Good Design Should Tickle Your Brain. [INTERVIEW]
By Yam Regev
Dec 3, 2015
We sat down with Andreas Anderskou, the President of Hello Monday - a world renowned creative agency with offices in New York, Copenhagen and Aarhus - to discuss his agency, the elements required to run a successful design process and our own project together, re-designing the Webydo site.
With Andreas at its helm, Hello Monday has been the recipient of the digital industry’s most prestigious awards, including 92 FWAs (Favorite Website Award), 30 Awwwards, Awwwards Agency of the year in 2014 and 2015, 6 Webby Awards and 4 Cannes Lions. Hello Monday’s client list is equally impressive with household names such as LEGO, Google, YouTube, MoMA, NASA and Diesel, to name a few.
According to Andreas, “good design should tickle the brain and please the eye.” With this in mind, our conversation spanned from the philosophy of design to why Mondays are amazing. Andreas also revealed his favorite and least favorite design trends which are not to be missed.
Great Design Is Not Enough.
How do you choose your clients?
We choose our clients based on multiple parameters called “The F’s.” The F’s represent Forward, Future, Fame, Fearless, Freedom, and Footprint.
There is a sort of a symbiosis that we look for when choosing our clients. Forward means asking if the client offers something that we and others can learn from.
Fortune is about reflecting on if we have time to produce something that is great and we can be proud of. We look at Fame through the prism of not having a PR department. This means that working with reputable companies is crucial in helping to get our name out there.
Fearlessness is important because we believe that in order to innovate, our clients have to be willing to take risks with us. Future simply means that we like to work with clients who are changing their industry in some way.
Like any relationship, trust is extremely important. Having our clients trusting and giving us the Freedom to create, we are able to do what we do, which enables for a better client relationship. Footprint is more of a metaphor as we like to work with clients who are changing something for the better.
What is your philosophy of design? What constitutes good design?
Our design philosophy is based on a strong belief that great design is not enough, we want to have strong conceptual ideas that tickle the brain of the target audience. We also believe that technology inspires our design process. This is why we believe in committing developers early in the different stages of our design process.
And how does this apply to your own website, hellomonday.com?
Hellomonday.com is an outlet for our own creativity. We change our site every 1-2 years because we quickly get bored with what we have. So in many ways this is a playground where we can do anything we want. As everything we do, it's the result of good design and technology coming together.
A Neutral Player Facilitating Designers’ Craftsmanship.
How do you think Webydo's code-free solution is affecting designers' craftsmanship?
I think it's interesting that Webydo is empowering a large designer community to create things that were not possible in the past without help from developers. And Webydo is that rare breed that actually listens to its community in terms of the features they bring to their platform.
An example that arose during the re-design process was that even though Helvetica is a ubiquitous font, we felt it was the right choice exactly because it is ubiquitous. As we were working on the strategy for the project it became clear that Webydo is a facilitator – a neutral player that lets designers craft whatever they want to do without using code. Helvetica is exactly that. A neutral player which Webydo should be as well.
Please describe the reasons why you took on the project of designing Webydo's new website.
When Webydo came to us, we believed it could be a very successful product. It was an interesting opportunity to explore other ways in which our industry works and how it’s changing. We liked the idea of building a platform that could enable a lot of designers to create websites.
During the process we looked at the messaging strategy and decided to change the notion of 'designing' to 'crafting'. It is a word we've been using internally at Hello Monday for many years as our designers are true craftswomen (and craftsmen). Design is a craft and with this shift we could emphasize the professionalism, thoughtfulness and artistic side of the process, that was empowering.
What were the main challenges with the Webydo website redesign?
When we started the project, Webydo didn't have any examples of high-quality sites that were crafted in Webydo, so we decided to create one and put this story on the landing page. This obviously meant that we had to create two sites instead of one, but we felt it was better to walk the talk and show how the product worked in the meta-context of a real project. Therefore, the entire site was created using Webydo’s product, which has a specific set of defined features - it was interesting to work within that context and still be happy about the work produced.
Mondays Are Our Best Days.
How do you view current trends in web design? Bad trends? Good trends?
A continued trend is long scrolling sites with blocks of content going across the website while scrolling. Luckily we are seeing less and less of these ‘startup’ sites.
Good trend we are seeing across the creative landscape is that more and more sites are increasingly experimental in concept, technology and design. When these three parameters are used, things really come together and become unique. These trends are something that are often seen in storytelling websites with a lot of interaction and great content.
Another good trend we are seeing is that typography is really evolving. There is still some way to go compared to offline media, but we are definitely on the right track and hopefully we will see this evolve even further in the near future.
What are the three most inspiring websites in your opinion?
We all suffer from a slight gloominess before the new work week. What makes your Mondays different? Any tips?
We believe in not taking the Monday gloominess too seriously and approaching it with a more welcoming attitude. Since creativity is hindered when overworked, after a little break from the weekend Mondays are actually some of our best days. Our approach to Mondays includes an emphasis on positivity. After all, it is our company’s namesake.
Brought to you by Webydo.
Craft Your Design Without Code.