I would like to highlight a few projects that I feel have shaped me as a product person and designer up to now. These may not all be what you typically see in UX portfolio but don’t worry there are some more pretty pictures as well.
GRID.IS aims to replace traditional spreadsheet software in everyday numbers work. The application allows the user to work with new or existing data in the form of spreadsheets or databases like Notion or Airtable and create stunning interactive presentations and documents.
Being a part of a world class design team of visual designers and UX experts allowed me to put focus on the more complex UX problems and come up with novel intuitive flows to make traditionally tedious work effortless.
As spreadsheet software has been around for a while now, people tend to use them for a very wide variety of applications. In many cases those uses are way beyond their original intended purpose and the apps have grown to have a steep learning curve and complex interfaces. This leaves a big portion of the users limited to only the basic functions and requires significant time invested to gain the full potential.
The wide spectrum of users and use cases put a big pressure on the team to come up with flexible designs and to make sure that the right problem was being tackled at the right time.
Working on a live product means that many individual challenges are being tackled at each time and it is hard point to any one thing. But here are a few that I am proud of:
GAMEFACE will perform instant video footage analysis to bring you key events and insights from the match. Track every aspect of the match for any sport, including player tracking, ball tracking and match events such as goals, assists, shot on goals, passing patterns and team formations all in real time.
GAMEFACEI contracted me along with Noise Studio to design the interface for their sports analytics platform. My role as the UX expert was to come up with flows and to establish the UX structure of the platform.
The platform is meant to serve very different actors from team managers to analyst to coaches and individual athletes. This meant not only taking into account different user privileges but also the very different needs of the different users.
The platform is intended to be used for live game analytics but also for preparing presentation material and in depth analysis.
The previous implementation involved multiple different views with differing patterns and mental models. Some parts of the workflow would only be completed in a separate application and the deliverable output was limited to only the analytics view.
After initial mapping of the previous implementation and the technical capabilities of the product we set to work on mapping the new product flow with the aim to create a consistent experience from initial analysis to deliverable presentations and videos.
From there we defined the functions available in each section and delivered simple wireframes and prototypes.
These were then further refined into detailed prototypes
The primary focus was on keeping consistent patterns and mental models throughout and to minimize the mental load on the user while still keeping the platform flexible enough to serve the different actors.
Think Outside’s mobile radar and AI technology allows a totally new way of gathering data and insights about snow conditions and properties.
I joined the team to work on the design of the physical product. Being a small startup team I quickly became a part of the core team defining the product vision and brand strategy. As things progressed I led efforts to discover the multiple layers of user needs and to define the experience towards different stakeholders.
One of the biggest UX challenges for Sknow was the fact that the hardware/software combo would be used in a pretty tough environment. Cold weather, gloved hands, bright sun, and wind noise make any type of interaction a challenge.
Another major challenge was the fact that our AI tech would need a large set of data before our predictions could be accurate. This meant we would need to get units in to the hands of users and out in the field before the sensor could add much value.
The danger of providing “false safety” to users and leading to more dangerous behaviour was a big concern from the snow expert side. This is a textbook objection to any “blue ocean” safety product but proved to be a critical point in our story.
Distilling it We found early on in our user discovery process that our key stakeholders would be from very different experience levels. On the one hand we would be serving a market of novice to intermediate level skiers often with relatively little snow safety knowledge. On the other hand we found that we could provide immense value to snow professionals with previously unavailable data density.
While shadowing skiers over longer tours we also discovered patterns in how they would use available data to plan their tours and assess snow safety. The majority of interactions would happen the night before or on the car ride to the trailhead. There is always the safety check at the trailhead or (more commonly we found) halfway up. That selfie moment mid trail might also be used to check the bulletin and forecast.
Solving it We decided to attack the major challenges by giving the two opposite user groups a tool for sharing data and insights. The Sknow app would function as a tour planning tool for the enthusiasts where they could view the snow conditions and see proposed trails based on conditions and preferences.
For the snow experts the app would function as tool to log and share their observations. In this way the app would inspire the user to gather info about snow safety and connect the everyday backcountry skier with local snow experts.
Both groups would add to the dataset through the use of the app, with or without the connected sensor. This would allow us speed up the AI training process and at the same time providing incremental value to the users.
Post Sknow In early 2020 we were forced to admit that the recreational skier market might not be lucrative enough to support the development needed for the AI-powered sensor technology and made a dramatic pivot towards the hydropower and agricultural sector. At the same time, we joined Techstars Mobility accelerator in Torino Italy.
Alongside our fast-paced customer discovery process for the new sectors. I continued to deliver product concepts for industrial services. Including in the field utilities as well as dashboard.
This is one of many projects we ran at Rafnar. Each of these projects had their own unique challenge but this one is a good example of how we approached user in each case.
My role As the design director for Rafnar I was responsible for a team of designers and engineers working on several parallel projects. I took this design challenge on along with a small team of interns, pulling on the rest of the team when needed.
The approach We started off by interviewing a handful of fishermen, naval architects and boatbuilders to get a feel for the personas. We found, to little surprise that the group was sceptical of the value of design in fishing vessels and focus on practicality and empirical solutions was high. In reality the actual answers given where of little value but the discussions gave some insight into where the actual pain points might be found.
The next step was to probe deeper. We filtered our little panel into a couple of seasoned fishermen that we could interact even closer with. That meant getting up at 4 in the morning to get down and dirty. That’s me on the right there, severely seasick taking note of how the guys interacted on the boat.
Solution After some in depth interviews and observations we decided to focus on improving the interaction between the crew members during the different parts of the trip as well as designing around safety.
The weather is a major factor in this environment and it was essential to provide shelter while at the same time keeping the area as open as possible to improve the workflow and communication.
We built several full scale mockups of the areas, played out the scenarios and invited fishermen in for discussions.
In the end we settled on an open plan were the crew could transition between the outside and inside space to grab a coffee or interact with the helmsman without the need to remove their oilskins. The environment was planned so the helmsman and crew could interact seamlessly while pulling nets to minimise any danger. Every surface was designed with affordances to guide the crew safely around the area while providing plenty of grip and grab holds for when the xxxx hits the fan.
Post F15 The fishing vessel was never finalised but the project laid the ground for future projects and the methods were repeated in the design of boats for the Icelandic coastguard and iceSAR.
The strong focus on the user has also spun off a couple of startups focusing on the user experience of high speed boats.
The year is 2008
Me and a fellow student (Anders Hellberg) were commissioned to come up with some nice interface ideas for a touch screen desk phone ( “an Iphone for the desk” they said) . After reading the brief and conducting a few interviews we countered with our manifesto for the desktop communication tool.
Even if this was officially a short school project we decided to go deep and try to provide some real life value. We set off conducting user studies in three countries (Anders was in Sweden, I was in Iceland and the client in the US) gathering data on how people interacted not only with their phones but also what other forms of scheduling and communication took place in connection with the phone calls.
From the research we identified several personas that we used throughout the project. We created usage sequences that would illustrate how the different personas used office communications throughout the day.
The final deliverables were in the form of 4 different Flash prototypes (I used to be Flash wizard back in the old times) with very different interaction models.
We deliberately went with off brand graphics to draw focus to the ideas and allow the clients designers to reimagine the concepts within their brand.