Hi Otto. Can you tell us a little about your background and work at Digital Foodie?
I have designed digital services professionally since 2000. Before starting at Digital Foodie in the beginning of 2010, I had my own design agency for seven years. All this time I’ve mostly been involved with user interface design. At Digital Foodie, I’m responsible for all design, both the services and the user interfaces we provide our customers as well as the brand and visual identity of our company.
What made you become a designer?
For me the most important thing about designing is the ability to create something that has the power to affect and increase people’s quality of life. Although visuality is an important factor in design, my primary interest is not on what happens on the surface or how something looks. Instead, the most essential part are the actions users take, and most importantly, why they take them. I want to create things from the service point of view, so that hopefully we’re able to impact people’s lives in a positive way.
What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing for me is the trust and responsibility involved in my work. I have the opportunity of doing things the way I feel is best for the company, and I’m trusted to do so. This doesn’t mean that we don’t discuss the decisions or work as a team, we do. However, the frames I’m given are flexible, allowing me space to use my judgement on how things are implemented. In our company, freedom and responsibility go hand-in-hand as they should, and this is something I really appreciate.
The value of design can be summarised by how well it accentuates the best qualities of our software and how well is reduces the inconvenience of the end user.
What are the biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge has got to be myself, and the environment I work in. Working in the same circumstances for a long time can easily lead to setting in one’s ways, doing things the way they’ve always been done. That is something you have to acknowledge and fight. It is so important to remember to question things and take time to look for new angles. Time is of course always a challenge, but in my work there will always be more work than time so that’s not going to change. In this profession, the line between work and free time is very thin cause your thoughts will follow you anyway.
What kind of role does design play at Digital Foodie?
The role of design in any software company really is to act as a multiplier for the core business. Great design is there to elevate the value of the services we provide and highlight our core technologies. Nowadays great design is a must as the competition is fierce. At the same time, it has to reduce the pain the users perceive while using our products. The value of design can be summarised by how well it accentuates the best qualities of our software and how well is reduces the inconvenience of the end user.