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“This is the place to be, and I feel like I’m missing out if I’m not here!”

“This is the place to be, and I feel like I’m missing out if I’m not here!”

Product Designer Johanna Bülling comments on how Viaplay’s different approach to design sparks her creativity and explains why she doesn’t want to miss out on a day of work.

Johanna Bülling, Product Designer

How has your Viaplay journey started?

So I started at Viaplay almost a year ago, but it feels like less because it’s been so fun!

When I joined, they were expanding the design team so that there would be more designers per platform, and I joined as a UI Designer for big screen and iOS. That was a lot of fun, I jumped straight into projects, solving problems and understanding the users of Viaplay. Now I am a dedicated product designer for Big Screen, which is our most used product today, which comes with great challenges and a tight teamwork.


How does Viaplay work with design?

At Viaplay we have 12 designers - two on each platform. From my experience, what I’ve seen is that in many companies they don’t even have two designers in total. I think that Viaplay is a place that understands the value of design and how much it can change, so we invest in it. We also have a user researcher here at Viaplay which is fantastic - not all companies have a dedicated person for that - and of course data analytics. Listening to all those insights combined can tell us what projects we should focus on.

Is this way of working unique to Viaplay?

I would say that here at Viaplay, we design our own design work and try to find a way that fits the team and the whole of company. And that’s great, I think that’s something every company needs because there’s always going to be a new set of people, and we all have different backgrounds and ways of working. And we’re learning from mistakes in the past and also taking the best from each background trying to figure out our way of doing stuff.

Do you feel like you have a lot of creative freedom and flexibility at work?

I used to freelance and work a lot with startups and always thought that my creativity would decline if I worked for an existing brand. That was actually one of my fears when I started working here. But as it turns out, I get even more creative and inspired working with a brand like Viaplay! Just having a clean paper and someone says “create something” really doesn’t work - it doesn’t spark anything. Here, we basically have guidelines that help us be even more creative, and it’s also a great deal of fun.

In what way do you feel that Viaplay’s customer focus influences your design decisions?

I would say that it’s in our backbone that we don’t speak out of personal opinion - or if we do, we make sure to say that it’s a subjective opinion. We always work with our Viaplay personas that symbolise different types of users, and that’s very helpful. We’re all really passionate about understanding our users so it sparks great discussions and allows us to make better informed design decisions. I can reach out to anyone at Viaplay with a user problem, and they’ll all try to help our because they’re passionate about our users.

What do you like the most about your job?

I love telling stories through visual design, so trying to create an inspiring and human UI is a lot of fun. I also love the nitty gritty stuff like mapping out problems and asking the right questions. So for example if we do a user survey, we get a lot of feedback. But in all of that data there’s actually an underlying issue which taps into a basic human need, and I love figuring out what is that and how we can cater to it.

What is special in working at Viaplay?

Since I started here, there hasn’t been a day that I woke up and didn’t want to go to work. So that’s a pretty good indicator! The schedule of how we design our work here is both challenging and interesting and you learn things all the time. So for example today and tomorrow we have users coming in to test the things we’ve built in this sprint, and that’s awesome. We’re going to gain so much insight from that, then do iterations and present again to the team. So there’s always something interesting going on here and you really want to be part of it! I was sick for a week recently and I was like “I need to get better now, because I need to get back!”. This is the place to be, and I feel like I’m missing out if I’m not here!

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