Helsingfors Series VII: 5 questions to an IxDer

I am a bit curious about how´s the IxD scene in this area.
That´s why I´ve decided to ask 5 short questions to relevant IxDers who work on Nordic countries.

The first one is Sergio Palomo, Spaniard with a strong background on Mobile IxD living in Helsinki.

Juan Leal (J.L.)
Please, give us a short description about yourself.

Sergio Palomo (S.P.)
I’m from Valencia where I studied Computer Engineering, and after my
studies there I came to Finland to study Software Engineering. During
those studies I was introduced to the field of Human Computer
Interaction which resulted a fascinating area and which defined my
professional career.

When did you start working as an IxD?

I had previous experience in web and multimedia design and
development, but working as an IxD as such was in 2000 in Barcelona. I
stayed there for two years when I decided to come back to Finland.
Since then I’ve been working mostly with mobile devices and in the
last year a bit more with multiplatform digital services.

We know what are the good things about this job but, what´s the worst thing about what you do?

Hmmm, good question. In general I just love it, but sometimes
designers are in the middle of internal discussions which have to do
more with politics than design. It is frustrating to deliver a design
solution which goes straight to the trash bin not because the lack of
quality but because some other issues.

Regarding your profession, what are the main differences about what you do here in Finland and the rest of Europe?

My experience outside Finland is limited to Spain, Germany and UK. In
terms of tools and processes the differences have been minimum. The
differences were maybe in the way those processes were conducted due
to cultural differences. On one hand Finns are very pragmatic, and on
the other they establish a clear line between professional and
personal life. Both aspects result in love for well tought and
reasonable plans and efficiency. Every extra minute you have to do at
work is lived as a small failure. Of course this is not limited only
to IxD but applies to whole society. For a stranger, this may look
initially like a lack of commitment and coldness. In other countries,
having long working days and endless discussions did not seem like an
Another difference is the amount of time and effort spent in educating
clients and stakeholders and justifying tasks. This is not always blue
sky, but normally almost everyone in the project is aware of the
tasks, duties and value brought by an IxD, so she can focus on the
design work.

How do you see the future of this profession?

To be honest, I do not have a clue. Lately I kind of share Moggridge’s
view. Some of the brightest IxDers I’ve been working with were Visual
and Industrial designers who integrated the IxD knowledge and skills
into their background. I think IxD is here to stay, but in the long
term not as a separate discipline but as part of an integration of
disciplines called digital design or similar. But, what do I know?. I
am just a design worker! 😉

Thank you Sergio! (Next 5 questions pretty soon)