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About Me

Found 23 results

  1. As soon as you step into the office of a company you can sense what kind of company it is. It's in the decoration, in the way people dress, the body language and in the eyes of everyone working there. That is because great companies have great attitude that go beyond just doing great work. It's a passion and a love for what they do that no amount of skill or hard work can match. I am sure you have felt it many times stepping into an office regardless of what business you are visiting: The stale and boring office where work is the only thing that matters where silent people stare at their computer screens with faces of stone that indicate a high performance company with little to no love for their employees. The bright and a little messy office where people talk and laugh, walking around with that enthusiastic light in the corner of the eye indicating a passionate company who cares about their employees. It's a vibration in the air, a smell of freshness and a soft light that seem to be around everyone that works there. It is as if everyone is just full of life and creativity. It is in companies that can maintain that passion that you will find the best value because everyone will go out of their way to make sure their clients not only get what they think they want, but also that they get what they need. It is also in these companies where change is always welcome and even encouraged. New ideas are born spontaneous without fear of rejection, no matter how silly or strange and everyone are open about their opinions on how things can be improved. This is where the employees come early and leave late and it's in companies like this where not all work is being charged because the people will work on it even when they are no longer at work. Not because they have to, but because they want to. I have had the great fortune of working for several companies having this great attitude. I also work with clients that have this same great attitude and the thing that they all have in common is that its easy to make changes and people are passionate and willing to make things better. These are the companies that grow and become successful, not because of the products or services they sell, but because people will go above and beyond to make success happen. I have also worked for companies that are the opposite. Stale and almost impossible to make changes happen, even if it's obvious to everyone that change is a necessity. Companies that treat people like numbers in a spreadsheet that use protocol and rules as ways to make others feel bad because they themselves are unhappy at work. The employees in these companies will never go the extra mile because they have learned that no one cares if they do and their passion have all but died inside them. So the next time you consider doing business with another company think about what you want from that business arrangement. Do you want someone that will just give you want you ask of them even if it may not be the best solution, or do you want someone that will be passionate about giving you the best possible solution, even if it's not exactly what you ask for? Do you want a silent grey production machine or someone that will work with you to get the best possible solution for your business? Greatness is just around the corner, you just need to have the courage to go for it.
  2. As soon as you step into the office of a company you can sense what kind of company it is. It's in the decoration, in the way people dress, the body language and in the eyes of everyone working there. That is because great companies have great attitude that go beyond just doing great work. It's a passion and a love for what they do that no amount of skill or hard work can match. I am sure you have felt it many times stepping into an office regardless of what business you are visiting: The stale and boring office where work is the only thing that matters where silent people stare at their computer screens with faces of stone that indicate a high performance company with little to no love for their employees. The bright and a little messy office where people talk and laugh, walking around with that enthusiastic light in the corner of the eye indicating a passionate company who cares about their employees. It's a vibration in the air, a smell of freshness and a soft light that seem to be around everyone that works there. It is as if everyone is just full of life and creativity. It is in companies that can maintain that passion that you will find the best value because everyone will go out of their way to make sure their clients not only get what they think they want, but also that they get what they need. It is also in these companies where change is always welcome and even encouraged. New ideas are born spontaneous without fear of rejection, no matter how silly or strange and everyone are open about their opinions on how things can be improved. This is where the employees come early and leave late and it's in companies like this where not all work is being charged because the people will work on it even when they are no longer at work. Not because they have to, but because they want to. I have had the great fortune of working for several companies having this great attitude. I also work with clients that have this same great attitude and the thing that they all have in common is that its easy to make changes and people are passionate and willing to make things better. These are the companies that grow and become successful, not because of the products or services they sell, but because people will go above and beyond to make success happen. I have also worked for companies that are the opposite. Stale and almost impossible to make changes happen, even if it's obvious to everyone that change is a necessity. Companies that treat people like numbers in a spreadsheet that use protocol and rules as ways to make others feel bad because they themselves are unhappy at work. The employees in these companies will never go the extra mile because they have learned that no one cares if they do and their passion have all but died inside them. So the next time you consider doing business with another company think about what you want from that business arrangement. Do you want someone that will just give you want you ask of them even if it may not be the best solution, or do you want someone that will be passionate about giving you the best possible solution, even if it's not exactly what you ask for? Do you want a silent grey production machine or someone that will work with you to get the best possible solution for your business? Greatness is just around the corner, you just need to have the courage to go for it. View full article
  3. In the world of e-commerce things are moving fast. We see new reports every day about how E-commerce is breaking new boundaries. Mobile E-commerce is overtaking the desktop, as king of the E-commerce according to reports and on the surface it looks like E-commerce is the tip of the spear and the cutting edge of modern commerce. That is not the case however and in many ways E-commerce industry is still in its infancy. I will give you some examples on what I mean. 1. Still see things like multi- and onmichannel as new concepts. It is quite remarkable that the concept of combining different channels into a whole is still something that most E-commerce companies struggle with. Despite the fact that E-commerce has been around for quite a while, many companies still consider this as a separate channel to be developed in parallel with their physical stores when looking at brick and mortar companies and the opposite for pure players that start with E-commerce and want to expand to physical stores. Like Johan Hallgårde writes in his articles about omnichannel it is not a new concept and its time that we stop looking at E-commerce as something different from regular commerce. It’s all commerce and omnichannel should not be a vision for the future, it should be at the core of every business decision made internally in all projects related to commerce. My best suggestion is to contact Johan Hallgårde and set up a inspiration day where he can elaborate on how you can move to the front of the competition by start thinking on your business as a whole and not a jigsaw puzzle. I assure you that you will not regret that decision. 2. Unrealistic belief in advertising agencies In the E-commerce industry, especially in the larger companies that comes from a marketing driven brick and mortar past, there is an unrealistic belief in advertising agencies. I say unrealistic because there is a belief that because a advertising agency excel in advertisement and print, that does not in any way mean that they have a clue about the web. Even if they do there is the fact that web design is not the same as E-commerce design that makes it even more unrealistic. The sad truth is that most of the larger companies want to work with a partner that they know can handle design and as they do not see the differences between the different mediums they often go for large print/web firms. I have seen, and I have heard of large, and small, E-commerce companies that did that and got a nice flashy website that did not convert half as well as the old one. As I am a graphic designer, web developer and Neuro web designer with many years experience in E-commerce I tend to get invited as external consultant to act as support to the design companies from time to time, or even asked to take the full responsibility of the design myself. With my background as a system scientist and frontend developer as well as business/Requirement analyst I find that this role is quite rewarding as I can utilize my full skill set in these situations. So if you need a hand in ensuring that the design you ordered is well suited for E-commerce, feel free to contact me and discuss the situation. 3. Focus on technology instead of users In every E-commerce project there are a great deal of technical aspects to consider and it’s natural to become internal and focus on “we need” instead of “they need”. As a requirement analyst I always have to ensure that workshops stay on the right level, as they tend to dive right down to the data mappings and API calls instead of the actual requirements. Sometimes that’s where they need to be, but a lot of times it is not. This is because the focus is on internal need where it’s all these nitty-gritty details that fill their day. Unless you are focusing on building E-commerce site for your own sake, for a few millions, it’s crucial to lift the eyes above the wall surrounding your office and look at the users that will actually use the E-commerce site. What do they want? How can we make our products or services irresistible and what does that mean for the project, regardless if it is a redesign project of a feature based project. At the end of the day the most important question you need to ask yourself is: whom do I build this for and do I really know what they want? This question is not just missing in E-commerce project but in most IT projects as well as the focus is on technology and not the users. The best way to take care of this problem is to ask the users. Set up workshops and interviews for internal usage and questionnaires, interviews and user testing for external users to create personas and hypothesis for a User Experience approach. 4. Interaction design instead of UX Because many projects focus on technology and not users many projects get stuck in the interaction design phase and have problems moving over to the UX phase where the real magic happen. I have seen projects where the aim has been to improve UX that failed completely. Not because the effort was not made or the competence was missing, but because the project worked on assumptions coming from stakeholders that did not match reality at all. Without understanding of the customers it’s impossible to work with UX because the very definition of UX is to improve the experience so it matches the users need. This is something that still seem to be unfamiliar and scary to many companies and in some cases it might even lead to a poor use of A/B testing as a substitute to communication. If you feel that you have not really communicated with your users or feel confident that you can describe your 3-5 most important types of users as well as the top least desirable type of users, then you are most likely stuck in the interaction design phase, or wasting money trying to A/B test things based on hunches. 5. Analyze but don’t talk to their customers Another thing that I see quite a lot is that companies spend a lot of time and money on setting up advanced tracking for their analytic system, but then either don’t know how to interpret the data or lack the communication with the users to improve the experience. Having a good setup and track what happen on the website is very important and fortunately many have started to realize this. Tracking data and interpret the data is however a very different matter and it takes an experience analyst to really be able to draw conclusions from the data. It is also quite a difference between noticing that something is wrong with say the checkout and be able to understand what the problem really is. In some cases it might be enough just to look at the troubled area, but most of the time you actually need to understand the users in order to understand the problem fully. The best way to solve that problem is to simply locate a few customers that match the personas of your most important user groups and then do a think-aloud test to get their opinions on the trouble areas. This is not an expensive test and it can give a lot of insight. If you feel that you are focusing more on internal requirements and that even if you analyze your customers you are still not communicating with them or really know whom they are, then feel free to contact me or my co-worker Åsa Jonsson to discuss what you can do about the situation today. These are just a few areas where the E-commerce industry is currently a bit behind in their thinking and where they seem stuck on old ways, seeing the E-commerce part of the business as a separate channel instead of a natural part of all their commerce. Other areas include mobile maturity, lack of understanding of accessibility causing exclusion of the disabled, poor understanding of neuromarketing for web and not capitalizing the power of copywrite and quality graphics. I thought I should cover those in another topic however since this turned out to be quite a long post already. If one of the topics above interests you, please let me know and I’ll focus on that for my next post.
  4. In most projects there is that one perfect moment when you look up from your screen and observe the team you are leading only to realize that they no longer need you. It is both terrifying and absolutely the best moment you can have. As a project manager I have my own style that comes from many aspects of my life. From my brief time in the military I bring my sense of protection of the people I lead and from my childhood upbringing I bring a desire to encourage and treat others with respect. On top of that I add a touch of my need to understand the things around me and a curiosity to learn new things. These things make me be the first one to start the workday and the last one to close my laptop at night. It is also the reason I gladly spend hours upon hours to make sure everything is prepared before my team start their work. Not because I want to control their work, but because I deeply feel that my single purpose as project manager is to make their life easier. In order to do that I will put my heart and soul into solving as many problems as possible before my team ever need to know that they exist. This so they can focus on the work at hand and on becoming more than just a group of people working together so they can become a team. I do not control my team, because I trust them completely and because I know that they work better if I give them the tools to manage themselves. In the beginning I steer the the team towards a work process I have used before and then I encourage the team to make changes together so we fine tune the process based on the need of the team. By focusing on their need and by making sure everyone feel that their voice is heard and respected the team grow towards a sense of unity. I give responsibilities and make sure everyone in the team is pushed a little bit beyond their abilities or comfort zone. Not to punish, but to help them grow as I am there to support and assist every step of the way should they feel insecure or have doubt. Then somewhere along the course of the project that perfect moment will happen. Usually when sitting at my desk on the outskirt of the team as I try to make sure the team sit closely together with me on the outside. In that moment it is like the sound of the room will change and become almost inaudible and as you look around you see the team engaged in work, helping each other or discussing solutions together. Instantly you feel that the team no longer need your guidance and you no longer need to help them find their place within the team. They are a team now and all the heard work to build that up is now over. There is a positive energy over the team and you will see them smile and laugh together and then returning to their work with an amazing focus and efficiency. In that moment there is a pride in your heart that threaten to bring you to tears. Not because of your accomplishments, but for theirs. As a proud parent you will see the growth of each of the team members and you will see how they take on responsibilities because they want to, not because they have to. They respect and protect each other as a team. It is in that moment you have accomplished the most important aspect of leading a group and that is that you have managed to make them all feel safe. Safe to speak their mind and safe to take on any task knowing that it is ok to fail and try again. Safe because everyone share the same vision and motivation and safe because that they all know that no matter what happen you will always be there for them and have their back should they need it. While you are no longer needed to guide them and to help them become a team, they still need you to be there to support them. Your role will change from that point on and you will spend less time managing and more time leading. Your team will look to you for decisions and clarifications, but other than that they are from that point on more than capable of managing their work on their own without you. It is truly one of the best feelings in the world.
  5. In most projects there is that one perfect moment when you look up from your screen and observe the team you are leading only to realize that they no longer need you. It is both terrifying and absolutely the best moment you can have. As a project manager I have my own style that comes from many aspects of my life. From my brief time in the military I bring my sense of protection of the people I lead and from my childhood upbringing I bring a desire to encourage and treat others with respect. On top of that I add a touch of my need to understand the things around me and a curiosity to learn new things. These things make me be the first one to start the workday and the last one to close my laptop at night. It is also the reason I gladly spend hours upon hours to make sure everything is prepared before my team start their work. Not because I want to control their work, but because I deeply feel that my single purpose as project manager is to make their life easier. In order to do that I will put my heart and soul into solving as many problems as possible before my team ever need to know that they exist. This so they can focus on the work at hand and on becoming more than just a group of people working together so they can become a team. I do not control my team, because I trust them completely and because I know that they work better if I give them the tools to manage themselves. In the beginning I steer the the team towards a work process I have used before and then I encourage the team to make changes together so we fine tune the process based on the need of the team. By focusing on their need and by making sure everyone feel that their voice is heard and respected the team grow towards a sense of unity. I give responsibilities and make sure everyone in the team is pushed a little bit beyond their abilities or comfort zone. Not to punish, but to help them grow as I am there to support and assist every step of the way should they feel insecure or have doubt. Then somewhere along the course of the project that perfect moment will happen. Usually when sitting at my desk on the outskirt of the team as I try to make sure the team sit closely together with me on the outside. In that moment it is like the sound of the room will change and become almost inaudible and as you look around you see the team engaged in work, helping each other or discussing solutions together. Instantly you feel that the team no longer need your guidance and you no longer need to help them find their place within the team. They are a team now and all the heard work to build that up is now over. There is a positive energy over the team and you will see them smile and laugh together and then returning to their work with an amazing focus and efficiency. In that moment there is a pride in your heart that threaten to bring you to tears. Not because of your accomplishments, but for theirs. As a proud parent you will see the growth of each of the team members and you will see how they take on responsibilities because they want to, not because they have to. They respect and protect each other as a team. It is in that moment you have accomplished the most important aspect of leading a group and that is that you have managed to make them all feel safe. Safe to speak their mind and safe to take on any task knowing that it is ok to fail and try again. Safe because everyone share the same vision and motivation and safe because that they all know that no matter what happen you will always be there for them and have their back should they need it. While you are no longer needed to guide them and to help them become a team, they still need you to be there to support them. Your role will change from that point on and you will spend less time managing and more time leading. Your team will look to you for decisions and clarifications, but other than that they are from that point on more than capable of managing their work on their own without you. It is truly one of the best feelings in the world. View full article
  6. Last Thursday I had my first meeting with the Claremont UX group that I am now a part of and it was one of those meetings where you just sit and go "wow" because your co-workers are just the greatest people you have ever met! While the UX part of Claremont is fairly new the people are sharp and experienced wizards for sure. The exchange of knowledge was through the roof and the level of discussion was at the highest level! It's been a while since I was not the sharpest UX mind in the room so sitting with these great minds was just amazing. I look forward to be a part of this group who truly is passionate about making the world a better place by making it as user friendly as possible. I see no limit to the amazing things that we can do together and my heart is just glowing with inspiration and passion right now. I can't wait to get to work on Monday! ... My new co-workers completely rocked my socks and it was epic!
  7. I have been meaning to write this for a while now and as my energy start to come back I feel it's time to express my admiration for the amazing Fjord Stockholm office and the people working there. I have had the pleasure of working not just with Fjord, but also sit with them in their Stockholm office for close to a year. In that time I have observed and learned a lot from how Fjord build their culture within the office and how it affect their work. A workplace can be many things and how it is structured and decorated have a great impact on how the people working there feel. Not just about themselves and the workplace, but also how the company itself are perceived. So if you want to know what kind of company you are dealing with you can just take a stroll through their office. As you probably know Fjord is a part of Accenture and for me that made things very interesting because Accenture is very strict as a company. A strict environment almost never fit a creative mind and Fjord is a melting pot of creativity, so how does that work for Fjord? Well, Fjord have solved this by taking the best parts of Accentures high standards for security and their values and built it as a core of their work. This core is then surrounded by a setting for creativity that is just amazing! Every where you go you will find places to sit or interact with. It can be a swing next to a window, a huge teddy bear that you can actually curl up in its lap. A VR set in the coffee area and kitchens that make for perfect work areas or places to chat for a while. Everything is carefully selected to be stylish and playful, but also as ways to trigger your minds creative processes even more. There are always things to look at with an odd shape, creations made from strange materials and you can find places to sit and work all over the place and not just around the working areas. In short it is amazing! On top of this very creative scenery you have people. People that are friendly, curious and oh so full of creativity and talent from all over the world. These people combined with the decoration of the office create an atmosphere that is very difficult to describe, but if you are a creative designer you probably just call it heaven. I will miss the Fjord Stockholm office, but I will do my best to make sure the Claremont office I am just starting to get to know will be equally great, if not even more so! It is a challenge, but one well worth to take on because the work place is where most of us spend a majority of our time throughout life, so it should be amazing! The Fjord Stockholm office have managed to create just such a working environment that truly make it one of the best working places in the world for creative creationists. Well done Fjord Stockholm!
  8. UX design, visual design, interaction design, creative technologist, GUI designer, usability consultant, information architect. The titles are endless these days and as someone who work with all of these pretty much every day I am starting to wonder if we are breaking things down to much these days, or if it is actually necessary to get things done? 10 years ago most of these titles were pretty uncommon, at least compared to the way they are used today. They still existed, they just were not as clearly defined and separated as they are today. Most just called themselves "designer" and that was pretty much ok. When I had my own design business there was no distinction between a visual designer or a UX designer for example because without the knowledge of one you can not do the job of another. Without knowing the information structure and the technical limitation of the platform I am designing for, I can not set the interaction design. Without the interaction design I can not set the UX and without the UX I can not set the visual design. It's not quite that linear as they all blend on multiple levels, but you get the idea. So for me these things are always connected and maybe that is why I never felt comfortable focusing on just one area. How can I best help a client if I do not understand the whole picture? How can I create a solution without understanding everything from psychology to visual principles to information architecture and interaction patterns in the different touch points in a customer journey? As the fields expand rapidly, just as they do for front end development, the information flow becomes almost unmanageable. Is this perhaps the reason why we see people that proclaim to be UX designers, visual designers or interaction designers? Or is it just that they still are "designers", but just focus on one area of expertise more than the other fields? Unfortunately I see a division, just like the division happening for the front end developers, where we have designers that put the creative power of the visual design as their only craft and others with the intellectual focus of interaction and psychology as a separate craft. I have been in projects where this division have worked fine and I have been in projects where this does absolutely does not work at all. It all depends on the people and the methodology where communication is always the key. As we dig deeper into the psychology of design and user behavior, for the web in general and e-commerce in particular, does this mean that it become to difficult to stay on top of the development in all these fields so a division of discipline is required? The tools we use suggest the opposite however and the borders between visual deign, interaction/UX design and even code becomes more and more blurred. So from a technical point of view we move towards where I was 10-15 years ago where you are doing just "design". As of now I am not really sure what is the best way moving forward. Is it better to have very focused individuals that form teams to get the full width of the design process? Or is it better to have less focused individuals that can handle the full range of disciplines on their own? What does this mean for methodologies and work processes, does it matter at all? What are your thoughts on this matter? What direction do you think we are headed and how do you feel about that?
  9. In the last weeks I have been occupied with the final preparations for leaving my old company. It has been a bit sad and difficult at times, but now as the final date have been set and the practical things been put into place I feel pretty good. It is strange how such a small thing as a date for my last working day in one company can be so important, while at the same time the first working day on another feel so distant. How my mind is unable to process one until the other has been clarified and decided. Now that it is settled I can enjoy the last weeks with my co-workers and friends and look forward to the new and exciting times ahead. The summer is slowly leaving room for autumn as the wheel of time continue to move. One thing must end for another to begin. I lift my cup of coffee and smile as another leaf fall from the tree outside. I am ready for another cycle.
  10. As I am leaving the current project, due to the fact that I am leaving for another company, other people are taking over my duties and I get less and less involvement in the work that I used to hold together as the spider in the web. This is very difficult as I am used to be the one in the center of all things and now I am on the outside. The new team lead do things differently and the process of change always leave a residue of confusion and every fiber in my body just want to step in and "fix" things. The thing is that there is nothing to "fix", it's just change and the fact that I no longer sit in the center of the project any more. The new team lead have things well under control and the project is doing just fine without me. The realization that you really are not that important is both liberating an a bit sad. On one hand I am glad because it means that I have succeeded in making myself obsolete and the team no longer have need of my guidance. They work just fine without me following the processes and workflows we have built together. On the other hand I feel a bit like a parent no longer being needed by their children and they move from home. Just in reverse as I am the one leaving. It's a bit sad to realize that you will no longer be the one they come for when they need help or the one they turn to for advice and comfort. “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” While this is a strange and sometime uncomfortable situation it is also a great opportunity to observe and learn from the new team lead and also to lift my gaze and look at things outside my part of the project. It's quite interesting and it's a very good learning experience, especially when you can pick up on body language. I see so many things now that I have not yet had time to observe before and it give me a wealth of new insights. So I am in a position right now that feels a bit weird, mostly because I am not just leaving the project, but the company as well. It's also sad as I have to much time to think about how much I will miss my team and my co-workers when I leave. Have you ever been in the same position and what did you learn from that?
  11. In your life you will spend more than half of your time at work and between traveling to and from work, social life, family life and every little curve ball life throw at you just to keep you on your toes, there is very little time left. If this is the only time you allow yourself to do what you love, then your life my not be what you want it to be. Work is such an important part of our lives and if you look at it as a way to make money and not as a way of living, then you might end up doing something you don't like. Considering that work is such a huge part of our lives I have always found that regardless if it pays well or not, my life always feel richer doing what I love. So my advice to you is to take a look inside your heart to see if it sing every time you go to work. If it does not, then consider what in your life makes your heart sing. What things would you do everyday even if you did not get paid for it? When you find that answer, regardless of what it is, then find a way to make that your living. It does not matter how stupid or crazy it may seem to others, or even yourself, if it makes you happy, others will want to share that feeling with you. It can be music, surfing, playing video games, taking care of others, creating strange artworks or doing maths. It can be running, designing clothes, make a difference in politics or making the perfect hamburger. It does not matter what your hearts desire is because as long as you follow that song in your heart you will be successful and you will get rich, but perhaps not on hard cold cash on the bank. When you do what you love as a profession you will find that the time you spend on work will be invigorating and working overtime become a thing of joy rather than a burden. You will find yourself smiling and laughing more and being more positive in general. This will spread to others so they to will feel better and more positive about their day. You will find that time passes slower as your mind will not just throw memories from work in the waste bin of your mind, but rather place it is the pleasure center in a place of honor. Every day will feel like an adventure and every day will feel like an accomplishment. Money might not be plentiful always, but as you sit at the end of life and look back at your days on this earth I guarantee you that no amount of money can compare to the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment you will feel when spending a lifetime loving your work. So please do not waste your life doing something you do not love. Find that thing that make you happy and just do that. It will not be easy, but I promise you it will be worth it. I believe in you.
  12. In the past 5 years I have been living my dream. I have been through a journey that far surpass all my dreams and I find myself in a position where I can look back with a happy smile and a heart filled with satisfaction. This is when I take the next step and try new things. I started almost 5 years ago as a Neurowebdesigner and since then I have held positions as designer, tester, project manager and many more. I have worked with large and small companies and I have had the privilege to work with some of the best minds in the world. It's safe to say that I have been truly blessed being able to learn from such greatness. As this summer begun I felt it was time for a change. For far to long have i restricted myself in terms of writing about my work, or rather the fields in which I do work as the work itself is mostly classified. I have my personal page where I so far have mixed personal topics with my professional topics. It has always bothered me a bit to not be able to have those separate and I have had a vision in my mind of what I want to do. Now it's time to make reality of that. In the past few days I have started to build the new website and after almost a week of tinkering I feel I am closing in on something that resemble what I want. It's a big site and the concept of building it around hubs of information and not in the standard blog-like fashion still feel a bit strange, but in a good way. I build this new site on Wordpress of course with Buddypress and BBpress as the community base, but it's the concept of hubs that makes it really fun to work with. I have divided the site into my areas of interest: Code, Design, E-commerce, Leadership, Quality, Security, Strategy and Tech. These will be the focal points of the site and then each area will be divided into additional hubs. For example I have a hub under Code called Code IDE which list the different IDE's like Webstorm. This hub will act as a list, while the Webstorm Hub will be a full hub with ratings, news, videos and so on. It's a bit abstract right now until I get things going, but I have the idea ready so now I just need to start adding content and fix the design. This new project that I call omniconsultant.se is just the first change of many coming my way this fall. I have another great surprise to share in a few weeks, but i need to keep it under wraps a little longer due to a promise. I will write here about the changes and if you feel like it, please follow me here or join me at omniconsultant.se. You can also follow Omniconsultant here on Linkedin and on Facebook of course. So, until next time...have a great summer!
  13. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to how to present your product on the product page is not how to actually show the product, it is how to sell it. I constantly see product pages with tons of bells and whistles. There are multiple product pictures or perhaps even a 3D model which is now getting more common. There are splashes for sales, discounts and campaigns. There are social media links and sharing capabilities. There are reviews, some better presented than others, and there are product attributes. The thing that I rarely see is: the selling text. How many e-commerce sites have you visited and looked at a nice product only to be served som SEO optimised text that just spit out keywords and attributes? Imagine for a moment that you ventured into a store and you see that same product. You walk up to it and just as you do that a sales clerk come up to you and start to talk: “ Stainless steel watch featuring textured dial border, contrasting chronograph subdials, and pebbled leather band with stitching. Quartz movement with analog display. Protective mineral crystal dial window. Features buckle closure, date window, stick hour markers, and blue second hand. Water-resistant to 300 feet (100 M): suitable for snorkeling, as well as swimming, but not diving.” I bet your first reaction would be to wonder why the sales clerk talk like that and then you would probably feel a bit uncomfortable because you would suspect that the person is a robot. No one talk like that, it’s simply not a very human like way to communicate. You probably already know that psychologically we tend to like things we can relate to, like people with similar taste in music, clothes or that look like us. Imagine if we instead write the text like if a real person would speak to us and see what happens: “This beautiful stainless steel watch have a nice textured dial border and the armband is actually handmade in Verona, Italy, that’s why the stitching have that special look. It was designed by the famous artist named Bruno DiMalo who is famous for his attention to the finest details and for his glass sculptures that are featured in many fashion magazines in Italy. In this particular piece he added contrasting chronograph subdials and a protective crystal dial window. The rumor has it that this watch was designed as a gift for a famous Italian actress and that is why the second hand is sapphire blue, just like her eyes, but also because of her love for the sea. Because of that love for the sea this fine watch can be used in water, but you should not dive too deep with it.” Suddenly we weave a story around the watch and if I have done my research on my customers this text should attract the customer and s/he can probably picture the city of Verona or some other Italian city in the mind. We add a feeling of luxury by tossing in words like handmade and then connect it’s origin to a celebrity. All of a sudden the selling text sound more appealing, even if I did not put a lot of effort into it. A skilled copywriter can surely do much better than this and it does not have to take a lot of time to write. So why not make a test, right now. Pick say 5 products that you are already measuring conversion for and re-write the selling text and weave a story around the product with the use of basic copywrite techniques. Match the story to fit your best selling usergroups and see what happen! If you do it right you should see a nice increase in conversion as you connect to your users, just by writing as a human and not as a robot. If you do, please let me know how your experiment turned out!
  14. In the last weeks I have been occupied with the final preparations for leaving my old company. It has been a bit sad and difficult at times, but now as the final date have been set and the practical things been put into place I feel pretty good. It is strange how such a small thing as a date for my last working day in one company can be so important, while at the same time the first working day on another feel so distant. How my mind is unable to process one until the other has been clarified and decided. Now that it is settled I can enjoy the last weeks with my co-workers and friends and look forward to the new and exciting times ahead. The summer is slowly leaving room for autumn as the wheel of time continue to move. One thing must end for another to begin. I lift my cup of coffee and smile as another leaf fall from the tree outside. I am ready for another cycle. View full article
  15. As I am leaving the current project, due to the fact that I am leaving for another company, other people are taking over my duties and I get less and less involvement in the work that I used to hold together as the spider in the web. This is very difficult as I am used to be the one in the center of all things and now I am on the outside. The new team lead do things differently and the process of change always leave a residue of confusion and every fiber in my body just want to step in and "fix" things. The thing is that there is nothing to "fix", it's just change and the fact that I no longer sit in the center of the project any more. The new team lead have things well under control and the project is doing just fine without me. The realization that you really are not that important is both liberating an a bit sad. On one hand I am glad because it means that I have succeeded in making myself obsolete and the team no longer have need of my guidance. They work just fine without me following the processes and workflows we have built together. On the other hand I feel a bit like a parent no longer being needed by their children and they move from home. Just in reverse as I am the one leaving. It's a bit sad to realize that you will no longer be the one they come for when they need help or the one they turn to for advice and comfort. “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” While this is a strange and sometime uncomfortable situation it is also a great opportunity to observe and learn from the new team lead and also to lift my gaze and look at things outside my part of the project. It's quite interesting and it's a very good learning experience, especially when you can pick up on body language. I see so many things now that I have not yet had time to observe before and it give me a wealth of new insights. So I am in a position right now that feels a bit weird, mostly because I am not just leaving the project, but the company as well. It's also sad as I have to much time to think about how much I will miss my team and my co-workers when I leave. Have you ever been in the same position and what did you learn from that? View full article
  16. Last Thursday I had my first meeting with the Claremont UX group that I am now a part of and it was one of those meetings where you just sit and go "wow" because your co-workers are just the greatest people you have ever met! While the UX part of Claremont is fairly new the people are sharp and experienced wizards for sure. The exchange of knowledge was through the roof and the level of discussion was at the highest level! It's been a while since I was not the sharpest UX mind in the room so sitting with these great minds was just amazing. I look forward to be a part of this group who truly is passionate about making the world a better place by making it as user friendly as possible. I see no limit to the amazing things that we can do together and my heart is just glowing with inspiration and passion right now. I can't wait to get to work on Monday! ... My new co-workers completely rocked my socks and it was epic! View full article
  17. I have been meaning to write this for a while now and as my energy start to come back I feel it's time to express my admiration for the amazing Fjord Stockholm office and the people working there. I have had the pleasure of working not just with Fjord, but also sit with them in their Stockholm office for close to a year. In that time I have observed and learned a lot from how Fjord build their culture within the office and how it affect their work. A workplace can be many things and how it is structured and decorated have a great impact on how the people working there feel. Not just about themselves and the workplace, but also how the company itself are perceived. So if you want to know what kind of company you are dealing with you can just take a stroll through their office. As you probably know Fjord is a part of Accenture and for me that made things very interesting because Accenture is very strict as a company. A strict environment almost never fit a creative mind and Fjord is a melting pot of creativity, so how does that work for Fjord? Well, Fjord have solved this by taking the best parts of Accentures high standards for security and their values and built it as a core of their work. This core is then surrounded by a setting for creativity that is just amazing! Every where you go you will find places to sit or interact with. It can be a swing next to a window, a huge teddy bear that you can actually curl up in its lap. A VR set in the coffee area and kitchens that make for perfect work areas or places to chat for a while. Everything is carefully selected to be stylish and playful, but also as ways to trigger your minds creative processes even more. There are always things to look at with an odd shape, creations made from strange materials and you can find places to sit and work all over the place and not just around the working areas. In short it is amazing! On top of this very creative scenery you have people. People that are friendly, curious and oh so full of creativity and talent from all over the world. These people combined with the decoration of the office create an atmosphere that is very difficult to describe, but if you are a creative designer you probably just call it heaven. I will miss the Fjord Stockholm office, but I will do my best to make sure the Claremont office I am just starting to get to know will be equally great, if not even more so! It is a challenge, but one well worth to take on because the work place is where most of us spend a majority of our time throughout life, so it should be amazing! The Fjord Stockholm office have managed to create just such a working environment that truly make it one of the best working places in the world for creative creationists. Well done Fjord Stockholm! View full article
  18. UX design, visual design, interaction design, creative technologist, GUI designer, usability consultant, information architect. The titles are endless these days and as someone who work with all of these pretty much every day I am starting to wonder if we are breaking things down to much these days, or if it is actually necessary to get things done? 10 years ago most of these titles were pretty uncommon, at least compared to the way they are used today. They still existed, they just were not as clearly defined and separated as they are today. Most just called themselves "designer" and that was pretty much ok. When I had my own design business there was no distinction between a visual designer or a UX designer for example because without the knowledge of one you can not do the job of another. Without knowing the information structure and the technical limitation of the platform I am designing for, I can not set the interaction design. Without the interaction design I can not set the UX and without the UX I can not set the visual design. It's not quite that linear as they all blend on multiple levels, but you get the idea. So for me these things are always connected and maybe that is why I never felt comfortable focusing on just one area. How can I best help a client if I do not understand the whole picture? How can I create a solution without understanding everything from psychology to visual principles to information architecture and interaction patterns in the different touch points in a customer journey? As the fields expand rapidly, just as they do for front end development, the information flow becomes almost unmanageable. Is this perhaps the reason why we see people that proclaim to be UX designers, visual designers or interaction designers? Or is it just that they still are "designers", but just focus on one area of expertise more than the other fields? Unfortunately I see a division, just like the division happening for the front end developers, where we have designers that put the creative power of the visual design as their only craft and others with the intellectual focus of interaction and psychology as a separate craft. I have been in projects where this division have worked fine and I have been in projects where this does absolutely does not work at all. It all depends on the people and the methodology where communication is always the key. As we dig deeper into the psychology of design and user behavior, for the web in general and e-commerce in particular, does this mean that it become to difficult to stay on top of the development in all these fields so a division of discipline is required? The tools we use suggest the opposite however and the borders between visual deign, interaction/UX design and even code becomes more and more blurred. So from a technical point of view we move towards where I was 10-15 years ago where you are doing just "design". As of now I am not really sure what is the best way moving forward. Is it better to have very focused individuals that form teams to get the full width of the design process? Or is it better to have less focused individuals that can handle the full range of disciplines on their own? What does this mean for methodologies and work processes, does it matter at all? What are your thoughts on this matter? What direction do you think we are headed and how do you feel about that? View full article
  19. I have the best work in the world as I get to be a part of building incredible E-commerce solutions along side with awesome people from all over the world. For the past 10+ years my heart has been singing with joy and I have been reluctant to leave work at night and eager to get back to it in the morning. As vacation is nearing it's end my heart does not sing as loud as it used to... There is a cloud muffling the song of joy inside me while at the same time another song is slowly building up. In my mind a thousand things fly by as always, but one thought have slowly been overshadowing them all during the vacation: I am leaving my current work for another. This might seem trivial to some, but to me leaving my current company fill my heart with sadness. It has been my home and my extended family for five wonderful years and I have loved every single moment of my time here. The people I work with are the best in the world and there is a bond between us that I can not really explain. We truly care for each other and our clients and that special feeling that I have every time I come to work has made a world of difference for me. Despite this I have made the decision to move on. A new company will be my home this fall and that fill my heart with excitement. A new beginning with new people that I get to know, a different focus and a different model for salary. These things fuel my passion for what I do and I very much look forward to the challenges ahead. Still I struggle with the two feelings of sadness from saying goodbye to my current colleagues and the joy of starting something new and exciting with another company. So my heart does not sing as loud as it used at the idea of getting back to work on Monday. It is with sadness I do my last weeks at my current company as I will have to leave behind so many awesome co-workers and friends even though I take comfort in knowing they will keep things awesome long after I am gone. It is with joy I look forward to the new challenges ahead and i know that it is just a matter of time before that song return again as loud as before. I need this change as I need to challenge myself to grow, but right now it hurt a bit. All things in life changes and change never comes without pain. I move forward, towards new challenges and new experiences. To hear that song return again, louder and stronger. View full article
  20. In your life you will spend more than half of your time at work and between traveling to and from work, social life, family life and every little curve ball life throw at you just to keep you on your toes, there is very little time left. If this is the only time you allow yourself to do what you love, then your life my not be what you want it to be. Work is such an important part of our lives and if you look at it as a way to make money and not as a way of living, then you might end up doing something you don't like. Considering that work is such a huge part of our lives I have always found that regardless if it pays well or not, my life always feel richer doing what I love. So my advice to you is to take a look inside your heart to see if it sing every time you go to work. If it does not, then consider what in your life makes your heart sing. What things would you do everyday even if you did not get paid for it? When you find that answer, regardless of what it is, then find a way to make that your living. It does not matter how stupid or crazy it may seem to others, or even yourself, if it makes you happy, others will want to share that feeling with you. It can be music, surfing, playing video games, taking care of others, creating strange artworks or doing maths. It can be running, designing clothes, make a difference in politics or making the perfect hamburger. It does not matter what your hearts desire is because as long as you follow that song in your heart you will be successful and you will get rich, but perhaps not on hard cold cash on the bank. When you do what you love as a profession you will find that the time you spend on work will be invigorating and working overtime become a thing of joy rather than a burden. You will find yourself smiling and laughing more and being more positive in general. This will spread to others so they to will feel better and more positive about their day. You will find that time passes slower as your mind will not just throw memories from work in the waste bin of your mind, but rather place it is the pleasure center in a place of honor. Every day will feel like an adventure and every day will feel like an accomplishment. Money might not be plentiful always, but as you sit at the end of life and look back at your days on this earth I guarantee you that no amount of money can compare to the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment you will feel when spending a lifetime loving your work. So please do not waste your life doing something you do not love. Find that thing that make you happy and just do that. It will not be easy, but I promise you it will be worth it. I believe in you. View full article
  21. In the past 5 years I have been living my dream. I have been through a journey that far surpass all my dreams and I find myself in a position where I can look back with a happy smile and a heart filled with satisfaction. This is when I take the next step and try new things. I started almost 5 years ago as a Neurowebdesigner and since then I have held positions as designer, tester, project manager and many more. I have worked with large and small companies and I have had the privilege to work with some of the best minds in the world. It's safe to say that I have been truly blessed being able to learn from such greatness. As this summer begun I felt it was time for a change. For far to long have i restricted myself in terms of writing about my work, or rather the fields in which I do work as the work itself is mostly classified. I have my personal page where I so far have mixed personal topics with my professional topics. It has always bothered me a bit to not be able to have those separate and I have had a vision in my mind of what I want to do. Now it's time to make reality of that. In the past few days I have started to build the new website and after almost a week of tinkering I feel I am closing in on something that resemble what I want. It's a big site and the concept of building it around hubs of information and not in the standard blog-like fashion still feel a bit strange, but in a good way. I build this new site on Wordpress of course with Buddypress and BBpress as the community base, but it's the concept of hubs that makes it really fun to work with. I have divided the site into my areas of interest: Code, Design, E-commerce, Leadership, Quality, Security, Strategy and Tech. These will be the focal points of the site and then each area will be divided into additional hubs. For example I have a hub under Code called Code IDE which list the different IDE's like Webstorm. This hub will act as a list, while the Webstorm Hub will be a full hub with ratings, news, videos and so on. It's a bit abstract right now until I get things going, but I have the idea ready so now I just need to start adding content and fix the design. This new project that I call omniconsultant.se is just the first change of many coming my way this fall. I have another great surprise to share in a few weeks, but i need to keep it under wraps a little longer due to a promise. I will write here about the changes and if you feel like it, please follow me here or join me at omniconsultant.se. You can also follow Omniconsultant here on Linkedin and on Facebook of course. So, until next time...have a great summer! View full article
  22. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to how to present your product on the product page is not how to actually show the product, it is how to sell it. I constantly see product pages with tons of bells and whistles. There are multiple product pictures or perhaps even a 3D model which is now getting more common. There are splashes for sales, discounts and campaigns. There are social media links and sharing capabilities. There are reviews, some better presented than others, and there are product attributes. The thing that I rarely see is: the selling text. How many e-commerce sites have you visited and looked at a nice product only to be served som SEO optimised text that just spit out keywords and attributes? Imagine for a moment that you ventured into a store and you see that same product. You walk up to it and just as you do that a sales clerk come up to you and start to talk: “ Stainless steel watch featuring textured dial border, contrasting chronograph subdials, and pebbled leather band with stitching. Quartz movement with analog display. Protective mineral crystal dial window. Features buckle closure, date window, stick hour markers, and blue second hand. Water-resistant to 300 feet (100 M): suitable for snorkeling, as well as swimming, but not diving.” I bet your first reaction would be to wonder why the sales clerk talk like that and then you would probably feel a bit uncomfortable because you would suspect that the person is a robot. No one talk like that, it’s simply not a very human like way to communicate. You probably already know that psychologically we tend to like things we can relate to, like people with similar taste in music, clothes or that look like us. Imagine if we instead write the text like if a real person would speak to us and see what happens: “This beautiful stainless steel watch have a nice textured dial border and the armband is actually handmade in Verona, Italy, that’s why the stitching have that special look. It was designed by the famous artist named Bruno DiMalo who is famous for his attention to the finest details and for his glass sculptures that are featured in many fashion magazines in Italy. In this particular piece he added contrasting chronograph subdials and a protective crystal dial window. The rumour has it that this watch was designed as a gift for a famous Italian actress and that is why the second hand is sapphire blue, just like her eyes, but also because of her love for the sea. Because of that love for the sea this fine watch can be used in water, but you should not dive too deep with it.” Suddenly we weave a story around the watch and if I have done my research on my customers this text should attract the customer and s/he can probably picture the city of Verona or some other Italian city in the mind. We add a feeling of luxury by tossing in words like handmade and then connect it’s origin to a celebrity. All of a sudden the selling text sound more appealing, even if I did not put a lot of effort into it. A skilled copywriter can surely do much better than this and it does not have to take a lot of time to write. So why not make a test, right now. Pick say 5 products that you are already measuring conversion for and re-write the selling text and weave a story around the product with the use of basic copywrite techniques. Match the story to fit your best selling usergroups and see what happen! If you do it right you should see a nice increase in conversion as you connect to your users, just by writing as a human and not as a robot. If you do, please let me know how your experiment turned out! View full article
  23. In the world of e-commerce things are moving fast. We see new reports every day about how E-commerce is breaking new boundaries. Mobile E-commerce is overtaking the desktop, as king of the E-commerce according to reports and on the surface it looks like E-commerce is the tip of the spear and the cutting edge of modern commerce. That is not the case however and in many ways E-commerce industry is still in its infancy. I will give you some examples on what I mean. 1. Still see things like multi- and onmichannel as new concepts. It is quite remarkable that the concept of combining different channels into a whole is still something that most E-commerce companies struggle with. Despite the fact that E-commerce has been around for quite a while, many companies still consider this as a separate channel to be developed in parallel with their physical stores when looking at brick and mortar companies and the opposite for pure players that start with E-commerce and want to expand to physical stores. Like Johan Hallgårde writes in his articles about omnichannel it is not a new concept and its time that we stop looking at E-commerce as something different from regular commerce. It’s all commerce and omnichannel should not be a vision for the future, it should be at the core of every business decision made internally in all projects related to commerce. My best suggestion is to contact Johan Hallgårde and set up a inspiration day where he can elaborate on how you can move to the front of the competition by start thinking on your business as a whole and not a jigsaw puzzle. I assure you that you will not regret that decision. 2. Unrealistic belief in advertising agencies In the E-commerce industry, especially in the larger companies that comes from a marketing driven brick and mortar past, there is an unrealistic belief in advertising agencies. I say unrealistic because there is a belief that because a advertising agency excel in advertisement and print, that does not in any way mean that they have a clue about the web. Even if they do there is the fact that web design is not the same as E-commerce design that makes it even more unrealistic. The sad truth is that most of the larger companies want to work with a partner that they know can handle design and as they do not see the differences between the different mediums they often go for large print/web firms. I have seen, and I have heard of large, and small, E-commerce companies that did that and got a nice flashy website that did not convert half as well as the old one. As I am a graphic designer, web developer and Neuro web designer with many years experience in E-commerce I tend to get invited as external consultant to act as support to the design companies from time to time, or even asked to take the full responsibility of the design myself. With my background as a system scientist and frontend developer as well as business/Requirement analyst I find that this role is quite rewarding as I can utilize my full skill set in these situations. So if you need a hand in ensuring that the design you ordered is well suited for E-commerce, feel free to contact me and discuss the situation. 3. Focus on technology instead of users In every E-commerce project there are a great deal of technical aspects to consider and it’s natural to become internal and focus on “we need” instead of “they need”. As a requirement analyst I always have to ensure that workshops stay on the right level, as they tend to dive right down to the data mappings and API calls instead of the actual requirements. Sometimes that’s where they need to be, but a lot of times it is not. This is because the focus is on internal need where it’s all these nitty-gritty details that fill their day. Unless you are focusing on building E-commerce site for your own sake, for a few millions, it’s crucial to lift the eyes above the wall surrounding your office and look at the users that will actually use the E-commerce site. What do they want? How can we make our products or services irresistible and what does that mean for the project, regardless if it is a redesign project of a feature based project. At the end of the day the most important question you need to ask yourself is: whom do I build this for and do I really know what they want? This question is not just missing in E-commerce project but in most IT projects as well as the focus is on technology and not the users. The best way to take care of this problem is to ask the users. Set up workshops and interviews for internal usage and questionnaires, interviews and user testing for external users to create personas and hypothesis for a User Experience approach. 4. Interaction design instead of UX Because many projects focus on technology and not users many projects get stuck in the interaction design phase and have problems moving over to the UX phase where the real magic happen. I have seen projects where the aim has been to improve UX that failed completely. Not because the effort was not made or the competence was missing, but because the project worked on assumptions coming from stakeholders that did not match reality at all. Without understanding of the customers it’s impossible to work with UX because the very definition of UX is to improve the experience so it matches the users need. This is something that still seem to be unfamiliar and scary to many companies and in some cases it might even lead to a poor use of A/B testing as a substitute to communication. If you feel that you have not really communicated with your users or feel confident that you can describe your 3-5 most important types of users as well as the top least desirable type of users, then you are most likely stuck in the interaction design phase, or wasting money trying to A/B test things based on hunches. 5. Analyze but don’t talk to their customers Another thing that I see quite a lot is that companies spend a lot of time and money on setting up advanced tracking for their analytic system, but then either don’t know how to interpret the data or lack the communication with the users to improve the experience. Having a good setup and track what happen on the website is very important and fortunately many have started to realize this. Tracking data and interpret the data is however a very different matter and it takes an experience analyst to really be able to draw conclusions from the data. It is also quite a difference between noticing that something is wrong with say the checkout and be able to understand what the problem really is. In some cases it might be enough just to look at the troubled area, but most of the time you actually need to understand the users in order to understand the problem fully. The best way to solve that problem is to simply locate a few customers that match the personas of your most important user groups and then do a think-aloud test to get their opinions on the trouble areas. This is not an expensive test and it can give a lot of insight. If you feel that you are focusing more on internal requirements and that even if you analyze your customers you are still not communicating with them or really know whom they are, then feel free to contact me or my co-worker Åsa Jonsson to discuss what you can do about the situation today. These are just a few areas where the E-commerce industry is currently a bit behind in their thinking and where they seem stuck on old ways, seeing the E-commerce part of the business as a separate channel instead of a natural part of all their commerce. Other areas include mobile maturity, lack of understanding of accessibility causing exclusion of the disabled, poor understanding of neuromarketing for web and not capitalizing the power of copywrite and quality graphics. I thought I should cover those in another topic however since this turned out to be quite a long post already. If one of the topics above interests you, please let me know and I’ll focus on that for my next post. View full article
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