Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our New Site Is Live at

Our new site is the one stop for all things Hyper Island - including this blog. The new site has a news/article section which will serve the type of content that you've seen here brillianty.

We're considering this blog's destiny. Perhaps you have feedback on what and if it should remain? Let us know!

Hyper Island

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our New Website & Brand Update Coming Soon

We're super excited to roll out the first phase of two major projects that have been going on at Hyper Island - a brand update and a new website. 

Here's a quick break down of the two projects and what we've been up to.

About a year ago, a mixed team of coworkers from different parts of Hyper Island started working on evolving the Hyper Island brand. While our branding worked ok, it lacked the great personality that characterize all our students, coworkers, partners and friends. We needed to fresh things up with clear guidelines and good templates to enable people to communicate through the Hyper Island brand. We decided to get feedback from everyone who loves Hyper Island to help us really pinpoint our image, personality and soul.

This vision of doing it together materialized in some crowd-sourcing - the survey. More than 1000 dedicated people gave us their input and a great foundation to base the work on when identifying our collected soul. In addition, we spent a day with all coworkers (who brought in plenty of input from students and partners) to really nail things down. 

This has now generated a revamp of the Hyper Island brand which is currently being finalized and will be released on an ongoing basis. We're not doing a new logo or anything huge, it's more to be considered a freshening up of the brand. We'll introduce a few new colors, a few new fonts, a social word mark and guidelines and templates to enable us to be more effective and more awesome.

Along the branding process, we've had some great help from our friends at Doberman and Area 17.

It's no secret that we've had a problematic website presence for quite some time. In May last year, we decided to start working on changing it and we created a mixed web team to create the new site. We started by outlining our needs from a business perspective, and soon after listening to all major target audiences in focus groups to see what your needs were.

We got a lot of great input and started looking for someone to build the website. Area17 became our choice with an impressive portfolio and overall good feeling and in December 2011 and we started working collaboratively on a scope of work. First the architecture, follow by art direction and design with a parallel process on technology aspects of the website happened simultaneously.

One consistent finding from alumni and students in the research we did was the possibility to "show who you are and what you do" which isn't working well on our current site and the student directory. This is now a core aspect of the entire website experience. We have a rich profile experience that is using 3rd party content to aggregate a dynamic profile utilizing content from places online which you're already at. This line of thinking will show Hyper Island's core; the people, as a central aspect in our communication.

We view the website as we believe one should view sites today, a work in progress that we'll always develop further to accommodate your and our needs. 

Please contact me directly if you have any Qs regarding this.
We’re looking forward to take Hyper Island to the next level with you!

Charlotte Sundåker (@charlottisch), Marketing Director

+ Brand Team
Åsa Silfverberg 

Martina Lindgren

Lucas Stoffel

+ Website team
David Stypulkowski

Sveinung Skaalnes

Lucas Stoffel 

Christian Olsson

Christina Andersson

Website sneak peek.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Interview with the Team Behind

Five Hyper Island Mobile Applications students joined forces and created - a platform for mobile designers to show their designs. is getting a lot of love with thousands of daily visitors. Here's a fresh interview with the team:

Introduce yourselves!
Alexander Auld: Panoramic,  project manager and founder from New Zealand. @aauldy
Holger Sindbaek: Bitchie, back-end developer and founder from Denmark. @HolgerSindbaek
Marcus Andersson: Fearless, Front-end Develeper from Sweden. @andersson_ma
Aksyl Dybdal: Invincible, iOs-developer from Norway. @axldyb
Zebastian Zattberg: Instictive, illustrator from Sweden. @Zattberg

Tell us about
We set out to build the best place imaginable for mobile designers to show off their amazing designs, interact, be inspired and give feedback to each other. The mobile platform is an exciting place from a design perspective and we have already seen an increasing number of mobile specific designers on the scene and large number of unique design trends form and evolve in a rapid rate.

With our experience in the mobile world it became clear to us that we needed our own platform to take our design forward so we created . Using the seriously-mobile site as a foundation we were able to form on the ideas, opinions, input and feedback from working designers and mobile design enthusiasts to create the best service possible.

What was the work process like?
It has been very fast moving, we set out with the mind set to put our selves out in the public eye as soon as possible. This meant gathering our research, insights, and pushing out a minimum viable product in a short amount of time. The benefits of our work flow has been the massive amount of feedback we have gathered along the way,  allowing us to re-iterate the community as we went, forming our community and building it together based on the feedback of our initial members.

What was most challenging?
Actually creating the thing. None of us knew back-end coding before we started on this, so jumping into that ocean of the unknown, was probably the biggest and most important factor for making into a reality. In the very start, where was called, the biggest challenge was to believe it could happen. We also got a lot of responses from people thinking it was just a mobile version of… they have changed their minds now!

How would you sum up in 2 words?
Mobile Mania

Finally, who would win a fight between a dragon and a dragon sized alligator?
If the alligator is from beast wars, it can transform into a kick-ass robot and beat the dragon, otherwise its screwed.

Our programs starting fall 2012 are still open for International applicants. For Nordic applicants - be the first to know about open seats by submitting your interest here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Project Fly at Hyper Island today!

 The last blog post from Digital Media student Emilia in Buenos Aires.

Today my mentors Maria Mujica from Kraft Foods and Nico Pimentel from + Castro Innovation held a presentation of Project Fly at Hyper Island in Stockholm. If you missed, no worries, I'm writing more about my Project Fly experience today! To explain in one sentence what Project Fly is I would compare it with an innovation incubator made up by a group of people with different skills working together for three weeks in a garage (the name of our office during the project to enhance the entrepreneurial feeling) coming up with marketing innovations for one Kraft brand.

To develop Project Fly Kraft teamed up with Contagious Magazine, a magazine and blog focused on the latest in advertising. There are a couple of insights that leads up to the initial idea of the innovation incubator in Kraft. The digital evolution has changed the way companies has to communicate with their consumers. Digital products are also expensive to produce (there is an old misconception that digital advertising is cheap, but more and more companies start to realize that it's not) and therefore it is better to invest in projects that stays relevant for a longer time than a campaign traditionally do. In the background also lies the belief that everyone, background not important, has the capacity to come up with good ideas. Something we have seen more and more lately are production companies who sell digital products directly to companies without the advertising agency in between. This also means that the company can come up with ideas and produce them without the advertising agencies and Project Fly is Kraft's implementation of this new way of working.

The participants of Project Fly came from all over the world. The group was almost as diverse as our class at Hyper Island. Within the group of 15 the persons who participated there where marketing directors from Kraft offices in every corner of South America as well as creative's and strategists from leading digital and advertising agencies all over the world. To run Project Fly in Buenos Aires Kraft teamed up with +Castro Innovation, a local innovative advertising agency. I also got to work with Deeplocal from Pittsburgh, Cubocc and We are Social from Sao Paulo, Saatchi & Saatchi from Buenos Aires, and British Brain Juicer. It was really cool to see how a group of people from different cultures and different backgrounds who speak different languages can work so well together right from start. Something I really enjoyed was that we didn't have any clear roles - we where all problem solvers working on the same brief doing research, idea generation and development of concepts together. Before we started working together we never had a proper introduction where everyone would get to present their background, but this just made it easier to go with the flow and do what worked best for the moment. I also believe this helped to develop the hierarchy free environment we had in the garage.

The first day we where briefed on what brand we would work on and what kind of solutions we would create. We worked on the same brief for all the three weeks but everyday we attacked the problem from different angles based on different insights. In the mornings we would have lectures to be inspired about everything from insights about the target group to case studies of social media and applications. I really liked the lectures we had at Hyper Island and it was great to “be back in school again” and get new input. In the afternoons we would then work on coming up with solutions based on what we have learned in the morning. As Hyper Island students we got to help out organizing workshops for idea generation, reflection and feedback.

After three weeks we had tons of ideas covering everything from digital products and outdoor activations to product innovations, CSR activities and culture changes. When Project Fly ended I stayed and worked at +Castro with the production of prototypes and case videos for the best ideas generated during the garage. Unfortunately I can't share the result yet since we haven't implemented them in the real world but as soon as I can I will show them.

The whole experience was for me very similar with being at Hyper Island, both because we got to use many of the methods we used in school but also because of the unstructured flexible way of working. I'm really happy I got to be part of this experience! I learned a lot and made loads of great new friends all over the world.

The pilot of Project Fly was also very successful and therefore Kraft are going to do four more garages this year to come up with innovations for four additional brands! The best part of this is that Kraft wants more Hyper Island students to come to Buenos Aires this year to participate in Project Fly.

Thank you for following me on my internship for a week! This is also the last day for me posting at the Hyper Island blog, continue to follow me on Twitter @therivertweet. See you!

Monday, May 7, 2012

South America - a creative continent

 Our guest blogger, Digital Media student Emilia Åström, about her internship in South America.

I really enjoyed being in Hyper Island, to go to school was fun and stimulating and I made many new great friends, I do miss my friends but I might actually have more fun now on my internship than I had at Hyper Island. Even though we got to work with many good clients and interesting projects at Hyper Island I still thing the real world is still a bit more exciting to work in than school because you know that you are producing something that will be used, hopefully you get paid for it and you are constantly challenged by your more experienced colleagues (if not ask them).

During my internship I have gotten the opportunity to try many new things and but also focus on different skills I wanted to develop. Seven months internship is a long time and I'm happy I ended up with Kraft in Buenos Aires because my experience was so diverse. Since I came to Buenos Aires in the beginning of November last year I have changed office and role three times.

During Project Fly we worked in the so called garage, an open office space designed to promote creativity. We didn't have any clear roles, we all where so called flyers in this pilot. It was very interesting to get to work in such a flexible environment, and since I got to change role and location of my internship later on as well I have also managed to stay in this mood. Living and working in Argentina demands you to be very flexible and creative as well, many people I have met here have many different jobs and projects at the same time. When I talked about this with Maria in the beginning she also told me that the reason why the Argentinians are so flexible might be because since a long time they have learned to live with economical and political change. It's a very interesting insight and might be part of the explanation of why Project Fly started in South America and not anywhere else in the world.

I think Hyper Island did a good job preparing us for a life like this too. The world is going to be more complex and there is going to be more and more change all the time, and by continuing to use reflection and learn to learn after Hyper Island you are definitely more fit to keep up and adapt to change. I'm very inspired by being in South America, and after our graduation in Stockholm in June I want to come back! I feel that there are more interesting things left to do here!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Checking in with Buenos Aires, Part 2

Second post from Digital Media student Emilia Åström, who is doing her internship in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Since a month I do my internship at Kraft's office in Buenos Aires with Hortensia at the digital department. Hortensia started working with digital consumer insights one year ago and before that she worked for a digital agency here in Buenos Aires. Since starting to work for Kraft she has developed digital strategies for the brands to improve their presence online. One year ago most brand had a very light or no digital presence online but now most of them are active in social media and they also do many digital campaigns. With Project Fly we also developed many digital campaigns that will be implemented later on.

Working in the digital department is very alternate because it means that I get to collaborate with many different departments in Kraft and with all brands. Hortensia and I share office with the consumer insights department and I'm working together with the marketing directors and their advertising and digital agencies to develop the brands digital strategies, campaigns and activities in social media.

I'm also involved in projects with the HR department and internal communication. One of the reasons Kraft are interested in having students from Hyper Island working in Kraft is to let them share their knowledge of Hyper Island method and process to inspire the culture to become more open to change and innovation. Everyone at Kraft has been very open and curious to learn more about Hyper Island and for me as a Hyper Island student it has also been very interesting to get to do process follow ups and idea generations in a real working environment with my colleagues and try out how to best use the methods in an environment different than Hyper Island. As students in Hyper Island we are working with these methods daily but of course the conditions when working with these methods in an office are different and demand for other ways to present and work with them. By doing this I have understood a lot of how to work with and present the Hyper Island methods in the future and this is definitely something I will bring with me from Kraft.

Today I have a couple of meetings with some brands to present my feedback on some activities they are planning to perform on Facebook this year and I'm also going to present an idea for an application. To work in the same office as marketing directors is very different from coming in from an agency to present ideas. Since we are all in the same building it is much easier to just drop by to show some new ideas or discuss how to move forward. In this way the client is much more involved in the process and I get much better access to their knowledge about the market and target group. Since I have been working at advertising agencies before it is interesting to try another way of working now, or as we say at Hyper Island – step out of your comfort zone.

See you at Twitter later for live updates from Kraft!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mobile Design & the Legacy of the Desktop GUI

This is a guest post written by Hyper Island Mobile Application Program alumnus Mikael Keussen, Product Designer at Prismatic, and Bradford Cross CEO of Prismatic.

What is Prismatic
Prismatic is a new way to discover relevant content. It’s a newspaper for the modern world. You connect it to your social accounts, and we suggest interesting stuff that gets you into a great home feed as soon as possible.

Once we get you connected, you’re off to explore around to new topics, people, and publishers - adding more interests to your collection as you go. It creates a fun self-reinforcing cycle that gets you out into new stuff instead of staying stuck seeing more of what you already see.

Mobile touch experiences haven’t exactly ushered in a new wave of design thinking. Mobile design standards are mostly legacy desktop design with click events replaced by touch events.

Not much has changed since the GUI windowing systems of the early 1970’s. A couple of early examples are the Xerox Star and the Xerox Alto.

We’ve found the navigation bar to be problematic because smartphones have small screens, and navbars hog precious pixels that could be used for content.

Reimagining interaction with domain-specific navigation metaphors
Why do we still have navbars everywhere? We got our answer as soon as we got rid of them. The navbar is a standard one-size-fits-all navigation metaphor. Eliminating the navbar means reimagining your product’s navigation interactions, because they all tend to live on the navbar.

Prismatic is a news discovery product that focuses on finding new stuff. The more cool new stuff you find, the more you want to keep it organized, favorite it, share it, group it, etc. So you end up with these two modes of your stuff and finding new stuff. We decided to design around this core home-explore duality. Your home feed, your activity (read, shared, favorited), and your interests are all your stuff. The global feed, search, and suggested interests are all about finding new stuff.

Thoughtful domain-specific structure and navigation will be characteristic of the most successful mobile products of years to come. The new iPhone app, Clear, is one recent example of embracing full-screen content and experimenting with new interactions for a domains-specific problem.

Scifi is only fiction temporarily
When we decided to reinvent our navigation interactions. Our core idea was to create a touch interface that feels anatomical. We wanted something natural, that reacted like an extension of your fingers. When doing research on gestural interfaces with these properties, we were lead to scifi. For example, we found a bit of inspiration in some of the touch interactions found in the recent Iron Man films.

At first, we were worried that our ideas might be too crazy. As we continued our research, we learned that scifi and interface design have always influenced each other. Chris Noessel from Cooper has a great talk on the co-influence of Scifi and interface design. Chris has an entire book coming out on the subject in the summer of 2012.

We’d love to share all the details of our gesture navigation system, but you’ll have to wait for the iPhone launch and see it for yourself. It’s a whole new universe.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Greetings from Buenos Aires

Hi! My name is Emilia. During one week I will share my internship experience through the Hyper Island blog and Twitter account. I'm attending the Digital Media program in Stockholm but since 5 months I'm living in Buenos Aires in Argentina where I'm doing my internship for Kraft Foods as a creative strategist and producer. 

Now you might wonder what a creative strategist is doing at Kraft Foods. I can tell you that I did too before I got here. To introduce myself and my internship experience I will tell the story of how I ended up here and why.

In October we received an email from Kraft who wanted a couple of students from Hyper Island to participate in the pilot of Project Fly. I answered the email and three weeks later Madeleine Fia Mattson (another student from the Digital Media program) and I flew to Buenos Aires. The objective of Project Fly was to  come up with digital innovations that could be used to market a Kraft brand, in only three weeks. We literally started working as soon as we arrived to Buenos Aires. We stayed in a hotel together with the other participants of Project Fly and during the days we worked in a conference space nearby. Kraft employees from all over South America came to Buenos Aires to join the project as well as creatives and strategists from advertising agencies all over the world. Kraft created and ran Project Fly together with Contagious Magazine and +Castro Innovation. What caught my attention and made me apply was the opportunity to be part of an experiment like Project Fly, the opportunity to work with agencies from all over the world and to get to know South America (it's my first time here).

When Project Fly ended Fia and I started working in +Castro developing prototypes and case videos for the digital innovations we came up with. Fia went home before Christmas to continue her internship at Circus Cirkör. I was also supposed to go home but I got my placement extended and I'm still here! Right now I'm doing the last two months of my internship at the digital department of Kraft working with social media, applications and campaigns.

I was working in advertising before I started Hyper Island but I notice that now I'm better at collaborating, more confident and flexible in new situations and better at learning new things continuously. Kraft are very open to Hyper Island methodology and I've gotten many opportunities to use and share what I've learned. Working with Contagious Magazine I have also improved my strategic skills, working with Castro I improved as a creative and working within Kraft I get the opportunity to implement these new learnings. 1,5 year ago when I started Hyper Island I could never have imagined myself being where I am doing what I'm doing now. I thought I would do my internship at an agency in Europe or North America but now I'm in South America at the marketing department of a multinational company! At the same time I've also learned Spanish and a new culture.

Tomorrow I will tell you a bit more about what I did during Project Fly but on May the 8th my mentors from Project Fly, Maria Mujica from Kraft and Nico Pimentel from +Castro Innovation will do a speech at Hyper Island in Stockholm.

Stay put for new updates! Bye!

When Emilia is not writing for the Hyper Island blog she is writing her own blog at

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Stumholmen i Fokus"

On Saturday, the place where Hyper Island was born, the island Stumholmen in Karlskrona, Sweden, will have a day celebrating it's history, presence and past.

Here's the schedule:

13.00 - 13.30
History of Stumholmen

13.30 - 16.00
Stumholmen the Movie (by Mattias Olsson)

Talk about memories from Stumholmen and get the book ”Minnen från svunna arbetsplatser på Stumholmen”.

13.30 & 15.00 
Stumholmen Tour

Open House in Kronohäktet & Båtmanskasernen


Arrangörer: Blekinge museum, Marinmuseum, Karlskrona kommun och Hyper Island