Wonderland
Opinion

New Year, New Wonderlanders

To kick the year off with a bang, we added two epic new people to the Wonderland team!

By Silvie Been Designer
Janina Nyström Client Manager

To kick the year off with a bang, we added two epic new people to the Wonderland team! To celebrate their first month with us, we asked Silvie and Janina a few thoughts about themselves, why they wanted to join Wonderland, and what they’re most looking forward to in the coming months and years! 

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Silvie | Senior Designer
Hi! I’m Silvie. 
I’m Dutch, and have been living in Amsterdam for the past 10 years. I love everything to do with visual storytelling (especially animated TV shows and Wes Anderson movies) and in my free time, I like to illustrate and read, as well as watch and listen to everything I can about psychology and philosophy. 

I started my career working as a designer, and quickly began specialising in digital product design. I loved the agency I started my career with and learned a lot from them, but I often felt that the projects were all style, but no substance.

I really wanted to work on projects were I would be able to spend some time on the quality of the product, and the purpose behind it, so after 2 years I moved in-house, focusing on web design. During this time, I had the pleasure of collaborating with numerous different people in a variety of roles, such as UXers, researchers, analysts, and conversion specialists, and gained a wealth of in-depth knowledge in each of these different disciplines. 

However, I again began to feel an itch that I couldn’t quite scratch. Something was bothering me about working in-house, and that was the over-reliance on data, often to the point of paralysis. Don’t get me wrong, I think data is great and critical to the design processs, but we also have to recognise the need for creativity, and creative interpretation. People’s emotions can’t be easily expressed by numbers, and this need to quantify every decision began to feel demoralising. That and the realisation that I was spending a large portion of my time helping to sell things that nobody really needed.

That’s when I found Wonderland, an agency that is focused on creative and meaningful experiences. Besides that I really like the focus on raising awareness about sustainable digital design. Here, I’ll be able to not only make stuff that looks cool, but also designs that add value to the world and affect positive change.

The first month has been great. I’ve really appreciated the focus on people, and the team is super nice and talented. Looking forward, I’m most excited to work together with the wider team on some of the projects we have in the pipeline, and delivering amazing work for our clients. 

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Janina | Client Manager
Hi! My name is Janina Nyström, a Swedish-speaking Finn who’s been living in Amsterdam since 2019. At first, I moved here for an exchange in 2017, but I ended up moving back in 2019 when Helsinki began to feel too small and quiet for me. Amsterdam is vibrant and alive, while small enough that you can get to know the city on your bike, which is perfect for me.

As for my interests, I love nature, cooking, and trying out new restaurants (which have finally begun opening again!). I am also very interested in the film industry and have been taking courses in film and manuscript writing. Although, my favourite interest in the whole world is without a doubt downhill skiing. I have been skiing for as long as I can remember, and every year my family and I go skiing somewhere in the Alps, this year to Saalbach. 

Before joining the Wonderland team I was working in a very different industry where I led projects focused on employee experience, engagement, internal communications, as well as learning and development. So although I have experience in project management, the creative design scene is somewhat new to me. You might wonder what made me apply to Wonderland then? Well, I have always wanted to do something more creative, but sadly I cannot paint. However, my grandfather was an artist and owned a creative agency in Finland during the ‘80s-’90s. He specialised in branding and has designed many famous logos for Finnish businesses, such as the ‘Made in Finland’ Key Flag symbol which is marked on all products that have been manufactured/produced in Finland.  So, in some ways, I have always had a desire to follow in his footsteps, to some degree at least. Now I get to be part of creating cool stuff, and I hope that along the way I can also move into designing stuff by taking UX design courses, and learning from my super nice colleagues. 

I am super happy to be joining Wonderland, not only because of the creative aspects, but also the people and Wonderland’s values and culture, which resonate very well with my own values and way of working. On top of this, I am really happy to see that Wonderland is taking action by raising awareness of the impact the digital world has on the environment and how we can work towards a greener digital future. Moreover, it is a nice change to work for a smaller company where you know everyone and can do fun things together after work. This was something I was missing in my old job, as my role was very global and my colleagues were spread out all over the world. I was also mainly working remotely and was therefore missing out on the social perks that come with having an office to go to. 

Now I can (finally) go to the office, which is fantastic. It is also so much easier to get to know the people and Wonderland that way, especially as for my first month I have focused on taking over projects, getting to know the company, as well as learning new ways of working together with designers and developers. I am especially looking forward to getting to spend more time with everyone, enhance my creative side, learn new things, and manage my first big project!

It’s been a great few weeks onboarding Silvie and Janina, and we’re super happy to have them join the Wonderland team. If you’d like to hear more from Silvie or Janina - or anyone else in the Wonderland team for that matter - we’d love to hear from you. We have a bunch of open roles currently, which you can check out at wonderland.studio/join.

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