Just like last year, I wanted to end the year by reflecting on what has passed. 2018 has been a very different year, both for my business and for me personally. There’s been a lot of growth and change, but not exactly in the way I would have imagined at the beginning of 2018.
At the end of 2017 I was working with Thinkable in Stockholm as an acting UX Lead for one of their bigger clients, Apotek Hjärtat. During that fall, I had this bad feeling in my stomach, that perhaps not everything was as it should be. Invoices started to pile up and finally in January, I discovered that the agency was, in fact, bankrupt. It ended up being quite a costly lesson for me as I lost more than $10,000 in unpaid invoices.
In April of 2018, I found out that because of an internal reorganization, my longest standing client, E.ON was forced to have all their digital assignments done by their parent agency, KAN - ending our partnership after working together for 4 years. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done during these years and the people I worked with are some of the nicest people. I’m sincerely hoping that our paths will cross again at some point!
The lesson with both Thinkable and E.ON though is that even though the product may no longer be ‘cool’, it’s really all about the people you work with and the team at E.ON and Patrik and Ninna from Thinkable will always have a very special place in my heart ❤️
The spring was not just bad news though! I worked closely with the team at Nationalencyklopedin to revise their visual identity and create a robust design system for them. It was one of the first large scale design systems I’ve created so it was a great experience to see that come to life.
In May I was approached by an old client, IKEA. However, it was not an ordinary website project. Without going into much detail, they are developing a sourcing and supplier tool for their internal use. It’s one of the largest digital projects within IKEA and to be able to work on a B2B platform of this scale is something completely different to what I’ve ever done before.
So since June, I’ve been working with IKEA as their UX Specialist / Lead to ensure the best possible user experience for co-workers and suppliers. I’m excited by the work we’re doing and happy to continue it well into 2019. It IS a huge change though from work I’ve previously done. I spend 90% of my time in Powerpoint, Excel, and meetings. I’ll try to write more about my experiences from working within a large organization at some point too.
Website visitors are up by 63% from 2017 and I posted 138 posts this year, something I’m more than satisfied with. The most popular posts were:
While the total number of subscribers to my newsletter is down, the opening rates and click rates are up, something I find more rewarding than having a list of tens of thousands of subscribers. This year also saw the 100th newsletter go out!
I’ve been continuing to practice Pilates at least on a weekly basis and I definitely feel that my body is in better shape. For people like me who sit in-front of a computer most of the day, that kind of workout is so rewarding!
The usually warm and long summer here in Sweden meant I finally tried SUP boarding and I got hooked immediately! It’s such a great exercise form - both for body and mind! Getting out paddling after a long day in meetings is the best form of rehabilitation I’ve ever experienced. I highly recommend everyone to try it! Extra bonus points that my wife got equally excited so it meant we had a sport and an activity that we could share!
I’ve been to fewer concerts this year but one of the highlights was definitely Sam Smith in Stockholm. We had some amazing seats!
I’m looking forward to 2019 in a way I’ve not experienced in some time. I’m doing some personal development as well that I’ve started to see some results from so I’m curious to how that will pan out. The work I’m doing with IKEA will continue so that will surely affect my business too - staying this attached to one client is equally exciting and new, but also feels risky!
Either way, I’ll continue to share my thoughts here throughout 2019 and I’m looking forward to sharing the year with you.