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Paul Nylund
Playing ping pong in the street outside of the office

In the spring of 2018, I worked as a UX Design Intern at ustwo Nordics in Malmö, Sweden. As a UX Designer, I would employ a range of learnings from my education at the University of Southern Denmark, including –yet not limited to– processes such as user experience mapping, paper prototyping, and design ideation.

What is ustwo?

Ustwo Nordics is a digital product design studio; It is the Scandinavian branch and second studio of a larger studio group with other offices in London, New York, and Sydney. It was originally founded in London by best friends Mills and Sinx about 10 years ago.

Photo by on Unsplash

I want to talk about something that’s been bugging me lately. While design is discussed in great magnitude across the internets, I’ve observed a lapse in understanding about what it actually is, as well as what differentiates it from art. Contrary to the latter, design should serve a purpose. Moreover, design should be functional.

The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful. — Dieter Rams

To better understand this, it’s important to grasp the concept of cognitive distribution…

I watch the late November sun set over a peaceful Danish landscape. The scene is still. My mind is racing.

It has without a doubt been a tumultuous year -precarious political situations and increasing uncertainty surrounding the environment are trends that will continue to provoke effect on the near and far future. 2016 has left a mark on me in ways I couldn’t have predicted, in that I feel as though my perspective (of society) on which I have relied has been promptly shaken. And this has had an effect on how I approach my work. A year ago, I…

After defining the problem, this portion of the project was geared towards converging on a singular idea. In order to do so, we needed to consider all of our initial hunches, while adding more ideas to the mix.

Starbursting (WWWWWH)

It’s called starbursting, because StarBurst are delicious.

While the problem statement certainly gave us a more pointed direction, we needed to transform it into a specific set of questions, in the form of who, what, when , where, why, and how. …

In order to narrow down the scope of our project, we decided to offer a survey to our collective network and the interaction design community on Reddit. In addition to probing respondents for basic identity categories such as age, gender, race, and socioeconomic class, we asked them the following questions:

‘Where were you primarily raised?’

‘Do you currently live in Denmark?’

‘What was the population of the area in which you were primarily raised?’

‘How often do you talk to people you don’t know?’

‘How comfortable are you talking to people you don’t know?’

‘How long does it typically take…

How does the Touch Bar fit into any grand narrative? What does this newfangled feature tell us about future hardware? Are we destined to dig in our heels and hold onto the archaic form factors of past gadgets?

Apple appears to be confronted with the paradox of its self-fulfilled prophecy that good design should be pervasive. Now that Apple products are indeed pervasive, the quest to fulfill this prophecy seems to be coming to a confusing halt. Good design is now pervasive in tech—just see what Microsoft and Google are up to these days.

Take Microsoft, for instance. Their lineup…

So, we’ve finally settled on a topic we want to tackle.

It all began with sorting our findings into different categories. This gave us a more abstracted overview of the different topics that were brought up so far. Perhaps ironically, sorting the post-its only made us more uncertain. The scope of the project appeared to be extremely broad and unfocused. But we had to move forward. Scroll on down…

Each of the team members chose 5 of the most compelling and encompassing post-its, which we then separated from the rest. …

We are wrapping up the week with an aura of satisfaction. After conducting some very insightful expert interviews, we feel like we are getting ever closer to defining a problem.

The subjects interviewed are Anders Lauerson of the Øhaven community garden in Aarhus, Ethan McMahon of EPA’s Smart City Challenge in Washington, D.C., and ‘urban ecology’ expert Ariel Levi Simons in Los Angeles, CA. We also sent out questionnaires to Øhaven users, urban agriculture interest groups, and to subjects of air pollution. Next week, we plan to speak with participants of SØF (a community-driven distribution channel of locally grown organic…

Spazzing out in our sweet new office. Photocredz: Michael Nissen

‘Token Inc.’ is Interaction Design students Mads Henriksen, Michael Nissen, and Paul Nylund. The theme, courtesy of the University of Southern Denmark, is welfare technology. Here, we will be posting updates on our design process.

The focus today has been on organization: setting up Trello boards, Google Drive, Any.Do, and this very fancy publication. In the real world, our progress will be largely driven by IDEO’s Design Kit — under the Unified Process.

Paul Nylund

Interaction Design Engineer / Creative Technologist

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