Interview Katharina Stoltze — Everyone at one table.
Interview with SinnerSchrader (https://sinnerschrader.com/about/who/)
Everyone at one table.
SinnerSchrader Swipe is the agency’s special unit for mobile developments. This is where software and apps that excite clients and users are created. It’s successful because the team works so well. At other companies people might say: We’re all in the same boat. In the Hamburg office of SinnerSchrader Swipe, all of the employees sit at a big table. Katharina Stoltze is one of them.
“Suddenly I was a forklift expert — I could have created a pack of Top Trump cards.”
We play an advisory role for clients and we question things. We’re actively involved in the concept and strategic orientation. Our mission is to get the best out of every project.
A modern office with a lot of glass.
The way to the SinnerSchrader Swipe office leaves many visual impressions on the visitor. The Brahms Kontor building from 1904 looks traditional at first, but the colours in the lobby are shrill, and the golden lift could just as easily be found in a casino in Las Vegas. When you reach the top floor, you’re greeted by a modern office with a lot of glass — and a fantastic view of the city centre. “When clients visit for the first time, they’re surprised. Many times!” Katharina Stoltze says with a laugh.
The Hamburg native understands the power of design. After graduating from secondary school, she studied communications design and worked for agencies on the side. “I focused on digital technology early on. It was the perfect time: the iPad and iPhone were new and you could still try a lot of things.” For example, for her final project she developed an app known as Change for digital donations. “We wanted to help the homeless. In combination with a wearable, you can use the app to donate something as you pass by.” At SinnerSchrader Swipe, Kate works as a Senior Art Director. She ensures that a client’s request for an app and the technical possibilities are combined for a an optimal user experience. This is the approach of SinnerSchrader Swipe. Service design is about developing products that people really want to use. For example, an app that is repeatedly opened and thus has a reason to exist. “We create value,” Kate puts it succinctly.
Where do we encounter users? How do we support them in their everyday life? We use this to derive important functions.
Our mission is to get the best out of every project.
In order for this to succeed, the team follows the traditional route from the briefing to the research phase. It defines target groups and outlines the daily routine of a user. “We want to determine where the app interfaces should be. Where do we encounter users? How do we support them in their everyday life? We use this to derive important functions.” This is what excites Kate about the job. “We play an advisory role for clients and we question things. We’re actively involved in the concept and strategic orientation. Our mission is to get the best out of every project.”
You can ask questions directly instead of always writing e-mails.
The projects usually have the same rough framework, but they differ completely in their content. “You have to continually immerse yourself in new subjects. One of our clients was Jungheinrich, who manufactures forklifts. Suddenly I was a forklift expert” When the issues are complex, a good exchange with colleagues is especially important. This is also the philosophy of Swipe. Everyone sits around the same table, so the communication channels are short. “You can ask questions directly instead of always writing e-mails.”
Kate’s enthusiasm is infectious.
Swipe and SinnerSchrader have now joined forces. “There used to be fewer than 20 of us, now we have hundreds of colleagues.” This changes the communication, but it has advantages. “We have a lot of support now. We can access more resources and expertise.” One example of this new collaboration is the client Audi, for whom every department works together. Kate’s enthusiasm is infectious, and even in her daily work she wins her co-workers over and moves new ideas forward. “If you don’t continue to develop and just keep doing the same thing, you never make any progress — and at some point you’ll be passed by.” Kate has nothing to fear in this regard — not at SinnerSchrader Swipe and not in her free time. In races such as the Fisherman Strongman or the halfmarathon, lets hardly anyone pass her.
My work on Behance: https://www.behance.net/funkenflug
Interview & Text — Gerd Blank
Read other stories: https://sinnerschrader.com/about/who/