand from organizations for truly enchanting and elegant experiences”.
Chris Bystrom has joined as Head of Studio for New York and will lead the set-up and opening of our latest addition to the Idean portfolio. Chris joins us from VSA Partners, where he was an Associate Partner.
Chris has had exposure to a wide variety of industries and clients from enterprise to startups. He loves to build things that have impact and has done so across many industries, including; finance, technology, information services, telecommunications, publishing, media, healthcare, retail and education.
“Idean has a unique mix of entrepreneurs, designers, makers and creators, all from diverse backgrounds who are incredibly passionate about what they do – I am extremely excited to be part of that. The culture and collective collaborative nature of the people, family atmosphere of the studios and specifically the forward thinking projects we take on. It’s an intoxicating mix”. Chris said.
He continued: “I am looking forward to building a studio that is a part of the New York fabric, something that harnesses the ambitious nature of the people and companies that call it home, New York has some of the best talent and sits on so much institutional knowledge across many key industries and companies that lead them. New York is often the place where people from all walks of life come to ‘make it’, and that drives so much business and new ideas. New York is a home away from home for like-minded people and I am excited on what Idean’s mark on it will be in the coming years”.
We have also appointed one of our Lead Designers for New York, Ryder Carroll, the creator of Bullet Journal. Hear from Chris and Ryder here.
If you are interested in kicking around ideas or simply grabbing a cup of coffee, please reach out to Chris at: email@example.com or drop him a line at 917-215-0944.
We are currently looking for talented Interaction and Visual Designers to join our New York team. We offer a fun workplace atmosphere where our employees collaborate and story-tell to create powerful user experience design that goes far beyond ink and paper and into real life experiences that change the way people do everyday things. Check out our current open positions here.