To recycle consultants

Recycling is good. Sure, there is a discussion about if it is really financially and environmentally sustainable to make individual people take their individual cars to the recycling station, and sure, there is a problem with littering around the containers. But the bottom line is, we all agree that recycling is a good thing.

At Funka, we have taken the recycling trend one step further and recycle our consultants! No need to worry, they are coming back by their own free will, they are fine, and we are not even close to throwing them in a furnace.

We are growing in all our active markets, which is not very strange seeing the amount of attention accessibility and UX has gotten lately. Even though the staff who were with us from the start are still with us, and several of us have more than ten years at the company, we still have to recruit new employees. Of course we do, otherwise we would soon be a collection of pompous dinosaurs.

New thoughts and ideas help maintain our creative environment, it is the dynamic between experience and curiosity that drives our innovation. But I can not help being moved when employees who have left us choose to come back. That has to mean we are doing something right.

Oskar Gustafsson. PhotoOskar Gustafsson, UX expert and project manager worked at Funka for many years before jumping to one of our favorite clients, The Swedish Employment Offices. After two years working for the public sector, he has chosen to come back to Funka.

Why did you choose to work for the client side?

After 5 years at Funka (and 8 years as a consultant) I was curious to see how things actually were on the other side. In the projects I worked in, I usually came in early in the process, conducted pilot studies and developed concepts. But usually my assignment ended there and I quickly went on to new tasks, for different clients. I naively thought that being on the other side would enable me to conduct continous development, test alternative solutions against each other and analyze real usage in order to optimize and refine the user experience. Basically, be part of the complete process.

And why did you come back?

It was incredibly interesting and a true learning experience to be able to work in such a large organization, but after two years I started longing for the kinds of tasks I did at Funka, where I feel I have a greater degree of overlook and above all, a greater impact on the final result. I am used to working effectively and be frugal with my work hours and I grew frustrated with how long things took. Much time was eaten up by synchronization and anchoring, changes came from unexpected places and upended concepts and a persistent feeling of things being done ineffectively.
I missed the variation in working with several clients at the same time, with different needs and requirements. I also missed the variation in having different roles in different projects. Apart from that, I like Funka’s mission of ensuring that services and information is usable, rather than cool-looking. It’s really only when used that they have value.

Karin Forsell. PhotoKarin Forsell, journalist and language expert, who has worked for Funka and Funka’s foundation for many years. She never really left Funka, since she continued to do individual tasks for us for several years. But for a time one of our more ambitious clients, the Swedish Broadcaster SVT, was her main employer. Karin is now back at Funka.

Why did you choose to work for the client side?

SVT was my client when I was at Funka, and I worked with them in order to create good help texts for SVT Play. I found that SVT was uncommonly goal-oriented and worked in a structured and inspiring manner to make SVT Play accessible. When the opportunity came to be able to influence long time development to a greater extent than as a consultant, I took it. I am also a staunch supporter of public service and it was an honor to be able to help make SVT Play even more accessible.

And why did you come back?

After about a year, I moved on within SVT, from SVT Play to supervising SVT’s viewer service. I kept some of the responsibility for accessibility, but also submerged myself in the development of the viewer service. The service was, and is, in a continous state of change and it was at times very hard work. I came back to Funka, because I felt that it enables me to work with things that make a tangible difference for individuals. I get to be a part in influencing both people and services to becoming more inclusive and equal. The bottom line is the equal rights of the people.

Everyone at Funka warmly welcomes Oskar and Karin back!

Susanna Laurin
CEO, Funka