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

Friday, April 20, 2012

Checking in with New York; Christoffer and Dom at digital agency Vitro

Getting behind the scenes of the recently launched project together with Hyper Island student Christoffer Lorang Dahl and alumni Dominic Al-Samarraie.

Introduce yourselves!
Dom: I'm part of the first class out of Hyper Island Manchester - the Digital Media Management Program. Before Hyper Island and coming out to New York for an internship at Vitro, my background was in fashion. I still design for and run my own label called Dom Dick & Harry and I'll be out in New York for the foreseeable working as an Art Director here.

Christoffer: I'm a post-designer and boy scout from Oslo, Norway. After a couple of years in media and advertising there, I was fortunate enough to join the Digital Media Program in Karlskrona. I came to Vitro NYC to work as a producer, but day to day I do a lot more than that. I don't have a background in fashion, but I'm pretty happy to wear nice clothes.

Tell us about the project and the initial brief?
The client is ASICS America, whose shoes are pretty incredible. Actually they are known for making the best running shoes in the world - but the current customers are mainly marathon runners and we wanted to get into a bigger market, basically anyone who is running, but also a younger audience who is generally into staying active and healthy.

The project actually started in February of this year, when we got a 24 hour brief to show the technical side of the shoes, because they are very technical, but we wanted to show that in a fun and communicative way. The mock up that was created during that 24 hour brief was the start of the rest of the project - and the main idea and overall look actually stayed the same. It was a short project - only 6 weeks - and very intense.

The Asics brand had been communicating a lot about the "spirit" of the runner/athlete; ie defying rankings, competing with themselves, etc.  We kept those elements alive for this project, and focused on making the tech side fun and interesting. Like; to be able to run across water you need good equipment. You can see the end result, with all of the different videos and the interactive shoe exploration, at All clips are 100% real!

What was the work process like?

C (producer): Because our offices are in New York and California, and both offices were working together on this project production, it was even more important than usual to communicate what was happening. Everybody had to be aligned and working towards the exact same goal. On top of that we were working with the production company Kokokaka in Sweden to create the site, so the time difference was another factor we had to deal with. Working from New York, it was three hours back to San Diego, and then six hours forward to Sweden. Yet, the success of the site proves that collaboration across the world is possible.

D (designer): For me, the process was very intense in the first two weeks setting out the concept and defining design details at the start that would aid us throughout the project. In a very short time we created a production-ready deck that showed every aspect of the site, so how each page would look and work, how videos would play, how the parallax scrolling would feel, and how the sharing functions would display for example. Most agencies don't do this - they leave a lot to the imagination. VITRO leaves nothing out. If it's going in the final product, we mock it up before hand. I think this is one thing about VITRO that's different - that much design is a lot of work, but that way the final product is much easier to see from the outset, and it prevents question marks from popping up in the client's head.

What was most challenging?
D: The most challenging thing for me was to ensure details in the finished site were as true as possible to the initial concept and design. I love design that is as simple as possible and seeing everything we made from a user's point of view allowed us to keep that purity and function we intended as well as having a great looking site.

C: Firstly, to quickly explore the creative solutions together in order to create a statement of work that rightfully and exactly defined the project as we intended it to be. Furthermore, from a tech perspective; to create a content heavy web site is always a pain. By weighing in things like available bandwidth, screen sizes, browsers and so on, we were able to make a decision where I think we placed both feet firmly in the 2010s internet-vise.

How would you sum it up in 2 words?

C: Exciting stress.
D: Proud & sleepless.

Finally, who would win a fight between dragon vs dragon sized alligator?

C: The alligator, because it's evolved for millions of years, outliving even the dinosaurs. Also, dragons don't exist.
D: The dragon, he would just shoot fire everywhere.

The Digital Media Management program in Manchester is now open for applications, the program starts January 2013.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Former Hyper Island student receives Kycklingstipendiet 2012

Last night, Hyper Island Digital Media alumnus Björn Kusa, was awarded with Kycklingstipendiet, a scholarship from Guldägget set out to encourage new promising creative talent. Today, Björn works as an Art Director at Åkestam Holst in Stockholm.

The reasons for rewarding Björn with Kycklingstipendiet: “The hope for salvation is something that the advertising industry share with the church. We’ve hardly ever seen such a strong candidate. You’ve made blind people see – and car drivers to discover dangers in the dark. Your talent for using technology in an innovative and relevant way is just what this industry needs”.

We want to congratulate all three winners Eric Palmér, Gustav Johansson and Björn Kusa, good luck to all of you with future challenges!

Read more at Dagens Media or Medievärlden (in Swedish).

Friday, April 13, 2012

After two months in London as an eCommerce intern, what have I learned?

So. Today it's been exactly two months since I moved here to London to do my internship (and to live some as well).
I started my internship just the day after I arrived. It was action from the first start.

I'm doing my internship at a design furniture company called Infurn ( registered in the UK, but their biggest market is Scandinavia because most of the designers are from there.

My focus has been to do the things I want to develop in, such as campaign analysis and budgets flow and a to be able to se faults and report improvements all over (also focus on Google AdWords and Analytics). Because the work at a eCommerce company is'nt just about doing one thing, of course you're specialized on something. It's about always have control over the bigger view. How to solve delivery problems, everything from small problem as deal with product pictures to major delivery problems.

A big part of being a eCommerce Business student at Hyper Island has been to get better at cooperation. Another part of Hyper Island is to strive after a harmony and balanced co-oping within the group you're in. Too learn to feedback and lift each other in the process of creating and building strategies etc. Feedback and reflecting upon fails and go further to better solutions.

One of the funniest part have been to learn to talk and handle B2B deals and campaigns. That's a amazing experience- To see the outcome from an campaign idea to a meeting, and then from a meeting to a bigger meeting, and then to an email and then to phone calls and Skype conferences. And finally to sign a agreement.

Also a great part of having an internship in a other country is the possibility to move. I've just been to London once, three years ago. I was'nt falling in love with the city, but I found it interesting. I choose to go to London because of the reason I knew a friend working at the company and I saw a huge potential to grow (career wise) in London than it was if I was about to stay in Stockholm.
If you (as an student going for internship) have got the gut to ask for a paid internship - do it. I think companies set a higher value on you as a intern when you're paid compared to not be. But the drawback could be that the things you really want to do is slipping aside, when the company sees you as a part time employee.

I'll write more about my experience this weekend!

Meet eCommerce Business Student Jacob

eCommerce Business student Jacob Nordendahl is currently doing his internship at We asked him 7 questions about that and other things.

How is it going?
It's going very well! The sun is shining and I am happy to be out working with my internship. But of course I miss Hyper Island ;)

Where are you doing your internship?
I am doing my internship at at their head office down in Borås in the south of Sweden. Nelly is the leading online fashion retailer in the Nordics. I am mainly working with the New Markets team.

Why did you you choose this internship?
The founder of, Jarno Vanhatapio, was our module leader in the "long term business strategy" module in January. I had already found myself a nice internship in Stockholm. But after me and Jarno had lunch together he offered me to come down to Borås and help out with their expansion instead. We later spoke on the phone a couple of times and I felt I wanted to go to Nelly more and more.

So when I was promised that I would get to work with practically anything I wished for and have a lot of responsibility, and I found out that it's a young company with fast decisions and that my ideas would be decided upon directly, I said yes. And I don't regret it.

What are you working with today?
As Nelly aim to grow 100% each year in turnover, their international expansion is very important. So for me, it's a lot of hands on work with big responsibility and tight deadlines, for example:
  • doing the pre studies before entering a new country, 
  • sorting the legal questions with customs, local rules and regulations. 
  • converting our Terms and Conditions to suit new markets. 

But also other tasks outside the New Markets area:
  • analyzing the marketing ROI (for TV, affiliate marketing, other online marketing), 
  • doing P&L's and business plans for new business areas within the Nelly brand (secret stuff ;) ) 
  • working with Google analytics and crazy egg to optimize the site and conversion. 
Last week we were down in Malmö on the CDONgroup Awards with Nelly, CDON,, and all the other companies within the CDONgroup. An awesome party and everyone had dressed up with clothes from the twenties.

I'm going over to London for our release party for the UK site in a couple of weeks which will be super cool.

Other learnings:
Outside Nelly, I am currently studying for the Google Adwords and Google Analytics certificates and my plan is to have them all done by May. Last but not least :) I have been horse riding and also popped popcorn on a bus for the first times, haha!

Where are you in 3 years?
I hope to be working as the eCommerce manager with a lot of space to experiment with optimization, campaigns and cool creative features. Or I have started my own eCommerce company, maybe together with another Hyper Island student... The future will tell.

Jacob's of course on Twitter where you can ask more about his Hyper Island experience and internship. Interested in what his doing? Check out our eCommerce Business program.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

HM Queen Silvia of Sweden & Jenni Haukio, Finland's First Lady to Visit Hyper Island

On Tuesday April 17th Hyper Island will host HM Queen Silvia and Jenni Haukio - Finland's first lady. 

Stay tuned for updates during the visit and read more here (announcement in Swedish).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sean Chambers, ECD at Razorfish London

Source is a creative communications recruitment agency based in London. Here's Sean Chambers, ECD at Razorfish who talks about his role, the ad industry and a mention of Hyper Island toward the end.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Digitals: Culture of Change

Introducing Hyper Island's Manchester Masters Program Digital Media Management's first group task with the brief "What part do you think that culture will play in the future of digital media communication?"

So, if you are reading this, you are one of the citizens from a community who shares the same culture called The Digitals.
The Digital’s culture is made of thousands of others cultures from all over the world. They came from every country, city, planet, galaxy, home, school and restaurant you can imagine.

The Digitals native Culture remains an influence which introduces a melting pot of habits which influence them as citizens of digital culture. The online and offline for The Digitals are the same and together make demands of each other – an exchange of change: Often two things happen at once – contradiction is at the heart of the coming together of cultures  of The Digitals.

A perfect example of this occurred in August 2011 when the riots in London erupted over the social networks. The organisation of the chaos was enabled by the sharing of times and places on platforms shared by users all over the city. At the agreed ‘space in reality’, what was planned online, happened.
The need for a response to the destruction and violence brought the social networks back into the picture where other Digitals planned a clear up. So from culture in digital, to culture in reality right back to culture in digital again.We have the organisation, the riot, the organisation and the clear up.

Often The Digitals are inspired by creation: Technology is their main tool for gathering together and using power to initiate the change they want to see in the world. Their every day inspires new platforms to be built:

The cultures of the world, in themselves beautiful, are now coming together – The Digitals will become one. They will all one day have 2.4 apple products and a dog. Culture is communication through collaboration – digital media accelerates this.

Our opinions and voices resonate because we have the choice to be heard. They inspire, educate, connect, share and shape what we are all about. Our stories, words and thoughts have power. Our power is our group and number. Power comes from easy access of information, free speech, inexistence of boundaries and collaboration.

The voice we speak unites masses larger than countries, and this is the beauty of Digital Media Communication.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This Is How We Do It - Hyper Island's CD Meets Digital Media Alumnus Nina Amjadi

What is it like to attend a school without teachers? How difficult can collaboration be and how does it feel to fail? Åsa Silfverberg, partner and Creative Director at Hyper Island, sat down with Nina Amjadi, Digital Media student, to find out how the Hyper Island methodology works in practice.

Åsa: As a student, how do you interpret the world that you entered at Hyper Island and how do you look at being a part of this, Nina?

Nina: When I think back to the first couple of months when I started at Hyper Island, it felt kind of obvious already: I had a self-awareness and I had been working in groups before. But then when it came down to me actually taking an hour to reflect, and to really think about how to make things work better, to listen to the needs of someone else and how that person could make things better. It gives you a better view and understanding of the group process and self-reflection. You get a much better understanding of the importance to understand other people; the collaboration and communication.

Åsa: What challenges have you experienced this year at Hyper Island?

Nina: You have to face your demons, and you have to dare to make mistakes. You do something right, then maybe you make a mistake again, but then you get it right again. It’s like a roller coaster ride in a way. Up and down a lot.
You get rocked at the core in a way, but you always come out of it stronger. You face the demons, and you get feedback in a very honest way. You leave and go home thinking about it all. Not just in school, but you carry things with you all the time. It’s there with you, a constant reflection.

Åsa: What is your view on the fact that we don’t have any teachers, but instead have lectures and workshops from external industry people, while the learning journey is supported by Project Managers/Facilitators?

Nina: You are exposed to some kind of personal development and that’s the same for everyone. In these situations you know that the Project Managers/ Facilitators are there if you need any support but you usually find your own solutions and answers.

Åsa: What do you think around those situations when you have a Facilitator that’s leading a feedback session?

Nina: I don’t think we would have had the conflicts that we have had, or the same discussions, if we had felt that we had a supervisor, like a teacher. The Facilitator supports the dialogue with a format. When we had a feedback session everyone was at the same level, no matter if you had worked 10 years in the industry, or if you recently graduated from high school.

Åsa: We want to inspire people, teams and organizations/companies to live up to their full potential. The basic value behind that view is about trusting people’s capabilities and trusting people’s ability to take responsibility for their own learning and development. That is a value platform that we all share and work with actively. As a student, what do you find frustrating about meeting a new environment where you are not “spoon fed” anymore, but instead you get the mission presented to you and have to navigate towards the solution yourself?

Nina: The hardest thing is that with a teacher and in the traditional school you always know what is expected from you: You are supposed to answer ten questions, or you get homework. At Hyper Island you do not get measured and you’re not judged on the final result. In the beginning it’s really frustrating to not know how you are supposed to approach things. You get a very ambiguous target. It is frustrating to be in new groups all the time, to go through the same process, each time. But the biggest frustration was to not knowing what was expected from you in detail.

Åsa: Yeah, we are so used to getting all the answers when it comes to the why’s and the how’s from the ordinary school where you get clear directives. This is in some way a mental shift that can be very frustrating to go through.

Nina: It’s like; you don’t feel like a student any more, all of the sudden you are in a new role at Hyper Island. It’s a work place, where you have to solve problems every day, and you have to find new ways to solve these problems every day. You have to reach out to people and ask for the help that you feel that you need, instead of being “spoon fed” with 10 different solutions to the problem, many of which you don’t think that you will need.

Åsa: What are the biggest things that you take with you? What do you feel you can use in your professional life at your internship in New York?

Nina: I feel that it’s a way of thinking; how to approach and tackle a problem, rather than a more concrete, exact and theoretical way of looking at a task. Towards the end of a project, I find myself automatically reflecting and analyzing the way that I’ve been working, taking notes of things that I could improve to the next time.

Åsa: It’s like a constant learning rather than just trying to find “the one” right answer...

Nina: Yes, exactly. I never feel scared about what someone else thinks about my process. I’m very open to sit down and talk about it, since I’ve been through it so many times already. I could have my own company, with three employees, and I would just use this process, because I know that it works.

Åsa: When I listen to you it sounds like you’ve got an amount of both competence, and confidence. That there’s a balance between what you feel that you can achieve and courage to face what- ever that’s coming your way. There is a company in our industry that talks about ”failing faster” and that is also a part of Hyper Island – that there is something re- ally constructive in learning from failing.

Nina: A specific example from Hyper Island is the time my group failed
completely, but it was meant to happen the way it happened. We got stressed and we failed completely!
But we had the most fantastic reflection after that, we wrote like 3 pages each with feedback. And then the client really celebrated us for doing that, because this was something that was so important, to reflect and be mature about our mistakes. We felt proud, even though we didn’t do a thing right, and we knew that we were thinking the right way, so that next time we would do it much better.

Åsa: At my first job after graduating from Hyper Island many years ago, my boss told me: “You’ve got five major fuck-ups to do this year. If you don’t go for it, if you don’t set your bars and goals high, and don’t do any major fuck-ups, then we will know that you are a person who plays it safe.” And that was so nice, to know that I was encouraged to push the boundaries and not play it safe. That is what we want to achieve here at Hyper Island; to really understand the industry and to have clear frameworks that have massive amounts of responsibility, power and freedom to enable students to make their own decisions. We hope that this maximizes the learning journey. It also creates a great spirit within the group, between the people that are doing this “journey” together.

Åsa: One final question; why Hyper Island, Nina?

Nina: I would say that it is a forward- thinking way of learning and that it is much more adapted to suit how we actually learn. It’s an opportunity to get to know other people who will work in the industry one day, who are really good at what they do. There will also be lots of opportunities to meet people from the industry and work on real-life projects too.

We caught up with Nina Amjadi recently, almost a year after the above interview was made, to see what's been going on since.

What's happened in the last year?

The last year has been super exciting - all of the puzzle pieces from Hyper Island and my life finally came together! I started my internship as a digital producer at the wonderful creative agency Your Majesty in NYC, back in in November 2011. Little did I know, that I had started a journey that would open my eyes into the future. During my internship, I learned a whole lot about New York, the creative industry, the challenges the up-sides and the down-sides, but most importantly, I learned a lot about myself and what I had to offer and what I needed to work on. During this great journey, I was happy to get the chance to extend my internship to a full year and then even more excited to accept a job offer from Your Majesty, and then flattered to receive a promotion right before I headed back to Sweden for my visa process! It's been a great year!

What is going on right now in your life?

I'm currently still working with Your Majesty on many exciting projects from Sweden, as my work visa is still being processed. I've also finally opened up my own jewelry line "Rough by Nature" which will launched shortly!

Do you have any idea of where you will be in year?

After realizing what one year in a creative and boiling metropol such as New York can do and how much your eyes can be opened up to opportunities and to your own abilities to accomplish great goals - I'm absolutely unaware of where I will be next year. I think it's fair enough to say it's impossible to know! All I know is that in a year from now, I want to be happy at work, excited to get up each morning and challenged just about enough to not get bored or disappointed with my own growth.

Our deadline for fall 2012 programs is approaching fast (April 16) - get in touch with us or Nina on Twitter if you'd like to know more! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Join Hyper Island in's Scavenger Hunt invited teams of the world to join this awesome competition and it has engaged a big team from Hyper Island consistently among the top 10.

Would you like to join? Digital Media's Emilia Åström has the 101 on her blog.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

7 Questions to Team Monstrosity About Jays Headphones Nusound Final Project

Digital Media students Emelie, Evy, Katryna, Markus, Mikael and William, also known as Team Monstrosity, worked with Jays headphones for their final project to create Nusound Experience for true sound lovers. Here are 7 questions to the team about the project.

Introduce yourselves!

We're team Monstrosity from DM12 in Karlskrona, consisting of Emelie, Evy, Katryna, Markus, Mikael and William. We worked together on our final project of Hyper Island during fall 2011, but are currently spread all over the world doing our internships in Stockholm, Berlin, Helsinki, New York and Porto Alegre.

Team Monstrosity:
Strategy: William Hollowell (AKQA - Berlin)
Copywriter: Emelie Jinhee Johnsson (HelloMonday - New York)
Design: Katryna Jones (R/GA - Stockholm)
Design: Ingvild Eide Lybeck (HelloMonday - New York)
Tech: Markus Jönsson (Luxus - Helsinki)
Motion Graphics: Mikael Lindahl (Santa Transmedia Production - Porto Alegre)

Tell us about the project and the initial brief?

Jays headphones came to us to help engage an international audience with a world class sound experience. We created this concept to help them grow and spread their message of being true music and sound enthusiasts. NuSound gives music lovers the true sound experience they crave - both locally and globally, through the use of digital technology. NuSound stands for the core values of Jays headphones - innovation and an ultimate sound experience!

Are you headphonistas or how come you work with this project?

We're more Digital Media freaks, but ended up becoming headphonistas working on this project.

This being our final project, Hyper had to throw us a wild card. We had to choose from a handful of blind briefs. All we knew was that the client was an accessory company related to portable media players. This company wanted us to help them achieve a broader brand identity, act on a larger global scale, and increase the amount of fans in Social Media.

How was the work process?

The work process was put into two main stages. The first being Idea development, concept and strategy, and then it was all production, production, production! Most of our time went to the initial stage, and we went back and forth with several ideas, and strategies until we finally pitched to Jays.

One thing that was super important to us as a creative team was keeping a happy work environment and just giving us time to hang out as a group outside of work - aka some good old fashion team building. There was a weekend trip in a cabin, hikes, boat ride, potluck dinners, and lots of beer and coffee!

What was most challenging?

The most challenging part of this project was trying to keep the client in the loop and keeping them happy! We ended up going for a big and bold idea that would be impossible to produce in the time frame of our project, so we really had to sell the idea, do a lot of research and plan out a budget (yuk).

We also said from the very start that the initial phase of research, strategy and idea generation was very important and everyone would play an equal role in. Sometimes its easy to jump ahead and rush into mocking up ideas and desiging a website/app/interface....but you have to have strategy to back it up!

How do you think the future looks for headphones. They've stayed pretty intact through the years, do you think there'll be a revolution in how they work and function?

Headphones are just like any tech product - they keep coming out with better functioning, and more technologically advanced products for the user. In todays information age, technology is also becoming more intelligent. It is able to respond to our needs in a more intelligent way, and in turn it becomes more social. It is this social aspect that we tried to dissect and use to connect with the Jays audience. Jays wanted to be seen as a rock band, and their customers the "fans". NuSound is all about the fans love for music, and the social connections in between.

Finally, the most important question: who'd win in a fight between a gorilla and a gorilla sized mosquito?

Gorilla sized Mosquito - lets face it, a gorilla sized mosquito is a freaky sight!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mind the App - Mobile Applications Event at Berns. March 29.

Our Mobile Applications students have been busy! Mind the App, in collaboration with Hjälpmedelsinstitutet, is a 7 week project where 33 Hyper Island students worked on mobile solutions that can help people with cognitive disabilities.

On March 29, you're invited to Berns to the showcase of the apps, mingle and last but not least, some dancing!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Samtala - an iPad App for Aphasia Patients

"Samtala" is a fully working iPad app prototype developed to aid aphasia patients in their communication. 

The app is developed by a group in Mobile Applications as a part of the Mind the App project where 34 students work on helping people with cognitive disabilities on a daily basis using mobile.

Here's the group's website (in Swedish) and below is a video from Swedish TV4 (in Swedish again) where the project is presented (50 seconds in).


The full students roster working on the Mind the App projects will come to Stockholm for a showcase. More on that soon!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hyper Island & Digital Media in Guldlådan 2012

Guldlådan is an annual competition that the Swedish Post Office (Posten) arranges. The competition focuses on taking Direct Marketing to the next level through creative solutions for snail mail. A group from Digital Media 2013 in Stockholm are nominated for today's final vote.

Of course, we asked the team a couple of questions!

Tell us about the guldlådan competition and the brief for this project ?

Guldlådan 2012 is a direct commercial competition for advertising students arranged by Posten. It’s been around in today’s format since 2002 but can be traced back as far as 1988. This years brief in the business to consumer category was to create awareness and increase the usage of QR-codes in Sweden.

Is there something extra close to your heart in this brief that gave you incentive to join?
We started talking about entering competitions before Christmas and somewhere around the same time Posten came and gave us information about Guldlådan. It was more the competitive aspect than the specific brief that appealed to us. As true Hypers we find most briefs interesting! Since all of us really enjoy hanging out together and we wanted to have projects outside of Hyper Island this was a huge plus so we decided to enter and give it 100%!

How was the work process in this project?
In the first stages of the project we wanted to create an environment where creativity could flow freely. It came to that point where any idea could reach the stars. We are all very direct and honest towards each other and in the later stages we used this to refine both the process and product. But most importantly lots of delicious home cooked meals, late nights and loud laughs!

What was most challenging?
It was quite hard to motivate usage of a 15 year old technology and to actually find a way to make people use this technology that never really got it’s breakthrough.

How do you think we'll use QR codes 10 years from now?
Honestly, with today´s pace in technological development QR-codes will probably be replaced by some far more advanced and sophisticated technology.

Finally, the most important question - who'd win in a fight between a T. Rex and T. Rex sized scorpion?
The scorpion will probably win but we cheer for the T-Rex as long as it looks like Rex in Toy Story!

Good luck today! Check out Hyper Island on Twitter or Facebook to find out how the competition ends!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Motion Graphics Student Leo Marthaler - Winner of Cut and Paste Motion Category - Berlin

We had a chat with Motion Graphics student Leo Marthaler who recently won the Berlin installment ofthe digital design tournament Cut & Paste. Leo competed in the Motion/Animation category

Your quick story, pre Hyper Island to now?
I am a Storyteller and Designer raised by a bunch of marmots in the Swiss mountains. I have been working around the globe for a few years now and it seems that meeting as many inspiring people as possible and create super duper work with them is what drives me in life. That's one of the reasons I came to Hyper Island.

What is Cut&Paste?
Cut & Paste is a digital tournament that showcase the fastest designers and digital artists around the world. There are more than 10 cities participating, from Tokyo to Los Angeles, London and Berlin. Each competitor has to perform a challenge in a certain amount of time - live on stage. The winners earn the right to perform at the Cut and Paste Global Championship in fall 2012 in NYC.

How did you approach the challenge, any special tips?
They gave us the theme a week in advance. I actually worked my as* off to prepare it! It was really stressful but if I can give any tip, it would be to enjoy the process of making it! Sweating blood, work until 6 in the morning and talking to your computer, I love it all!

What was your thought process for the project?
Basically I try to approach all my work from a storytelling point of view. I ask myself this question ''What could make this piece worth watching it?' Humour is of course a great thing in my work.  Gosh, I think this job is truly awesome!!

Must of course ask, is it based on personal experience? 
This one time in summer camp...

This fall you'll head to the finals in NYC - what else do you got in the pipeline?
A ten day meditation retreat in a Swedish monastery (Yeah I love to experiment) and after that - 
a month in the Phillipines to experiment on the Ideas Island ( with a team comprised some of the boldest and awesomest Hyper students. We are going to make it big. Stay tuned!

I am  also relocating to Los Angeles in April 2012 for a few months where I am looking for an internship. If you have true passion for storytelling and value innovative ideas and design over mere trends, drop me a line. I think we could have an epic time collaborating!

Finally, who would win in a fight between a T. rex and a T. rex sized scorpion?
The meteorite.

Good luck in New York! Check more work by Leo and connect here:
Twitter: @Superdupereight

Friday, January 27, 2012

Digital Media Karlskrona has Come to an End

We're very sorry to inform that we will no longer offer Digital Media in Karlskrona. By fall 2012, Hyper Island's Digital Media Program will be offered exclusively in Stockholm.

Hyper Island's CEO, Johanna Frelin, comments below:

"This year, it was time to re-apply the Digital Media program in Karlskrona and we are very sorry to let you know that YH will not finance this program next year. YH makes the decisions based on regional factors and right now they are putting focus on other areas than digital media in the region of Blekinge. There is still a huge need around the world for the skillset that students acquire during at the Digital Media program. This means that YH is financing other programs and/or other regions in Sweden right now."

Questions, thoughts? We're available at @hyperisland and Facebook any time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Interview: "eCommerce will be frictionless and as simple as possible."

We sat down with Jarno Vanhatapio, founder & creative director at and Richard Woodbridge, sales manager på and founder of to pick their brains on eCommerce. 

Who are you?
Jarno  - I am the founder of, today I work at the company as Creative Director. Before that I was actually working as a construction worker.  
Richard -  I am sales manager at and founder of I have a background within online gaming.  

What's up and coming in eCommerce at the moment?
Jarno - Mobile is the number 1 thing, it's here now and it's gaining ground. 
Richard - What we do with members, flash-sales. It's grown in US and Europe, and now it has reached the Nordics. Flash-sales is usually time-limited and volume-limited. A great offer, and a very reduced price. 

What is the one most important thing within entrepreneurship to you?
J - Stamina. To be able to do boring stuff, that needs to be done, and not only the fun stuff. 
R - Engagement and dedication, that is the single most important thing!

What single advice would you give to start ups within eCommerce today?
J - It's not what you think it is. Go in with an open mind. 
R - Think big. 

Predicting the future is always difficult - but if you would say one thing regarding the eCommerce industry in 5 years what would it be?
J - Frictionless, in every way. Payments and distribution will be as easy as possible. You will be able to make the purchase wherever and whenever.
R - The simplicity, everything will be very very easy. eCommerce will also take over more of the traditional retailing. 

Jarno & Richard are working with our eCommerce Business program in a module right now!