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Weeknote 214

Another weeknote, still filling in for Teppo. This time more about reinvention, failing, student visits and public speaking.

by Sami Niemelä Creative Director, Nordkapp

Categories Weeknotes

We’ve been doing quite a lot of interesting bits and pieces. First, we did a bit of a facelift to our own work. A large web service, actually one of the largest in Finland in terms of content, launches soon after being hidden in corporate pipes for a while. There were some accessibility concerns we addressed and a few visual tweaks too. This is something we should be able to disclose quite soon.

Akseli’s been working on a super secret skunk works project for a startup client of ours with Panu. That’s all I can say :)

Sauli, Teppo, Fabian and Kate have been working on a few projects for a large client of ours. The context is the same, work includes several different screens and input devices, and it’s actually quite cool.

Panu’s been working on some serious corporate stuff, more precicely processes. Due to certain client demands we at the management team have gone through a lot of hoops on figuring and building processes on how to handle a lot of things from everyday stuff like security to more serious anomalies and black swans. You might ask what place does hardcore corporate stuff like this have in a lean and mean design firm? The way we see it, the better we have figured out the dull stuff and then put out of the way *until* the imaginary poop hits the tube, the more we can concentrate on the value we generate for our clients and collaborators.

Tia, Jukka and myself have been wrapping up the consumer study we did a while ago, and are carrying on with the design part of things.

Another thing we’ve all discussed a lot around the office is our point of view(s). We have to be able to offer our clients better and more efficient processes, new concepts which offer better reach and engagement, and overall help them to digitalise their business so that the core itself won’t suffer but instead things will turn out better for all. This is our change to leave a dent into this world, and we will be more opinionated about these things in the future. These are our lead bullets.

Something we also did last week was to reinvent the way we sell our work. Quite exciting, you’ll hear about this soon in our next meeting.

In other news, we also hosted the October IxDA Helsinki at the office. Since the date coincided the first national Fail Day, we thought IxDA should support that notion as well and we themed the day #failIxDA. This worked our quite nicely, we had approximately 50-60 ppl at the office listening short talks about failure. For full disclosure, I am one of the local IxDA Leaders, and the next events will be hosted by Activeark in November, and by Sitra in December.

Right after the IxDA, we had the pleasure of also having multimedia students from the Lahti Institute of Design drop by at the office for a bit of an introduction on what we do, how we do it and then of course a few concrete case studies. Nice easy start for the morning right there.

Every now & then, our website earns its perks by being either partially or just blatantly ripped off. For a designer, someone copying your work can be a compliment. However, sometimes copying takes such amounts of douchebaggery things get ridiculous. This time, some clever fellas decided to copy our site completely and make it ugly. How did we find out? They left our Google Analytics code intact in the source. Nice work!

And last but not least, public engagements: Playful was held in London in the week before the last. I was honored to be invited there along with the likes of scifi author Al Robertson, Lousie Downe, Last.fm’s Matt Sheret, Naughty Dog‘s Richard LeMarchand (the lead designer for the Uncharted PS3 game series) and probably the best, and most provocative speaker of the day Georgina Voss. For more, see the Wired article, the Playful website and check out my slides below. Our friends Third Wave Berlin wrote a nice blog post about it, too.

Last week, I also gave a talk about Urbanflow Helsinki and urban informatics at Helsinki City Hall as a part of a workshop aiming to redesign the city portal. Check out the slides below:

That’s it for now— til the next time!

Photo credit: 2 year old has been using the iPad by Teppo

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