Former Hyper Island student Juho Parviainen made his internship at world renowned IDEO back in 2004. That internship led to a full-time job at the agency, which according to Business Week “redefined good design by creating experiences, not just products”. For the “Interactive User Experience” module he came back to Hyper Island and held a workshop for the Interactive Art Director program in Stockholm.
What is the atmosphere at IDEO like?
- We are 500 people working at IDEO. The company prides itself in having an open, non-hierarchical culture. IDEO is all about collaboration – we work in multidisciplinary teams throughout our projects.
What kind of qualities are you looking for in an IDEO employee?
- At IDEO we are what we call "t-shaped" people. You need a deep knowledge of your expertise area, like interactive design, but also a broad understanding of many different disciplines. And you need to be humble to be able to collaborate with people with different kinds of knowledge. IDEO is definitely not the place for the lone genius designer rock star.
What would you say your approach is when it comes to design?
- Design is not longer about just making something look pretty. What we at IDEO do is help organizations innovate and grow through design.
- There are several aspects you have to take into account for successful product and service innovation – the business needs, the technology and whether or not the product or service is desirable from a consumer perspective. Traditionally companies have focused innovation around technology – a new technological breakthrough. They have then looked at the business viability – how do we sell this? – and finally delivered a product to consumers to ask them whether they like it or not. At IDEO, we use a human-centred approach to reveal people's latent needs and bring to market new products, services and experiences that respond to those needs.
How has your Hyper Island education helped you at IDEO?
- The way that Hyper Island teaches is very good, as it is aimed at learning how to work in a group. I think that is absolutely crucial and specially for a company like IDEO , where collaboration in the teams is essential.
- Another nice thing with Hyper Island is that teaching focuses on teaching you how to learn. You're encouraged to find, learn and try new ways of doing things, not just stick to one technology, tool or way of doing things. This enables you to become flexible and versatile designer.