ayond takes on the Breakit Impact Challenge

With climate change looming over us all, Breakit has issued a challenge to its readers – the digital business world – to do their very best to become climate-aware and, in the long run, become climate-neutral.
At ayond we accept the challenge, and will work towards becoming a more sustainable company. There are a lot of reasons to do what we can so that we, and in turn the country, can become more climate adjusted. To begin with, we have established a travel policy for our employees, which is the first task for the companies participating in the challenge. Breakit lists six points that illustrate how important the issue really is (list is taken directly from Breakit Impact Challenge ):

  1. Sustainable companies are more profitable. Several studies, among others this one, from Robert G Eccles at Harvard, have established this hopeful fact.
  2. A sustainable profile can also help you recruit the best. According to a Sifo study issued by Swedbank, companies that make an effort to be sustainable are vastly more attractive as employers.
  3. Seven out of ten swedes are ready to pay more for a product or service if they know that the company that produces it works to limit climate change according to a study by Naturvårdsverket.
  4. The Paris accord dictates that the global increase in temperature has to be kept below 2 degrees, and we will work for it to stay at 1.5 degrees. That means everyone has to help, including companies.

    “It is not impossible to limit the heating to 1.5 degrees. But that does require a never before seen effort by all of society” said Hoesung Lee, spokesperson for UN:s climate panel IPCC at the end of 2018.

  5. If the heating does reach 2 degrees (the medium temperature has already increased by 1 degree since pre-industrial levels) the consequences will have a drastic effect on hundreds of millions of people, according to the IPCC.
  6. Swedens emissions has been reduced by 26 percent since 1990, but only 0,5 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to Naturvårdsverket.

ayond’s Thomas Arctaedius is now professor of entrepreneurship

Thomas Arctaedius, CEO at ayond, has been appointed affiliated professor in entrepreneurship at the Royal College of Music (Kungliga Musikhögskolan). We took the opportunity to ask him a few questions.

– How did everything start? 

I’ve been working with innovation, entrepreneurship and startups for many years, in business as well as at universities (Stockholm University, Royal Institute of Technology and Stanford University). I’ve worked with incubators and was one of the founders of Stockholm’s first social impact hub for startups (Center för socialt entreprenörskap Sverige, CSES).

My work at the Royal College of Music started as a collaboration with ScorX  and ayond. ScorX is one of ayond’s innovation projects, a tool and e-shop for choir singers and leaders to practice scores. The aim for Musikhögskolan was to start using ScorX as a part of their programmes.

My work now is centered around musical entrepreneurship and building a new curriculum for artists and musicians in entrepreneurship.

ayond has also been part of a project where we explored the concept of the audience being a collaborator in the concert experience and a co-creator of the music experience.

Is there anything you have learned from your work at ayond that you can bring to KMH? or vice versa?

There is a strong link between user experience and music. The methods ayond use in digital development, can be used in music as well. With these methods it is possible to explore what the audience wants in a musical context.

Robert Horngren from ayond developed a tool to control a sound dome in one of KMH’s concert venues. The Sound dome is an advanced speaker system with 49 speakers that give the participants a three-dimensional sound experience. This project was a great example of how user experience can be combined with music.

Has your interest in music been strengthened during your time at KMH?

I didn’t start at KMH because of a music interest, but I have become more aware of music’s role in society. I had not reflected so much about it before but have begun to do it during my time here and have been fascinated by the importance of music. Can you imagine a world completely without music?

A moment with our interns

ayond has had the privilege of having several interns from different Schools. Miranda and Victor are our latest interns from KYH. They are studying to become Front-end Developers. We are also lucky to have an incoming intern, Meaghan. She studies the Digital Creative programme at Berghs School of Communication.

We asked Miranda and Victor a couple of questions about their time at ayond!

How did you find out about ayond?

Miranda: Through a friend that works at ayond, he recommended that I apply for an internship, since an internship is a part of my education at KYH.

Victor: My school put out a list of companies that are known to offer internships and ayond was on that list.

What is your impression of ayond?

Miranda:ayond has a friendly environment and a lot of interesting projects. I like that there’s activities going on regularly and that there’s a constant knowledge exchange amongst the employees.

Victor: It’s a relaxed and friendly environment and I like the location.

Has your time at ayond been educational?

Miranda: Yes, it has helped me to get a better picture of how it is to work as a Front-end Developer in a real project with actual costumers.

Victor: Yes absolutely, being around experienced developers has helped me greatly.
I learn a lot better when working on a real project and not just a school assignment.

What knowledge will you carry with you from ayond?

Miranda: How it is to work within a team of people with different roles and together create a finished product. I also got a better picture of how and why people come up with ideas for new digital products.

Victor: One of many things I will carry with me is the ability to communicate with developers who speak different programming languages.

Can you share a fun memory from ayond?

Miranda: A fun memory was when ayond had their “innovation evening” and anyone who wanted to could present an idea they had for an app or other kind of product. I thought it was interesting to listen to what people had come up with and what they considered important to have in their daily lives.

Victor: I thought it was fun to participate in meetings for Yonyfy, the project that I’m working on, where we discussed the future of the project, brainstormed future features and I got to know more about creating and managing a real product with actual users.

Welcome Johanna Särnå and Anna Uleander!

Photo of Anna and Johanna

ayond continues to grow and takes a big step forward by recruiting two senior members to our team, Johanna Särnå and Anna Uleander. Johanna as Head of Tech and Anna as Head of Design. Both Anna and Johanna are very experienced with a long and solid background of many successful projects in different customer segments. With this ayond strengthens its capability to deliver world-class solutions to our clients. The recruitment of Anna and Johanna is the next step in ayond’s growth strategy.

Hi Johanna and Anna! What made you choose ayond?

Johanna: I was appealed by the agile way of working that becomes natural in a small company based on innovation and entrepreneurship. What also caught my interest was ayond’s many customers and projects in the frontline of new technologies.

Anna: I thought ayond seemed to be an exciting company and I liked the angle of innovation and flexibility. Since I’m highly value and purpose driven, what also caught my eye was Thomas’ [CEO of ayond] social commitment and his work around social entrepreneurship. I have also worked with Fredrik [Head of Sales and Marketing] previously and I’ve always been really impressed by his work.

What responsibilities will you have at ayond?

Johanna: My role will be divided into two parts, leading ayond´s teach team and as a consultant focusing on agile ways of working.

Anna: My focus is to lead ayond’s design team and further develop our design offer, as well as do consultancy in UX Design and innovation.

Our roles also include business development as members of ayond’s management team.

What would you like to contribute with to ayond?

Johanna: My experience in agile ways of working will be one of my main contributions. That, together with my passion of building fantastic solutions together with brilliant people.

Anna: To create an even more exceptional place to work and to grow our design team & our capacity to deliver high impact solutions. I love the craft of creating digital services and I believe in an organizational culture that is holistic, healthy and characterized by trust, transparency and self-management, and that is what I want to contribute to and nurture.

My heart lies in sustainability and the result of the work that we do. I want to contribute to create more business opportunities and interesting projects and collaborations for us in that area. It is the combination of innovation, social impact and design that really sparks my interest. I have spent the last 20 years refining my skill set on how to design and build digital services and I want to use that skill set on projects that aim to create a positive difference for people, communities and the planet.

National Sweden

National Sweden

consists of 3 production units with approximately 250 employees, and operations are constantly evolving by adopting new technologies and new production processes. With over 75 years in the polymer business and with a growing production they needed a new concern site and three production unit sites.

Ayond was responsible for the complete process, from user experience and graphic profile to the finished developed site. The concern site is built with WordPress with three additional wordless installations for each production unit site.

The ayond team worked together with our partner Fredrik Andreasson from Studio Valde as Creative Director/Strategy.

Carl Samuelsson publishes his essay

Carl Samuelsson has during the spring written his essay here at ayond, about how AI can be used to predict how medicine is absorbed by the body. Today, Carl published his essay “Predicting Drug Effects Using Bayesian Artificial Neural Networks for Drug Discovery” at the Mathematical Institute at Stockholm University.

The essay has explored how artificial neural networks, a method for mathematical analysis in deep learning can be used to predict how diffrent medicines are absorbed into the body. The work was done with the help of Prosilico, a world leading company within the field of computational modeling for medicine absorbtion. External advisors at ayond were Birger Moëll and Thomas Arctaedius.

We here at ayond are proud and happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of the scientific process and would like to thank Carl for an excellent work.

Three new colleagues

Welcome Robert!

Robert Horngren is a Fresh Front-End developer from the KYH vocational university, specialised in HTML, CSS and Javascript as well as familiar with several frameworks and agile working methods.

Eager to try new things and always happy to put new knowledge and techniques to the test.

“After over 10 years working with direct sales, customer service, support and sales coordination I decided to change tracks and become a developer, hoping to put my previous knowledge and experience to use by applying it to future projects I will be involved with, giving me a unique insight into what tasks a potential user might face on a daily basis.

In his spare time he tries to spend time outdoors, preferably with his camera in hand. Spending time in the archipelago of Stockholm is also very important to him, as that’s where he grew up and still visits frequently.

Hello Pinar!

Pinar Bakirdan is a UX & UI designer. She previously worked as a UX & UI designer at Trygg-Hansa and as a UX consultant at Softronic. Pinar has a bachelor’s degree in Interaction Design from Stockholm University. During her studies, she did her internship at Viaplay as a UX designer.

Pinar is used to working throughout the design process, from user research – including interviews and usability tests – to developing concepts and detailed flows in the form of wireframes and prototypes, but also visual design and UX copy. Pinar loves workshops!

This is Jesper!

Jesper Engdahl is a Graduating Junior Back End Developer with focus on .NET, C#, SQL and sometimes Javascript. Who loves to try new technologies in developing, and aiming to become a Fullstack Developer.

“Earlier I worked in the industrial sector, but after a time I wanted to work in a more creative and constructive work environment. Thats why I choose to study programming.”

On his spare time he practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, playing games of all kinds and shapes and enjoys spending time with his family.

At ayond, Jesper will initially work with the projects ScorX and Neo Zeo. He will also be contributing to ayonds future AI solutions.

Congratulations Birger, winner of Hack for Sweden 2018!

With the motivation “They found a way to solve a big social problem and a big challenge and they did it by finding a way to quicker find the right job. They used innovative technology like machine learning and they did it with a unique combination of personality testing plus company culture.” ayonds Birger Moëll and his friends won the Hack for Sweden Award.

The prize includes 40.000 SEK, a trophy, the opportunity to have a spot at an innovation hub or co-working space at one of Hack for Swedens partners, and of course the prestigeous honor of having created the best solution for Hack for Sweden 2018!

The solution involved using AI and natural language processing to find jobs that are suitable on a personal level, not just a professional one. The team has already talked to people from Arbetsförmedlingen, and say the goal is to develop and integrate the solution with them.

Hack for Sweden is an initiative to raise awareness and demonstrate the value of government agencies open data. It is a community consisting of over 30 government agencies and individuals who want to create sustainable impact with the tool of open data. An annual 48-hour hackathon is the core event of Hack for Sweden.

Read all about it right here.

Thomas Arctaedius, speaker at “walking a mile in your customers shoes”

Thomas Arctaedius was one of the guest speakers at Implement Consulting Groups seminar “Walking a mile in your customers shoes”. The seminar was about how to utilize customer journeys to really increase the satisfaction of the end user, and the developers.

The seminar posed that while many organisations employ customer journeys and measuring customer satisfaction, but that many of them don’t use what they learn in an optimal way. Instead, the focus lies in increased productivity, efficiency or lead times, when it could be used to benefit customers directly. Or the opposite, it could focus entirely on how to benefit the end user, and miss out on opportunities to increase process efficiency and effectiveness.

Thomas talked about the importance of understanding the digital touch points that your organization have with the customers. The first step is to make a list of categories relating to how much you control them. For example, you have full control over your own web page. You have only partial control, as you own your own channel, but not youtube itself. And finally there are of course touch points you have no control over.

He also talked about how you need to try to map the digital “journey” your potential customers make before deciding to buy something from you, what websites do they visit before buying from you?

The seminar was also about aligning your internal processes to match the way your potential customer move before becoming an actual paying customer.

Nordic usability test tour for Charge & Drive

ayond has carried out usability tests of the new native app for Fortum Charge & Drive in the Nordic countries. The aim of the usability tests is to secure user experience in the new app and to get feedback of the design and find areas for improved design for future releases of the app. The tour started in the leading country for electric cars, Norway which is also the most diverse market where both tech-savvy Tesla drivers as well as less experienced and more cost-aware Nissan Leaf drivers are represented.

After Norway, the tour continued to Sweden and finally Finland. What many users pointed out is the challenge of finding charging stations and therefore many users pointed out the importance of having a complete list of all available charging stations. They also prefer to have the charging stations listed with the status occupied or not, and possibly also how long they have been occupied.

The team involved in the testing from ayond were UX designers Camilla Lamberg and Johanna Cyprian with free-of-charge assistance of our trainee Robert Horngren.

ayond has been part of the development for Fortum Charge & Drive since the start and it is exciting to see how much the market for electric cars is growing. The usability testing has given insights both for basic usability but also for innovation. The results will now be taken into account for the release of the new native app during 2018.