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“Design is always driving the process”

Copenhagen, August 23rd, 2018

Based in Denmark, B14 is a design agency that works strategically with clients to create sophisticated and strong solutions. It has a multidisciplinary focus and works on the intersecting fields of design and technology.

The agency’s core services evolve around visual identity design, graphic design and well as digital design and development. Managing a large part of that work is Rasmus Høymann Laursen, Partner and Head of design.
In an interview with TIA, Laursen gave us an inside look on B14’s daily work, specifically on user experience design and the process and methods followed by the agency.

What important things or experiences have brought you to where you are today?

To keep it short and true, I think surfing one spring Saturday at age 13 and running into my friend and business partner Martin Siersbøl Dahl had a lot of impact.

How do you define UX/design?

In the narrow sense, I think UX design is the merging of aesthetics and function. In this sense the design gives the product meaning and makes the users interaction with the product intuitive. I mostly associate this narrow concept with the landscape of digital design. In the broad sense, I think every piece of design should give the user an experience and therefore all designing should involve UX.

What are the current challenges that you face as a UX designer?

Creating new paths in an over-travelled world of digital design.

What is your design process? Describe what methods you follow

In many ways the methods end up defining the design and not always in a positive way. We try to play with design concepts and prototypes early on, rather than wireframes, journeys and personas. Surely most complex services need an informational architecture and a set of user flows, but after a raw grasp of the framework and primary functions, we try to design prototypes and feel them out, adjust them and refine them. Everything gets tangible instantly this way, it might be a longer process, but it’s surely more fun and the design is always driving the process.

How do you work design considering your target and users?

Depending on the scale of the project, the method is either raw empathy and instinct or more analytical and involving testing different solutions on focus groups and stakeholders.

The client is upset with a particular element of design that you have done. They believe that you have not created what they asked for. How would you handle this?

Firstly, trying to hide my feelings and partly failing at that, then try to explain the awesomeness of the solution and if that fails, then try to find a viable compromise and if that fails I’ll lay flat down and remember who is paying who.

How do you organize team and tasks to guarantee Quality assurance (QA)?

Any digital service must work flawlessly, however the process of getting there should be full of flaws. Quality is a soft measure, but if every task is solved with motivation, curiosity and pride. Quality is often a nice side effect.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Furniture designer, but mostly rock star.

Thanks Rasmus!

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