Anthony Zagariko

The 2015 Internship Day at Fjord London

It’s Thursday 24th September and 18 fresh faces enter the doors at Fjord London ready for the exciting intern assessment day ahead. As we are a lovely bunch here in London, we had only the best pastries, fruit juices and coffees ready for our nervous guests (It still counts even if most of it was eaten by existing Fjordians). After some introductions and photos, we wasted no time and started the day. First up was Dominic Quigley, Fjord London’s design director, introducing himself and the agenda for the day ahead. Moving swiftly on, we had Dan Harris, group service design director, provide our interns with some insight into Fjord and what we are all about. A lot of information for 9.30am but the interns handled it well. The Fjordians responsible for coaching the interns then gave a brief introduction. They included Marcio Soriano, Gloria Lin, Kostja Paschalidis and myself (Anthony Zagariko) – all determined to coach the winning team to victory!

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The Fjordian team leaders – Anthony, Marcio, Kostja, and Gloria

With so many introductions, we felt it was only fair that the interns got in on the action too. Tasked with bringing in one object that had the most impact on their lives, each intern said a quick hello and then explained their reasons for choosing their object. There was a varied collection of objects; ranging from passports to exercise equipment to a toothbrush. We had a great mix of objects and reasons.

We divided the interns up into four teams – the interns were then set a task to design a service around one of the objects in their team. After much deliberation (some people were really passionate about their objects!), the objects were chosen. For the next several hours ours teams would be creating services around a pillow, a passport, a scented piece of jewellery and a purse/wallet.

Guided by their team leader, all responsibility was with the interns as we watched and evaluated their potential. Team dynamics were created and creative juices began to flow as the room became a flurry of activity. There was sketching, user journeys, brainstorms and sticky notes; so many sticky notes!

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After a quick bite to eat, the teams presented their initial proposition. Details such as names were yet to be decided on, but some solid foundations were laid for the day ahead. After the usual post-lunch lull, everyone was once again raring to go. Details were fine-tuned, prototypes were built and we even had some Oscar-worthy acting; all of this to help each team better tell their story. As the day progressed, the pressure began to build as the interns were faced with presenting their ideas to the ‘Dragons’ (senior Fjordians who were told to act scary and intimidating). At 5pm, it was time to face the ‘Dragons’.

First up was Team Kostja, presenting E.Go. A digital combination of a passport, mobile phone wallet and identity card. This project inspiration was based on an actual passport. The team tried to analyse what identity is in a digital age and why it is still relevant to identify yourself in the future. They created a service where you have a unified identification from you passport to you email login where using new technologies like NFC, finger print and voice recognition, creates a holistic way of getting access to information and validating your identity.

The second team to present was Team Marcio, presenting Scentify. A device that allows a user to produce their favourite scents at a moments notice wherever they are. The team chose a “cinnamon necklace” – a scented piece of jewellery which was a gift from a very dear person to one of our candidates. The choice was based not only on its emotional aspect, but also on the idea that a determined scent can provide a sense of well-being. They created a wearable product, similar to a clip/broche, that would activate scents proven scientifically to make people feel better and help them go through their daily activities. The scents would be programmed by the user in a “scentlist” on a digital interface (mobile/web). The scent would then be released at specific times in order to make the user feel better.

Next up was Team Gloria, who presented Digital Piggy, a digital wallet for the 21st century. Inspired by a participant’s purse, the group built out a wallet that would carry a digital version of everything a user needs – credit cards, loyalty accounts, spare ‘change’ – and serve as a personal statement. Although the team initially targeted Millennials, the idea evolved to target an older audience, one of the ways it was differentiated from Apple Pay. Looking at their user’s journey, the team found clever ways to turn pain-points into high points.

Last but by no means least, was Team Anthony. They introduced us to Pillo, a smart pillow which aims to encourage better sleeping habits to improve overall happiness and health. The pillow uses a series of sensors and a smartphone app to encourage the user to sleep better. When the users head hits the pillow, It can slowly switch off all their smartphone features/attached smart devices such as lights. This reduces distractions and allows the user to slowly drift to sleep. It also monitors sleep and provides daily feedback about how the user slept. There are also daily notifications to remind the user when they should think about going to sleep. For the pitch, we were treated to detailed prototypes, excellent presentation skills and even some acting. A fantastic group effort!

After some tricky questions from the dragons, the teams were left to enjoy a much needed beer while the dragons made their decision.

After much deliberation, the dragons had decided to invest in…. Pillo. A massive congratulations to my team, who all worked very hard and deserved the win. They each won a rather nice prize which consisted of a Moleskin sketchbook, a moleskin pen and an amazon voucher. Not too shabby! (sadly the only gift the team leader won was the opportunity to write this blog entry).

Overall, it was a very productive day and we definitely saw lots of potential.

Anthony Zagariko

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